BYU men's basketball: Coach Dave Rose continually evaluating Cougars' starting lineup
PROVO — Before last Saturday's 96-79 victory over Santa Clara at the Marriott Center, BYU coach Dave Rose decided to shake up his starting lineup a little bit.
Now, as the Cougars (18-6, 8-2) prepare to go on the road for a showdown with San Diego Thursday (8 p.m. MST, BYUtv), Rose said he will continue to evaluate his starting lineup.
Against the Broncos, guard Anson Winder started in place of forward Josh Sharp. While Winder did not attempt a shot in 12 minutes of play, Sharp came off the bench to score 14 points and grab six rebounds.
"Josh was terrific," Rose said. "He gave us a huge lift in the first half."
In the win at Santa Clara a few weeks ago, Winder turned in a strong performance both offensively and defensively. He scored 10 points and had four rebounds in 14 minutes.
Saturday marked Winder's first start of the season, and it was the first time Rose had tinkered with his starting lineup since late December.
BYU's other starters were highly productive against Santa Clara. Matt Carlino scored a season-high 28 points and had six assists while Tyler Haws chipped in 24 points and five assists. Brandon Davies had 16 points, to go along with 11 rebounds, and Brock Zylstra recorded eight points and eight boards.
Rose explained that Saturday's lineup change wasn't necessarily intended to be a long-term change.
"We'll take a look at it. Mainly, it was for this game. We wanted to create a little more space, get Brock on the perimeter. Maybe that would create more space for Brandon in the post," Rose said. "How we go forward, we'll take a look at San Diego and we'll figure it out. I think our (players) are really dialed into nine guys that can probably start. We have to figure out what works best for our group each night."
Meanwhile, San Diego (11-12, 4-4) threw a major scare into No. 7 Gonzaga Saturday night. Zags guard David Stockton scored with 55.9 seconds remaining as Gonzaga survived the upset bid by the Toreros at Jenny Craig Pavilion, 65-63.
San Diego, led by guard Johnny Dee's game-high 21 points, led Gonzaga, 57-53, with 7½ minutes remaining but couldn't knock off the Zags.
Including Thursday's game, the Cougars will have played four of their past five contests on the road.
"Our travel's been pretty tough for the last three weeks or so," Rose said.
But after playing the Toreros, BYU will have three consecutive home games — against San Francisco (next Saturday), Portland (Feb. 16) and Utah State (Feb. 19).
But first comes the trip to San Diego.
"Road wins are always tough to get. It's always a good win when you get it on the road," said Davies. "We love playing at home. We love playing in front of our fans. We kind of get a little extra energy, but we need to carry that on the road as we go play San Diego."
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