BYU trying to move on from Pacific loss; Fischer sustains shoulder stinger in practice
Scott G Winterton,
PROVO — BYU suffered its worst loss of the year last Saturday with a 77-72 setback to Pacific at the Marriott Center.
Then early during Tuesday’s practice, things got even tougher when guard Chase Fischer sustained what coach Dave Rose called “a little stinger on his shoulder.”
Fischer left practice and was scheduled to be evaluated by a doctor Tuesday night.
“We’ll see how serious it is,” Rose said. “Not the way you want to start practice. We’ll know more (Wednesday).”
The Cougars visit San Francisco Thursday (8 p.m., MST, BYUtv).
Despite the mystifying loss to Pacific, Rose said practices this week have been “high-spirited” and productive.
“There’s a lot of different ways that guys can respond to disappointments in life,” Rose said. "I thought our guys had a good practice and hopefully we have a good resolve going into this game on Thursday.”
When asked what he and his teammates learned from that defeat to Pacific, a team that has won only seven games all year, guard Nick Emery said, “I think we kind of overlooked them. That was the No. 1 thing. As bad as their record was, they just outplayed us. Those types of games you can’t let slide by. We let it slide by. We obviously learned a big lesson that you can’t let any game go.”
Did the Cougars underestimate Pacific?
“That definitely plays a factor,” said forward Corbin Kaufusi. “As much as you want to say, we’re not going to overlook them, we’re going to play them for the team they are, and they’re a good team, in the subconscious, it comes out a little bit.”
Since the loss, Emery said, his team is more determined.
“There’s been a greater sense of urgency with all of us to understand that we’re in a position where we’re fighting now. We’re battling to get into the (NCAA) tournament and to win the WCC tournament. Every game we’ve just got to get better and improve.”
SAN FRANCISCO WARRIORS?: BYU defeated San Francisco on Jan. 9 at home, 102-92. The Cougars are expecting another high-scoring game Thursday, and Rose compared the Dons' style of play to that of the best team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors.
“It’s a good team, a really good offensive team,” Rose said. “They scored 92 on us (in Provo) last time we played them. It seems like they get better and better. They have a four-guard system. Personnel-wise they don’t look like Golden State but they sure play a lot like Golden State. The have guys that can shoot 3’s and they’re a good rebounding team for an undersized group, really athletic.”
Devin Watson averages a team-high 19.8 points per game for the Dons and Tim Derksen averages 15.5.
“I think we want to do a lot better on defense. That’s one of our focuses this week,” Kaufusi said. “We are a good defensive team and we’ve got to keep them from scoring as many points as they did last time.”
INJURY UPDATE: Freshman guard Zac Seljaas has been battling a shoulder injury the past couple of weeks. While he played last week, he’s not completely healthy.
“He’s back to practicing 100 percent of the time but that’s because he’s a tough kid,” Rose said. “He’s fighting through it. It’s getting better. It’s still bruised and that’s a good sign, though, because of the healing. But he’s not 100 percent yet. We need him to be, quickly.”
BYU’s depth on the guard line is being tested, with injuries to Seljaas and Fischer. Earlier this season, guard Cory Calvert announced that he was transferring and guard Jake Toolson left the team for health reasons.
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