How to begin? I suppose the only fitting way is with this:
If you are one of the (very few) people who has loyally followed this blog and read my exceptionally long recaps of pointless mid-December games against D-II schools from Nowhere, Tenn., then I owe you a firm handshake.
If you are one of the 694 Twitter followers (minus approximately 682 spambots) who have endured my often obnoxious, regularly all-caps live-tweeting of said games, then I probably owe you a warm embrace or ten.
And if you are one of the many who has crossed me in my one-man crusade to avenge the name of Matthew F. Carlino — not his real middle initial — then I most likely owe you an apology because I probably said something rude to you.
In all seriousness though, if you've spent any time reading Post-Jimmer, commenting on the posts, or interacting with me on Twitter over the past couple years, thank you. You have made this enterprise not only worthwhile, but downright enjoyable.
Steve PierceFriday, January 25, 2013
To be honest, that was pretty much what I expected to happen. Not what I hoped for, but pretty much what I expected.
BYU rode a dismal first-half effort to a 19-point halftime deficit from which they never recovered, falling to No. 10 Gonzaga before a raucous crowd at The Kennel, 83-63. Kelly Olynyk didn't miss a single shot all night, pacing the Bulldogs with 26 points on 9-for-9 shooting and 8-for-8 from the stripe.
But while the final result wasn't too far outside my expectations, the way we got there was a bit of a surprise. Gonzaga dominated the game from the opening tip, particularly on the defensive end. BYU simply couldn't figure out how to solve the Zags' tough, physical defense and looked completely out of sorts in the opening frame.
JakeSunday, January 13, 2013
|Photo Credit: Getty|
It's only natural for a BYU fan like myself to be cautious in my expectations of BYU Basketball. I had high hopes for this team, but after some ugly losses to the better programs on our non-conference slate, I returned to my status quo pessimism.
So it was no surprise that I was worried about this road contest against the Broncos of Santa Clara. After all, they had played Duke down to the wire in Durham and given Gonzaga all they could handle. Also, BYU has been troubled by teams that shoot well from outside and Santa Clara's Kevin Foster is the WCC's all-time leader in three-pointers made. So factor that with BYU's slow starts in the last two conference games and you have the reasoning behind my worries.
These concerns were replaced with a new-found sense of optimism as the Cougars were able to pull away in the second half and score an 82-64 victory. I came into the game a Debbie Downer and left seeing the glass half-full. What was the reasoning behind my change of heart? It was the reminder that Dave Rose is a very good basketball coach.
Steve PierceFriday, January 11, 2013
|Photo Credit: BYU Photo|
The home team came out flatter than flat in the first half, struggling to solve the Waves' zone defense on one end and failing to play much defense of their own on the other. BYU finished the first half shooting 28 percent from the field overall, including a ghastly 2-for-11 from deep, while Pepperdine shot 50 percent from the floor and a red-hot 5-for-9 from beyond the arc. There was no fire. There was no focus. BYU was just going through the motions. That's not usually a recipe for a great deal of success, and it wasn't on this night either — the Cougars trailed the usually hapless Waves 35-30 at the break.
I don't know what Dave Rose said in the locker room during halftime, but it certainly worked — the team that emerged for the second half was completely different than the one that had entered. This team had energy and it played with a purpose, especially on the defensive end. BYU employed an aggressive half-court trap that Pepperdine was never really able to solve, allowing the Cougars to score 15 points off turnovers alone while holding the Waves to just 16 total in the closing period.
Steve PierceSunday, January 06, 2013
Photo Credit: Daily Herald
During the course of a basketball season, some nights will be good and some nights will be bad. Some nights your shots will fall and some nights you'll draw nothing but iron. Some nights the calls go your way and some nights your best players get mired in foul trouble. The difference between the good teams and the mediocre teams is that the good teams find a way to win when they have bad nights. They figure out how to get it done.
After tonight, it appears that BYU just might have what it takes to be a good team.
The Cougars rebounded from a horrific first half performance to snatch a thrilling 80-76 road victory over San Francisco from the jaws of defeat — but not before giving me about 17 heart attacks. The boys in blue did most of their damage with their best player, Brandon Davis, stuck on the bench with persistent foul trouble, which makes the feat even more impressive in hindsight.