Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: BYU, Butler, and Ole Miss among 10 biggest surprises of 2023-24 season

Jumpman Classic: North Carolina v Oklahoma
Jumpman Classic: North Carolina v Oklahoma / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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2. BYU Cougars

The collectivity, balance and unity of the 2023-24 BYU Cougars have been special to watch on the court.

"Not a single player ranks among the top 150 nationally in scoring or rebounding, yet as a team they rank in the top five for both.  "

Jaxon Payne, Desert News

Picked to finish second to last in the 2023-2024 Big 12 Preseason Poll, many thought BYU would be in for a long first year in the Big 12 -- myself included -- especially given the abrupt departure of Samford transfer Ques Glover in mid-August.

Long story short, the Cougars have proved everyone wrong and have been nothing short of dominant in their first 12 games. 

First off, the 11-1 BYU Cougars own college basketball’s widest scoring margin, outsourcing opponents by an average of 29.1 points per game.

Secondly, in addition to their wide scoring margin, BYU ranks in the Top 12 in both KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency.

Due to their wide scoring margin and immaculate efficiency both offensively and defensively, Mark Pope’s Cougars find themselves ranked 3rd in the NET and 4th in KenPom alongside a national ranking in the AP Top 25. 

Impressive, right?

Led by a balanced scoring effort throughout the roster with Jaxon Robinson leading the Cougars at 16.5 PPG, the Cougars have beaten the likes of San Diego State, Arizona State, NC State and Evansville in the non-conference portion of the season with their lone loss coming to Utah on the road.

Although BYU is one of college basketball’s biggest surprises, given how well this team has played in the first two months of the season, it should come as no surprise to see them nationally relevant for the remainder of the season.