Posts Tagged ‘BYU Basketball’

Jake Heaps 2

SPORTS: Podcast: BYU-Utah Recap, BYU Basketball Update, Derek Anderson Freaks Out

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Sports

Harrowed by the memory of last Saturday’s Holy War loss, the PB&J Report crew reflect on the somewhat disappointing BYU football season that was 2010 — and look forward with hope to the impending era of “Big Game” Jake Heaps. Meanwhile, the BYU basketball team is winning ugly, but winning nonetheless. What does the future hold for Jimmer Fredette and the boys as they prepare to tackle some high-profile non-conference opponents? And why does it seem Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson is always freaking out on ESPN? You can find all this and more on this week’s PB&J Report. Enjoy!

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 030 — The PB&J Report (2010.12.01)

Jimmer Fredette

SPORTS: Podcast: BYU Basketball Preview

Written by Preston Johnson on . Posted in Sports

The new basketball season is here, the new basketball season is here! Special guest and Rhombus editor-in-chief Steve Pierce joins the PB&J Report crew for the podcast’s annual preview of the BYU men’s basketball season and the team’s prospects — both in the Mountain West Conference and beyond. Also, as always, a little football talk is thrown in for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 029 — The PB&J Report (2010.11.18)

SPORTS: Podcast: NBA Playoffs, BYU Basketball, MLB and Much More

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Sports

Long overdue, but better late than never: The crew bids farewell to one member as Jake Welch prepares for a summer full of hair products and Yankees talk in New York City. The boys go out with a bang in this hourlong discussion of the ongoing NBA playoffs (lots of NBA playoffs), Michael Loyd, Jr.’s departure from the BYU basketball program, a little Major League Baseball, Ben Wagner’s penchant for bandwagon-jumping, and much, much more. Help us (temporarily) say goodbye to an old friend by listening below. Enjoy!

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 016 — The PB&J Report (2010.05.03)



SPORTS: Podcast: March Madness Special

Written by Preston Johnson on . Posted in Sports

The men of the PB&J Report get together and break down the brackets for their March Madness special. If you have any interest in college basketball whatsoever and especially in the BYU Cougars, this one’s for you.

Also, be sure to join Rhombus’ PB&J Report bracket competition on ESPN.com here! (The group password is billsimmons.) The winner gets a guest appearance on the podcast and a free pizza, so jump in before it’s too late and try your hand against the guys.

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 011 — The PB&J Report (03.17.10)

SPORTS: Podcast: BYU Basketball vs. Utah (Part I), Super Bowl and More!

Written by Preston Johnson on . Posted in Sports

The PB&J Report returns with more BYU Basketball talk and a recap of the Cougs’ first tussle (literally) of the year with The Team From Up North, as well as some Super Bowl talk. Enjoy!

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 010 — The PB&J Report (02.06.10)

SPORTS: Podcast: BYU Basketball, Super Bowl and More!

Written by Preston Johnson on . Posted in Sports

With one of its regular members out sick, the crew forges on into the week of sports. Jake Welch, Preston Johnson and special guest Daniel Anderson discuss BYU basketball, the impending Super Bowl game between the Colts and the Saints, and many more interesting sports topics in this week’s edition of The PB&J Report. Enjoy!

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast — The PB&J Report (02.01.10)

SPORTS: Podcast: BYU Basketball, NBA Dunk Contest, NFL Playoffs and More!

Written by Preston Johnson on . Posted in Sports

The PB&J Report returns with a wide-ranging discussion of all things sports (and some not) — including BYU basketball’s historic run, the impending suckiness of the NBA’s slam dunk contest, the awesomeness of Cactus Cooler, the crew’s NFL playoff picks, and tons more. Also, tune in for an exclusive explanation of BYU Athletic Communications’ decision to shoot down our segment with Jackson Emery, provided by Rhombus editor-in-chief Steve Pierce. Enjoy!

Ed. — This podcast was taped on Wednesday, January 20th and, due to editorial forgetfulness, is now somewhat out-of-date. However, do not despair! You can now listen to the crew’s NFL playoff picks with the perfect knowledge of 20/20 hindsight and mock (some of) them for their misguided opinions. So really, it’s all good.

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 008 — The PB&J Report (01.25.10)

SPORTS: 3 Things I Would Change About the NBA

Written by Preston Johnson on . Posted in Sports

Paul Pierce

I would like to say first that I am more excited to write this specific article than any other in my journalism career. Yes, that would only include about 10 high school sports section articles about the local football teams and JV tennis, and only one previous Rhombus article up to this point, but let me explain.

Not only have I been critical of these three mistakes that exist in the NBA for the last few years, but I have now been inspired by the Sports Guy himself, Bill Simmons, while reading his New York Times bestseller The Book of Basketball, and know, now more than ever, that these three things really do need to change in the NBA — and they need to change fast.

On December 18th of last year, Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce addressed the media on a local Boston blog and gave us the three things he would change about the NBA. I think it’s good to hear what needs to be done to make the NBA better from a player’s prospective, as well as from an avid NBA fanatic like myself. Then you can make your own decisions. Paul Pierce:

1. I’d get rid of the age minimum: I don’t know why they have it. I think if you’re a pro, you’re a pro. And if a team wants to draft you and you’re good enough, you should be able to go no matter what age you are. You see it overseas, guys are pros at 14, 15, 16 years old. You’ve got to give everybody an opportunity.

2. Shorten the season to 60 games: Every year somebody gets hurt. That’s a combination of wear and tear in preseason games and regular season games.

3. Raise the rim three inches: The athletes today are crazy. You see the way guys are jumping these days. I would raise the rim three inches. Then, you have to learn the art of the jump shot. You’ll have to know how to play this game a little bit better then. Raising the rim, you’ll see improved play. You’ll see increasing fundamentals. I’m telling you.

I find one of Pierce’s opinions coinciding with mine. The 82-game NBA season, along with the ridiculous 162-game baseball season (apologies to fellow Rhombus sports writer Jake Welch), needs to be shortened.  I think Pierce hit this one right on. Sixty games would be the perfect length for the NBA regular season. After 60 games we generally know who the contenders are. Quite frankly, we usually know this a month into the season. There are never more than four or five teams that have a legitimate shot at the title anyway.

Likewise,  we also know who the 16 playoff teams are after 60 games — and considering we know only four or five teams are going to contend anyway come playoff time, we don’t need an extra 22 games to see who squeezes into the 7th and 8th spots in each conference. Sixty games is enough to earn it, and it gives each team the opportunity to play every team in the NBA once, and those in their respective conferences three times.

But I would not only change the number of games played each NBA season, I would also decrease the number of teams that even make the playoffs. Some of the current sixteen teams (over half the league) do not deserve to be considered playoff teams in the first place. Let’s look at the current standings as an example to see how many of the 16 teams that would make the playoffs today have sub-.500 records: three, plus an 18-17 Miami Heat team.

Now this is for another article, but all three of those teams (plus Miami) come from the Eastern Conference. But even looking at the standings just one week ago, the West would have been representing one sub-.500 team itself. My opinion?  A sixty game NBA season that ultimately gives the top  eight teams in the league, no matter their conference affiliation, a shot at the NBA title.

The second problem in the NBA is that the majority of the players today cannot make a wide-open, uncontested 15-foot free shot, commonly known as a free throw. Let me get this straight — you play basketball for millions of dollars per year and devote your entire life to putting a ball in a hoop; Once you begin playing competitive basketball, you hear from every coach how crucial free throws are at the end of a game, and sometimes practice this unique shot for hours at a time. How is it that some 18-plus-year-olds playing this game professionally (and in college) can only make 60 percent of these free shots consistently? How is it that the majority of NBA players can barely make even 70 percent?

This is the most frustrating aspect of watching basketball, in my opinion. I seriously challenge any current NBA player not shooting at least 80 percent from the free throw line to a contest. I probably played an above-average amount of basketball growing up, but never played in high school. And I’ll still guarantee I shoot 80 percent from the free throw line. I mean, why is it that I was not given the genes that would have made me an all-star basketball player?

Let’s look at Ben Wallace, for example — he is a career 41.9 percent free throw shooter. He should not be allowed to play the game. My opinion? A buddy of mine and I decided a few years back there needed to be a new NBA rule added regarding free throw shooting, requiring every player that air balls a free throw in a game to donate $1 million to charity. This would hopefully encourage players to learn how to shoot a free throw. Throughout Wallace’s career in the NBA, he has made roughly $80,550,000. Had the NBA adopted this new rule, Big Ben would have only made $35,550,00 at this point — but also saved thousands of starving children in Mongolia, due to his 45 career air balls from the stripe.

The third and final thing I would change about the NBA is the jump ball rule. I can see much of the world disagreeing with me on this, but I personally do not see anything fair when the 5-foot, 5-inch (if he’s lucky) Earl Boykins hustles his butt off to chase down a loose ball and gets tangled up with Lebron James, resulting in a jump ball. Well, who is going to gain possession 100 times out of 100 in that match-up? I don’t even need to answer that question.

My opinion? Bring the possession arrow from college basketball to the NBA! Not only would it encourage a small guard to make hustle plays on the ball that will make a difference for his team, but it would also bring an excitement to the end of an NBA game that we currently only see in college — BYU down two points with less than a minute left, UNLV puts up a shot that clangs off the rim and we see every player on the court diving for the ball to gain possession. Point guard Jimmer Fredette ends up with the ball on the ground while the 7-foot center for UNLV is falling on top of him. They end the play tangled up with the ball and the result is a jump ball. In today’s NBA, UNLV wins that game — but in this case we turn to the possession arrow and see that it’s BYU’s turn to take possession of the basketball, and we now have the chance to see a thriller down the stretch.

Dear NBA commissioner David Stern, please read Rhombus Magazine and please listen to your players. The insights we all have as NBA players and fans will make the league safer, more exciting and, to your benefit, much more profitable. Yours truly, Preston Johnson.

Preston Johnson is an occasional sports correspondent for Rhombus. He also appears on the magazine’s PB&J Report sports podcast.

SPORTS: Podcast: College Football Wrap-Up, BYU Basketball, NFL Playoffs and More!

Written by Preston Johnson on . Posted in Sports

It’s the moment you’ve all been anxiously awaiting — the first PB&J Report of the new decade! Our fearless podcasters tackle the month of sports they missed over their holiday vacation, including (but certainly not limited to) a final wrap-up of the college football bowl season, the meteoric rise of BYU basketball, and “Wild Card Weekend” of the fledgling NFL playoffs. Enjoy!

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 007 — The PB&J Report (01.12.10)

SPORTS: BYU Basketball Roundup (Week 2)

Written by Ben Wagner on . Posted in Sports

Jonathan Tavernari: Extreme Suckage

Jonathan Tavernari: Extreme Suckage

The Cougars came into last week with just one loss on the season, to in-state foe Utah State. The Aggies were able to do a good job exposing the team’s weaknesses on offense, forcing Jonathan Tavernari to shoot just 1 for 11 and holding Jimmer Fredette to an Iversonian 5 of 15. The team came back to Provo on Tuesday night hoping to rebound against the best team (on paper) the Cougars will face all season, Pac-10 opponent Arizona State, before traveling to California to take on Fresno State on Friday. Fortunately, the Cougars were able to come away with two wins; however, the team almost blew a 20-point lead in the second half at home against Arizona State. I came away highly unimpressed from what I saw from the team Tuesday night.

The news had spread prior to the Arizona State game that it would be a “white-out” and free t-shirts would be handed out. Of course, nothing brings the Cougar faithful out of the woodwork like the promise of free swag, no matter how lame the t-shirt design may be. It was painfully obvious that a large majority of the crowd were there for the t-shirts and not for the team. The home crowd seemed as lethargic as I’ve seen it in awhile, only coming alive after Jackson Emery 3s or when the cheerleaders threw more free shirts into the crowd.

The team was still able to grab a big halftime lead, mostly due to great defense and big efforts out of young guys like Noah Hartsock and Tyler Haws. Hartsock was able to rack up 13 points on 6 for 9 shooting , taking efficient shots and making some big baskets. Haws had the game of his career, scoring 17 points and notching 11 rebounds, while constantly crashing the offensive boards and getting big rebounds. He played outstanding defense. In many ways, he proved himself to be Diet Jackson Emery. Haws is in no way the most talented player on the team — he’s small and not incredibly athletic. However, he gave everything he had and showed a lot of heart, while giving more effort than anyone else on the floor. He’s young , but he’s exactly the kind of player every team needs to be successful.

Tavernari Suckiness Meter: Extreme Suckage

When the starting line-ups were announced over the PA on Tuesday, I felt as if God had given me an early Christmas present. Coach Rose made the choice to start Noah Hartsock over senior forward and Brazilian sensation of suckiness Jonathan Tavernari. Tavernari still played 25 minutes in the game, but he threw up a stinker, going 2 for 8. He did, however, set a season high in assists…. with 4.

The Cougars first half lead started to evaporate quickly in the second as the offense became stagnate. Once again, it devolved into Jimmer Freddette dribling around at the top of the key, driving into the lane and throwing up a terrible shot. At some point Jimmer got the idea in his head that he’s a born slasher — he is not. He did break the BYU record for most consecutive free throws made, as well as setting a new record for worst field goal percentage in the paint I’ve ever seen, going 1 for 11 by my count. The guy just can’t finish and should not be allowed to drive the lane.

Arizona State cut the lead to 4 with just 5 minutes to play. The Cougars, however, shot excellent from the free throw line at 92 percent and were eventually able to put the Sun Devils away. This brings me to a pet peeve of mine — let’s call it “Key Etiquette.” A tradition at basketball games is that whenever a home team has an insurmountable lead with little time left, the crowd pulls out their keys and shakes them at the opposing team, signifying that it’s time for them to go home.

Unfortunately, here at BYU the fans were never taught when it is and is not proper to take the keys out. For example, up 8 with 1:20 to play is not the time to pull out the keys. You are asking for a loss and the Basketball Gods will often oblige. If Reggie Miller has taught us nothing else, it’s that six points in six seconds is very possible. Let’s go ahead and define right now when it is acceptable to take your keys out:

1. The keys should never come out before the 1-minute mark. Never.

2. An insurmountable lead means at least double digits.

3. The general rules would be that it is acceptable to bring out the keys when:

  • With 1:00 to go, the lead is 15.
  • With 0:45 to go, the lead is 12.
  • With 0:30 to go, the lead is 10.


4. If at any time the lead is somehow cut to single digits, you must pray to the Basketball Gods.

Three Cheers
1. Benching Tavernari — Been waiting for that for years.

2. Tyler Haws — You’re off my bad side. Pray you stay there.

3. Noah Hartsock/Brandon Davies — Both are playing excellent with the minutes they’re getting.

Three Jeers
1. Jimmer Fredette — How has he managed to regress from his sophmore to junior seasons?

2. The fans — Most of them came to the Arizona State for the free t-shirts and showed an appalling lack of key etiquette.

3. Jackson Emery’s ankle — Don’t do this to me.

Ben Wagner is a regular correspondent for Rhombus and is trying to set a record for consecutive articles with a Reggie Miller reference. Follow him on Twitter @ben_wagner.