I’ve tried hard not to stay down and to just work. I think that hard work is starting to pay off now, but I just need to keep working and playing like I know I can play. —Raul Delgado, BYU guard
PROVO — Junior college transfers are often expected to provide immediate contributions, but it doesn’t always work out that way. BYU coach Dave Rose has seen his share of JC transfers pass through his program with varying degrees of success. Some are instant hits, some take time, while others don’t work out so well.
JC transfers Raul Delgado and Agustin Ambrosino haven’t provided instant hits, but there’s indication that both will work out fine. Both players provided key contributions in BYU’s big road win against Weber State and are brimming with confidence as a result.
A few weeks back, Rose mentioned that Delgado was struggling with his confidence, but the first-year player has kept his nose to the grindstone.
“I’ve tried hard not to stay down and to just work,” Delgado said. “I think that hard work is starting to pay off now, but I just need to keep working and playing like I know I can play.”
Rose has preached to Delgado that there’s a hump every new player needs to get over and the timetable for doing so varies.
“I think I got a bit behind with my shot being out two months with my hurt elbow and I think that affected some of my confidence,” Delgado said. “I’m starting to feel good though and I feel my shot coming back and I think that helps me with everything.”
Delgado feels that he’s working out a role for himself on the team and is anxious to simply help out.
“It’s frustrating when you’re not helping like you know you can, but I’m starting to play like I know I can and that’s what this team needs,” he said. “Everyone needs to play at their best for us to be as good as we can be and right now I feel I can really help on the defensive end and come off the bench to provide some energy.”
Delgado hopes to reprise his role as an energizer off the bench when the Cougars take on Eastern New Mexico Tuesday night at the Marriott Center. The Greyhounds have a 5-5 record and a high-scoring backcourt led by leading scorer Rodney Blackmon.
BYU will match up with Eastern New Mexico’s backcourt using Craig Cusick and Matt Carline, both of whom Rose plans to start for the next little while.
“I think for now that we’re comfortable with (Cusick and Carlino starting),” Rose said. “I think the competition on the team (during practice) will really prove who actually starts on the weekend.”
Cougars and Greyhounds on the air
Eastern New Mexico (5-5) at BYU (7-3)
Tuesday, 7 p.m. MST
Marriott Center, Provo
Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM