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PROVO -- College basketball teams were allowed to start practicing yesterday at five o'clock, and as BYU begins this season's preparations with several returning players, the start has already lead to some big expectations in Provo.
"We believe, looking at our schedule, that we can go undefeated. We know it's gonna be tough, but we have a lot of confidence in ourselves, and hopefully we can do that," Jackson Emery said. "I think every year we have that kind of attitude that we'd love to go undefeated, but it's hard 'cause you gotta go on the road, you gotta play teams that are really good...but the kind of confidence that we have in our team is that we can win every game."
"They need to believe that we can win every game 'cause that's what we talk about. That'll be a really special season if that happened," coach Dave Rose said. "When we started here five years ago...we started (with) the belief that we can win every game we play. I think that these guys all understand that that's what we want to do."
So why do the Cougars believe that this could be a special season?
"With some of us, just past experience and being here the past couple years with other guys having success, whether it was in high school, or (junior colleges), or whatever it is, I think...it's helped us just kind of develop that confidence and mentality," Emery said.
"We're pretty athletic. I think that's one thing that's gonna help us out this year. As you know, we're an up-and-down team; we like to get up and down the floor, and our big guys like to run," Jimmer Fredette said.
Two of the big guys are the Collinsworth brothers - Chris, back from his mission, and Kyle, coming in with high expectations out of Provo High School.
"It's pretty much the experience of a lifetime, something that we've always looked forward to," Chris Collinsworth said of playing side-by-side with his younger brother. "Kyle had a lot of opportunities to go to other schools, but because we wanted to play together, he chose to come here."
"Not many people get the opportunity to play college basketball with their brother, and it's one of the main reasons why I came here," Kyle Collinsworth said.