MILWAUKEE — Oregon coach Dana Altman knows how valuable Kyle Collinsworth is to BYU.
Collinsworth, who underwent surgery on the torn ACL in his right knee Tuesday, could only watch helplessly on television as BYU fell to the Ducks, 87-68, at the Bradley Center in the NCAA tournament.
“We had a heck of a game at our place (in December) and the difference was Collinsworth not being in there, because he is really a talented guy and does a lot of things for them,” Altman said. “It was a benefit for us that he wasn’t able to play.”
The Cougars certainly could have used Collinsworth’s ability to score, rebound, pass and defend against the Ducks. Collinsworth is BYU's second-leading scorer, and, entering the week, he led the team in rebounds and assists.
“It’s different when you play every game with a dude, then he’s not there in a tournament game,” said guard Matt Carlino. “We obviously missed him out there, especially with no games played without him. It’s tough to come in here and try to figure it out on the go. It’s tough not playing without one of your starters. We threw a lot of lineups out there in the first half, trying to catch our rhythm. But when you’re without a guy like (Collinsworth), it’s tough to catch a rhythm.”
BYU guard Tyler Haws said that despite not having Collinsworth, the Cougars still had opportunities to beat Oregon.
“Kyle, he’s a guy that you can’t replace, and he brings so much to our team, but even with him out, I thought we had chances to win this game,” Haws said. “We cut it to three, and I thought we had momentum and guys stepped up. Even when shots weren’t falling, they stayed in, mentally. So even with him out, I’m proud of the way we fought and thought we had our chance.”
3-POINT SHOOTING WOES: In four postseason games — West Coast Conference tournament and the NCAA tournament combined — BYU hit only 11-of-56 shots (19.6 percent) from 3-point territory.
“Throughout the game (against Oregon), we missed shots we usually make,” Carlino said. “Throughout tournament play, conference play and again today, we didn’t make shots we usually make. (Oregon is) a tough team. They probably had a lot to do with that.”
Overall from the floor, BYU didn’t shoot well Thursday (20-of-61).
“We shot 33 percent from the field and we’re a much better shooting team than that,” said coach Dave Rose. “You’ve got to give Oregon credit for how they contested us.”
NOTES: Thursday concluded BYU’s 28th NCAA tournament appearance. The Cougars have posted a 15-31 record in the tournament. Oregon had a season-high 49 points off the bench. Carlino has moved ahead of Noah Hartsock into 28th place on BYU’S all-time career-scoring list. Forward Eric Mika set a new school record for offensive rebounds in a season with 92. The old record was Rafael Araujo, who had 91 in 2002-03.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company