LOS ANGELES — One of the players that a National Basketball Association scout had his eyes on during Thursday night’s BYU-Loyola Marymount game was Cougar senior guard Kyle Collinsworth.
The scout, who was one of several from teams around the league in attendance, said he thinks Collinsworth has a good shot at making an NBA roster next season.
Collinsworth, who holds the NCAA career triple-double record with nine, “does a little bit of everything,” the scout said before tipoff. “If he gets with the right team, in the right system, he could make an impact (in the NBA).”
While Collinsworth isn’t known for his shooting, “if he can feed the guys who can shoot, he could be valuable,” the scout said. “I like big guards. And I really like the way he competes. He’s a competitor.”
One thing that could work against the 6-6, 215-pound Collinsworth, according to the scout, is his age (24) — he interrupted his career by serving a two-year LDS mission to Russia.
Another BYU player that impressed the scout was senior guard Chase Fischer.
“He can really shoot it,” he said.
RELATIVELY NEW ROLE: Forward Corbin Kaufusi started the first 11 games of the season before being replaced in the starting lineup by Nate Austin.
Austin started his ninth consecutive game Thursday against Loyola Marymount.
But Kaufusi has adjusted to coming off the bench and, in fact, was one of the few reserves that played well last weekend at Portland.
“I think he struggled at first but I think he’s playing well now,” coach Dave Rose said before Thursday’s game. “He had a good weekend on the road, the minutes that he played. As a whole, our bench was not very good. As a group, our bench needs to get better. But Corb is really coming along in that role for him.”
How would Kaufusi sum up his season so far?
“I think it’s a work in progress,” he said. “There are a lot of things I need to work on and some things you need to figure out as the season goes on.”
BLOCK PARTY: BYU has proven to be quite adept at shot blocking this season.
Going into Thursday, Kyle Davis had 27 blocks this season, followed by Kaufusi (20), Collinsworth (12) and Austin (11).
“A lot of it is the size,” Rose said of his team’s shot-blocking ability. “When you’re playing Corbin and Nate together, they both have good timing and are good shot-blockers. Some of it is just the makeup of what we’re doing defensively. We would be better defensive team if we weren’t blocking so many shots. That means guys wouldn’t be coming through the lane getting through those areas. But the back line is doing a really good job of protecting the rim at times.”