I am writing this post with no time for writing, but I must speak my mind.
First, the issue of J-Freddette.
I write this knowing that none of you reading this would ever question my allegiance to BYU. You would truly be hard-pressed to find a bigger BYU fan, despite my thoughts about Bronco, BYU football, and some other "critical" remarks I may have made in the past. With that being said...
Jimmer-mania is detrimental to the team's progress towards the tournament.
How good is Jimmer? I would submit he is the best player since Danny Ainge to don a BYU jersey, perhaps better. I can't BELIEVE how good he is. It is unreal how good he is. But how can increased publicity and fan-atacism over him be positive? Here is a pro's and con's list about Jimmer-mania (fueled, largely, by a fan base that didn't know a single thing about college basketball before they heard the name Jimmer and therefore didn't know what they were actually doing):
1 - Jimmer Fredette lives up to the hype, takes us all the way to the Final Four, and becomes more than a legend.
2 - Provo re-names University Ave. "Jimmer Jammer Boulevard".
1 - Since when has any player not named Michael Jordan lived up to his hype? Jimmer-mania creates an inflated ego in Jimmer, and he fails in the eyes of many to live up to unreachable expectations.
2 - Jimmer's "team" decides it truly is a one-man show, and fail to even put their jerseys on come March.
3 - Defenses get so sick of Jimmer-mania, they set out to defeat him (this CAN be done, as evidenced against Kansas St. last year).
4 - BYU loses in the first round.
Granted, some of those things will hopefully never happen, and Jimmer may carry us anyways. I guess my point is to exercise a bit of caution until April. Let's get to the Sweet 16 before putting his face on our desktop. So far, he has done NOTHING for BYU, save win us 1 tournament game against Florida in 2ot. March is where heroes are made - the regular season is still just regular. So let's all cool it until then, hopefully aiding him in the process (after all, winning is a lot harder when you are supposed to win).
Issue #2: Jerry Sloan
I called Ippy yesterday to inform him of the startling news, and we just sat there in stunned silence. I felt like I had just been told someone had died. Literally. The press conference felt like a funeral. Sloan. I have never known another coach. He is the voice of stability, of grit, of heart, and of giving your best.
Let's face it. By the numbers, the Jazz suck. SUCK. Nearly last in the league in Defense, one of Sloan's calling cards. Offensive efficiency has plummeted. We can't hit a 3-pointer if our lives depended on it. And D-Will is upset.
So what do you do? Do you let Sloan keep coaching until the year is over, then dump him and hope D-Will hasn't already bought a home in NY?
I think we made the right decision. There was an obvious disconnect between coach and players, and at this point, I choose players. I know not everyone agrees with this, but consider this. Jerry had maybe one or two more years in him, tops. We were due for a change anyways. True, it was a bit unceremonious, but man alive, how unceremonious would it be to exit after an ugly season? We would just have kept tumbling down the standings.
In conclusion, I see two possible scenarios:
1 - Utah sucks the rest of the season, just like they did before, only worse now. The world sees that D-Will is overrated, that it is ok in Utah to not like him, and to trade him. We start over from scratch next season (and I go into hibernation until we make the playoffs again - this could be UGLY).
2 - Utah starts to win again. Ty Corbin allows D-Will to act as a bit of a player-coach (like LBJ) and run things (literally running hopefully), and we cruise into the top 4 in the West. We make a respectable playoffs run, and everyone decides that D-Will is unbelievably good. At that point, we all decide it was a great idea to let Sloan go.
There you have it. I don't see it playing out any other way. Either we Cruise or we Lose. But I would say, in ANY situation, you choose players over coach. Time will tell if I am right or not.
Needless to say, maybe they will mic up Ty Corbin for ESPN games (considering he doesn't swear as much as Jerry) instead of Odom.