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BYU basketball: Brock Zylstra quiets critics with perfect shooting

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 12:16 p.m. MDT

BYU's Brock Zylstra, left, and Brandon Davies celebrate as Brigham Young University defeats University of San Francisco 81-56 in men's basketball  Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, in Provo, Utah.    (Tom Smart, Deseret News) BYU's Brock Zylstra, left, and Brandon Davies celebrate as Brigham Young University defeats University of San Francisco 81-56 in men's basketball Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, in Provo, Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

PROVO — Against Loyola Marymount, starting two-guard Brock Zylstra played some of the quietest 29 minutes of his career, scoring just two points while taking one shot — which he missed. His effort incurred some wrath from Cougar fans on the message boards and elsewhere — calling for a change in the starting lineup or at least a decrease in minutes

At home against San Francisco, it was quite the opposite.

In just 25 minutes of play, Zylstra scored 22 points on 8-for-8 shooting, which included 6-for-6 from 3-point range. His effort from the arc tied a BYU record for consecutive 3-pointers made and is sure to quiet some critics for the time being.

"It was just how the game flowed," Zylstra said on his record-setting performance. "It gives you confidence when you see shot after shot go in for any basketball player. As it kept going in, I kept getting more confident and kept getting the ball from my teammates."

Fans cheer on the team as Brigham Young University plays University of San Francisco in men's basketball  Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, in Provo, Utah.    (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Fans cheer on the team as Brigham Young University plays University of San Francisco in men's basketball Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, in Provo, Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

Zylstra's teammates not only got the ball to him for ideal shooting situations, but to everyone else on a night that saw only two of BYU's 29 made shots go unassisted. As a result, Zylstra was able to spot up and shoot open jumpers instead of trying to create his own shot off the dribble.

According to San Francisco coach Rex Walters, it was perhaps the biggest problem contributing to his team's 81-56 blowout loss.

"We have to make shooters bounce it without leaving our feet and tonight we didn't do that," he said. "(Zylstra) had a lot of catch and shoots and he can make tough ones — he can make fadeaways and he can make them coming off of pin-downs, but we have to be really committed to make a guy who can really shoot, bounce the basketball."

A lot of the open looks Zylstra and others had was the result of consistent double-teams on the low post. The Dons likely redoubled those low-post efforts after Brandon Davies and Noah Hartsock scored the Cougars' first 13 points of the game, leading to more open shots from the perimeter.

BYU's Matt Carlino dribbles past USF's Parris Blackwell as Brigham Young University plays University of San Francisco in men's basketball  Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, in Provo, Utah.    (Tom Smart, Deseret News) BYU's Matt Carlino dribbles past USF's Parris Blackwell as Brigham Young University plays University of San Francisco in men's basketball Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, in Provo, Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

BYU responded well to the increased perimeter opportunities, and it wasn't just Zylstra. BYU finished the half going 7-for-10 from 3-point range and 12-for-19 for the game. Point guard Matt Carlino went 2-for-3 from the arc with Anson Winder, Stephen Rogers, DeMarcus Harrison and Nate Austin each providing a 3-pointer a piece in a collective 4-for-7 effort.

"One thing that I get excited about as a coach is when a player plays like that and teammates continue to find him and get him open looks," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "Our post guys have been so consistent that they're getting a lot of attention. If they get double-teamed it can really help us when our perimeter guys can knock it down."

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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