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BYU vs Alabama A&M: The good, the bad and the ugly

Brigham Young Cougars v Oregon Ducks Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

The Cougars cruise past Alabama A&M 91-60 for another easy win. This is the best the offense has looked in the young season with multiple players scoring in the double digits. It’s important to remember that Alabama A&M is not a good basketball team. They are ranked 351 by kenpom. That being said, it was still a basketball game against a Division I school, so let’s enjoy it and hope that our offense can click like this against real competition.

The Good

-Zac Seljaas: Although Seljaas wasn’t the high scorer, I think we can all agree that this game belonged to him. 15 points on 5-8 shooting from beyond the arc has Cougar fans everywhere thinking that Seljaas is returning back to how he looked his freshman year when he was shooting close to 50% from deep.

Last year, Seljaas struggled mightily, shooting a dismal 29%. Clearly this up-tempo offense plays to his strengths and he is really benefiting from getting out in transition and hitting dagger threes. As of now, he is shooting 44% from three and I think this game is what the team needed in order to get going from deep. A lot of the looks they were getting were good but the shots just weren’t falling. A game like this can go a long way for BYU to start improving from deep.

-TJ Haws: Haws looked great tonight, leading the team with 19 points on 8-10 from the field (1-2 from deep), 3 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals, and a team high 6 assists. Haws dominated in the pick and roll. Once he gets past the first defender he is so crafty getting to the rim and is a deadly shooter—it was clear that AAMU didn’t know how to guard him. It seemed like they were trying to double him off of the pick and he was able to make the right play to find the open guy. Haws only had one turnover as well so really just a complete game for the junior. Personally, I was probably a little too hard on Haws after the game against Nevada because since then he has been shooting the ball a lot better.

-Yoeli Childs: It’s crazy that we can get this far into the recap and this is the first time I am mentioning Childs. I think that says a lot about how this team has looked so far this season in that Yoeli hasn’t had to lead the team in scoring in order for us to win. This is now five double-doubles in a row for Childs and he shows no signs of slowing down. 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists is so impressive. Teams just have no way to slow him down. He has been passing the ball really well and punishes defenses when they decide to double him in the post. His athleticism is so impressive. The way he elevates so quickly and easily never ceases to amaze me.

-Connor Harding: At this point I am only half kidding when I say that I am ready to insert Harding into the starting lineup. He has looked so impressive over the last 3 games. 9 points on 2-3 shooting (1-4 from deep), 6 rebounds, and 2 assists is really impressive for the newly returned missionary. I think it’s safe to say that we knew he would be good, but few thought he would look this comfortable this early on. His drive first mentality is contagious and I was really impressed with how he finished through contact at the rim. On one play he was fouled going hard to the basket and I loved that he was looking to dunk on the kid guarding him instead of just laying it off the glass—I am all here for BYU to start putting some defenders on a poster.

The Bad

-Kolby Lee: Rough night for the freshman who had 0 points, 1 rebound, and 2 fouls in only 6 minutes.

-Perimeter Defense: BYU’s perimeter defense is trending in a bad direction, as they are now allowing opponents to shoot 30% from behind the arc. Now, if BYU ends the year with holding opponents to only 30% from three then that would be phenomenal. However, I just wanted to point it out as something to keep an eye on as that percentage has continued to climb after every game.

The Ugly

-I tried really hard to think of something to put in this section so that I could come off as a fair and impartial but I couldn’t think of anything. BYU has now won 4 in a row and so I think that warrants leaving this section blank.

-Cougars have one more tune-up game against Rice (ranked 276 by Kenpom) before a home game against Houston (ranked 41 by Kenpom) next Saturday. Wouldn’t it be awesome if BYU had a great win against Houston AND we beat Utah in the same day? I don’t know if it will happen but just the thought of it has me all kinds of excited.

On to Rice.