Location: Provo, UT
Conference: Mountain West
Last Year’s Record: 25-8
Why they’ll make it: All-conference performers, Jimmer Fredette and Jonathan Tavernari, return to lead a stacked Cougar squad. Fredette, who scored over 16 points-per-game last season, is one of the favorites to win Mountain West Player of the Year. While Tavernari, who averaged just under 16 points-per-game last season, will garner all-conference honors again. The two stars are flanked by two other returning starters and a bevy of experienced role players. The Cougars have had issues getting out of the first round of the NCAA tournament the past two seasons. They may be ready to break that trend this year.
Why they won’t make it: Replacing Lee Cummard’s near 17 points-per-game will be a daunting task for the Cougars. They have plenty of talent returning, but that’s a lot of production to make up. Cummard was first-team all-conference and fourth-team all-america which gives further indication of what type of player he was. At 6-7, he was a nightmare for other teams to defend from the guard position. Filling his shoes is clearly the biggest issue facing BYU this season.