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Utah Sports Ruckus: Jazz blowing it; the Utes are the best team in the state

Published: Monday, March 10 2014 2:44 p.m. MDT

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Jeffery D. Allred, Deseret News
Tyler Haws last week was named WCC Player of the Year, essentially saying to all future basketball players: “If you shoot more you will get more recognition.”

While Haws is good at moving without the ball and is a great shooter, there is no way he was more valuable to BYU this season, in conference or out, than Kyle Collinsworth.

Collinsworth, just counting conference games (which is all the Player of the Year award is based on), averaged 14.1 points (No. 13 in WCC), 7.6 rebounds (No. 5), 4.6 assists (No. 4), and 2.1 steals (led WCC), while shooting 51.4 percent from the field (No. 9).

Haws averaged 23.5 points (led WCC) on 48 percent shooting (No. 15), 87 percent on free throws (No. 5) and 46 percent on 3-pointers (No. 5), while failing to register as a top-15 player in any other category.

Over the whole season, in comparison to Haws, Collinsworth is averaging more than three times as many assists (Haws had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio), more than double the rebounds and nearly double the steals and blocks, while shooting a better field goal percentage (49.8 to 47.5) and nearly an equal percentage from the 3-point line (38.1 to 41.3). Haws destroyed Collinsworth from the foul line of course (57.1 to 86.6), which remains the most glaring weakness in Collinsworth’s game.

While Haws deserves the recognition he gets as a shooter and mover without the ball, and deserved to be named to the All-WCC team, he should not have been named WCC Player of the Year. That honor should have gone to Haws’ stat-grabbing teammate, Kyle Collinsworth.

NEXT: Women’s college basketball

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Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

In addition to making BYU look like a Division II program when they played head-to-head, the Utes have more impressive wins and fewer bad losses overall than the Cougars. If BYU had played in the Pac-12 this season, the Cougs likely would have finished with a sub-.500 conference record and be fighting for a spot in the NIT.

LOL repeated ten times!

Cougar Nation #1
Provo, UT

Didn't BYU beat Stanford at Stanford and didn't they almost beat Oregon at Oregon? BYU easily could've been the third or fourth best team this year in the pac-10.

BYU_Aggie
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm sorry, but Ute fans can't criticize BYU fans for using the "we almost won" logic in football, and then turn around and do the same for their basketball squad. BYU got the job done at Stanford, the Utes could not. If BYU plays Utah at a neutral court, the Cougars win. Utah is very stellar at home this year, and only at home. BYU is clearly the best team in the state.

Bottom line, BYU will be dancing, and Utah will once again be left out. CIT maybe?

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

@ BYU_Aggie

Talk is cheap. Utah outclassed BYU in every facet of the game back in December. Also, Utah is a lock for the NIT.

gdog3finally
West Jordan, Utah

"The Utes have just one game the entire season (at UCLA) where they have not been ahead or at least within four points inside the last six minutes of the game. Eight of the Utes’ 10 losses have been by a combined 22 points — an average of 2.75 points — with three of the losses coming in overtime."

The quote above is a byproduct of a young team. I do think Utah is better than BYU. But how Utah would fare in the WCC and BYU in the PAC 12 is just speculation. Utah did beat BYU head to head and to me that is about the best indicator of the two teams. Still, it's not that much of an indicator since it's just one game and Utah was at home.

Bottom line, I am happy Utah is in the PAC 12, and that means I have to stomach BYU fans claiming superiority when the make a bowl, go dancing, or have a better overall record. That will happen when the schedules are so far apart.

Look at BYU's football schedule next year. 10 wins is very realistic. And that will have them saying how good they are with 80% of their schedule against total patsies.

gdog3finally
West Jordan, Utah

Back to the close losses though. Utah failed to win just one or maybe two of those, which is why they won't get an at large bid. The loss to Stanford was the back breaker as Utah, if they even win the first game of the conference tourney, will be forced to play Arizona in the second round. So, unless 'magic happens' (pun intended), Utah will have to play in the NIT. It is what it is, or might be. Hold out March Madness hope.

Scandrus
Cedar Hills, Utah

2 wins away from home is all you need to know about the Utes.

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