Starting from Scratch
There is also the possibility that Mark Pope is a mastermind who just wants to make a splash in the Big 12. Gideon George and Caleb Lohner were both good players for the Cougars, however neither one of them quite met the high expectations that they were given.
George was going to be done after this season anyway, and Lohner wasn’t progressing offensively.
This is a long shot, but maybe Pope had a talk with these guys and told them that their roles were going to be more limited. It’s possible that Mark Pope is viewing next year as a throwaway year anyway and so all of the focus will be to play young players who have the potential to develop into great players in years to come.
Maybe all of this is part of some master plan to build up a core next year so that in 2023-24, the Cougars will be able to compete in the Big 12 and be respected. As a prisoner of the moment, this is really tough to see, but it certainly is a possibility.
Behind closed doors there may be players who have committed to play for BYU that would have taken Lohner’s and George’s minutes. We don’t know what is going on in the second floor of the BYU annex while the coaches spend countless hours on Zoom and phone calls.
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Everything is looking pretty rough right now, but the reality is, the season is still more than six months away and a lot can happen. All it would take is two or three young transfers and suddenly we are feeling like an NCAA Tournament team again.