Well, here it is. The biggest game in BYU history (at least, during my lifetime). BYU has managed to overcome every obstacle. They have faced down those that have doubted them (like me).
Let me explain my brain train in the past few weeks.
- BYU beats SDSU for the 2nd time (with Brandon Davies). At this point, there was actually hope of a final four appearance. ACTUAL HOPE.
- Brandon Davies suspended, UNM destroys us. The doubting starts.
- Tourney starts, Wofford up. Pull out a win, only because Wofford should actually be renamed Woeford. I fear the worst against a strong Gonzaga team.
- Gonzaga is cleared out of town by the Jimmer and co. I party.
Now, shouldn't I have reason to hope? To cheer? To be optimistic about our next game? Of course. However, allow me to lay out a few reasons why we may (and probably will) lose against Florida.
1. Rematch feelings run deep. Like no other team perhaps, Florida most likely wants to not only beat us, but shove us into the dirt, break our arms, kick us in sensitive areas, and elbow us in the head. Can you imagine the amount of adrenaline that will be flowing thru their veins? Granted, we are pumped as well, but I don't think we can equal their mustard simply because they were beaten by us and we haven't tasted defeat at their hands.
2. Roster shuffling. Here's a look at some of the key players BYU lost this year as compared to last year:
- Lamont Morgan Jr.
- Michael Lloyd Jr.
- Tyler Haws
- Johnathon Tavernari
- Chris Miles
Clearly, losing some of these guys (Tava Tava anyone?) made us a better team. However, anyone that disputes the fact that Michael Lloyd Jr. is the reason we made it to the 2nd round last year obviously didn't watch the game. (Plus, despite Miles' performance offensively, he did pose a much stronger defensive force than James Anderson can muster).
Now, let's look at Florida's roster losses as compared to last year:
- Dan Werner
Have you heard of him? Me neither. There's clearly a gap here.
3. Erving Walker. Out of all their players, he scares me the most. Who will guard him? Will a zone stop him? He has been torching opponents as of late, and I don't think we match up well AT ALL against him. I think Emery and Abouo can do good jobs on Boynton and Parsons, but Jimmer on Walker? Forget about it.
Well, there you have it. These are my 3 reasons for doubting our chances on Thursday.
Now, let me retort before you even have a chance. Obviously, all of you are shouting at me, "WE HAVE THE JIMMER." He is much better than he was last year. He can put up points on any defense. Understood. I agree wholeheartedly.
Jimmer not only has to have a good game to overcome these obstacles; he has to have a GREAT game (shoot at least 60%, get to the free throw line 10 times, 5 dimes, 5 boards). To me, this has been too variable to depend on. Clearly, in this regard, I am correct, as no real basketball team (except a certain Bulls team led by MJ) has ever gone the distance relying on one player. And Jimmer, despite how great he is, is not MJ.
Regardless... he could score 50. If so, the Gators are in for a long day.