Posted on: November 9, 2011 5:27 pm
By Matt Norlander
The entire YouTube video of his Tuesday meeting with the media is below, but I wanted to dedicate a post this, considering Brandon Davies' suspension stirred a national debate for nearly a week last season. He's back now, he's one of the 100 most talented players in college basketball this season, and if BYU's to win the West Coast Conference title in its first year in that league, Davies will be the reason why.
Plus, he'll be the biggest deal in Provo now that Jimmer's gone.
Davies was prepared and handled himself well with the cluster of media Tuesday. He admitted he had an internal debate over whether or not to leave BYU after his Honor Code violation caused him to sit out for the NCAA tournament.
"There were a lot of thoughts going through my head, trying to deal with it all," he said, adding that he wasn't contacted by any other program about transferring, and didn't think about going to another school. (Admittedly, he seemed to hop on both sides of the fence here. Was he thinking about turning pro, then?)
When asked if he was happy with the way BYU handled his situation, Davies responded, "I'm just happy to be back. It doesn't matter what I had to go through to get here, I'm just glad to be here and back here where I'm supported and loved by so many."
As for playing on the road -- that's going to be something this season. Plenty of opposing fans will be locked and loaded, ready to rib Davies for his act that isn't tolerated at BYU, yet is commonplace and part of the college experience at 99 percent of other campuses across the country.
"I love the hostile environment," he said. "I don't know what's going to be said, but I'm ready for it. I'm pretty good at ignoring things like that. That's part of the game. It's one of the toughest places to play so we all expect it. But it doesn't matter. It's not going to affect me."
That's the BYU SID leering over Davies' shoulder, juuuust in case a reporter asks a question the school isn't comfortable with Brandon answering. Fortunately that didn't happen.
Posted on: September 8, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 2:21 pm
In our Trippin’ series, we’re talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin’ related stories.
By Jeff Goodman
The Jimmer is gone and so is his backcourt mate, three-year starter Jackson Emery. BYU associate head coach Dave Rice got the head job at his alma mater, UNLV, and the Cougars will make their debut in a new league, the WCC, this season.
"I had a few things come my way this past offseason," Rose admitted in terms of new job opportunities. "And I felt this was almost like a new job."
Rose recently returned from a trip to Greece, where he brought nine guys with him and said that just about every game was one-sided - one way or the other.
"We were either way better or the team was better than us," Rose said. "But it was a great experience. We learned a lot - and a couple of guys stepped up."
What he learned from his trip: "How different we'll be as far as scoring the ball is concerned. You don't truly realize it until you play without those two guys. We were backcourt dominated and over the years it hasn't been that way. We'll go back to relying on our frontcourt."
Who stood out on the trip: "Brock Zylstra was our leading scorer. He's a guy who redshirted as a freshman, went on a mission and has been Jackson's back-up the last two years. We played him at the point and he was pretty effective at that position."
What concerns you: "The point guard position. I'm comfortable with the frontcourt, where we've got experience, depth and leadership. Our two-guards will be able to score, but point guard is a question. We've got four guys who have a chance - maybe even five." The five are Matt Carlino, junior Nick Martineau, walk-on Craig Cusick, freshman walk-on Austin Nelson and Zylstra.
- Recently reinstated big man Brandon Davies was one of five players who did not play on the trip. Davies' season ended early last year when he was suspended for breaking the school's honor code. "He enrolled in school a little more than a week ago and went through individual workouts this week," Rose said. "It's nice to see him back. He looks good; a little out of shape." Rose said that the 6-foot-9 junior could be the focal point of the offense. "I think so. I hope to use him like we did Trent (Plaisted) and throw him the ball in the post. He needs to make positive plays in the post and that doesn't always mean scoring the ball."
- Carlino, who transferred in last year from UCLA, did not play on the trip. He was allowed to practice and will be eligible in mid-December. "I like him. He's got a lot of qualities that are really good for us in a point guard. He advances the ball, sees the floor, can create and can shoot."
- A pair of big guys who returned from missions - Nate Austin and Ian Harward - didn't go on the trip. "Both are really big inside guys who can run. Nate is skilled on the perimeter and can shoot it from 17 to 19 feet while Ian is more of an inside player - a rugged type who is a good defensive rebounder. I don't know how big of a scorer he'll be."
- Chris Collinsworth, who underwent a microfracture knee surgery, didn't play on the trip. However, Rose is optimistic that the 6-foot-9 sophomore forward will be ready for the start of practice in mid-October. "From the conversations I've had with the doctors, I'm optimistic. He's going to be a really good player for us."
- Rose confirmed he'll coach an exhibition game in Provo on Sept. 22 involving what he's told could wind up being as many as a dozen first-round picks. Rose will lead a team with Jimmer Fredette, who has been working out at BYU throughout the lockout, while San Diego State coach Steve Fisher will coach a group led by ex-Aztecs star Kawhi Leonard. Kemba Walker and Nolan Smith have also been confirmed participants.
- Emery has opted to go into the business world instead of playing overseas. "He had a couple of offers overseas," Rose said. "But he was a business major and had an offer in the private sector, with ownership in the business. It was hard for him, but it was a terrific offer."
- Rose spoke highly of freshman wing Demarcus Harrison and the job he did on the trip.
- Rose also said the trip was beneficial with the staff change. Former Kentucky forward and Wake Forest assistant Mark Pope replaced Rice and will work with the big men.
Posted on: August 27, 2011 9:19 am
It’s not Jimmer, but BYU received great news on Friday night when it was announced that Brandon Davies had been readmitted to the university and reinstated onto the basketball team.
Davies, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, had been suspended for the final month of last season for breaking the university’s Honor Code. It was later found out that Davies had violated the provision that prohibits premarital sex.
“I’m excited to be back at BYU and look forward to the future,” Davies said in a statement. “I’m grateful for this opportunity.”
Davies averaged 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds last season, earning third-team all-conference honors despite missing the final six games of the campaign, as well as the NCAA tournament.
“Our staff and our players are pleased that Brandon has been readmitted for the fall semester,” head coach Dave Rose said. “We’re excited to have him back on the team, and we look forward to a great season.”
Three of the team’s five losses last season came with Davies on the sidelines, as the Cougars were 27-2 with him in the lineup. He brought an element to the frontcourt that BYU struggled to replace down the stretch, running the floor in transition and also providing a legitimate inside option.
BYU lost Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery from last season, but the return of Davies gives the Cougars one of the better frontcourt groups on the West Coast. A return to health by junior Chris Collinsworth and a breakout season from Charles Abouo could have BYU back in the national picture. Furthermore, UCLA transfer Matt Carlino becomes eligible in December, giving the Cougars a big-time scoring threat on the perimeter.
Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:08 am
Posted by Eric Angevine
One of the cable channels used to show Leave it to Beaver reruns in the morning, so I always ended up watching them as I ate my cereal and got ready to head off to school as a teen. I've probably seen every episode four times, so some of the lines are stuck in my head forever. I'm going to slightly alter one that was often delivered by June Cleaver to her TV husband:
"Ward, I'm worried about the Jimmer."
Why would I be worried? The Jimmer show rolls on. Am I not entertained?
Yes, of course. Hoops fans fell in love with 33-point Jimmer (home win over Arizona), 47-point Jimmer (at Utah) and back-to-back-big-game Jimmer (42 at Colorado State, 43 at home to beat SDSU). In a subsequent loss at New Mexico, The Jimmer had a rather studly line of 32 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals, but to no avail. Since then, he hasn't topped 30 points in a single game, and his average over the past five games is 25.2 ppg. Why, that's the sort of scoring a mere mortal can achieve.
To be clear, I think Jimmer's reduced scoring load is a good thing, because BYU is still winning. That signifies that the Cougars are becoming the more balanced team they'll need to be in the postseason. Fredette can easily Superman BYU through the MWC, but if his team is to live up to its hype in the Big Dance, his teammates must be prepared to play bigger roles, and actively seek to take the pressure off of their star.
Here's the good news on that front. After scoring just 6 points in the loss at The Pit, guard Jackson Emery is back on his game, averaging 14.4 points per game over the recent five-game stretch. In the same period, forward Brandon Davies has just notched the 10 ppg mark, though he's been wildly inconsistent, going from a 20 point game at Wyoming to a 2 point effort at home against Utah.
For the Jimmer Show to continue into the postseason, you'd like to see the 6-foot-9 Davies get a lock on the third scorer's role, but it's important to note that his rebounding has been key throughout the season, and that teammates tend to step in and score when he doesn't have the mojo. For instance, guard Charles Abouo and forward Stephen Rogers both got into double figures in a foul-plagued 4-point effort from Davies when UNLV came to town, and Abouo nearly out-Jimmered his teammate in a recent blowout of Utah, scoring 22 and nabbing 10 boards. I wouldn't exactly call the Cougars a deep team, but they have multiple scoring options in spite of the fact that they have one of the greatest individual scoring threats in the country at their disposal.
So, if we aren't worried about Jimmer's scoring, what exactly is the point of all this hand-wringing?
In the past five games, the extra defensive attention paid to Fredette has not only lowered his scoring totals, but it has resulted in 24 turnovers credited to his account. That's on the other side of the ledger from just 20 assists in the same time period. His shooting has become inefficient in that handful of contests as well: 34/86 = 39.5 percent from the floor.
We can't lay all of this on Fredette's doorstep. Dave Rose is a smart coach, and he knows that over-reliance on one player is a bad deal, no matter how strong that player might be. Nobody wants to see Fredette lose his aggressiveness, but it's clear that he needs somewhere to go when his efforts are stymied.
BYU has a perfect run of tough games coming up that should allow Rose to fine-tune his team attack. Wednesday night is a home game against third-place Colorado State, followed by a road trip to San Diego State (Saturday 2/26, 2:00 p.m. ET, CBS) and a mid-week home game against the talented but disappointing New Mexico Lobos. If there is tinkering to be done, and a loss to be taken, let it be now, rather than later. Keeping the Jimmer Show on the air as long as possible this season will be a pleasure for fans of college basketball.
Posted on: January 27, 2011 9:21 am
Posted by Eric Angevine
There's going to be a lot written about Jimmer Fredette today, and rightfully so. The young man who brought his game from New York state to the heart of Utah is an amazing story, and he's earned every headline.
The impression you will get from many of these articles is that Jimmer is a one-man show. Scoring-wise, he pretty much was that last night against San Diego State. I'm here to tell you that BYU's big men were more important in the Mountain West showdown than the box score can reveal.
One contribution is obvious. On a night when Fredette's usual foil, Jackson Emery, put up just four points in 39 minutes, the efficiency of forward Brandon Davies was key. His 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting made it impossible for the Aztecs to quintuple-team Jimmer the way they probably wanted to. Dig a little deeper, and the edges of Davies' defensive impact begin to show: five rebounds, all from SDSU misses. Two blocks. There's even a steal in there.
Strangely enough, Davies only played 26 minutes in the game, despite being the only other major scoring option the team had. 6-foot-10 junior James Anderson grabbed 14 minutes of court time and contributed five blocks. Another supremely efficient performance that went unnoticed as fans watched Fredette slice and dice and bomb the Aztecs.
There's relatively little statistical evidence of what Noah Hartsock, Stephen Rogers and Charles Abouo brought to the table last night, unless it's measured in the relatively meager impact of Aztec forwards Billy White and Malcolm Thomas. There's still no way to effectively keep track of passes denied, screens applied or shot-smothering interior collapses. Most notable, not one of them gave in to the temptation to hack or hold the talented frontcourt players from Ron Burgundy's hometown. The free-throw parade that could have turned things in the Aztecs' favor never materialized. Noah Hartsock, in particular, was able to play 36 minutes with only two whistles in his direction.
BYU's trees did all of that, and probably even a few subtle things we'll never know about, to keep this result in the W column for the Cougars.
None of these guys is likely to be the subject of a national feature any time soon, so consider this to be my tip of the hat to the members of the band. They keep the rock-steady beat behind the rock star in the Jimmer Show.