Milwaukee • The BYU Cougars won’t catch them by surprise with their uptempo, fast-paced offensive style this time, Oregon coaches and players said Wednesday as both teams continued preparations for Thursday’s NCAA Tournament Round of 64 game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Oregon (23-9) won that game 100-96 in overtime in Eugene three months ago, but not before BYU led for all but 1 minute and 2 seconds. The Cougars led by seven points with two minutes remaining in regulation, but UNLV transfer Mike Moser made a key jumper with 30 seconds remaining to send it into overtime.
“BYU is a very talented team,” Moser said. “We learned that up in Eugene when they scored about a hundred points on us. They can obviously score in a hurry. We [have] definitely grown since that game. Obviously, they’ve come a long way, too. It will probably be a different game.”
Ducks’ point guard Johnathan Loyd, whose brother Michael Loyd scored 26 points for BYU in the Cougars’ 95-85 double-overtime win over Florida in a 2010 NCAA Tournament game, said playing in the Pac-12 (OU went 10-8 in league play) helped the team get ready to face the Cougars’ uptempo approach again.
“It is a very deep conference and [has] a lot of teams who can score just as well as BYU,” Loyd said
Life without Kyle
Nobody knows how BYU will change without Kyle Collinsworth, who underwent ACL surgery on Tuesday while the Cougars were flying to Milwaukee on a charter jet.
“That’s a really tough question to answer,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said.
The former Creighton coach believes other players will step up for Collinsworth, who had 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting, eight rebounds and five assists.
“You have to be real fearful of some who loses a player,” Altman said. “… I think they may be a little more perimeter-oriented. I think they will have a couple guys that maybe shoot the three a little bit better.”
Las Vegans reunited in Milwaukee
BYU’s Anson Winder and OU’s Loyd played on the same AAU team in Las Vegas from the fifth grade to high school, and both attended Bishop Gorman High in Nevada. They have kept in touch throughout their college careers.
“Every time I catch him play, I will text him after to let him know what I saw,” Loyd said. “Every time he sees me play, he’ll text me. Right after we saw the draw, we both immediately texted each other like five minutes after we saw it. Still my guy. We still talk a lot.”
Worthington worthy of some tickets
Ever since the Cougars learned they would be playing in Milwaukee, freshman forward Luke Worthington has been hitting up his teammates for one or all of their six allotted tickets to Thursday’s game. Worthington grew up in Mequon, Wis., which is about 30 miles north of Milwaukee, and starred in football and basketball at Homestead High.
He reported Wednesday that he secured about 25 tickets, although his family moved to Florida shortly after he enrolled at BYU.