The outcome of this game was never in doubt -- by either team. Eastern New Mexico came into town knowing they were a sacrificial lamb for the hungry Cougars of BYU. And as expected, while ENMU managed to tie the game at 11 apiece early on, just a minute or two later it was 21-10 BYU and the Cougars never looked back.
Here are some bullet point semi-random thoughts on the game and this BYU team:
- BYU is still Davies, Haws, and the other guys. Davies and Haws are the best players on this team... by far.
- Brock Zylstra appears to be the backup to Tyler Haws at the 3 spot now rather than a guard. That means his minutes will likely be pretty limited going forward because Dave Rose relies heavily on Haws.
- BYU has 5 guards all fighting for minutes. While Carlino and Cusick are currently getting the starting nod, it is not clear that they are better than Calvert, Delgado, and Winder. An optimist would say that is good news for BYU because the team has lots of depth at guard. A pessimist would say it is bad news that BYU hasn't had two guys clearly emerge at that the guard position. How the guard rotations play out will be an interesting story to follow going forward.
- BYU has 5 guys playing the low post. Davies is clearly The Man at the 5 spot and BYU hopes to get as many minutes out of him as possible. Ian Harward is officially the backup at the 5 but BYU rotates the 4's in that spot too. The 4 spot has been manned by Austin, Ambrosino, and Sharp, each of whom has started there at some point this season. Each of those guys has strengths and weaknesses. Again, it is hard to know if the fact that none of them has emerged as the clear front runner is bad news or just a sign of depth. In this case I am inclined to think it is mostly bad news.
- Cory Calvert has a lot of Jimmer in him. Crafty, effective drives to the rack, nice shooter outside. I don't expect him to be like Jimmer but even a Jimmer-lite for the next several years would be useful.
- Raul Delgado showed some real swagger today. He hammered home a tomahawk dunk, he played solid defense, he served up an alley-oop to Sharp, and got a nice and-1 breakaway layup. His outside shooting is still not dialed in but if he figures that out he could get at lot of minutes at the 2 guard.
- Oddly, Anson Winder remains the 5th guard off the bench. He played solid defense again today and had some nice drives to the rack. I suspect his weak outside shooting is what is holding him back still.
- Carlino remains somewhat erratic for BYU. Pushes the ball hard but tends to overreach and try too much still. Cusick is the opposite of that: slower, steadier, safer but maybe not the same upside potential. Still Cusick is a dead-eye three point shooter and a pesky defender so he continues to earn plenty of minutes.
- BYU busted out some new alternative uniforms tonight. Looked sort of old-timey to me. All white with thinner font and thin stripes on the side. BYUtv said they were not permanent -- just alternate uniforms. I thought they looked cool.
BYU has a chance to get a signature road win in Waco on Friday. Thus far BYU has wilted on the road. Hopefully the team has grown some since getting embarrassed at Iowa State though and can beat a beatable Baylor team. BYU will need Davies to stay out of foul trouble and the BYU guards will have to figure out how to contain Baylor's talented and speedy point guard, Pierre Jackson. It will be a tall order but a BYU win is not out of the question.
What say you, BYU faithful? What are your thoughts on the game or on the team at this point?