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Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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UCLA transfer Matt Carlino "probably" moves into BYU's starting lineup, Rose says

Now that didn't take long, did it?

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After the Cougars wrapped up practice at the Marriott Center on Monday afternoon, coach Dave Rose said that Matt Carlino will "probably" be in the starting lineup when the Cougars take on Buffalo on Tuesday night (7 p.m., BYUtv).

I asked Rose if the starting lineup would stay the same.

"No, we will probably start Matt," he said.

Carlino was both brilliant and terrible against Baylor, mostly brilliant, as he scored 18 points in relief off the bench for starter Craig Cusick last Saturday.

Cusick will now be Carlino's backup, while Anson Winder will go back to his normal position -- wing.

Rose said Carlino "played pretty much how we hoped he would play. He had a couple big possessions down the stretch that I am sure he would like to have over again. But for the most part he came in and played with a lot of confidence, just like he does in practice. I think our guys responded to him well.

"But it is kind of tough 10 games in to have players playing their first game. Now we've got a few injuries, and so that's going to come back. What we need to do is get into a consistent rhythm. That will probably be difficult for the next four or five games, until we get a full roster back."

Winder and Brock Zylstra figure to lose the most playing time with Carlino's emergence, but that could change.

"So he's kind of a guy that is a utility player for us," Rose said of Winder, a redshirt freshman. "We got Craig [Cusick] playing the point guard still. Anson could still see minutes at the point guard because we feel really comfortable with him there.

But right now we got Charles [Abouo] and Brock [Zylstra] and Damarcus [Harrison] at the wing, and then Anson would be that other wing. But there are chances of Damarcus not playing, so that would bump Anson up."

Yes, Rose said Harrison might not play against the Bison.

The freshman from South Carolina tweaked his ankle during Monday's practice. So did Jaren Sweeney.

Rose said trainer Rob Ramos said that there's the possibility that Harrison could play depending on how the ankle swells tonight.

"But it looks like it is not one of those things where he twisted it and it looks like it is going to be three or four days before he practices," Rose said.

The coach noted that it is a "delicate situation" regarding how hard to practice, yet avoid injury.

"I am just kind of a believer that competition makes your team good, so we will keep going. But things are going to have to slow down a little bit, because we are low on bodies."

Harrison had eight points and three rebounds against Baylor in one of his better performances as a Cougar.

"I thought he played great. I think he's continuing to get better and better," Rose said. "He was really aggressive, he was active. He's a guy we will put in that lineup expecting that when he is open that he will shoot. He's a good shooter. He hit a couple threes for us. He got his hands on a few balls, got a few steals, got a nice dunk in transition. So hopefully he can build on that.

What you need to build on those kind of things is to play the next time out with the same energy and have the same results and get more confidence.

Hopefully we can get him in the game and he is healthy enough to play."

Couple more comments from Rose after practice:

On how the team has responded after the loss:

"Well, I thought we practiced really hard. I think you can tell that our guys are down a little bit. I am glad we are playing quickly so we can get back on the [playing] road.

But I do think that the guys practiced really hard, so we are looking back to getting back on the court tomorrow."

On whether they have a different routine with school not in session:

"No, the routine is pretty much the same. The guys' routine is probably a little bit different. They probably got the chance to sleep in a little bit more. Except for maybe Brock. Brock probably had to get up pretty early. His life is a little bit different than the rest of the guys."

On the break:

"Maybe it gives them the chance [to shop]. Last week was so busy for the guys. With finals, every minute was kinda taken up. Two home games, two big games for us this week."

On the Buffalo game last year:

"That game was a real grind for us. We won that game offensively. It is kind of rare when we do that. We are usually a good defensive team, but they had us. They scored 82 points on us. We are going to have to do a better job guarding what they do.

But they are very efficient with the way they run their offense. Their offense is really hard to defend. They bring all their guys up, so it is hard to give help. And with only one day of prep, it is going to be a challenge for us."

On why it was a grind:

"Just us trying to get a lead. Trying to stay on top of that lead. We got a pretty big lead, then they came back and closed it. Then we went on another run and they closed it down again.

This should be a really good game, a really competitive game."

On Jimmer Fredette's pro debut:

"I enjoyed watching it, actually. It was one of the first times in a long time where I could just watch it and kinda relax and not really worry about the outcome of the game. And he's pretty impressive. I am telling you, there are a lot of things he has to learn, but getting the ball in the basket is not one of them. He's got that figured out."

On Javon McCrea of Buffalo:

"He is as aggressive of a low post player as I think we play. He may not be as long, he may not be as talented as some of the guys [BYU has faced], but he plays so hard and he's so good around the rim. It is hard to stop him from getting his shot. It will be a challenge for us.

Hopefully we can use our size."

On whether McCrea is like former Cougar Keena Young:

"He is really confident 12 feet and in to the basket. When he decides the move he is going to make, he is really good at it. And he expects to finish. And that's what is really impressive."

On when they've had a guy the size of Nate Austin who can shoot that well:

"After his mission, his skill level is about the same, and he seems to be a bit bigger. So hopefully we can get him as much experience as possible and he can continue to play well. He's playing really well."

On watching film from the Baylor game and learning:

"The turnaround was so quick, I think the most important thing for us was how hard we played. I think we played hard enough for 40 minutes to win that game. There were a lot of things we need to correct, not only from players' perspective, from coaches perspective. We discussed all that today in our staff meeting, discussed it with our players.

But the most important thing I think we take from the Baylor game is our effort. If we continue to play that hard, that long, that consistently, I think this team will do really well."

On the rebounding vs. Baylor:

"Well, I think when you consider the fact that we outrebounded them, that's a plus for our team. Rebounds in certain situations are what we emphasize the most, not the mass or the whole number.

We had two or three chances to grab rebounds at the end of that game that would have really helped us. We missed them, they got them.

On the other end, the offensive end, we got two or three that we scored on. That was really good. So we will emphasize just consistency on both ends."



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