I'm sorry to all the Nancies out there, but you gotta take that.
We finished poorly. No, we don't shoot the three very well--I don't know that we made a single corner three all night--but the offense got those shots last night. We had open shots. Hardnett's willingness to go to the hole was excellent, and he did it well, and did it repeatedly.
The kids forgot about Yoeli a couple minutes in each half (and didn't have him at all for ten minutes), which isn't terribly surprising. Yoeli himself spent a few minutes drifting into midrange, which isn't his game. Still, the movement was pretty good, and the shots were there. Rebounding was terrific, really, on both ends. Seljaas hit a couple of threes, which was encouraging. Hustle was there, and the team has a lot of pieces that don't mesh well yet--but they weren't going to, not in that environment, not at this point in the year. We shoot crappy free throws. It's a BYU trademark.
But the depth at big man was much better than I thought it would be. We have bodies, and they don't disgrace themselves out there, against a solid, skilled team with good interior presence (and excellent 3-point ability, once they got going). Lee came in and put in a shift. He rebounded. He even scored. That's like Christmas morning, every time that happens.
Come on, people. You get a few teams as warmups that can't make you break a sweat, and follow that with a Final-Four contender on the road. You're expecting to win that game? In November? Heck, you're expecting to win that game in February? Why, on earth? What in BYU's long and fairly uninspiring basketball history makes you think this is a win, when you see it on the schedule?
30-35 minutes, BYU was competitive with a team that I'm not sure we should have been competitive with. I certainly didn't expect us to be. Yoeli goes out with 19:20 left in the game, and comes back with 11 minutes left, and the score was almost the same. Anyone think that was likely? If you did, you're delusional.
I was very encouraged last night. BYU's ceiling this year is finish second in the WCC, beat St. Mary's and USF three of four, and make the tourney as a 10-11 seed. Isn't it? And did anyone see anything last night that makes them LESS happy about BYU's chances to reach that ceiling?
We could be Kentucky. They recruited the snot out of the entire country, loaded up, secured a number two ranking, then got baby-sealed by Duke in a game that was way, waaaaaaay less competitive than ours. If we were Kentucky, I could understand the angst. But this? I'm scratching my head.