BYU basketball: Coach Dave Rose has high hopes for Cougars' point guard combo of Carlino and Collinsworth
PROVO — BYU basketball coach Dave Rose is looking for more consistency out of the point guard position.
While 6-foot-2 junior Matt Carlino returns for next season, Rose welcomes back 6-6 sophomore Kyle Collinsworth, who recently completed a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Russia.
According to Rose, both will play the point in 2013-14. He said that there will be many times when Carlino and Collinsworth are on the court together. While Carlino and Collinsworth have different strengths and different styles, Rose said they will complement each other.
"If we can blend those two together and get them playing and working together," Rose said, "there could be a unique guard line combination that we haven't seen here for a few years."
Last season, the streaky Carlino had games where he knocked down clutch shots and scored and dished out assists in bunches. He also experienced prolonged shooting slumps and had stretches where he turned over the ball too much.
"After a year and a half with Matt, he has a lot of options in his game," Rose said. "The most important thing for us as a staff is to expand on those, not limit them. Sometimes coaches want to ratchet down a guy and get him into a spot where he can help us. With Matt, I'd like to do just the opposite. I'd like to expand his game and have him be more confident in his ability to run the point, play some minutes off the ball, and ... progress in transition, half-court sets, and the pick-and-roll.
"Kyle will be a great complement to Matt, because Kyle has all those qualities. The parts of his game that he needs to expand are different from the parts of Matt's game."
Carlino averaged 11.5 points, 4.8 assists and 2.7 turnovers per game last season. He shot 40 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from 3-point range.
Collinsworth played considerable minutes as a freshman on the 2010-11 team. Led by Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery, that squad reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
As a freshman, the versatile Collinsworth played a variety of positions. He started 27 games and averaged 25.7 minutes, 5.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 turnovers. Collinsworth shot 48 percent from the floor and 26 percent from 3-point territory.
Rose is excited about the prospect of having Collinsworth and Carlino play together.
"Some of my best teams in junior college, we played three point guards at the same time," said Rose, recalling the days when he coached at Dixie State. "They were capable of playing the point, but they also had so much to their games that made it really difficult to defend them.
"Kyle's natural ability with the ball in his hand is as good as we've had here for a long time. He was the backup point guard Jimmer's senior year, so he didn't play a lot of minutes at that position. But it's something that he's really comfortable at, and I'm looking forward to working with both of those guys."
In addition to having Carlino, Collinsworth and leading scorer Tyler Haws in the backcourt next season, three other guards are joining the program — junior college transfer Skyler Halford, freshman Frank Bartley and transfer Chase Fischer.
Fischer, who played two seasons at Wake Forest, will not be eligible until the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Halford and Bartley, who both have experience playing point guard, will be eligible this season.
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