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Open GameThread: MWC Tourney Semis - UNLV vs. BYU

Next Game

UNLV Runnin Rebels
@ BYU Cougars

Friday, Mar 12, 2010, 8:30 PM PST
Mountain West Tournament - Semifinals - Thomas & Mack Center - Las Vegas, NV

Complete Coverage >

Fredette tops 40 again as BYU advances - BYU Athletics
Rose a finalist for Skip Prosser award - BYU Athletics

BYU must shoot better tonight than the last time they played UNLV. In their 88-74 loss, the Cougars shot 38% overall - but the starters were a dismal 29%. Part of that can be attributed to forcing lots of perimeter jumpers in an attempt to catch up to the Rebels' hot start. Obviously, BYU can get away with a mediocre first half against a team like TCU, but not UNLV.

Another note in review of the Cougars' loss to the Rebels is how Tyler Haws had a below-average performance offensively that game but may not play tonight. From Greg Wrubell:

"Tyler Haws (eye) was visiting a local doctor this afternoon and did not participate in the team's shoot-around at Cox Pavilion. Word is the eye was still very swollen today. Haws' status for tonight would have to be considered questionable at best; if he can't play, it's likely Mike Loyd would take Haws' place in the starting lineup."

If that's the case, here's how the starting match-ups will likely look tonight:

Fredette - Anthony Marshall
Emery - Tre'Von Willis
Loyd - Oscar Bellfield
Hartsock - Chase Stanback
Miles - Brice Massamba

You also figure Abouo's minutes will increase due to Haws' absence - which is a good thing because of 1) they way Charles has been terrific offensively over the past few weeks, and 2) Abouo's athleticism is much needed against the Rebels and a nice counter to Matt Shaw off of Lon Kruger's bench.

Kruger has substituted Marshall into his starting lineup in place of Kendall Wallace and the freshman responded last night with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists against the Utes. Just another weapon the Cougars, and likely Fredette (since Emery will probably guard Willis again), will have to account for tonight. It should be a thriller...