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BYU basketball: Cougars will try to cut down turnovers

Published: Thursday, Nov. 17 2011 9:45 p.m. MST

BYU's Brandon Davies, right, spins on BYU-Hawaii's Brady Hurst and puts the ball up and in as BYU takes care of business against BYU-Hawaii in the home-opener at the Marriott Center.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

PROVO — Two games into the regular season, the BYU basketball team has room for improvement. While coach Dave Rose was happy with the way his team started the year offensively, it was the defensive effort that impressed him in its last game against BYU-Hawaii, with the offense struggling a bit to close it out.

Against Longwood he hopes to have a more complete effort.

"We're a work in progress. We have a lot of things to get better at," he said.

One of the things he'd like to see improve is turnovers. BYU committed 22 turnovers against BYU-Hawaii which were a couple more than what they had against Utah State.

"One of the most important things is to continue to play fast, and we have to take care of the ball — we can't turn over the ball as much," said Rose. "We had some careless turnovers in transition and a lot of that comes from guys maybe trying to do too much."

Front and center in the turnover department is the point guard position, with starting PG Brock Zylstra accounting for five turnovers in each of the last two games.

Granted that Zylstra is playing out of position, and making good strides despite the turnover issues. Against Longwood, fans very well may see some changes in the point-guard rotation.

"I think you'll see more guys play at that position," said Rose. "I think that Brock has done a really good job with what we've asked him to do, but there are some other guys that we've been practicing — we'll give them a shot too."

MORE ON LONGWOOD: BYU will be facing a Longwood team that likes to play a similar style that BYU does in pushing the basketball as much as possible. They average 81.3 points and are 1-2 on the year.

"We've seen them play a couple of times on film," said Rose. "It's a great group of seniors — all five guys are seniors. They've played together quite a bit. Their point guard is a terrific scorer. They average 81 points a game and that's a team that knows how to play together and a team that knows how to score, so that will be our challenge."

JIMMER BACK: BYU great Jimmer Fredette took the Marriot Center hardwood with the team, helping them practice, but otherwise just giving himself the opportunity to play with the NBA locked out.

"Everybody (NBA players) is looking for a place to play," said Rose.

"Hopefully they can get that thing resolved so those guys can get back to playing."

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

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