BYU basketball: Cougars looking to improve its perimeter defense
Young Kwak, AP
PROVO — It’s a pattern that’s repeated itself at an alarming rate for BYU this season.
The Cougars’ perimeter defense has given up a barrage of 3-pointers in multiple games — usually to one particular player.
BYU ranks No. 163 in the country in 3-point percentage defense, as opponents have hit 175 of 517 (33.8 percent) 3-point attempts.
Oregon’s Jason Calliste and Joseph Young each nailed four 3-pointers against the Cougars. Loyola Marymount’s Evan Payne made five; Pepperdine’s Malcolm Brooks knocked down six; Santa Clara’s Jared Brownridge recorded four; Portland’s Bobby Sharp had eight; and Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos drilled six.
It’s something BYU’s coaching staff is addressing.
“We have a plan going in on how we're going to deal with those things and it's just not getting done,” said coach Dave Rose. “Ever since LMU, it has been a pretty high priority and we're getting really, really good games from these guys. Every team that's playing us is playing one of their best games and we've got to figure out a way to respond to it."
Said guard Kyle Collinsworth: “That's a problem we've had all year. We let certain players go off for big games and that's something we've got to figure out as a group. We've got to shut that down as soon as we can and not let players like that go off for big games."
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: At this point of the season, BYU remains ranked in the top 25 in strength of schedule.
The Cougars have losses to three teams that are currently ranked — No. 4 Wichita State (21-0); No. 16 Iowa State (15-3); and No. 21 Massachusetts (17-2).
BYU also lost to then-No. 11 Oregon (14-5), which dropped out of the rankings after five consecutive losses.
But the Cougars did beat Texas (16-4), which wasn’t ranked until recently. The Longhorns are now ranked No. 25.
NOTES: BYU’s Tyler Haws surpassed Michael Smith for ninth all-time in free throws made at BYU Haws also scored 20 points or more in a game for the 42nd time in his career, which is good for fifth in BYU history Haws scored in double figures for the 35th straight game. It is the eighth longest streak ever at BYU Forward Eric Mika also scored in double figures for the 18th time this season and is tied with Fred Roberts for the eighth most double-figure games by a freshman.
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