Cougar Tracks Takeaways From BYU’s 91-78 Victory Over Gonzaga
PROVO, Utah – Wow. That happened.
— Matthew Baiamonte (@baiamontematt) February 23, 2020
In terms of settings and atmospheres, Saturday night at the Marriott Center was unreal and a stage that is hard for anyone else in college basketball to top. Having some time to digest what transpired in BYU’s 91-78 victory over No. 2 Gonzaga, let’s dive into the Cougar Tracks Takeaways from BYU’s win.
#1 This BYU squad can now be considered one of the greatest in program history
This year’s BYU team has very good all season. But they lacked that signature win that made it loud and clear this team was historic. Now they’ve done just that. To defeat Gonzaga, one of the best teams in the country, and handle them in the second half as they did was as impressive of a victory you’ll find from a BYU team.
COURT STORMING!!! pic.twitter.com/Hj3Cvv7FR6
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) February 23, 2020
The debate can now be entertained as to where this 2019-20 BYU team ranks among the all-time greats. But what’s even more exciting for this group is that they still have time to write the story of how they finish this season.
After a year where BYU had 19 wins a season ago, this outcome on Saturday night is the stuff of fairy tales. BYU coach Mark Pope said it in the postgame that some coaches chase this result for 50 years and they might never get it. Pope in his first year puts up a historic win and has one of the best teams BYU hoops has ever produced.
#2 How can you not consider Yoeli Childs an NBA prospect at this point?
BYU senior Yoeli Childs faced one of the best frontcourts in college basketball on Saturday and produced 28 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block shot. Childs making the decision to return to BYU for his senior year has paid off in a big way. He’s leading BYU to new heights that they haven’t experienced in nearly a decade and he has done nothing to hurt his draft stock. He’s only helped his cause with performances like the one he had against Filip Petrusev and Killian Tillie of Gonzaga.
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) February 23, 2020
#3 “Getting old” won the day
During some of BYU’s tough seasons, the past few years, former head coach Dave Rose preached that his program needed to get old to achieve something special again. Rose was prophetic as the older and wiser group this year has led BYU to new heights.
BYU’s seven seniors headlined by Childs, TJ Haws, and Jake Toolson all came up big in the Cougars win over Gonzaga. To go with Childs’ 28 points, Haws had 16 and was a tone-setter the entire night on the defensive end of the floor, and Jake Toolson scored 15 of his 17 points from behind the three-point line.
If you’re not a “blueblood” in college basketball, and honestly what does that term even mean anymore, but if you’re outside the power structure, getting old will always be the recipe to winning in this sport. BYU is proof of that and it’s why they were able to take down a Zags team that had not lost a league game in over two years.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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