Rose Talks About New Season

After the Cougars held their final preseason practice on Thursday, Coach Rose took some time to talk about the new season. He talked about the types of contributions his players will make, his feelings going into the season opener against Bradley, and what his thoughts on the Braves are.

-Coach Rose feels he and the team are ready for the season and that guys are excited. Nevertheless, they aren't immune to experiencing some nerves. "You always get a little bit anxious, a little… maybe extra butterflies when you're going out there for the first time, but it's a great feeling and our guys are ready to go."

-The starting five for Friday's season opener won't be decided until the day of the game.

-The Bradley Braves, BYU's opponent on Friday, are coached by Jim Les. The team finished 21-15 last year and lost in the title game of the inaugural tournament in the postseason. Coach Rose was very complimentary of Bradley.

"I'm really impressed … Coach Les does a terrific job. It's a very tough-minded group, very athletic. It's kind of a guard-oriented team that gives you multiple looks. Defensively, they're a really solid defensive club. This is a good game. It's like starting your season with a conference game ‘cause this is a good team and they'd do really well in our league."

-Still, there is some uncertainty about Bradley since this is the first game of the season and there isn't any film from this year – outside of exhibition games – that they can watch. "That's kind of why you have that little extra edge to you, [that] little excitement, because you don't really know as much as you're gonna know about the team you're gonna play three weeks from now."

-The game is part of the Mountain West – Missouri Valley Challenge, in which each of the MWC's nine teams will be paired up against a MVC team. Since there are ten teams in the MVC, one will not participate. BYU had no say in what team it was matched up with, as that was handled by the conferences. Rose said neither BYU nor Bradley wanted to open the season with the MWC - MVC Challenge, but they both had openings in their schedule and that's how it worked out.

The challenge is part of a four-year agreement in which each team will play twice at home and twice on the road. It isn't known what teams will play each other in future seasons. Rose would prefer that his team be able to alternate home and road games each year, but that hasn't been set up yet and they could end up playing their home and road games in a different order. Without knowing how the challenge will turn out, Rose couldn't say whether these types of interconference pairings would be something he'd like to see each year.

-Rose said that Lee Cummard handling the ball so much in recent years wasn't just because of him playing the three spot, thus implying that Charles Abouo won't necessarily handle the ball when he plays at the three as much as Cummard did. Rather, Rose said the offense is tailored around the team's strengths and specifically mentioned how the offense revolved a good deal around Keena Young when he was on the team.

Rose expects the ball to mostly go through Jimmer Fredette and Jonathan Tavernari. He also said Jackson Emery is a capable offensive player and that other players could step up and be a bigger factor, but how everything will all play out remains to be seen. "You gotta play a few games to figure out what your real strengths are with your team and your personality of the group and how guys respond to other guys scoring. It's all … the fun part of coaching."

-On whether Rose felt comfortable giving true freshmen Tyler Haws and Brandon Davies significant minutes: "They're both, I think, really talented players. The more they can play and the more experience they get [and] the more they learn our system, the better they'll be, and that's the one thing about freshman is you gotta throw them out there and see how they do."

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