Provo • Sophomore Yoeli Childs and junior Elijah Bryant had monster games for BYU last week in the blowout win over Portland and overtime loss to Saint Mary’s.
But that’s not necessarily a comforting thing for coach Dave Rose.
The Cougars need more balance to their offense, Rose acknowledged after practice Tuesday as the Cougars prepared for Thursday’s game at San Francisco.
“We are kinda forcing it offensively, but we are getting [good] results with that,” Rose said. “But I don’t think it can sustain itself long term. We have to get back to where we balance the floor and get a lot of production from a lot of guys.”
In the 74-64 loss to Saint Mary’s, Childs scored 29 points in 41 minutes and Bryant scored 16 in 45 minutes. BYU’s other regular double-digit scorer, sophomore guard TJ Haws, had seven points on 3-for-10 shooting in 40 minutes.
“It would be great to find another couple of guys who can can consistently score for us,” Rose said, noting that Haws, forward Payton Dastrup, point guard Jahshire Hardnett and reserve Zac Seljaas are the obvious candidates. “I think that that has kinda been the focus the last couple days, just being able to get back to the balance that we have had over the course of the year and the last maybe three or four games [before last week].”
Rose has used the same five starters the past 12 games and doesn’t plan to change. Starting center Luke Worthington is averaging four points a game, and scored two in 19 minutes against the Gaels.
“It is our best defensive group to start games, and I think that can change and adjust over the course of a season, but I think right now that is a lineup we are comfortable with starting games,” Rose said.
Still banged up
Neither of the three inside players who are injured or have been injured — Dalton Nixon, Braiden Shaw and Ryan Andrus — are likely to play this week against San Francisco or Pacific, Rose said.
Shaw returned from an ankle injury to play briefly against Portland, but re-sprained it in practice and “it looks like that is going to set him back a little bit,” Rose said.
Nixon, who hasn’t played since Dec. 6 due to a foot injury, is making progress but has not yet been cleared to play.
“I think we are on the right course,” Rose said of Nixon’s return. “It is just a matter of time. But I don’t think he will play this week.”
A returned missionary, Andrus had knee surgery before the season started and hasn’t played yet. He apparently suffered an injury to his other knee that will require more surgery and might be out for the season.
“So we will know when they actually do the procedure if it will be a short period of time or if it will be a situation that will force him probably to redshirt,” Rose said. “We will know that probably in a couple days from now.”
Freshman center Kolby Lee became eligible at the semester break, but Rose said the plan is to redshirt Lee this season, “unless something really changes.”
Thursday’s game at San Francisco will be BYU’s first this season televised by the NBC Sports Network-California. The station can be found on Channel 438 on Dish Network, 698 on DirecTV and 721 on Comcast in Utah. … Hardnett and Dastrup said on Tuesday that a recap of the overtime loss to Saint Mary’s focused on execution issues. “We played hard enough and we played together enough,” Rose said. “We just need to execute better.”
BYU at San Francisco
9 p.m. MST