Why Cougars’ nonconference schedule could be toughest it’s been in the Mark Pope era

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BYU basketball coach Mark Pope coaches up his team during practice at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. The Cougars will have their work cut out for them during the nonconference portion of their schedule. | Nate Edwards, BYU Photo

The nonconference slate was released Tuesday and it features six teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last March

BYU coach Mark Pope doesn’t back down from challenges. He embraces them.

That’s evident once again in the nonconference schedule he and his staff put together for the 2021-22 season.

The nonconference slate was released Tuesday and it features six teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last March.

“It will be the most challenging schedule we’ve had here in our three years. It should be a platform for us to go and see what we’re made of and try to keep getting better every day.” — Mark Pope

In fact, four of the first five games are against opponents that played in the Big Dance — Cleveland State, San Diego State, Oregon and Texas Southern.

The other opponents that also played in the 2021 NCAA Tournament are Utah State and Creighton.

“I’m super excited about the release of the schedule. It’s really daunting. The beginning and the middle are super difficult,” Pope said. “But we like to put ourselves in a good position. I like where we are with our scheduling quad 1s and quad 2s. It will be the most challenging schedule we’ve had here in our three years. It should be a platform for us to go and see what we’re made of and try to keep getting better every day.”

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Quad 1 games are home games against top-30 opponents, neutral site games against top-50 teams and road games against top-75 foes.

“We’ve got a great nonconference schedule that’s going to prepare us for the (West Coast Conference) slate,” said assistant coach Nick Robinson, who is in charge of the scheduling. “We anticipate, projected right now, that we’ve got about 10 quad 1s with an additional slate of quad 2 games that builds a nice NCAA (Tournament) resume.

“Clearly, it’s a very challenging schedule but we like our leadership, we like the depth that we have and we feel like our guys are excited for the opportunity to play some teams that were in the NCAA Tournament last year and it will prepare us for the NCAA Tournament …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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