Welp, turns out BYU basketball is not all that good this year. Every time the Cougs have played outside of Utah against a tough team they have been thoroughly thrashed. That pattern held this evening as the Baylor Bears used a 21-2 run in the last eight minutes of the first half to pull well ahead of BYU. The Bears extended that lead in the second half and cruised to an easy 79-64 victory.
Here are some thoughts on the team and game:
- BYU looked like the better team in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Cougars built up an 11 point lead and looked to be in control. Then Haws picked up his second foul and sat. At that point Baylor went on that 21-2 run and never looked back.
- Brandon Davies had a good game for BYU. He scored 26 points and avoided foul trouble well enough to play a lot of minutes. Sadly, BYU lacks the talent around Davies (other than Haws) to make this a game.
- Tyler Haws played really well early but cooled off significantly after that. He finished with 13 points
- It dawned on me that just a few years ago Davies and Haws were maybe the 4th and 5th best players on BYU when Jimmer, Jax, and Noah were starting with them. But Jimmer, Jax, and Noah are gone now and the guys in their spots aren't even close to as good as those three guys were. Thus, games like tonight.
- BYU had no guards that could even almost stay in front of Baylor's Pierre Jackson -- especially after the first few minutes. There is no Jackson Emery or Charles Abouo on this team who Dave Rose can count on to be his shut down guy on defense. (Jackson Emery himself tweeted this tonight: "Unless we learn to play defense, we will be going to the NIT. Have some pride fellas")
- Cory Calvert got some early minutes but reminded us that he is a true freshman by looking rattled most of the night.
- Matt Carlino remains erratic. He went on a scoring spurt in the second half and finished with 8 points but remains hot and cold both as a scorer and as a distributor.
- Raul Delgado gave some decent minutes at the 2 spot but isn't playing well enough to scare many opponents yet.
- Nate Austin had a decent night scoring with 8 points. He ended up fouling out with about 5 minutes left in the game.
- Davies scored 26, Haws 13, and everyone else combined scored 25. This team must pretty easy to guard because of that.
- BYU shot 38.7% from the field and 16.7% from three. Shooting like that will lose a team a lot of games. Baylor shot 45% from the field and 50% from three. (Yes, you read those numbers correctly.)
Basically, I think Ken Pomeroy has BYU ranked about right as about the 75th best team in the country. Unless this team improves pretty significantly between now and March I suspect the only way BYU makes the NCAA Tournament this season is to get the WCC automatic bid. (And with Gonzaga having an up year, getting that auto bid is unlikely too.) There is time for BYU to improve, but it will be a tall order based on the personnel I see out there right now.
What say you, BYU faithful?