BYU Women’s Basketball: Is this BYU’s best team? It is to be determined

LAS VEGAS — That’s a question BYU women’s basketball coach Jeff Judkins has been bringing up all season long.

Is this the best team in 21 years with the Cougars?

After BYU won the West Coast Conference regular season championship last Saturday, the question came up again.

“There’s no question that was probably the best conference season I’ve had, going 15-1 and the chance to win the conference and be able to beat Gonzaga twice. It’s pretty tough to do,” Judkins said. “Hopefully we go further. My good teams that I’ve had have done well in the NCAA tournament and well in the conference tournament. If this team wants to be the best, they’ll have to do well in those. I couldn’t be happier with what they accomplished.

Of course, BYU (25-2) has a lot of unfinished business ahead of it. The Cougars not only want to grab a WCC tournament title, but also make deep progress in the NCAA Tournament.

BYU has reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament twice – in 2002 and 2014. Expectations are high for this year’s team to go even further in the tournament.

Playoff play for the Cougars begins Monday afternoon, when they advance to the semifinals of the WCC Tournament at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Judkins knows the memory of this team will hinge on what happens in the weeks to come.

“Every player except the freshmen had a taste of the NCAA Tournament. Last year we knew we could have gone further. We had a bad break with Paisley (Harding) coming off. broke his hand and couldn’t play his game against Arizona,” he said. “A lot of them came back for that time – to play in the NCAA Tournament. They came back to do damage.

“Would it be sad if it failed us? Yes. But I know right now there are very few people who can say they had a chance. We talk about it all the time as a team, we talk about opportunities. When opportunities arise, you must take advantage of them.

“I think this team has done it so far. I know we’ll be ready to go. Hopefully we will play our best basketball. I think we are right now. If we can stay healthy, improve and focus this week, that will really help us.

Without a doubt, Judkins loves this time of year.

“I love March. My birthday is in March. It’s kite flying in March. And it’s NCAA basketball in March. It’s the most exciting time of the year,” he said. he said: “So many teams that have worked so hard to get to this point have come together. It’s all or nothing. You win or you are eliminated. It’s a fun and exciting tournament. We hope we can cause damage and get as far as possible. I think this team can do it.

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