12. BYU (12-1)
These are exciting days in Provo, with this Cougars team nationally relevant once again. BYU did splendid work in nonconference play, with their early home win over San Diego State the clear headliner from that stretch. There’s a lot to be excited about as they enter their first Big 12 season, and no one will lose much sleep over a road loss against Utah; let’s see just how they finished their 2023.
They didn’t have much trouble on Saturday, with a strong performance in a 94-68 win against Wyoming in their final nonconference performance. Both Noah Waterman and Trevin Knell had 18 points as BYU shot 53% from the field as a team in the win.
Offensively, this team is in good shape and has enough playmakers to make noise this season, with a long-awaited return trip to the Big Dance looking quite possible. Reality will set in in the coming weeks, with Big 12 play a significant increase in difficulty for these Cougars, who only played a pair of games against Quad 1 opponents these last two months. Whether or not they’re ready for it, conference play comes their way with a very winnable home date against Cincinnati, though tough road trips are looming.