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What you need to know: BYU vs San Francisco preview

Coming off a strong showing, the Cougars look to knock out the Dons.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The History

When the BYU Cougars welcome the San Francisco Dons into Provo Saturday, it will mark the 20th meeting between the schools in a series that started in 1946. BYU has won 13 of the first 19 and look to continue the domination of the last couple of years, including a 2-0 record last year.

Provo, UT  2015 (78-74)

On a night the Cougars couldn't do much on the offensive side of the ball, BYU was able to do just enough to walk out with a win. Both teams traded the lead a number of times in the first half but neither team could get it into double-digits. BYU would take a 34-30 lead at the half and would extend it out to seven a couple of times, however the cougars always let the Dons back in the game. With the game on the line Tyler Haws, Anson Winder and Kyle Collinsworth did what was needed for the 78-74 win. Haws led all scorers with 28 while Winder scored 11 in the win.

San Francisco, CA 2015 (99-68)

Led by the third triple-double of the year for Kyle Collinsworth, the Cougars went on the attack and came away with a dominant road victory. Collinsworth ended with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as Tyler Haws led all scorers with 22 points. Chase Fischer added 20 points as he hit six three pointers. After a quick start the Cougars never looked back as they led 30-12 with under 10 left in the half, and then 57-29 at halftime. In the 99-68 win the Cougars shot 60 percent from the field and an amazing 53.6 percent from the three point line.

The Outlook

Things are looking good after the Cougars dominated a Santa Clara team that played Gonzaga and Saint Mary's close. The Cougars shot the ball well and really played a full game. BYU really outplayed the Broncos in almost all facets of the game, with exception of blocks. If the Cougars continue to improve and play like they did last night, the Cougars could work themselves back into a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The Positives

The entire game against Santa Clara was one big positive. The Cougars outworked, outplayed, and outran the Broncos en-route to a blowout win. What may have really helped this win get off the ground was the rebounding difference between the teams. BYU out hustled the Broncos on the boards all night and it showed in a double-digit advantage. Not only did the Cougars pull down the defensive rebounds, they also grabbed the offensive rebounds which led to a number of second chance points. This play will need to continue in conference play, but we have at least seen the Cougars do it. We also can't get away without mentioning the ninth triple double for Kyle Collinsworth as he makes it look easy.

The Negatives

What might be the only blemish on the stat sheet is the seven shots that the Broncos blocked. This shows the sign of an aggressive offense, however the players really do need to be a bit more aware of their surroundings and make sure they are getting quality shots or making the extra pass.

The Keys to Watch

When San Francisco has the ball:

Watch for sophomore guard Devin Watson and senior guard Tim Derksen to lead the Dons against the Cougars. The two of them are the top scorers on the team, the only ones in double digits, and combine for nine rebounds, almost eight assists and almost two steals per game. Watch for Watson to get the role players involved in order to take off some of the defensive pressure that will be focused on the two stars. Most players on the team can score so they will need to step up in order to win the game.

Watch for the Cougars to force the ball out of the hands of Watson as they try to prevent his shots and dishes. Watson does average almost three turnovers per game so the Cougars guards should be able to knock the ball away and create offensive opportunities on their home court.

When BYU has the ball:

Watch for the Cougars to once again push the ball up and down the court. The last few games the Cougars have done a great job at hitting shots in transition and so don't look for that to change. After Collinsworth recorded yet another triple-double, watch for him to come back and be the do it all player. Watch for the three ball to continue to be shot, whether winning or losing, and play an important part of the Cougars game plan.

Watch for the Dons to focus on Collinsworth as he dominates every aspect of his game. Watch for them to keep him out of the paint as they try to minimize easy shots, push him out of position for rebounding, and collapsing on him as they try to force turnovers. Watch for the Dons to double up Collinsworth, but not leave anyone isolated. With help defense the Dons will hope to minimize the damage by the Cougars offense, hopefully keeping the game close.

The Broadcasting Details

Time: 7 pm MST

Where: Marriott Center-Provo, UT


Radio (BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143

Listen Live via Internet (KSL): Click Here