Provo • In his collegiate basketball debut on Saturday against Baylor, BYU point guard Matt Carlino, the transfer from UCLA, lived up to expectations, coach Dave Rose said after practice on Monday.
As a result, the 6-foot-3 left-hander will "probably" be in the starting lineup Tuesday night when the 8-3 Cougars play host to 6-2 Buffalo at the Marriott Center (7 p.m., BYUtv). Carlino will replace Craig Cusick, who will become his backup.
Another part-time point guard, Anson Winder, will move back to his "normal position" on the wing, Rose said.
Carlino "played pretty much how we hoped he would play," Rose said of the transfer's 18-point performance. "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."
The injury bug bit the Cougars again in practice, though. Less than a week after wing Stephen Rogers suffered a torn meniscus in practice, freshman Damarcus Harrison went down Monday with a sprained ankle.
Rose said trainers told him it is not a serious sprain and that Harrison could possibly play against the Bison, depending on overnight swelling.
"It is kind of a delicate situation about how hard you practice, to avoid injury," Rose said. " I'm 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."
The Cougars beat Buffalo 90-82 in New York last year in the first-ever meeting between the schools, and they know the Bison are capable of springing the upset in Provo on Tuesday.
Javon McCrea leads Buffalo in scoring with a 17-point average and will be perhaps the most aggressive low-post player the Cougars will face this season.
"It is hard to stop him from getting his shot. It will be a challenge for us," Rose said. "Hopefully we can use our size."
After the Bison visit on Tuesday, the Cougars will play host to red-hot UC Santa Barbara on Thursday.
"This is a tough stretch of games for us," Rose said.
Buffalo at BYU
P At the Marriott Center, Provo
Tipoff • 7 p.m.
TV • BYUtv
Radio • 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
Records • BYU 8-3, Buffalo 6-2
Series history • BYU leads, 1-0
Last meeting • BYU 90, Buffalo 82 (Dec. 30, 2010)
About the Cougars • They lead the West Coast Conference in four categories scoring offense, field-goal percentage, 3-point field-goal percentage and blocked shots. â¦ Noah Hartsock continues to lead the team in scoring with a 17.1 average.
About the Bison • They have not played since beating Youngstown State 80-72 on Dec. 10. â¦ Their losses were to St. Bonaventure (66-60) and Princeton (61-53). â¦ Three players score in double figures, Javon McCrea (16.8 ppg.), Zach Filzen (16.1 ppg.) and Mitchell Watt (14.0). â¦ Filzen has made 31 3-pointers.