Loyola Marymount Coach Gives High Praise To BYU Basketball

Mar 5, 2022, 1:41 AM | Updated: 1:42 am
Loyola Marymount - BYU Basketball - Alex Barcello...
Brigham Young Cougars guard Alex Barcello (13) moves around Loyola Marymount Lions guard Cam Shelton (20) during the second round of the 2022 West Coast Conference men's basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, March 4, 2022. BYU won 85-60. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

LAS VEGAS – BYU basketball defeated Loyola Marymount 85-60 in the second round of the WCC Tournament on Friday night. It was a dominating performance from a BYU team fighting to earn a bid into the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

LMU head coach Stan Johnson is familiar with the BYU from his time spent in Utah as a former player at Southern Utah, as an assistant coach on Jim Boylen’s bench at the University of Utah, and facing BYU three times in the past month (BYU won all three).

Stan Johnson on BYU: “They are absolutely an NCAA Tournament team.”

When asked during his postgame press conference if BYU was an NCAA Tournament team, Johnson gave high praise for Mark Pope’s squad and believes they belong in the field of 68.

“They’ve got everything. They got size, they’ve got shooting, they’ve got terrific guard play and they rebound the ball extremely well. And you know, they’ve got great shot-making,” Johnson said. “But they’ve got a really good point guard and really good post players. Both bookend positions are very, very good. This is a team; if they get in the NCAA Tournament, they can advance. So for them and for our league, I hope they get in. But they are absolutely an NCAA Tournament team.”

By taking down Johnson’s LMU Lions, who finished a disappointing 11-18 on the season, BYU now has an opportunity for an NCAA resume boost by facing Quad 1 opponent San Francisco in the WCC Quarterfinals. It’s a big game and both teams desperately need it, if they want to get in the Big Dance.

Unless the Selection Committee views both teams in higher regard than bracketologists do, maybe both can make the Big Dance for a chance at an unprecedented four teams in the WCC.

BYU versus San Francisco tips off at 8:30 p.m. (MT) and pregame coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. on your legacy home of the BYU Cougars, KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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