How BYU improved from last year's WCC team

BYU basketball has taken a major leap this season. With many of the same players returning, what changed?
Fousseyni Traore gets a layup over two UCF defenders
Fousseyni Traore gets a layup over two UCF defenders / Jay Biggerstaff/GettyImages
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The Offense

Spencer Johnson
Spencer Johnson fires from long-range / William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

When Monty Python's King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table devised a strike against the French, they sent a trojan rabbit into the French fortress with the hopes of attacking from inside. If BYU is the French militia, the catapulting counter-attack perfectly encapsulates their offensive strategy, as the Cougars have prided themselves this season on being unstoppable from beyond the arc. While other teams hope to employ brute force to overwhelm the Cougars, BYU has returned with even more devastating attacks from deep. With deadly accuracy and pure volume scoring, BYU boasts one of the nation's top offenses. While not always the perfect strategy, BYU's reliance on shooting the 3-ball has been their superpower.

This season, BYU has attempted 2,098 field goals, with 1,063 of those shots coming from 3-point land. That's 50.7% of their shots being 3-pointers, making BYU's offense very reminiscent of NBA strategy--using a barrage of 3-pointers from nearly the entire roster to overwhelm their opponents by getting out to a big lead early. Everyone knows how it feels to put together a good run, only to see the other team hit a handful of 3-pointers to dissolve your lead before you could blink.

Last season, BYU's offensive system was far inferior. They shot less 3s, and their ball movement was far inferior. With less field goal attempts and a much lower percentage of their shots coming from 3 (40.4%). BYU is never going to be the most athletic or most talented team among their peers, but by employing bold strategies and playing to their strength, this team is able to erase any discrepancies in talent-level.