BYU, Utah basketball report card: Utes show Cougs some Love(ridge) in dominant program-elevating win

Published: Sunday, Dec. 15 2013 12:25 a.m. MST

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Matt Gade, Deseret News
If Jordan Loveridge is the best player in the state, then Ute point guard Delon Wright just might be the second-best. Wright was terrific against the Cougars as he has been all season long. He finished with 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

The other guards stepped up in some important moments as well, particularly freshman Parker Van Dyke, who hit two straight 3-pointers in the first half that almost seemed to be the early nail in the coffin for BYU.

Perhaps most importantly, the Ute guards played inspired, athletic, confident and effective defense.

Grade: A-
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Louisiana Cougar
Pineville, LA

Grades seem to be right on target!

BYU must figure out how to play smarter, tougher, and with greater defensive urgency. They got schooled by a team that outplayed them at every turn. The Cougars showed no fight and could not respond to a tough atmosphere or to the pressure of a big game.

BYU was not prepared to play and the game was over before the first media timeout.

Bountiful, UT

With BYU missing so many free throws, the score is a little deceiving, but I thought the difference in the two teams boiled down to Utah's wing players being longer and more athletic. BYU had a lot of difficulty getting good shots, and Utah's defense just seemed to smother them.

Loveridge, Wright, Tucker and Onwas can all defend positions 1-4, and together they dampen passing lanes, cut off driving lanes and extend to contest what normally would be open shots.

Utah has great flexibility on defense and can very often just switch, which takes away the pick-and-roll and makes it tough to exploit mismatches.

If these two teams played a 10 game series, I think Utah wins 6 or 7 of those games. They're just a better team, because of the talent Larry has recruited.

salt lake city, UT

Seems the Utes can lose the Utah County recruiting battles and do just fine.

Salt Lake City, UT

Bountiful, UT

"With BYU missing so many free throws, the score is a little deceiving..."

Really? How so? Do you propose giving byu all the points they missed at the charity stripe because...well...just because? Do the math...byu still loses.

Who's fault is it that byu can't play defense?
Who's fault is it that byu can't achieve a respectable number of assists?
Who's fault is it that byu acts like the concept of a free throw is completely new to them?

Utah was in the dumpster two short years ago and probably has a ways to go before they are competitive in the Pac-12 (we'll see soon). Add to that the soft schedule byu fans can't stop talking about...byu basketball just looks really, really bad.

Bakersfield, CA

Probably the most disappointing game BYU has played in some time. They were so intimidated by the crowd! you could see fear in their eyes!

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

BYU's basketball teams have struggled defensively under Coach Rose. He allowed Jimmer to get away without ever developing any true defensive skills and now he is floundering in the NBA. Coach Rose needs to focus a little more on defense, if he wants a championship caliber team. He has talented players, but they need to know how important defense is.

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