Ladies and gentleman, don't adjust your brackets! BYU dismissed sophomore forward Brandon Davies this week, and fans are already waving a sad goodbye to the Final Four. Oh please, people! Didn't your high school coaches ever teach you there is no "I" in team?
Davies, who is gone for the rest of the season because of an as-yet undisclosed honor code violation (there's talk that Coach Dave Rose will make some sort of statement to the press tonight after the Cougars take on New Mexico), is just one player. Yes, he was a good one. He started 26 of 29 games this season. He averaged 11.1 points a game, and he was the team-leading rebounder.
But we have basketball teams for a reason. Because it takes five men on a court to play a game. So who is Davies, really?
He was a sophomore who had a career-high 21 points at Utah in 2010. In the 2009-10 season, he started a total of one game. This year he's been the favorite target of Jimmer Fredette, the guy we're all expecting to take national player of the year.
Davies has kicked ass, but he has Fredette to thank for it. So again, I have to ask, who is Davies? Really?
He wasn't the star of the team. He's just one guy on a team that's headed into the NCAA Tournament this month regardless of what happens over the next few weeks (according to ESPN, the Cougars are "ranked No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll and was put on the No. 1 seed line out West in Joe Lunardi's latest bracketology on ESPN.com Monday"). And what happens at the tournament every year? Surprises.
Think Bucknell upending Kansas back in 2005. Or Hampton (which was a 15 seed, if I recall) wiping the floor with No. 2 Iowa back in 2001. Kansas and Iowa had superstars, but in the end it was Hampton and Bucknell who proved what matters most is coming together and playing like a team.
If the Cougars want to make it to the Final Four, they have to forget Davies and act like a team. Is this much ado about nothing?
Image via Doliphant/Flickr