Provo • When BYU and Santa Clara faced off four weeks ago at Leavey Center, the Broncos didn’t have much of a chance. That’s because the Cougars shot 79 percent in the first half in blazing out to an 18-point halftime lead, and coasted in the final 20 minutes to an easy road win.
The Cougars were 8 of 15 from 3-point range that night.
That’s a far cry from what happened last week, when BYU lost consecutive games for the first time this season. The Cougars shot 21 percent (5 of 24) from the 3-point line in a 76-69 loss at Loyola Marymount and 15 percent (3 of 20) in a 68-60 loss at No. 12 Gonzaga.
“I hope we make more shots,” coach Dave Rose said Wednesday when he was asked how the Cougars can improve in the next few weeks.
Sometimes, it is as simple as that, the coach said.
“I think the one thing that has been consistent with every team we have had here, is that there is a small margin [for error],” Rose said. “There are not a lot of ways that we can play. And we are not a really diverse team. We gotta really stick in those lanes, and stay in those lanes, and be good in those areas, like shooting. And when we are, we have been really successful.”
Rose said after practice Wednesday the Cougars had a shooting drill, “and I just watched 19 balls go through the rim without touching the [rim]. Nineteen in a row. So you just believe that it is going to get better. If you don’t believe that, there’s not much hope.”
BYU entered Thursday’s rematch with the Broncos shooting 36.8 percent from 3-point range.
“It is one of those areas where we have been really good, and that’s shooting the ball from the 3-point line,” Rose said. “And when we aren’t very good in, we struggle. … You just believe that when you have a weekend like that, the next weekend has got to be better.
Seljaas seeking more shots
Sophomore Zac Seljaas said the Cougars spent some extra time shooting in practice the last three days.
“We know we can shoot,” he said. “We have been doing it our whole lives. We have been doing it in high school and everything. It is just a matter of getting out there and knocking them down in a game. We remind ourselves of that and try to get that confidence back again.”
Collinsworth inks deal with Mavericks
After the NBA trading deadline passed Thursday, former BYU guard Kyle Collinsworth signed a three-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. The remainder of this season is guaranteed, with the two years after that team options.
Collinsworth was in his second 10-day contract with the team and had been sent down to the Texas Legends of the G League last week.
“I am happy for him. I am happy for his family,” Rose said. “This is something that Kyle has worked so hard for, and he has kinda had to take a different path. We all should be really, really proud of him. We are proud of him as a program. I think he has a real future in the NBA. I really do.”