BYU basketball’s trip to Italy started with a bang Monday with a convincing win over BC Silute, a professional team in Lithuania’s second-tier professional league. The Cougars won 92-64 in a game played in Florence.
Let’s grab some quick context, since it’s hard to know much about international teams. First: professionals, yes, second-tier, also yes. Second: BC Silute is made of mostly Lithuanian players, with 3 Americans, according to Wikipedia: Ky Howard, NJIT alum; Byron Sanford, Trevecca Nazarene (D-II) alum; and Jeffery Perkins, Hawaii-Hilo (D-II) alum.
More context: In the last two weeks, BC Silute has lost to at least four NCAA teams — to Houston by 7, to Illinois State by 9, to Nebraska by 15 and to Miami by 30. So BYU’s 28-point win stacks up OK.
Alright, to the game. BYU posted the box score and a highlight video:
The first thing to discuss is TJ Haws’ line: 23 points, 10 assists, 0 turnovers, 5 of 8 from deep... dang, Teej. From the video, he is definitely shooting with some confidence.
Second, if you delete Yoeli Childs from the game, per NCAA bylaws, BYU still wins by 12. (Insert laughing-cry emoji here)
Third: BYU shot 13 of 37 from deep. That’s a lot of attempts and a decent clip at 35.1%. Ideally, better-than-kinda-good teams are closer to 37-38% (ridiculous teams are around 40), but keep in mind this is this team’s first competitive game a) with this group of players and b) at the international line, which is now the new college 3-point line. So that’s a good result in that department.
Jake Toolson got 11 of those attempts. He made 4, which is modestly solid, but in 10 games out of 10 you want Jake shooting that many 3s. He shot 44.8% from deep last season at UVU. At that clip and with 11 shots, he’s making 5 a night for you. That’s absolutely something you want. He shot 4.8 attempts from 3 last season, which might be criminal, and perhaps Mark Pope is realizing that. (Also, Toolson grabbed 10 boards, which is nice work.)
Anyway, it’s only one game, and one that doesn’t count, so enjoy the highlight video with a nice follow dunk and some other sweet moments of ball movement, and peruse the box score for your own nuggets of interest.