BYU basketball: Cougars adjusting to Thursday-Saturday games
Published: February 2, 2014 08:13PM
Updated: February 2, 2014 12:16AM

Provo • Enjoying all these Thursday and Saturday games this season, BYU fans?

Get used to it.

That’s how it is going to be — with an occasional Wednesday game, like Gonzaga and Santa Clara played this week — in the West Coast Conference with the addition of Pacific as the league’s 10th team this year.

However, BYU isn’t scheduled to play any Wednesday games this season.

Saturday’s game marked the fourth straight time the Cougars have played the two-games-in-three-days deal. They’ve got three more weeks of them before getting a bye the last week of the season and finishing up at San Diego on March 1.

“Each week seems to be a little bit different, trying to get a feel for our guys,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “I do believe that is one of the things that we really have to address in the offseason. The Thursday-Saturday, back-to-back on the road, then back-to-back at home … I think that this is different, and it feels different. The way we set up our system and how we run it, and what we do, we probably will have to make some adjustments to it.”

Rebounding machines

Saint Mary’s out-rebounded BYU in each of the first four meetings the schools have had in the WCC, and Saturday’s game started that same way.

The Gaels owned the boards in the first half, out-rebounding the Cougars 22-17 in the first 20 minutes.

The Cougars were hurt when their two big guys, Eric Mika and Nate Austin, got in early foul trouble. Austin played just nine minutes in the first half and Mika just 14.

Texas two-step

BYU’s football team made Texas look bad last fall, embarrassing the Longhorns at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

This winter, the Texas basketball team is making BYU look good.

Since losing 86-82 to BYU back on Nov. 25 in Kansas City, the Longhorns have put together an above-average season. That’s good for BYU’s RPI, and stands as the Cougars’ most impressive win this season, along with that road win at Stanford on Nov. 11.

Saturday, No. 15 Texas (6-2, 17-4) took down No. 6 Kansas 81-69 in Austin, the Longhorns’ sixth straight win. Texas is now just a game behind league-leading Kansas in the Big 12 standings.

Briefly

BYU’s Tyler Haws entered Saturday as the third-leading scorer in the country in Division I, at 24.2 points per game. Haws averaged 36.3 points in his last three games before Saturday. … BYU’s football program hosted as many as 15 recruits on campus this weekend, and the recruits attended the late-night basketball game.

drew@sltrib.com

Twitter: @drewjay