BYU basketball report card: Cougars man up, suffocate San Diego

Published: Sunday, Jan. 5 2014 10:32 a.m. MST

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Jeffrey D. Allred
Halford was the clear star of the night, making 11-of-16 shots for 28 points while collecting three assists, two rebounds, a steal and committing just one turnover.

Equally as important was Halford’s defense, energy and leadership. How does a player go from the end of the bench to team leader in half a season? Somehow, Halford appears to have done exactly that after his inspired performance versus San Diego. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain that energy and enthusiasm when his shots are not falling or he's playing in a road environment.

Kyle Collinsworth played one of his best games of the season. Often Collinsworth’s stat line has not quite lived up to the eye test, but this was not the case Saturday night. His 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go along with his eight assists, seven rebounds and just two turnovers accurately reflect his impact on the game.

Matt Carlino coming off the bench worked well. It was a needed adjustment from the coaching staff. Carlino fired up a few shots late in the contest, but during his most meaningful minutes he looked determined to play under control and get other players involved. Carlino made some nice hustle plays and his teammates seemed to genuinely rally around him in his new role.

Tyler Haws played with more fire and effort than he has most of the season. He was more engaged on defense, didn’t force as many shots and — wait for it — had two assists (nearly double his average).

Grade: A
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Rexburg, ID

One word that describes BYU's turnaround game play: HALFORD!


I watched San Diego miss a lot of shots that were barely contended. How do you tell the difference between San Diego having a bad night and BYU playing good defense? Hustling more isn't really defense.

Is it more blocked shots? no.
Is it more steals? no.
Is it more defensive rebounds? no.

I have some Ute friends that totally believe Utah shut down Haws and BYU through defense and yet when we watched the game I saw BYU missing a lot of shots they normally would have made and pointed them out to my friends. They don't buy it, they think Utah hustled more than BYU (looked true to me) and the positive emotions for Utah created a Utah defensive shutdown of BYU. True or not?

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