Mark Pope by the Numbers

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byufan4ever
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Mark Pope by the Numbers

Post by byufan4ever »

I love to analyze data and trends. It's what I do for a living. With sports it's easy to get passionate and to give too much credit or too much blame with knee jerk reactions. How has Pope faired in his 3+ seasons?

First, I want to take a look back on his predecessor Dave Rose. In 14 seasons he reached the NCAA Tournament 8 times (including 6 times in a row!), the NIT 5 times, and no tournament in his last season. Rose won 4 MWC regular season titles although no conference tournament titles and no titles in the WCC (getting only 2nd in the regular season twice).

2019-2020 Season
BYU went 24-8 and 13-3 in conference play for 2nd place. They would have been a virtual lock as an at-large if they didn't win the conference tournament. I believe that they were #9 in the NET rankings when Covid hit and everyone got scared and cancelled sports. I was at the game when BYU beat Gonzaga at home. One of my greatest sporting moments that I've attended live. The atmosphere in the Marriott Center was amazing.

This team for sure looked like it was on it's way to at least an Elite Eight run and many had them as a dark horse candidate for a Final Four appearance. The one possible setback was that Barcello was injured, I believe it was his hand and was supposed to be out about two weeks. So maybe he misses the conference tournament and the first week of the NCAA tournament. Maybe he's back for the Elite 8 game. He was only a role player at this point, but still a very good shooter.

Season Grade: A. If he gets to the Elite Eight make this an A+. Pope started off on a very strong foot.

Recruits. Coaching is two parts. (1) Coaching the players on the court and getting wins and (2) recruiting the best possible players and coaching them up. Who were the new players that Pope brought in?

Yoeli Childs - He was 99% gone so I think Pope should get credit for recruiting him to come back. Grade: A+

Alex Barcello - He was a consensus HS 4 star from Rivals / 247 Sports / ESPN. He was just a role player his first season, but turned into a top notch player and deadly shooter. Grade: A+

Richard Harward - Came with Pope from UVU and was a 2 star by ESPN but not rated by Rivals / 247 Sports. After sitting out a year had a good first season before getting a mysterious injury to miss his last season. Having him at C could have been the missing piece that BYU really needed last season. Grade: B

Wyatt Lowell - Also came with Pope from UVU had to sit out a season. 3 star HS recruit. Was supposed to be a stretch 4, but did virtually nothing for BYU barely playing any minutes. Grade: D+

Blaze Nield - Transfer from Utah State University Eastern who was not rated out of HS. He was a walk-on so I won't grade him, but he was very quick and did show some potential and has started each game for UVU this season. Grade: N/A

Jake Toolson - Started at BYU, transferred to UVU, then transferred back to BYU. He was a key addition and had great chemistry with the rest of the BYU team almost as if he had never left. Grade: A+

2020-2021 Season
The team went 20-7 (13-3) and 2nd place in the WCC with an impressive #16 NET ranking. BYU had 3 Q1 wins against SDSU, USU, and Saint Mary's and zero Q3/Q4 losses. They lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to a good UCLA squad. Don't be fooled by the only 20 wins (19 against Div 1 teams), this was a good solid season. A deeper tournament run would have gotten a higher grade. Grade: A-

Incoming Transfers:

Brandon Warr - A walk-on that I don't even remember. Grade: N/A

Matt Haarms - A 7-3 transfer from Purdue who was a 3/3/4 HS recruit. In some ways he was disappointing, but I think that's mostly because he was over hyped. BYU beat several P5 schools to get him, but his stats were rather average. I would definitely take him on this year's team allowing Traore to play PF. Grade: B+.

Brandon Averette - Came over from UVU to play PG, but I think he was over hyped and was only ok. He was a 3/3/NA HS recruit. Grade: B

Gideon George - A JC transfer he was quite raw when he arrived so give Pope and his staff credit for coaching him up. However, he hasn't been quite as good lately in conference play this season despite having more athleticism in the majority of his matchups. Grade: B+

Spencer Johnson - Transferred from Salt Lake CC and was not rated in HS. He has really turned into a valuable member of the team both offensively and defensively and is one of my favorite players. Grade: A-

Recruiting Class (Some of these may be carry overs from Rose recruiting them):

Richie Saunders - 3 star recruit out of Wasatch Academy. Served a mission and is just playing his first season. Grade: N/A

Dallin Hall - 3 star recruit out of Fremont High School. Also served a mission and his playing his first season now. Has earned the starting PG role, but still has a way to go with consistent shooting/scoring. Grade: N/A

Townsend Tripple: Unrated walk-on who I don't recall playing. Grade: N/A

Tanner Hayhurst - Unrated walk-on who served a mission and is on the roster, but hasn't played. Grade: N/A

Tanner Toolson - No HS ratings from any of the major recruiting services. Served a mission and is in his first season only making a few appearances. Grade: N/A

Caleb Lohner - 3/4 star recruit from Wasatch Academy who flipped his commitment from Utah to BYU. Started 13 games as a freshman and 31 as a sophomore but really struggled shooting his second year. IMO he got way more playing time than his performance showed that he deserved. Left for Baylor. Grade: C-

2021-2022 Season
BYU went 24-11 (9-6) getting 5th place in the WCC and a #59 NET ranking. This is a perfect example of why you can't judge a team on the number of wins. They won 4 more games, but their NET ranking slid 43 spots. They did have 4 Q1 wins (SF, SMC, SDSU, & Missouri St) but they did have one Q4 loss (Pacific). This was the season where BYU lost 4 conference games in a row. The season ended by getting to the NIT quarterfinals.

Season Grade: B. Getting to the NIT semifinals would probably warrant a B+ but I can't rank anything less higher than a B.

Incoming Transfers:

Te'Jon Lucas: Transferred from Milwaukee and was a 3 star recruit out of HS. He was an ok PG, but nothing special. Grade: B-

Seneca Knight: Not rated out of HS and came from LSU. The other schools he considered were Georgia Southern and Idaho so he was not exactly highly recruited in the transfer portal. Did very little and left after one season. Very big miss. Grade: D

Recruiting Class

Jake Wahlin - 6-8 3 star recruit that is currently on a mission and should be back for next season. He was recruited by Arizona St and SDSU. Grade: N/A

Fousseyni Traore - No ratings out of HS. Played at Wasatch Academy. This guy has been a diamond in the rough. A Charles Barkley type player who is much better in the post and at rebounding than he should be for a 6-6 player especially since he is playing C against players much taller than him. Grade: A

Atiki Ally Atiki - 3 stars by Rivals, but not rated by others. Went to the London Basketball Academy (Ontario, Canada). Athletic, but still very raw. Has trouble staying out of foul trouble despite not starting. Grade: B-

Paora Winitana - I believe that he is a walk-on serving a mission. Grade: N/A

Current Season 2022-2023
This season is still in progress so no grade yet, but BYU is 14-8, but only 12-8 against Div 1 teams and 4-3 in conference with a NET ranking of 93. Do you see the trend here? Each year the team has gotten worse under Pope. Trends are more important than overall wins or win percent. BYU is trending the wrong direction.

Grade: Incomplete but looking like a C

Recruiting Class

Collin Chandler - the good new is that Chandler is the BYU's highest rated recruit since Eric Mika. I believe he's on a mission and should enroll in 2024.

Adam Stewart - 3 stars from ESPN, but none from the other services. BYU has recruited him since 7th grade! He will be a 6-10 walk-on for the 24/25 season.

Braeden Moore - Is a 3/4 star recruit and is on the roster this season but not getting any playing time.

So we got some decent talent coming in, but are we heading the direction that we want to be with Pope?


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Re: Mark Pope by the Numbers

Post by jadesroom »

Good, solid breakdown. Thank you.


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Re: Mark Pope by the Numbers

Post by Gunk »

To answer your question, no we are not trending the right direction. And, it’s the WCC. Yes, the WCC as a conference is trending in the right direction, but the WCC is not the Big12. So we’re trending downward while the WCC trends upwards and we’re headed to an even harder conference. It’s going to be rough. Hope it isn’t.

Pope is losing players and pretty much replacing them with equal or worse players.

Yes, I know all of college hoops needs to figure out the transfer portal. Some coaches, though, don’t seem as affected by it as severely as Pope.

BYU should be a destination school for top LDS basketball players. Pope has to recruit and RETAIN these players, and he isn’t. While I love the broader range of players Pope is going after, if you’re 3 star or 4 star recruit and not LDS, why come to BYU?


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Re: Mark Pope by the Numbers

Post by jadesroom »

Not that it'll will happen after this season or even next, but who are the early candidates to replace Mark Pope besides Mark Madsen?

In addition, I keep hearing that Pope swung for the stars and missed last summer. That's certainly true with Antoine Davis, but two of his perceived biggest misses were Federik King and Mo Njie. King is presently averaging 4.7 minutes per game with Creighton. Njie 1.2 minutes with SMU. Makes me wonder about Pope's recruiting ability.


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