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What you need to Know: BYU vs. Prairie View A&M (Basketball Edition)

After another loss to a top 25 team, the Cougars are looking for defensive answers against a struggling 2-6 Prairie View A&M.

Chris Collinsworth shoots against Iowa State
Chris Collinsworth shoots against Iowa State
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The History

On Wednesday the Panthers from Prairie View A&M will visit Provo for the second time in just over two years. The first and only other meeting, between the schools took place in 2011 and ended with blow out win for the Cougars. BYU holds a 1-0 advantage over Prairie View and will look to mimic the last game.

Provo, UT 2011 (1-0)

In the first meeting between the schools, the Panthers kept the game close until a BYU run in the second half put the game out of reach. The Cougars struggled offensively in the first half as it took a 16-4 run near the end of the half to give the Cougars the 34-25 halftime lead. Just a couple of minutes into the second half the Cougars exploded on offense and knuckled down on defense. During the 27-4 run for the Cougars, the Panthers shot 1-15 and at one point they missed 12 straight shots. BYU shot a blistering 68% in the second half, compared to the Panthers 26 percent. BYU won 90-51 while being led by Stephen Rogers with 18 points, Brandon Davies with 13, and Charles Abouo with 13 points. Davies and Abouo also added eight rebounds and three assists a piece.

The Outlook

For the third time this year the Cougars come into a game after losing to a top-25 team. The offense put up a fight by putting up 96 points against UMass but the defense failed to get stops and allowed 105 points. BYU shouldn't have a problem bouncing back from the loss, but trying to get the team to play a complete game against good teams will need to be a priority for the coaching staff.

The Positives

Putting up 96 points against a top 25 teams is quite an accomplishment. One of the reasons they were able to do this was because of the 26-33 shooting from the free throw line. Tyler Haws, Matt Carlino, and Eric Mika went 16-17 from the line, providing a high percentage and more than half the free throws.

The Cougars won the rebounding battle against the Minutemen and dominated the offensive boards 11-4. Mika had eight rebounds, with five being on the offensive glass. The defensive glass was in the favor of UMass at 25-22.

The Negatives

The defense gave up a scorching 56 percent shooting from the field while allowing 39 percent from the three point line. UMass hit some very difficult shots but it appeared that the Minutemen were able to do whatever they want. UMass made the extra pass time and time again as they had 29 assists on their 35 made shots.

As the Cougars continue to run their offense, they need to make sure they know where the defense is at. Against UMass the Cougars had six shots blocked that ended in no points and a loss of momentum. With a better awareness of the defenders, those shots can turn into baskets and can be the difference between a win and a loss.

The Keys to Watch

When the Panthers have the ball: Look for the Panthers to go small against the Cougars. They only have one player, Jules Montgomery, taller than 6'8" and he only averages 15 minutes per game. Four players average at least 11 points per game, and three of them are guards. Panther guard Montrael Scott likes to have the ball and is averaging 15 points per game, almost three assists per game and five rebounds per game. He leads the team in points and rebounds. Demondre Chapman will be the player asked to play big against the Cougars but he is only 6'7" and gives up some height to Eric Mika. He is averaging almost 12 points per game and just over four rebounds. Look for the Cougars to use their size to gain an advantage in the middle and on the boards. The Panthers are only averaging 33 rebounds per game and so the Cougars will have their chances to rebound and run.

When the Cougars have the ball: Watch for the Cougars to continue to push the ball and make the Panthers keep up with them. With the success that Mika has had in the middle, look for him to take a more active role throughout the game and not just at the beginning. The Cougars will continue to give the ball to the playmakers and so look for Haws, Carlino, and Mika to put up numbers in shortened minutes. Look for the Panthers to try and keep the ball out of the middle. With a smaller presence inside, the Panthers don't want the ball to get in the middle where they will not have much of a defense against the athletic Mika.

The Broadcasting Details

Time: 7 pm MST

Where: Marriott Center-Provo, Utah



Radio (BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143

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