BYU basketball report card: Star guards devastate the Cardinal defense

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 12 2013 9:51 a.m. MST

A total of 215 points is a lot in any basketball game. In a 40-minute college game, it is nearly unheard of.

Fortunately for BYU fans, the Cougars scored 112 of those points in a memorable road win over the Stanford Cardinal on ESPN 2 Monday night, winning 112-103 in a contest that wasn’t that close. The Cougar offense was about as good as it gets, putting up nearly three points per minute — at a rate that would equate to 134 points in an NBA game.

BYU started hot and stayed that way as guards Kyle Collinsworth, Matt Carlino and Tyler Haws took turns controlling the game, with contributions at key times from big men Eric Mika and Nate Austin, and steady play off the bench from guards Anson Winder and Frank Bartley IV. The Cougar defense was not exactly a stone wall, as evidenced by the scoreboard, but BYU had spurts of aggressive takeaway defense that were sufficient to take over the game.

It was the kind of road win against a power conference team that, more often than not, has escaped BYU. Stanford has been an underachieving program the last few years, having not made the NCAA Tournament since 2008. Since 2010 in particular, however, the Cardinal has had great success in recruiting, and this is the year many expect that recruiting to finally pay off with an NCAA Tournament run.

According to Scout.com, Stanford received commitments from five 4-star players and five 3-star players from 2010-12, so the talent is certainly there — at least on paper. In fact, junior point guard Chasson Randle, senior power forward Dwight Powell and junior small forward Anthony Brown were all rated in the top 12 at their respective positions coming out of high school.

The season has not started quite as impressively as Stanford fans hoped it would, with the team escaping Bucknell by only four points, 72-68, on its home court. Certainly after Monday night’s game, any pessimism Cardinal fans may have felt will only deepen. Meanwhile, Dave Rose’s group may very well be a legitimate top-25 team this season and could rise in the rankings if it can continue to build momentum going into games against Iowa State, Texas and Utah State the latter part of this month.

Here's how each position group fared in Monday night’s offensive explosion.

Nathan Gagon is a finance manager by day and writer/musician by night, but mostly he is a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life around the clock. Oh, and he shoots about 94 percent from the free-throw line ... no big deal.

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BleedingBlue
Provo, UT

Your grade of "D" for crowd is lacking in examination of who attended. There were over 2000 BYU fans, shouting B-Y-U, screaming loudly for every basket. I Give the BYU fans an A+ for showing up and turning a road game into a semi-quasi home game, or at a minimum a neutral court. GO Cougar Fans!

Kralon
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA

Good win for BYU, the score would have been much higher if BYU had done better on free throws. Stanford made a decent run at the end when BYU slowed the game down, but never really threatened BYU who lead almost the entire game. It didn't seem like BYU had a defensive answer to Stanford's center, but with the new rules high scoring games will be the norm and BYU's answer was on offense. BYU was very aggressive in getting to the basket, especially Carlino, and Stanford didn't seem able to set up quick enough in transition.

On TV the loudest part of the crowd was the "B-Y-U" we often heard in the background!

Go Cougars!

jebrink46
spokane, WA

I must likewise add that missing 15 free throws is unacceptable, especially considering who was missing them. Stanford was not overly big under the basket, but they garnered far to many offensive rebounds for far to many second-chance points. Finally, Carlino must be taught (forced?) to play team ball to the very end. And not much mention of what I thought was a good job by Worthington, whose name is usually only mentioned in reference to this past football prowess.
All that being said, it looks like it could be a fun and successful season.

poyman
Lincoln City, OR

Overall Nate, I give your article a B-... The Guard play was excellent and the coaching was very good... I also thought that the Bigs did well on the Boards (not a lot of 2nd chance points... I also agree with your assessment of Stanford's play and the atmosphere in Palo Alto...

Your grade of the Officiating however, was way off... 52 fouls and 80 free throw shots in a 4o minute game averages out to about 2 free throws a minute and equals BORING with a capital B... Had the shots not fallen this would have been one of the worst games to watch as a fan that I can remember (and I'm 61)... These Officials apparently didn't get the message that fans like to watch players play rather than Officials blowing whistles and marching back and forth between free throw lines...

If new rules encourage more whistle blowing and more foul shots then we need the old rules back... I have watched about 7 games so far this season however and I did not see the Refs in any of those games feel like they needed the spot light.

My grade for officiating was a solid D-.

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