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Cougs on Cougs: What BYU Basketball is doing right (and wrong) ahead of the Utah game

Jess and Mary discuss what went right (and wrong) in BYU Basketball’s two-win week.

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Brigham Young Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Hey there, Cougar fans! It’s another two-win week for the BYU Basketball team, giving them an 8-2 record heading into the (arguably) biggest game of non-conference play: the rivalry match-up against the University of Utah Saturday night. After dispatching the Illinois State Redbirds at home, the Cougs didn’t play their best game of the season against Weber State in the Vivint Smart Home Arena. Jess and Mary discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the two wins in Coaching from the Couch. How does the (hopefully temporary) loss of Dalton Nixon to a foot injury affect this team? Is TJ Haws officially out of his shooting slump? Will BYU be able to consistently hit three point shots? At the end of the day, a win is a win, and we are on to the next!

W . #GoCougs #BYUhoops

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The resident stats man for Cougs on Cougs, Ken O’Kelley (#HireKen), joined Jess and Mary for a little rivalry talk, including a breakdown of some key stats about how the Cougars and Utes match up on the court. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we are not able to include that segment in the episode this week. However, Ken did send us a breakdown of our discussion for your reading pleasure:

  • This year BYU is seeing about 8 fewer possessions on offense and defense (16 fewer per game).
  • Offense is scoring about 5 more points per 100 possessions compared to last year.
  • Defense is giving up about 3 more points per 100 possessions.
  • BYU is causing more turnovers on defense (16.4% of possessions vs 14.4% last year; a 14% increase) and allowing fewer assists (48% compared to 53.4%).
  • Utah plays at about the same pace as BYU last year, and commits the same number of TOs as BYU did. Similar Offensive Rating and Defensive Ratings.
  • Utah has 5 forwards who average over 15 min/game.
  • Three of Utah’s players average over 10 ppg, and two more average over 9.8 ppg (very balanced offensively).
  • Utah is much deeper than BYU so the cougs will need to stay out of foul trouble.
  • BYU will need TJ, Eli, and Jashire to create & attack because Utah has been very good at limiting offenses this year.
  • Pace will be a big factor. BYU has not played well when we try to play fast (Niagara, UT Arlington).

We appreciate Ken sharing his stats research with us! We’ll have him on again soon, minus the technical difficulties. Look for more from him on!

In Talk of the Town, we have some positive football news! But no, it’s not about the new offensive coordinator, nothing has been announced yet. It’s about Texas quarterback Stacy Connor, who committed to BYU over the weekend. Connor plans to enroll at BYU in January and should compete in Spring Ball. We can’t wait to get a look at him in BYU Football’s new offense, whatever that is!

In other news, Jamaal Williams continues to kill it on the field for the Green Bay Packers (and for many of your fantasty football teams), Kai Nacua got his first start with the Browns, and Luke Worthington wants you to lay off Zac Seljaas’s haircut!

Saturday night is the long-awaited return of the Runnin’ Utes to the Marriott Center! If you can’t be there in person, watch it on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. MST. Go Cougs!

About the Show

Cougars on Cougars is a weekly YouTube show in which Jess and Mary, two "dyed in the wool, true blue, through and through" BYU fans discuss the happenings of BYU football and basketball on—and off—the field and court.

Find us on social media:

Cougars on Cougars: @cougsoncougs

Jess Tyler: @everydayjess

Mary Blanchard: @marydblanchard