BYU basketball: Cougars enter WCC home stretch by hosting Pepperdine
Provo • It's been a sleepy week for the BYU basketball team, which hasn't played since last week and welcomes one of the West Coast Conference's worst teams, Pepperdine, into the Marriott Center on Saturday.
The Waves (8-16, 2-11 WCC) are coming off a 70-57 home loss to San Diego on Thursday night in a game played in front of a whopping 747 fans, and fell to the Cougars 77-64 on Jan. 21 in front of 3,104 at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Suffice it to say there will be a few more people than that at Saturday's 4 p.m. tipoff as the Cougars (20-6, 8-3) come off the midweek bye and enter the home stretch of their WCC regular-season schedule.
"We are excited for this game, especially after a week off. We are ready to come back and start playing," said BYU's leading scorer, Noah Hartsock.
Will the fans come back, after 22,700 packed the place for the loss to Saint Mary's and 19,257 returned for the big win over Gonzaga?
Coach Dave Rose isn't concerning himself with that. He's more concerned with figuring out how to replace Brock Zylstra (sprained ankle) if the junior shooting guard can't play he's listed as questionable and getting the Cougars out of their 3-point shooting slump.
Pepperdine held the Cougars to 2-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc in Malibu in January, but the Waves were torched inside as BYU center Brandon Davies scored a career-high 29 points, including 15-for-18 shooting from the free-throw line.
Rose said the Cougars spent a lot of time getting shots up in practices the past few days in an attempt to improve upon their 3-point shooting (17 for 101) the past six games.
"I believe that any player who gets himself into a situation where he is not where [he] wants to be, then you spend more time, [use] more repetition," Rose said. "You believe the next one is going in. What we really dwell on is the ones we make. And that's the way we play. And I believe we will make a lot more."
Pepperdine at BYU
P At Marriott Center (Provo)
Tipoff • 4 p.m.
TV • BYUtv, Fox Sports West
Radio • 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
Records • BYU 20-6, 8-3; Pepperdine 8-16, 2-11
Series • BYU leads 5-4
Last meeting • BYU, 77-64 (Jan. 21)
About the Cougars • They haven't played since crushing Portland 79-60 last Saturday at Chiles Center. â¦ They are averaging 79.2 points per game, most in the West Coast Conference. â¦ They have made just 17 of their past 101 3-pointers, but are still shooting 35.1 percent from beyond the arc. â¦ They have won 20 or more games for seven straight seasons.
About the Waves • They are coming off a 70-57 home loss to San Diego on Thursday night. ... Former Utah assistant Marty Wilson is in his first year as the Waves' head coach. â¦ Senior center Corbin Moore is averaging a team-best 8.6 rebounds per game. â¦ Senior forward Taylor Darby is the only player averaging in double figures at 11.9 ppg.