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BYU basketball report card: Cougars strategically overwhelmed by Bulldogs

Published: Sunday, Jan. 26 2014 3:46 p.m. MST

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Associated Press
BYU’s guards had just seven assists in 126 combined minutes on the court. Gonzaga’s point guard, alone, had seven assists in 34 minutes. Sure, that point guard was the son of the planet’s all-time NBA assist leader John Stockton, but even then one guard from one team shouldn’t match six guards from the other team in assists.

All told, the Bulldogs’ guards had 20 assists to just two turnovers, compared to the Cougars’ guards with a negative ratio of seven to nine.

Gonzaga's guards also had six steals while BYU's had just one. This was not because Gonzaga’s guards tried harder or because its individuals are better at stealing the basketball, rather it was because the Bulldogs were strategically a step ahead of BYU on both ends of the floor.

Gonzaga’s guards made 21-of-36 shots from the field (58.3 percent) and 10-of-22 from behind the arc (45.5 percent). BYU’s guards made 17-of-44 shots from the field (38.6 percent) and 2-of-11 from behind the arc (18.2 percent). This discrepancy did not have nearly as much to do with individual shooting ability as it did with the vast amount of empty space Gonzaga generally enjoyed between its shooters and the BYU defenders as well as the lack of shooting space the BYU players were able to strategically create for each other on offense.

If, after playing the Bulldogs, the Cougar guards felt like they needed more help from their coaches, they would be justified in those feelings. The effort from the backcourt players was there, which makes their grade respectable.

Grade: B-

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NorCalCougarFan&Alum
Elk Grove, CA

I love my Cougars, but I think coaching is a huge obstacle for the men's basketball and football teams. BYU has better coaching staffs in women's basketball, women's softball, and men and women's volleyball. The two main pilot sports are lacking in coaching while our less profitable sports continue to excel.

Outside-View
Federal Way, WA

I would like to see a response from the BYU coaching staff to see if they agree with your point made in this aticle. If any credibility to it, ask them how they plan to become more like Gonzaga.

Downtownchrisbrown
,

I wasn't surprised to see the Zags pull away at the end. After the 3OT game on Thursday, I was surprised the Cougars hung in as long as they did.

AZBlue
Gilbert, AZ

Definitely the coach's fault. I mean, I can't believe how he streaked across the lane on three different occasions and then threw the ball directly into the hands of a Gonzaga player. Oh, wait, that was Halford (twice) and Haws (once). But I saw them practicing throwing the ball away and making stupid decisions, so it must be the coaches.

With the players he recruits, Rose does amazingly well. The one area in which ALL BYU athletes seem to suffer is ego! They routinely take other teams lightly. Is that on the coach? Maybe, but I remember my high school coach trying to beat into our heads to take the upcoming homecoming game against the 2-5 team seriously.... to no avail. We lost. Very embarrassing.... but NOT the coach's fault.

I frankly more scrutiny should be placed on Haws. He is a really good player, but his shot selection often leaves MUCH to be desired.

wallyball
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I think this is the most accurate analysis of the basketball team that I have read this year.
The defense is horrible and chaotic. The offense is pretty good but they don't always play well as a team. Rose and Pope are D-1 coaches but the other two need to move on. This team lacks discipline and their zone defensive scheme is fundamentally flawed. They can't decide how to defend the pick and roll and continually give up dribble penetration, which results in wide open threes. It comes down to either the coaches don't know what to do or the the players are incapable of carrying out an effective game plan. Maybe a little of both.

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