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Q & A with Provo Pride

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So the good folks over at Provo are pretty these days. Not only BYU's football team have been putting together a rather impressive football season so far this year, now they are gearing up for a hoops season with fairly high expectations. To learn a more about our first opponent for this year's Ben Ball season, we exchanged 5 questions with our SBN colleague Mitch over at Provo Pride.  Mitch just like his head coaches of BYU's two major programs has putting together one of the more impressive college blogosphere.

So it made sense to get PP's perspective on Dave Rose's basketball program.  Here the responses from Provo Pride.  Our responses to his query will be going up over at PP sometime tonight or tomorrow:

BN: Cougars were one of the surprise teams not just in the MWC, but also nationally as well last year putting together a 20 win season. What are the expectations for BYU basketball program at Provo this season?

PP: This season, no question the goal for BYU basketball is definitely a outright Mountain West championship, and at least one victory in the NCAA Tournament.  BYU hasn't won a outright title since 1988 so its been a long time, and this is BYU's best team to finally break through.

BN: Defense seemed to have been a problem for the Cougars last season which gave up 71.7 points a game. Is the defense still a concern going into this season?

PP: BYU plays an up-tempo style of play that emphasizes getting up and down the floor, so they were in many shootouts last season.  The defense will be much improved, with this team being under Rose now for a season.  The best defender on the team is by far Keena Young.

BN: It is clear Trent Plaisted is the focus of Coach Rose's ball club. But besides Plaisted who is the catalyst for this team: Rashuan Broadus or Jimmy Balderson or someone else like Keena Young?

PP: Trent Plaisted is the key to BYU's success season without a doubt.  Plaisted was the major reason BYU won 20 games last season with his outstanding play in just his Redshirt Freshman season.  This season, Plaisted has improved his low post moves and is expected to be a more versatile player down low.  Balderson is a "X Factor" on this team, when Balderson scores at least 13 points in a game, BYU has only lost once, but his play is very inconsistent.

BN: Which freshman or transfer BYU basketball player Provo Pride is most excited to see this upcoming season?

PP: Jonathan Tavernari (6'6) a Small Forward out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.  Tavernari has a knack for scoring especially from beyond the arc, has great athleticism around the basket, and the plays the game with a lot of swagger.  Tavernari in the most recent scrimmage put in 17 points and 7 rebounds with 12 of his points coming from 3-point range.  Most likely though Coach Rose will be redshirting all the incoming Freshman.  Another newcomer to watch for who has done well in Training Camp is Vuk Ivanovic (6'10) a JC Center who redshirted last season looks to be a solid backup behind Plaisted.

BN: If football coach Bronco Mendenhall (Cougars in top-25 this week with an 8-2 record) and Dave Rose ran against each other for BYU's President who would win? Who would you vote for?

PP: Wow this is a tough question, both of these coaches have done outstanding jobs in just a short period time bringing credibility to BYU football and basketball once again, but I would I have to go with Bronco.  Mendenhall is an outstanding person with the media in the area, he isn't flashy, he is just confident in his system that he runs and he won't lower his or the standards or of BYU to achieve success.  He usually says the same answers in most of his press conferences but it's always the right answer.  Bronco is my choice.

BN: Thanks again for your answers guys. Good luck to BYU after Wednesday night. Here is to a great game.

GO BRUINS.