BYU basketball report card: Carlino, Cougars pull out win over San Francisco
Overall, the Cougar big men really took a beating in this game. San Francisco’s top three bigs combined for 51 points and 26 rebounds, while BYU’s trio tallied just 14 points and 17 rebounds.
Not only did the Dons’ post players score 51 points, they did so on just 32 shot attempts. Eric Mika, Nate Austin and Josh Sharp were bad on defense, looking lost and slow much of the time while committing bad fouls.
Mika, who fouled out, seemed to be as much of a hindrance as a help in the game, as the Cougars were outrebounded in the game by 11 and gave up 16 offensive rebounds to the Dons. Often this season, BYU seems to be a better rebounding team when Mika is not in the game.
Thanks to good shooting by its guards and bad shooting by its opponent’s guards, BYU was able to win despite its frontcourt being outplayed Thursday night.
The best thing Rose did versus San Francisco was stick with Carlino for 27 of the final 32 minutes in the game. He also stuck with the man-to-man defense, which cut down the Dons’ 3-point attempts. This was key since the Dons made 50 percent of the threes they did take (5-of-10).
If someone would have told Rose before the game that his team would have twice as many turnovers as assists and give up 16 offensive rebounds while getting outrebounded by 11 overall, he probably would have said they would need to shoot 60 percent to win.
What he couldn’t have guessed is that the Cougars would get 37 free-throw attempts and make 28 of them (75.7 percent).
Against the Dons, the Cougars were essentially what they’ve been all season: a guard-dominated team with major depth, consistency and foul trouble issues in the frontcourt; a bad offensive team in the half court; a team that plays soft defense; a team with wild fluctuations in minute distribution; and a team that has to shoot the ball really well to win.
SAN FRANCISCO OVERALL
San Francisco is a rugged group with surprising athleticism. The Dons had a nice three-game stretch to begin January, beating Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine and Pacific. They certainly look capable of competing to be the fourth-best team in the WCC.
Senior forward Cole Dickerson is a skilled player down low who averages 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He was a monster versus BYU.
The Cougars are lucky senior point guard Cody Doolin, probably the Dons’ best player, decided to quit the team after just four games this season. If he had been around, the Cougars would have had a tough time winning this game with the way they played.
Nate Gagon is a published sports, music and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free-throw line and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or @nategagon.
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