(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Coming off a record-setting 30-win season and a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2010, BYU men’s basketball will look to continue its successful run under head coach Dave Rose. After guiding the Cougars to 20 wins in his first season, Rose has led BYU to four-straight 25-plus win seasons, four-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament and four-straight seasons ranked in the top 25. Rose has also led the Cougars to three Mountain West Conference regular season titles and two second-place finishes.
BYU finished the 2009-10 season 30-6 overall — a program record for victories in a season — and 13-3 in the MWC. The Cougars were ranked as high as 10 in the national rankings and finished the season No. 17 in the AP Poll and No. 22 in the Coaches Poll, the highest rankings to end a season since the 1987-88 campaign.
With a 127-40 record through five seasons, Rose has produced a five-year resume that ranks among the best in the history of NCAA Division I basketball. His 127 victories place him fifth for best career starts by wins in NCAA history, ahead of the likes of Jerry Tarkanian, Jim Boeheim and Thad Matta. He currently holds the school record for winning percentage (.760) and the MWC record for winning percentage in league games (.800). He and his wife Cheryl continue to involve themselves in numerous community efforts, including the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation.
With the return of the backcourt combo of seniors Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery — who will be starting together for a third-straight year — and eight other lettermen, BYU is loaded with the talent and experience to compete for the 2011 MWC title and make noise on the national scene. Fredette returns after earning five All-America honors, first-team All-MWC status and district player of the year honors. He averaged team highs of 22.1 points and 4.7 assists while hitting .440 from three and .892 from the free throw line. Emery was named second-team All-MWC, MWC All-Defensive and All-District while finishing second in scoring (12.5 ppg), rebounding (4.5 rpg) and assists (2.7 apg) and setting a school record with 91 steals.
Depth, along with experience, will be a strength at the point and wing positions. Junior Charles Abouo is one of the team’s best rebounders and defenders and has improved offensively every year since coming to Provo. Last season he averaged 4.6 points and 3.1 rebounds and will compete for the starting three spot vacated by Tyler Haws who is currently serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines. Also returning are sophomores Brock Zylstra, who played 20 games last season, and Nick Martineau, who played in 20 games in 2007-08 prior to serving a mission in Chile.
Freshmen Kyle Collinsworth and Anson Winder bring versatility to the guard line. Collinsworth is a three-time all-state honoree from Provo High where he averaged a near triple-double as a senior when he was named Mr. Basketball by the Deseret News. He will likely see time at the point and at the wing positions. Winder is an athletic wing player from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. He helped his team win back-to-back state titles his junior and senior seasons. Mesa Community College transfer Stephen Rogers will add depth to the wing and the four positions. Rogers, 6-foot-8, is a proven scorer as he averaged 21.3 points at Mesa while earning junior college All-America honors.
In addition to the starting backcourt remaining intact, Rose has the luxury of Noah Hartsock returning at the four, where he started 30 of 36 games in 2009-10. Hartsock was the teams leading rebounder (5.1 rpg) and shot blocker (46) and added 6.5 points per game while shooting .554 from the field and .864 from the free throw line. Joining him down low will be Brandon Davies, who averaged 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds during his freshman campaign. The Cougars will be hoping for a breakout season from the sophomore who demonstrated great offensive ability a year ago.
Other returnees from a year ago that will contribute in the post include junior James Anderson and senior Logan Magnusson. Anderson played in 29 games and shot .480 from the field and .667 from the free throw line while Magnusson appeared in 23 games. Sophomore Chris Collinsworth will also look to make an impact in his first season back after serving a two-year LDS mission in Australia. As a freshman in 2007-08, he averaged 3.2 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Following is a position-by-position breakdown of the 2010-11 Cougars.
Jimmer Fredette returns for his senior season after pulling his name out of the 2010 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-2 Glens Falls, N.Y., native earned five All-America honors last season and was named first-team All-MWC and the USBWA District VIII Player of the Year. Fredette gained momentum with 49 points and nine threes — both BYU records — in a win at Arizona and burst onto the national scene with 37 points in BYU’s 99-92 double-overtime win over Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In all he posted 20-plus points 22 times, 30-plus points eight times and 40-plus twice and finished seventh in the nation in scoring (22.1 ppg). In addition to his scoring, Fredette dished out a team-best 4.7 assists per game while shooting .440 from three and .892 from the free throw line.
With the graduation of Lamont Morgan, Jr., and the transfer of Michael Loyd, Jr., the Cougars will look to freshmen Kyle Collinsworth and Anson Winder and returned missionary Nick Martineau for minutes backing up Fredette. Collinsworth was a three-time all-state honoree at Provo High and was the state’s best player as a senior. Winder helped Bishop Gorman win two Nevada state titles while Martineau saw time in 20 games in 2007-08.
The Cougars return one of the top defenders and three-point shooters in the Mountain West Conference in senior Jackson Emery — a backcourt starter with Fredette since the beginning of the 2008-09 season. Emery set the BYU record and tied the MWC record with 91 steals (10th in the nation at 2.6 per game) last season while hitting 85 threes, tied for second all-time in Cougar history. His defensive abilities earned him a spot on the MWC All-Defensive team for the second-straight season. Emery was also named to the All-MWC Second Team and received All-District honors from the USBWA and the NABC.
Junior Charles Abouo is back after playing valuable minutes off the bench last season. He will compete for the minutes vacated by Tyler Haws, who started 33 games last season and is currently serving an LDS mission in the Philippines. Abouo averaged 4.6 points and 3.1 boards while shooting .407 from three. Other returnees who will compete for time on the wing include sophomore Brock Zylstra and senior Logan Magnusson. Magnusson played in 23 games in 2009-10 while Zylstra appeared in 20.
The versatile freshman duo of Collinsworth and Winder will also contribute at the wing position. Both players possess athleticism and excellent ball-handling skills. Stephen Rogers will compete for time on the wing after an All-America freshman year at Mesa Community College. The 6-foot-8 sophomore has the ability to shoot from the outside and shoots a high percentage from the free throw line.
Despite the loss of starting center Chris Miles to graduation, BYU will be very experienced at the post in 2010-11. Junior Noah Hartsock started 30 games at the four last season and contributed 6.5 points and a team-best 5.1 boards while shooting .554 from the field and .864 from the free throw line. Sophomore Brandon Davies is a candidate to see increased playing time with Miles’ departure. A talented low-post scorer, Davies averaged 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 2009-10 while shooting .539 from the field.
Also returning is junior James Anderson. The 6-foot-10 Page, Ariz., native gives the Cougars an experienced shot-blocking presence and another potential scorer on the blocks. Magnusson and Rogers give the coaching staff two more options for minutes in the post.
Returned missionary Chris Collinsworth will compete for time on the blocks. In 2007-08 he averaged 4.8 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game. In conference play he averaged 5.3 boards per contest, tied for fourth in the MWC. An athletic and versatile player, Collinsworth also has the ability to shoot from the outside.