The BYU basketball team's leading scorer, Noah Hartsock, seemingly couldn't buy a basket on Monday night at San Diego. Hartsock, known as "Old Reliable" by his teammates, was just 2 of 12 from the field and failed to score in double figures for the first time this season. He finished with seven points.
"The way things have kind of played out this year, we haven't seen that [from Hartsock]," coach Dave Rose said after the game. "That's really, as a staff, what we are really pleased with. That you take the guy who has really been your anchor, consistent all the way through, and the other team does a really good job of controlling him, but we find some other guys who can make plays and we figure out a way to win."
That the Cougars were playing perhaps the worst team in the WCC had something to do with it. Tough to imagine the Cougars getting a win at Gonzaga, St. Mary's, or maybe even San Francisco if Hartsock shoots that poorly.
The Cougars will practice today and Wednesday at the Marriott Center, then take on Loyola Marymount on Thursday in Provo.
Here are a couple more comments from Rose and Brock Zylstra, the game's leading scorer with 17 points, after Monday's game:
Rose on Brock's shooting early in the second half and start of second half:
"For us, it seemed like it was a little bit different all night because our post guys the last two or three games scored so consistently. San Diego was determined not to let that happen. So we had to find other ways to score.
Craig [Cusick] comes out and scores eight, Brock gets 17, Charles [Abouo] gets ... 14. We were really depending on our guards to score for us, and they came out and answered the bell."
Rose on the timeout before Brock hit the three just before halftime:
"We drew up a play for a man [defense], against man-to-man. We had a secondary play if they jumped into a zone. They jumped into that zone with about 15 seconds left and Matt did exactly what he was supposed to do, some off that screen, and if the guard sucks in on him, he passes off to [Brock].
Rose on whether coaches and players notice the atmosphere, arena, etc. once the ball goes up:
"I think that, especially when you are on the road, for me and our staff, we [notice] introductions, what kind of reaction we get as far as people cheering for us. You could tell tonight in introductions that we had some people in the stands.
So you knew when we made positive plays it was going to be a good atmosphere for us. It was a double-challenge here tonight for this group, a young team, relying on a lot of young guys who are playing a lot of minutes. Not only it is a road game, but it is the second time we are playing this team. They get another shot at you, they can make adjustments, and I think we responded really well."
Zylstra on the slow start, falling behind 17-12:
"Part of it was we weren't able to practice between our last two games. But just the effort. Last time we played them at home, we came out and we were locked in defensively. Today, it took us awhile to get into it.
But they are a great team. They got great post shooters. No. 40 had like 13 in the first half.
Zylstra on his shooting night:
"I didn't make a shot until 5 seconds left in the first half. It is just a credit to Brandon and Noah getting double-team. That is what happens to them every single game. When teams double team them in the post, someone is open. It happened to be me tonight."
"Yeah. What I think is amazing every time is how many fans we get on the road. We have great fans that follow us where-ever we go. They come out. So that kind of gives us some energy.
But it is different to find energy when it isn't as full as we are used to. But that shouldn't be an excuse for us. We should be able to find it within ourselves to come out every night and play hard."
Zylstra on whether it is just as tough to win on road in WCC as in Mountain West:
"Yeah. These teams are great, and they change up their defenses. It is always hard when you see somebody for the second time. It is hard to beat any team twice in one season. So we kind of made some adjustments and were able to play better in the second half."
Zylstra on Noah's off night:
"I told him today, alright, it is the first game where you didn't shoot the ball well all season. He's been our most consistent player. We call him old reliable. He's out there and he's going to make shots for us.
Tonight wasn't his night, but he doesn't care. He couldn't care less because we won, which is the great thing about him."
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