BYU finishes non-conference 12-1 with a win over Wyoming

Here we are folks: The end of BYU basketball non-conference schedule. Let’s go ahead and look at a little recap.

BYU is 12-1 overall and 9-0 at home. The Cougars have dismantled nearly everyone they’ve played and have looked good in all of them. They are currently ranked second in NET rankings, fourth in KenPom, and 14th in the AP poll. They are a projected No. 3 seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest ESPN Bracketology. They are triumphantly waltzing into conference play as a virtual lock for the NCAA tournament barring any ridiculous circumstances. Just like we all thought.

The Cougars continued their dominance Saturday, dismantling Wyoming 94-68 in Provo. The Cowboys kept the game relatively close in the first half, but ultimately fell off their horse (okay not my best) and couldn’t keep up with BYU.

The game marked the Cougars’ best start to a season since the 2010-2011 team, which of course featured Naismith Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette.

Saturday, Mark Pope’s squad was lead by Noah Waterman and Trevin Knell, who had 17 points each. Aly Khalifa and Atiki Aly Atiki both shined down low, with Khalifa recording nine points and eight assists, and Atiki putting up 14 points and eight rebounds.

As per usual, the rest of the Cougars’ bench stepped up and led to an all-around impressive effort. Jaxson Robinson ended with 10 points, and Richie Saunders had nine.

It’s easy to take a look at BYU’s non-conference schedule and point to a lot of mediocre teams, and you wouldn’t be wrong. It hasn’t exactly been a gauntlet for the Cougars but there is a reason nearly every statistical ranking and analytical rating love this team. They absolutely blow the wheels off of teams night-in and night-out.

BYU leads the entire country in average scoring margin, and is expected to stay that way with their 26-point blowout against Wyoming. However, this is all expected to change in just a few weeks.

BYU will play its first-ever Big 12 game Jan. 6 in Provo. It’s no secret that the Big 12 is by far the best basketball conference in America. Combine that with the fact that this will be the Cougars first taste of that high-level competition, and BYU could be in for a rude awakening.

The truth is, if the Cougars play anything like they have over the past three months, they’ll be fine. We may see them lose a couple they shouldn’t but we will more than likely see them win some that they shouldn’t as well.

Either way, it will be a historic moment for BYU basketball and the Cougars find themselves poised to make an even more historic run.

Chase is the sports editor for The Daily Universe. Follow him on X: @Chase_rogers0

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