Jason Olson, Deseret News
It's becoming evident who will get most of the minutes in BYU coach Dave Rose's rotation.
But it's not clear who is going to start the Cougars' games, who is going to start the second halves and who is going to finish.
Through two exhibitions and two regular-season games, Rose has already used a variety of starting lineups, a variety of substitution patterns and a variety of lineups to close games.
"We're going to play a lot of guys," Rose said. "And I want to make sure we get the best combination for the first four or five minutes, and the best combination for the next four or five minutes, and from there you usually decide who plays by who is playing well. So we'll figure that out here in the next couple of weeks."
Expect even more lineup testing tonight when the Cougars tip off for a late Mountain Time (10 p.m.) game in Hawaii with the Rainbow Warriors.
"It's a big trip for us, and we look forward to playing a very good Hawaii team," Rose said.
So far, only two players — guards Jackson Emery and Jimmer Fredette — have been immune from beginning a game or a half on the bench. Both Chris Miles and Brandon Davies have started at center. Jonathan Tavernari, Charles Abouo, Tyler Haws and Noah Hartsock have started a half at forward. Off the bench, Rose has gone mostly to Davies, Haws, Hartsock, Abouo and guard Michael Loyd Jr.
"When we bring those guys in off the bench and they give us a lift and make us better, that's a good sign for our club," Rose said.
Foul trouble, matchups and game tempo have determined, and usually will determine, his substitution rotation and who plays the most minutes. Rose said the battle for playing time has kept practices intense and competitive.
"But we can't keep shuffling it around forever. We've got to figure it out ... I don't want to get into a situation where guys are wondering every night how many minutes they are going to get," he said.
Junior swingman Logan Magnusson, senior guard Lamont Morgan Jr., , sophomore center James Anderson and freshman swingman Brock Zylstra appear to be the ones facing the biggest challenge to get on the court.
Those four fall into that category of players whose minutes could be minimal on many nights, and then be called on to contribute significantly another night — depending on the game tempo, foul trouble and matchups.
"Their attitude will determine the chemistry of your team. Those are the players that I spend a lot of time with, and I really look forward to how they respond because that's a tough role to be in, but it's a role that every team has to have," Rose said.
"... Guys have to respond positively to how all that works out."
GAME NOTES: Tonight's game will be the 44th meeting between BYU and Hawaii, but the last was in 1999 when both teams were members of the Western Athletic Conference. The Cougars lead the series 30-13, and have a 10-8 mark in Honolulu. The two teams will play again next season in Provo. ... Coach Dave Rose, in only his 134th game as BYU's head coach, goes for his 100th win tonight. If he gets it, he'll reach the 100-win mark nine games faster than the previous quickest mark set by Roger Reid. ... Junior guard Jimmer Fredette has scored 25 and 22 points in BYU's two wins, respectively, and the Cougars have won eight straight games in which Fredette has reached the 20-point mark.
Cougars on the air
BYU (2-0) at Hawaii (2-1)
Today, 10 p.m.
Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
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