BYU basketball report card: The future is now as Bartley and Mika lead the Cougars past the Aggies

Published: Sunday, Dec. 1 2013 12:22 a.m. MST

BYU took over the last 10 minutes of the game to pull away from the Utah State Aggies Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena. With 10 minutes remaining, the Cougars led by just one at 59-58. From there, they outscored the Aggies 26-16 to pull away with an 85-74 win.

Perhaps the biggest thing BYU did to reverse its fortunes against a tough Utah State squad was to stay out of foul trouble, committing only nine fouls. Prior to this game, the Cougs were doing well to commit only nine fouls in a half, let alone the entire game. The Aggies shot just six free throws compared to 27 for the Cougars.

BYU also boosted its assists tally, dishing out 18 compared to seven in its loss to Wichita State. The Cougars helped their cause further by committing only seven turnovers while forcing the Aggies into 16. Fouls and turnovers were the difference in the game.

Freshmen standouts Eric Mika and Frank Bartley IV both came up big in a game BYU had to have. Mika pulled down nine rebounds, five of them offensive, which was a big improvement over the single rebound he got against Wichita State. Tyler Haws continued to knock down free throws, and Kyle Collinsworth had a good all-around game to lead BYU.

Here are the grades for each BYU position group and other aspects of the game.

Nate Gagon is a published sports, music, and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free throw line and can be reached at: nategagon@hotmail.com or @nategagon.

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Salt Lake City, UT

I love the idea of sportswriters grading basketball coaches. Hilarious….

Did they teach basketball in English class?

Frisco, TX

Best game of the season for the Cougs. I knew Mika and Collinsworth would have an impact, but I had no idea they would have this much impact. Carlino is better than last year, and Haws will compete for player of the year in the WCC. This team is much better than last year's team.

And Bartley is a bonus. I thought he would be just another good Freshman coming in, but he has made quite an impact in 8 short games, and has a bright future. At only 6'3", he can actually play the 4 spot, even though he's more natural at the 2 or 3.

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