BYU Basketball left Provo on Friday to head to Italy and had a quick turnaround with a 5pm local time (9am MT) Saturday in Milan, Italy versus Orange 1 Bassano.
The “body clock” game didn’t phase BYU, as the Cougars won 100-64. Keegan Brown, BYU’s Director of Video Analytics & Strategy, tweeted some stats from the game. BYU as a team shot 45% from three, sources tell me.
Couple of top performers from our game yesterday:— Keegan Brown (@Keegs32) August 20, 2023
BYU 100 - Orange 1 Bassano 64
T. Knell: 20 pts, 3 rebs, 2 asts
S. Johnson: 12 pts, 5 rebs, 2 asts
N. Waterman: 11 pts, 3 rebs, 2 asts
F. Traore: 11 pts, 10 rebs, 2 asts
D. Hall: 8 pts, 1 reb, 5 asts#GoCougs
Trevin Knell is coming off a redshirt season after shoulder surgery last August, and the “shot doctor” lived up to his name with 20 points. The below clip shows three of his made threes.
Most BYU players played except one notable exception. Sources tell me that Aly Khalifa is expected to be held out for each of BYU’s four games after recently banging his knee in practice. Aly has no structural damage to the knee and would be able to play if this were the regular season, but BYU isn’t risking anything now. The 6-foot-11 big man transfer from Charlotte is expected to be BYU’s starting 5 man. Khalifa posted pictures of his Instagram showing him moving along just fine in the streets of Italy.
Orange 1 Bassano played games earlier this month versus D1 teams Boston College and Bucknell. BC beat them 97-59 and Bucknell won 94-55. It’s hard to draw many conclusions from these European games. The European teams may be without some of their top American players until the season gets closer, and someone like BYU is holding out Khalifa. The biggest benefit is to get some competitive games in versus opposing competition before the season starts.
Some of the opposing games could be more competitive depending on who is available. Pallancanestro Trieste recently signed Eli Brooks, Michigan’s all-time leader in wins and starting point guard his last 3 seasons in Ann Arbor. Former LMU guard Cam Shelton signed late last month with KK Split, BYU’s final opponent. If those players and other top guys are available then BYU will see better competition.
Below are BYU’s next 3 games. BYU has said live stats and video will not be provided. All times are local.
August 22 Pallancanestro Trieste 8 p.m. (Italy)
August 23 KK Zadar 7 p.m. (Croatia)
August 24 KK Split U20 7:30 p.m. (Croatia)