Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Passing up Danny Ainge

For all of my life, the only BYU basketball highlight I ever saw run on TV was this Danny Ainge one:

In fact, because of the play it got, as a kid I always had assumed it was for the national title. I even remember telling friends in high school that "BYU has won a title in both football and basketball."

That was obviously not the case.

That Danny Ainge play happened a good eight months before I was born, and BYU's basketball history has not had a lot of things with which fans could compare. Danny Ainge and his tournament run was

Sure, we've had some things to hang our hats on: Shawn Bradley's (speaking of images of stuff you hang your hat on) NBA career and appearance "in Space Jam," the Rafa years were good, and who doesn't guys like having alumni like Plaisted and Hansen having a cup of hot cocoa in the NBA?

However, nothing had been close to passing up Danny Ainge...until this year.

Quite literally, in fact, as Jackson Emery passed up Danny Ainge has the BYU leader in steals:

Then, Jimmer Fredette passed up Danny Ainge for career points at BYU, while having the best individual statistical season a player at BYU has ever had:

Now the only thing left to do for this team is pass up Danny Ainge's 1981 tournament run. With a win over Florida on Thursday, this BYU team will have gone as far as any BYU team has gone in NCAA Tournament. Could this even be the year that run gets passed, and BYU finds its way into the Final Four?

With everything else that has happened, wouldn't this be the year for it?

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