As part of the College Basketball Experience Hall of Fame Classic, BYU will host Mount St. Mary's on Friday and Colorado Mesa on Saturday. Both teams will be facing BYU for the first time. BYU will travel for the second leg of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic as it moves to the Sprint Center in Kansas City where BYU will face Texas and then either DePaul or Wichita State on November 25th and 26th.
With a convincing performance at Stanford, the Cougars offense looks ready to make some noise. Not only did they put up 112 points on the road, six Cougars scored in double figures. The defense made some plays but did give up 103 points as well. Along with the many positives, there are some negatives that can be worked on in order to make this a special BYU team.
Six players in double figure scoring is an impressive stat. The team was led by Tyler Haws with 31 points and Matt Carlino with 26 points. Kyle Collinsworth (14), Nate Austin (12), Eric Mika (12), and Anson Winder (10) also contributed double digit scoring. BYU spread the ball around to provide a balanced scoring attack and this made it very difficult for Stanford to defend and resulted in the highest scoring output since 1993.
Looking at the positives, you can't overlook the importance of the extra pass. BYU assisted on 23 of their 38 field goals and Collinsworth let the way with nine assists. When the extra pass was used, the defense was unable to keep up with the ball and left people open to make shots.
In a closely called game, the big men for BYU again found themselves in foul trouble. In this game they were able to overcome the fouls and stay on the floor but they need to address this issue or it will cost them down the road. Austin and Mika both played 26 minutes but in conference play they will need to be ready to give 30+ minutes a game and foul trouble will not allow for that to happen.
Just like the Cardinal could not find an answer for Haws and Carlino, the Cougars were unable to stop Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell. Both players shot over 50 percent and Powell took advantage of 10 trips to the free throw line. In order for the defense to be successful, the Cougars need to minimize the amount of free throws they give up. Stanford went 26-34 from the stripe while BYU went 28-43. Both sides of the ball need to improve in this area as 65 percent success will not win them very many games.
Both of the opponents this week are vastly overmatched and should not provide much of a test for the Cougars. The size will favor the Cougars, unlike last week, and combined with the speed and quickness of the Cougar guards, there should little drama in either game.
The Keys to Watch
When Mount St. Mary's has the ball: Look for the Mountaineers to run the offense through senior guard Julian Norfleet. He is averaging 17 points a game on a team that has not shot well in the first two games. Their field goal percentage is hovering just under 35 percent with their three point shot at 31 percent per game. Look for the Cougar defense to put pressure on the ball handler and force turnovers. The Mountaineers are averaging one more turnover per game than assists. With a quick defense this could turn into easy baskets for the BYU offense.
When Colorado Mesa has the ball: The Mavericks are a better shooting team and are led by their 6'10 center Ryan Stephan. He is averaging 16 points a game and is shooting 60 percent from the field. The team does struggle rebounding the ball as they are only averaging 30 rebounds a game and so the Cougars defense can really make their mark when the ball comes off the rim. Look for the pace to be a bit more up tempo then Mount St. Mary's as Colorado Mesa is averaging 80 points a game.
When BYU has the ball: Look for the Cougars to run and spread the floor. BYU will try to set the pace and if successful should run both teams out of the arena. Just like at Stanford, look for the shots to be spread around and four or five players to be in double figures. The opposing defenses will have a hard time with the size and speed of the Cougars starting five and this could lead to a high scoring affair, and a lot of free throw attempts for BYU.
The CBE Hall of Fame Classic is an event that is named after the College Basketball Experience. The College Basketball Experience is an interactive college basketball facility that is adjacent to the Sprint Center that features the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. This event was initially established in 2001 as the Guardians Classic but has since been renamed to the current name. For full details on this tournament click here.
The Broadcasting Details
Time: 7:30 PM MST
Where: Marriott Center-Provo, Utah
Radio(BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143
Listen Live via Internet(KSL): Click Here