BYU Basketball 2014-15 Summer Prospectus: Last Year in Review


Mar 20, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Matt Carlino (2) hands the ball off to guard Tyler Haws (3) as Oregon Ducks guard Jason Calliste (12) tries to steal the ball during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s Note: This week at Lawless Republic we are rolling out our five-part 2014-15 BYU Basketball Summer Prospectus.  In part one we review last season.

In the midst of Fall Camp, let’s take a short break and look back on BYU Basketball’s 2013-14 campaign. As much as most of us are focusing on football at Connecticut, BYU Basketball tips off in 79 days! Let’s take a look back.

Remind me again?

This was the year Kyle Collinsworth returned from a mission to Russia. This was the year high school national champion from Lone Peak, Eric Mika entered as a true freshman to start in the post from day one. This was the year that also caused Matt Carlino to transfer.

The season had its ups and downs. The first four regular season games resulted in W’s and after an exciting win at Stanford, we saw four-star recruit Payton Dastrup ditch his commitment to Ohio State and commit to the Cougars. It felt like something special was happening, and we didn’t fully know what that was.

They almost beat Iowa State (a really good team) at home, but didn’t. This turned out to be the common theme throughout the year. A team that played out of their minds at times, looking like they could beat anybody, and then showing up expecting to win and flat out getting hammered.

There was a chance to prove what this team was made of during the CBE Hall of Fame Classic tournament. BYU looked good after beating a Texas squad that many discredited at the time of that victory, but the Horns were a squad in the top 25 during most of Big 12 play.  Then in the CBE title game, BYU was outplaying Wichita State (a great team) through the first thirty minutes, but ultimately fell short in the final 10 minutes to a Shocker squad that was undefeated heading into the NCAA Tournament.  After that loss, this BYU team never seemed to fully recover the rest of the season.

Yes, they ended up placing second in the West Coast Conference Tournament and were second during the regular season in league play, but it seemed like something was going on in that locker room that we didn’t know about. It was affecting the team’s play. Maybe it had something to do with Kyle Collinsworth taking over at point guard and Carlino relegated to being the team’s sixth man off the bench.

Low points of the season were losing four road games in a row (including the first loss to Utah in nearly five years) and dropping some games to WCC bottom feeders. High points of the season were back-to-back wins over St. Mary’s in Moraga, and then defeating #25 Gonzaga in the Marriott Center.

Despite the up-and-down play, the Cougars tough non-conference schedule paid off as BYU received a bid to the NCAA Tournament as a 10-seed, ending the Cougars one-year hiatus from the big dance (2013 NIT Semifinals). Hopes were high that BYU would right the ship, but expectations were tempered when we learned BYU would have a rematch with Oregon, whom the Cougars had lost to in overtime earlier in the season.

The Cougars lost in the second round to Oregon, one and done once again in the tournament. It wasn’t even as close as the score indicated, with Collinsworth out after tearing his ACL in the WCC Tournament Championship, and Carlino unable to rise to the occasion after being back in the starting lineup.

What do we know now?

What killed the Cougars at the end of the season was the same issues that hurt them in non-conference play. 3-point shooting, bench scoring, and foul trouble were the main culprits last season.  Dave Rose was unable to fix these core problems due to youth, inexperience, and a lack of depth on the personnel front.

After all was said and done, we saw Matt Carlino put his deuces up and leave Provo for Marquette. Mika left on a mission to Italy, and Collinsworth had surgery to rehab his injury.

Tyler Haws was the quiet, consistent leader of the team who ended his year ranked #6 in the nation for points per game.  For whatever reason, he does not get the respect he deserves as one of the best college basketball players in the country.

A question I still cannot answer for myself is, “did this team overachieve or underachieve?” I think a case can be made for both. However, as usual, the crazy rollercoaster ride fans were put through gave us plenty to talk about.


2014-15 BYU Basketball Summer Prospectus

PART I: Last Year in Review

PART II: Personnel Breakdown

PART III: Top Story Lines for 2014-15 season

PART IV: The Future of BYU Basketball

Part V: 2014-15 West Coast Conference Preview