Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
BYU basketball: Cougars look to get themselves right during homestand
WCC basketball » BYU plays next four games at Marriott Center.
First Published Jan 26 2014 04:12 pm • Last Updated Jan 27 2014 04:06 pm

Provo • BYU’s basketball team didn’t lose to Gonzaga 84-69 on Saturday night because it was the Cougars’ fourth straight road game, or because they lost their legs in the second half after going three overtimes with Portland 48 hours before the showdown at The Kennel.

Gonzaga handled the basketball better, shot better and defended better. Right now, coach Mark Few’s team is simply better than the Cougars and any other team in the West Coast Conference, especially at home.

At a glance

Pacific at BYU

Thursday, 7 p.m.

TV » BYUtv

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

About the only statistical category that went BYU’s way was rebounding, as the Cougars gathered seven more boards. They had 10 more offensive rebounds and stayed reasonably close until the final 10 minutes by getting 14 second-chance points to Gonzaga’s two.

That said, the Cougars (5-4, 13-9) are happy the grueling two-week stretch is over. It started well enough, with wins at San Francisco and Santa Clara, but came crashing to earth in the second half against the Zags. That’s when the Cougars struggled to make easy shots and appeared disinterested in playing defense. Gonzaga shot 64.3 percent in the second half and scored 49 points.

"It has been a tough stretch," coach Dave Rose said. "When you play eight of your last 11 games on the road, it is hard on the team, and it is hard on our coaches. The key now is to regroup and get that fight back and start the second half of league and see if we can get back on a winning streak."

The second half of league play for BYU starts Thursday at the Marriott Center against WCC newcomer Pacific (7 p.m., BYUtv). It is the beginning of a four-game home stretch for BYU, as the first half of league play featured six roadies and just three home games.

Overall, it is the season of discontent for WCC coaches, who all have legitimate gripes with the quirky, nonsensical and unbalanced schedule the league office put together this year.

"I do know that we have played everyone except Pacific and Saint Mary’s, so I have had a chance to talk to six of the other coaches," Rose said after the Gonzaga loss when the topic came up. "And all of them would vote for a more balanced schedule. But we don’t control that, so you are probably asking the wrong guy."

Besides, Rose clearly has more pressing concerns, starting with that semicircle 20 feet, 9 inches from the basket known as the 3-point line. In their four WCC road losses, the Cougars made just 15 of 56 3-point attempts (27 percent). Opponents made 45 of 86 (52 percent).

Gonzaga almost made more 3-pointers (10) than BYU attempted (11) on Saturday night and outscored the Cougars 30-6 from there. The WCC is a 3-point shooting league, has some of the best 3-point shooters in the country and leads the nation in 3-point field goal percentage. But the Cougars didn’t get the memo: They have shot 200 fewer 3-pointers — an average of about nine per game — than their opponents.


story continues below
story continues below

Maybe getting a few home games will help.

"It is always nice to get back home, and play in front of our home crowd," said Tyler Haws, who had a decent game with 23 points after getting held to just one point at the McCarthey Athletic Center last year. "But these road games are big, and every game is important. It just hurts that we couldn’t get one win [over the weekend]."

drew@sltrib.com

Twitter: @drewjay



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.