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Devil in the details: Offensive inconsistency

William Mancebo

In the previous article we looked at BYU's free throw shooting woes. In this article we will consider the offense as a whole, minus the free throws. In looking at the stats for the Cougars one thing is clear; they are inconsistent. On a good night they look as if they could be unstoppable. On a bad night they look like a completely different team.


BYU averages 87.5 points a game this season and 4th in the country in points per game (PPG). That kind of offensive output is simply fun to watch. The Cougars scored a season high at Stanford and picked up a nice win by scoring 112 points. 81 points against Weber State are the fewest BYU has scored in a victory and is 12-16 when scoring 80 or more PPG (losses coming to Iowa State, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Portland). The triple overtime loss to Portland was an especially tough pill to swallow as BYU put 110 points on the board, of which Tyler Haws was responsible for 48.

High - 112, Stanford - Win
Low - 62, Wichita State - Loss
Oddity - 110, Portland - Loss


The Cougars average 30.7 field goals per game, making 47.2 percent of their shots. When they shoot 49 percent or better from the field, the Cougars are 7-0. However, when they shoot 41 percent or worse, the Cougars are 0-2. The Cougars average 50.7 percent from the field in victories and 42.5 percent in defeats.

Highs - 41 FG, Mt. Saint Mary's - Win
61.6 percent FG, Santa Clara - Win
Lows - 25 FG, San Francisco - Win
31.1 percent FG, Wichita State - Loss


Three-point shooting has been the most inconsistent aspect of the Cougars offense this season. Twice they have shot the lights out with 30 points coming from behind the arc, yet twice the Cougars couldn't buy a bucket only making one three-pointer. When BYU shoots 37.5 percent or better from three, they win the game; they have done so 8 times this season. They average 41.1 percent in victories and 28.3 percent in defeats.

Highs - 10 3-point FG , Texas, Prairie View A&M - Win, Win
83 percent 3-point FG, Texas Win
Lows - 1 3-point FG, Mesa State, Pepperdine - Win, Loss
4.8 percent 3-point FG, Mesa State - Win


Generally speaking, the Cougars share the ball fairly well. When they get 18 or more assists per game they win and have done so ten times this season. However, the difference between a win and a loss apparent as the Cougars average 19.5 assists per win and 12.6 assists per loss.

High - 27, Prairie View A&M - Win
Low - 5, San Francisco - Win


When BYU turns the ball over seven times or less they win. They have only done so 3 times.

High - 18, Oregon - Loss
Low - 7, Weber State, Mesa State - Win, Win


This is perhaps the oddest offensive statistic the Cougars have this season because they are more likely to lose when they get more offensive rebounds. They average 7.6 offensive boards when they win and 12.4 when they lose! Their three worst offensive rebounding games came against Texas (4), San Diego (5), and Santa Clara (4) and were all wins. Their two best games of offensive rebounding came against Oregon (16) and Pepperdine (18), and these two games were losses!

High - 18, Pepperdine - Loss
Low - 4, Texas, Santa Clara - Win, Win


BYU has shot themselves out of the following games:

Iowa State - 42.9 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three

Wichita State - 31.1 percent from the field and 25 percent from three

Utah - 32.8 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from three

Pepperdine - 40.3 percent from the field and 9.1 percent from three

Gonzaga - 18.2 percent from three


Texas Win - Best night from behind the arc: 10-12 shooting for season high 83.3 percent

North Texas Win - 2nd best night of total field goals at 38 and 4th best night in assists

Prairie View A&M Win - 2nd best field goal percentage at 61.4 percent on the season, 2nd best night from behind the arc: 10-14 for 71.83 percent, season high 27 assists


Consistency has been elusive this season. If the Cougars are able to become consistent in even just one statistical category they will also improve in the all-important WIN/LOSS column. If they can improve in several statistical categories, then they just might have a chance of getting into the Big Dance come March. Which statistical category would you like to see the Cougars improve on most?