With 17 returnees, including three All-Americans middle blocker Futi Tavana, opposite Robb Stowell and 2011 conference newcomer of the year Taylor Sander BYU boasts its strongest team in several seasons.
BYU concluded its recent appearance in the season-opening UCSB Invitational Saturday by blasting the home Gauchos in straight games, 26-24, 25-22, 25-19. The Cougars lost to Irvine earlier in the tournament.
"We're a good team right now, but nowhere near how good we will be," McGown said. "It's the process as opposed to the destination."
Against UCSB, which knocked the Cougars out of last year's MPSF tournament, Sander led with a match-high 17 kills, while redshirt freshman Josue Rivera added 11 kills with a .557 hitting percentage.
BYU was picked to the win MPSF during the preseason, grabbing six of the 11 possible first-place votes, the most in the MPSF annual poll since 2007. BYU won 20 matches in 2011 and finished second in the league.
To prepare to take over a team full of experience and talent, McGown is taking his father's advice to heart.
"You will have to work harder than you ever had before," Chris said.
UVU wrestlers face challenge
Despite recent success, Utah Valley wrestling coach Greg Williams isn't about to feel confident.
He can't afford to, not with No. 8-ranked Boise State coming to Orem on Thursday and prior to the Lone Star Duals in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday. That tournament includes No. 9 Oklahoma.
"I don't feel like our guys wrestled tough enough for it being this far in the season," William said after winning his own invitational this past weekend. "There are things that we've worked on doing in certain situations, and we're not doing them. The guys know that they are talented and they seem to believe in themselves, but I'm going to be calling them out this week."
On Feb. 5, 2010, the Wolverines knocked off the then-No. 8 ranked Broncos, 22-20.
The rematch is scheduled for 7 p.m.