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Belated Christmas wish list for BYU men’s basketball | News, Sports, Jobs

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The 2021-22 BYU men’s basketball team is pictured wearing Santa hats.

What I really want to give Mark Pope and the BYU men’s basketball team for Christmas is beyond my capabilities.

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Cougars can certainly benefit from the health of Richard Harward and Gavin Baxter, but unfortunately, I am not a wizard or a doctor and certainly not Santa Claus.

As BYU prepares for its West Coast Conference play, here are a few things on the team’s Christmas wish list. Since I’m not in Hawaii and don’t have access to what Christmas morning looks like for cougars, this is purely a guess.


It still seems crazy that the BYU men’s basketball program hasn’t won a regular-season league title since 2011 nor won a conference championship since 2001. So first, let’s hope the Cougars are one of those. Being in a conference with Gonzaga made that difficult, and with BYU moving into the Big 12 in 2023-24, it doesn’t get any easier.

More success in transfer portal:

Last year, Matt Haarms and Brandon Averette’s add-ons worked very well with Cougars models. This year’s Gateway additions, Te’Jon Lucas and Seneca Knight, have had their ups and downs but there’s plenty of season left to play. Coaches across America are quickly learning that good work in the transfer window can make or break a season.

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl game for assistant coach Cody Voiger

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Note that I just wrote, “Super Bowl”, not “Super Bowl title”. The Packers will have to wrestle him away from the Cowboys. I must stay true to my loyalties.

victory over Gonzaga

Everyone remembers how special it was when BYU dropped the Zags at Provo during the 2019-20 season right before the pandemic shut everything down. I think the Marriott Center and the Republic of China are still recovering from this party. Gonzaga is still fantastically talented, but a good night of shooting can upset the Cougars. And speaking of shooting…

No losses “trap game”

Cougars simply cannot drop games to the lower-rated WCC teams and expect to hold the NCAA Championship. Here’s Bob and his staff ready for everyone.

This magic is in 3-point shooting

BYU has improved over the past few weeks of post arc. A 3 for 19 performance against Liberty was kind of stinky but the Cougars found a way to win anyway, which is a positive.

more growth

The loss of Harward and Baxter hastened the need for freshman Fousseyni Traore, sophomore Caleb Lohner, and freshman Atiki Ally Atiki to learn on the go. Traore was BYU’s most valuable player at the Diamond Head Classic, finishing all three games with 39 points and 37 rebounds.

Favorable place in the NCAA Championship

Everyone knows that the tournament is about matches. Last year, BYU had a bad draw with UCLA and the Bruins reached the Final Four. Here’s 2021 playing for the Cougars.

Some free time for the family in 2022

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Specifically, for assistant coach Chris Burgess, who will have to spend some time next fall watching his daughter KJ play at the University of Utah in her freshman year and other daughter Zoe on her junior campaign at Lone Peak.

In fact, when Bob was asked about his Christmas wish, he said he got it when his entire family was together for Christmas. Having them together in Hawaii is an added bonus.

Finally, the men’s basketball team, dressed in Santa Claus hats, joined in to sing “Jingle Bells” on Twitter for Christmas.

Do you know how teams have guys who bring in GPAs? Cougars need some men who are more able to sing.

Don’t quit your day job, guys.

I’m just kidding.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

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