Team talent, speed, toughness and personality sometimes vary from season to season, especially with seven newcomers.
"There's a lot of personality with this group," coach Dave Rose
said at media day. "I think that they're extremely energetic and passionate."
Besides the new faces, BYU returns five players from last year including redshirt junior Anson Winder
. He returns improved and ready to contribute on a different-looking BYU squad.
"I think I'm shooting the ball better," Winder said. "I try to maximize each possession."
Winder sank 3 of 5 from behind the arc in the exhibition game against Colorado College. The Cougars look to improve upon their 2012-13 3-point shooting percentage of 33.8.
BYU was also picked to finish second in the West Coast and are slated to play a challenging schedule.
"I'm excited for all the top teams," Winder said. "Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and Iowa State are all pretty good. We play Stanford. We have Texas, and if we beat them, we could play Wichita State. Those are all big games that I'm excited for."
Along with preparing to make a run toward the NCAA tournament, the Cougars are busy building unity.
and Matt Carlino
are probably two of the weirdest guys you might run across," Winder laughed. "Those two are definitely characters."
Winder might also be a character in his own right since he is seen dancing the the background of the most recent BYU basketball lip-sync video
In its second exhibition game, BYU hosts Alaska Anchorage Saturday at 7 p.m. MDT at the Marriott Center. The game will be televised on BYUtv.
"I'm excited for our team," Winder added. "I think we have a lot of good guys this year."