Viewpoint: Way to go, Cougars!

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What a season.

Now all the players are back on campus, I want to congratulate our two basketball teams. Both the men’s and women’s teams deserve recognition for their success this year.

It’s been several years since both BYU basketball teams were invited to the NCAA tournament — 2007 in fact. In my opinion, the two teams exceeded just about everyone’s expectations for the 2011 season.

Remember all the hype surrounding last year’s men’s team? Remember a guy named Jimmer? Who would have guessed after losing the National Player of the Year and BYU’s all-time steals leader the team would finish 26-9 and with a bid to the tournament? Oh yeah, and in a new conference too.  Not to mention the record for the biggest comeback victory ever in NCAA tournament history.

I give a lot of credit to coach Dave Rose and his ability to get his guys to play hard and with a lot of heart.

I enjoy all BYU sports, but I became a big fan of the women’s team this year after I covered the home game against Eastern Washington in November.  The women played well together. They passed the ball, playing unselfish basketball.

Their winning streak has been the most impressive aspect of this year. This team beat its opponents by an average of 21.4 points per game. On average. Not bad for a team that didn’t make it to the NCAA tournament last year.

I’ve been a big fan of  the Judkins family for many years, so I’m happy for coach Jeff Judkins, and the success he had this season.

Along with a 26-7 record, the women took home several honors this year, including WCC Champions, WCC Tournament MVP (Haley Steed), WCC All-Academic team (Kim Parker and Jennifer Hamson), WCC Player of the Week (Parker), two WCC Player of the Month awards (Kristen Riley) and WCC Player of the Year (Riley), just to name a few.

Even though we’ll be losing a few seniors, I have high hopes for how well the basketball teams will play next year. Look for Judkins and Rose to continue to find ways to lead their teams to victory.

 

 

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