What an awful day for BYU sports. Its days like these that I wish God could have blessed me with different interests so my happiness didn’t depend so much on how a bunch of college kids play a game. Unfortunately, being a fan means we can’t walk away and pretend painful losses didn’t happen (except for when the Patriots lost the Super bowl in 2011, I was on my mission and didn’t see it so it never happened). Let’s get started.
-TJ Haws: Honestly, not much else can go in this section other than TJ Haws. 25 points on 9-19 shooting (6-12 from deep), 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal and 0 turnovers is wicked impressive. Haws was literally the only reason the game stayed close for as long as it did. You could tell very early on that he was in the zone as he hit some really deep shots and at one point had a nasty midrange step back that I am pretty sure I’ve never seen him attempt before. He shot the ball extremely well, tying a career high in made threes.
I was a little frustrated that Dave Rose took him out in the first half after he was heating up. At a time when no one else could score I thought it was a little premature. As of now, Haws is really shooting the ball well: 63% from the field, 41% from three, and 83% from the free throw line. Haws had some fantastic passes as well: the dish to Nixon as he was coming baseline was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, no one else really had anything else to add other than Yoeli and so Haws’ great night will get lost in frustration to what many believed to be a winnable game.
-Where do I even start? There was so much to be frustrated with in this game but I think one of the biggest issues was the lack of scoring. Haws and Yoeli combined for 41 of BYU’s 62 points. The three other starters only had 13 points combined and the bench was non-existent with 8 points. This team can’t rely on Haws and Childs and have everyone else be role players. We need players to step up and assert themselves in the game.
-Zac Seljaas: Rough night for Seljaas who had 4 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and one turnover. Zac’s points only came from the free throw line as he was 0-2 from the field and 0-2 from deep. Zac is an important member of this offense because his shooting stretches the floor and opens up so much for everyone else. Unfortunately, when Zac’s shots aren’t falling, or when he isn’t even taking shots, he doesn’t have that much else to offer. His defense looked suspect tonight as he was late on rotations and slow to close out on the perimeter.
-Speaking of defense, BYU allowed Houston to shoot 42.3% from three. Cedrick Alley Jr. practically beat BYU himself shooting 5-8 from deep. At some point you would have thought BYU would have made the adjustment to stop going under screens on him and to not leave him on defense. The failure to adjust is 100% Dave Rose’s fault and he seemed apathetic on the sideline during the entire game. It would have been nice for him to show a little bit of emotion, if only to get the players fired up a little bit more. BYU only fouled Houston 11 times the entire game. 11 times! I promise you that BYU did not all of the sudden become an extremely disciplined defensive team; they simply had no interest in being physical.
-Rebounding: I’ve been mentioning this over and over but rebounding is going to be this team’s biggest weakness. With being so undersized it is imperative that each player makes a concerted effort to box out and rebound. What we saw instead today was BYU allowing Houston to outrebound them 36-28 — 11 of which were offensive rebounds! If you want another statistic to measure effort, look no further than the fact that BYU gave up 11 offensive rebounds. BYU cannot let teams like Houston get multiple looks on the same possession. This is another issue that in my opinion falls directly on Dave Rose’s shoulders. He needs to figure out how to light a fire with these guys and get them to want to rebound.
-I hate to mention it because I am sure that everyone is still mourning but that football game was rough. The only thing you prevent when you play a prevent style of football is preventing yourself from the win. This one hurt. This one is going to take a while to get over. The basketball team should take a lesson from Corbin Kaufusi about effort. I mean that guy put everything on the line for his team and balled out. What a stud.
On to Illinois State.