Provo • There were no issues of any kind Wednesday night for the BYU Cougars in their last of three exhibition games before the 2017-18 season.
Sharpshooting guard Zac Seljaas led five Cougars in double figures with 19 points and BYU blasted NCAA Division III Colorado College 95-35 at the Marriott Center to finish 3-0 in exhibition play. Having struggled a bit last week with Division II Westminster College, the Cougars barely broke a sweat in throttling the lower-division Tigers.
“I thought it was a well-played game on our part. I thought we were really dialed in together as a group on both ends of the floor,” said BYU coach Dave Rose. “When you play a 40-minute game and score 95 points and only turn the ball over six times, that’s a good sign.”
Sophomore Yoeli Childs added 11 points and 17 rebounds, TJ Haws added 13 points and Elijah Bryant 12 as BYU shot 51.6 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle 55-24.
With Rose having said that troubled guard Nick Emery will not play again until his eligibility issues are resolved, the coach started a lineup of Seljaas, Bryant, Haws, Childs and junior center Luke Worthington. Haws started at point guard, and junior college transfer Jahshire Hardnett relieved him and had 11 points in 18 minutes.
“Right now, I think those are the guys that are ready for the majority [of the minutes],” Rose said.
It gets real on Saturday, and the competition level rises significantly, when BYU hosts Mississippi Valley State (7 p.m., BYUtv) in the season opener, which is why the coach announced earlier Wednesday that juniors Bryant and Worthington will be the team captains.
Storm clouds have already formed on the horizon with Emery’s eligibility issues and injuries to big men Ryan Andrus (knee) and Braiden Shaw (ankle). The three players watched Wednesday’s game from behind the bench in street clothes.
Leadership from the players will be huge this season, Rose said, due to the aforementioned struggles and the roster having no seniors.
“I am excited about these two guys, because I think it will be a good combination, as far as their experience is concerned,” Rose said. “And they are both guys that are team, program-oriented guys. That can be a real thing for us with those two leaders being that way.”
Rose called Worthington “ a natural leader” and a “well-rounded” person who “understands a lot more than just basketball, and I think the guys can learn from his experience.”
He said Bryant, who played his freshman season at Elon University in North Carolina, has similar leadership qualities.
“He’s gone through a really difficult injury, where he had to sit and watch. I think that experienced helped him,” Rose said.
Rose said the players voted on the captains, but he asked them to only consider upperclassmen.
Worthington played in 64 games in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and Bryant played in 23 games last season while battling a knee injury. He sat out the 2015-16 season after transferring from Elon, where he was the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year in 2014-15.
“I am really excited that I have been able to garner some respect of my teammates,” Worthington said. “More than anything it is a position to influence other guys for good.”
Bryant, who also grabbed nine rebounds and had three assists Wednesday, said he is honored to have gained his teammates’ trust.
“I am going to teach the young guys the ropes,” he said.
• The Cougars put the defensive clamps on the NCAA Division III school to finish 3-0 in exhibition play.
• Five players reach double figures in scoring, led by Zac Seljaas with 19.
• BYU hosts Mississippi Valley State in its season opener on Saturday.