Mark Pope Makes Taylor Swift Reference To Describe BYU’s Spot In Big 12 Poll

Oct 18, 2023, 10:04 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 11:04 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – You can add BYU basketball coach Mark Pope to the passionate Taylor Swift fanbase.


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The always charismatic Pope took the stage at Big 12 Basketball Media Days and made a reference to Taylor Swift while addressing the media.

When asked about BYU being picked to finish 13th in the preseason Big 12 basketball poll by coaches, Pope looked at it as a positive because of Swift.

“I was super excited about the 13th pick. I have four daughters and we managed to make it to a couple of Taylor Swift concerts this year and her favorite number is 13,” Pope said with a smile. “So I think that bodes well for BYU basketball this season. We’re really excited about that.”

The power of Taylor Swift is strong, especially with some friendship bracelets on. But is it strong enough to lift BYU up through the toughest basketball conference in the nation? Most prognostications would say no.

Pressure remains for BYU despite ode to Taylor Swift in Big 12 poll 

The good thing for BYU is that they bring nearly everyone back on the roster, led by sophomore guard Dallin Hall.

Pope is embracing the low expectations but still believes there is pressure to perform at a high level. Last year, Pope told KSL Sports that the high standard of BYU basketball won’t be lowered in the Big 12.

The pressure is on.

“I think the pressure is always there. If you’re running from pressure, you shouldn’t be in athletics. We love it. So I think there’s pressure picked at 13 or pressure picked at one. There’s pressure everywhere. But certainly, we are very humble moving in this league but we’re very confident also, and we’re coming in here to compete and grow into winning. We’re really excited to do that. So I don’t know if anybody puts any stock in the preseason picks, but we’re excited to come compete.”

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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Mark Pope Makes Taylor Swift Reference To Describe BYU’s Spot In Big 12 Poll