BYU basketball report card: Cougars give UMass an early Christmas

Published: Sunday, Dec. 8 2013 2:14 a.m. MST

Associated Press

In a matchup of top 10 RPI teams, BYU, ranked ninth, put up little resistance on the road against No. 1 Massachusetts Saturday afternoon. The Cougars never got closer than seven points the final 15 minutes and trailed by double-digits for a majority of the second half before ultimately losing, 105-96.

Christmas appeared to have come early for the Minutemen in the form of the BYU defense.

The Cougars were like a blue-clad Santa Claus that just kept giving UMass whatever it wanted. Chaz Williams, who had 32 points and 15 assists, and his teammates were happy to take advantage. Sometimes 'tis better to receive than give it turns out.

There’s no question BYU is a good offensive team, but too much of the time it seems the Cougars are so concerned with playing fast transition offense that they lose track of everything else — like playing defense.

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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Roy, UT

After watching less than a half, I couldn't watch anymore. Obviously something was slowing down the Cougars, perhaps fear of losing? For me, the team-emotion was submissive, lacked genuine fire of desire. This is gut-check time for this team. Will they fix the problems?

Don't know how Coach Rose's team gets called for so many tiki-tack fouls while the other teams get away with mayhem...the first half skirmish that resulted in 3 technical fouls called, that was all backwards, and I think this must weigh on the players psyche, knowing they will get beat up, then doubly punished by refs for just looking like they might try to defend. Some may say I'm not objective here, but I think the evidence proves me correct, just look at the replays, objectively.

Mission Viejo, CA

Got whupped. A bit slow. Good opponent. Nuff said.

Idaho Falls, ID

I think the author her pretty much nailed it. This was the worst defensive performance by BYU I've seen in a long time, and Rose's failure to adjust the defense until the second half hurt. A man-to-man could not possibly have been worse. It was certainly worth a try. Obviously part of the problem was several players getting in foul trouble early which forced the Cougs to back off defensively. There is some validity to Dray's post above.

With our 2 bigs in foul trouble why is Rose so reluctant to give Sharp more playing time? He actually started in several games last year and contributed in many. I don't get it.

Although Collinsworth and Bartley put up some points their forced shots and turnovers (especially Collinsworth) really hurt the team.

Riverton, UT

Another good BYU football/basketball team that can't win against top 25 teams. It is tough to be a die-hard fan of a team that teases it's fan base with good play but rarely ever beats really good teams.

Salt Lake City, UT

Kind of hard to say what is going on with this team, but commentators like DRAY are correct in their assessments I believe. BYU lacks some fire at times. We saw some good fire in the second half against Utah state and the outcome reflected that (not saying USU is UMASS but they are a pretty good team too). I kind of get the idea that the Coaches of BYU football and basketball are expected not to get too emotional or fired up. One could argue that a certain demeanor is expected by the leadership of the University and the coaches know they must fall in line. While I am not voting for a bunch of tirades by the Coaches, I would not be against them showing forth a little passion now and again to try to "get the boys" going when the going gets tough. As I said in a previous post, perhaps the best way to not get too disappointed with our BYU teams is to simply lower our expectations. I dislike resorting to that approach, but it might be the most realistic approach at the end of the day? Alas, our Coaches and teams are what thy are - a bitter pill to swallow :(. Go Cougs!

Mcallen, TX

On the positive.

How many teams will score 96 against UMass?

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