PROVO — BYU sophomore guard Matt Carlino was candid while assessing his performance in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic over the weekend.
"I played awful," he said after the Cougars' 78-68 setback to No. 20 Notre Dame Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Carlino made just 1-of-14 shots from the floor in losses to Florida State and the Fighting Irish.
As a team, BYU shot in the 30s in those pair of defeats and allowed its opponents to shoot over 50 percent.
Coach Dave Rose knows there's plenty of work to do as the Cougars return home and regroup.
"There are quite a few things we can learn from this tournament," he said. "Most of them are things we need to correct. We didn't play our best basketball here. Hopefully our guys will learn from this. There's a lot of things we need to do. It's not on one guy. We need better point guard play, we need better post play, we need better wing play. When we get better at those three spots, our team will get better."
That pretty much covers it.
"Our players and coaches feel fortunate to be a participant in the tournament," Rose added. "If you ask all of our guys, they'd tell you they're disappointed in the outcome of the games. But it's a good learning experience for us. We have a lot of work to do to get better."
BYU will be back at the Marriott Center Wednesday (7 p.m. MST, BYUtv) when it hosts UT-San Antonio.
Certainly the Cougars missed out on an opportunity to strengthen their NCAA tournament resume over the weekend. But BYU is hoping that playing tough teams early in the season will be a benefit in the long run.
"There are positives you can take from this whole experience," said guard Tyler Haws, who poured in 44 points in the two games in Brooklyn. "These are great teams we were playing against. It's a long season, and we've got to get better."
"This tournament helped us understand what we need to work on, what we need to do on the road," said backup center Ian Harward. "At home, we played really well. But on the road we need to bring that same intensity with us."
One of the main storylines of the weekend for BYU was foul trouble. Forward Brandon Davies played a total of 39 minutes in the games against FSU and Notre Dame. Picking up early fouls significantly limited Davies' playing time.
With Davies out, the Cougars' depth was severely tested. Before the season began, BYU lost two big men, Chris Collinsworth and Stephen Rogers, with career-ending injuries.
To make matters worse, forward Nate Austin suffered an injured ankle against Florida State, though he managed to play 11 minutes, and score four points, against the Irish.
That opened an opportunity for Harward, who scored seven points in the first half against Notre Dame in place of a foul-plagued Davies.
"That's probably one of the positives of the two nights," Rose said. "We had some guys come in and get some minutes that we're going to really need soon. We keep talking about increasing the depth of our team. That needs to happen fairly quickly. We can't keep waiting for guys to come in and play well."8 comments on this story
Harward was happy to be able to contribute, but he wasn't happy with the outcome last weekend.
"Obviously, it's disappointing," he said. "We work hard every day and we've been working hard for the last three months. It just didn't go our way. We'll go back, work hard and the team will get together to do everything we can to come up with some wins."
Carlino said there were a few positives from the weekend in Brooklyn.
"(Haws) played really well. Brandon played well when he was in. As a team, I don't think we played very well. Myself especially, I played awful. We just have to get better."