These three stages are risky business by Rose, but a game plan he counted on. Neither Gonzaga nor St. Mary's has "fiddled" this way, yet the Cougars' 18.6 assists per game ranks fifth nationally. That speaks to a lot of teamwork, albeit with disrupted chemistry.
I'd say BYU's point guard experiment cost the Cougars at least two of their three losses: The USU loss for sure. Wisconsin simply shot BYU out of the gym. In the Baylor loss, if Carlino had started all season, he likely would have made more plays. If Carlino had made fewer mistakes against the No. 7 Bears in the Marriott Center, maybe they wouldn't have lost by three.
Carlino's impact has been immediate — the very reason Rose is giving him the most minutes, second only to Noah Hartsock. He needs oven time. He is BYU's second-leading scorer, averages six assists a game, shoots .456 from the field and .500 from beyond the arc.
Could it be said Carlino — his successful development or struggles — could be the biggest factor in the outcome of the WCC race? If Carlino fast tracks it, can he pull even with, cancel out or surpass point guards at St. Mary's or Gonzaga?
Boy, that would be a stretch.
Or is it?
Rose seems to think it may not be so farfetched. As Fredette proved, a single point guard can have a tremendous impact on the nine other players on a court.
Carlino has definitely become BYU's own X-factor — even without playing in November and most of December.
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