BYU basketball: Tournament exposes Cougar weak points
Brooklyn, N.Y. • There's nothing like pressure to reveal weakness.
Certainly, BYU coach Dave Rose may look back on the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic as as a needed pressure cooker. Two losses to Florida State and Notre Dame took advantage of the Cougars' shortcomings.
"It was a good learning experience for us," Rose said. "We have a lot of work to do to get better."
BYU (2-2) did compete better Saturday in its 78-68 loss to Notre Dame.
Forward Brandon Davies had foul trouble for the second consecutive night and the Cougars had little production from the point, yet BYU owned a seven-point lead in the second half.
Then the worm turned as Notre Dame went on a 16-2 run.
"We had the game kind of how we wanted it to go right there in the middle of the second half," Rose said. "And then Notre Dame did what they do. They made possessions really long. They executed really well. They made their free throws. They turned us over.
"They kind of locked us up for a few minutes, and that was the story of the game right there."
Rose said the Cougars need to improve in the paint, on the wing and at the point, which pretty much covers everything.
BYU did not shoot well less than 40 percent for both games. And with Davies and his replacement Ian Harward picking up fouls at a rapid pace, the Cougars' interior defense suffered.
Harward, Nate Austin and Craig Cusick did provide quality minutes, but it wasn't enough.
"One of the positives, we had guys come in and get some minutes we'll really need soon," Rose said. "We keep talking about we need to increase the depth of our team. Well, it needs to happen fairly quickly. We can't keep waiting for guys to come in and play well.
"Ian was really good, but he gets five fouls in a short period of time."