I'm seeing a lot of Cougar fans and local media trying to ascribe the biggest problem with the BYU basketball program right now is lack of talent, due in large part to WCC affiliation. "Recruits don't want to play in the WCC" is the common explanation. If you put any stock into national recruiting evaluations, than this explantion is flat out wrong. You would be hard pressed to find any Cougar roster over the last 20 years with more talent "on paper" in terms of recruiting rankings than this year's team had. According to leading recruiting service rankings this Cougar roster had:
SIX 4-STAR RECRUITS ON THIS ROSTER
TJ Haws: ESPN and 247 composite 4-star. ESPN top 100 (51) and 247 top 100 (54)
Nick Emery: ESPN and 247 composite 4-star. ESPN top 100 (45) and 247 top 100 (67)
Yoeli Childs: ESPN and 247 composite 4-star. ESPN top 100 (53).
Gavin Baxter: ESPN and 247 composite 4-star. 247 top 100 (100).
Connor Harding: ESPN 4-star. 247 composite 3-star.
Kolby Lee: ESPN 4-star. 247 composite 3-star.
FOUR 3-STAR RECRUITS ON THIS ROSTER
Dalton Nixon: ESPN and 247 composite 3-star.
Zac Seljaas: ESPN and 247 composite 3-star.
Jahshire Hardnett: ESPN and 247 composite 3-star.
Luke Worthington: ESPN and 247 composite 3-star.
TWO 2-STAR/NR RECRUITS ON THIS ROSTER
Rylen Bergersen: NR
McKay Cannon: NR
By comparison, let's see what a few of our top WCC competitors this year look like in terms of recruiting evaluation (not including Gonzaga who is BYU's lone competitor in the WCC whose talent is highly rated):
Saint Mary's: One 4-star (Mathias Tass), Three 3-stars (Fitts, Thomas, Ford). Rest of roster 2-star/NR.
San Francisco: One 3-star (Jimbo Lull). Rest of roster 2-star/NR.
San Diego: Two 3-stars (Isaiah Wright, Tyler Williams). Rest of roster 2-star/NR.
The bottom line is BYU's roster, in terms of national recruiting evaluations, is not even in the same discussion as any other WCC school not named Gonzaga. This has been the case for years, yet BYU consistently under-performs in the WCC. I have long tried to give Dave Rose the benefit of the doubt. He's done great things for BYU in the past. But this season made it impossible to deny. The problem with the program right now is coaching. This team of 6 four-stars and 4 three-stars could not figure out how to play with consistent effort, struggled with execution and cohesion and was atrocious on the defensive end. If you look at the talent on paper, this team flat out woefully under-achieved, period. It starts and ends with coaching. It's time for a change at the Marriott Center, it's time for Rose to retire.