PROVO — The BYU Cougars were able to address at practice Monday only some of what went wrong in last weekend's loss to UCLA.
The rest, however, will have to wait until they can find a few 6-foot-10, 300-pound guys to scrimmage against.
But as far as what they can control, and in preparation for tonight's game at Weber State, the Cougars worked Monday on doing a better job of rebounding and a better job of taking care of the basketball. In losing to the Bruins — BYU's first loss of the season — the Cougars gave up 16 offensive boards, turned the ball over 19 times and had only five assists.
"We shot the ball well the other night, we just didn't get enough shots. And that has to do with rebounding and turning the ball over," BYU coach Dave Rose said.
Against Weber State, the Cougars hope to execute better against pressure, execute better in their half-court sets and get out in transition after protecting the defensive glass.
"We have to get shots up. We can't turn the ball over," Cougar guard Jackson Emery said. "Every possession is important. So we have to get shots. We can't lose possessions."
Weber State coach Randy Rahe is fairly confident the Cougars will figure out whatever ills they had on Saturday.
"They are the most talented team we have faced so far," Rahe said. "They really don't have a weakness on either end of the floor. "Jimmer Fredette is a tremendous player and teammate. He gets everyone going and gets everyone involved on the offensive end.
"Their defense really gets overlooked, and that might be their greatest strength. They don't let you get comfortable in your offensive sets and they are very good at pushing you out away from the basket."
The Cougars are expecting a Weber State team that is fired up with emotion and a team that comes ready to play. Even without star guard Damian Lillard (out for the season with a broken foot), the Wildcats still have a very balanced attack with Lindsey Hughey (10.9 points per game), B.J. Porter (10.5 ppg) and Scott Bamforth (10.2 ppg.) They also have a solid bench and a roster loaded with good shooters.
"I think it's a very good offensive team, … it might be as efficient of an offensive team as we've played. … They have guys who know where they want to go to get shots and they're very good at it. ... This is a very good offensive team with really skilled players. We're going to have to guard them for 40 minutes," Rose said.
The Cougars actually expect the Wildcats to play a little inspired because of Lillard's absence.
"I think that's just going to give them a lot of emotion for this game, and we know it's going to be a pretty physical and emotional game as it is, like all in-state games are," Emery said.
As is the case with all in-state games, there really won't be any surprises from either side. Execution and adjustments should be the difference.
The Cougars, after Saturday's loss to UCLA, would prefer a little more practice time to work on some areas of concern, especially with forwards Noah Hartsock (concussion) and Chris Colllinsworth (ankle) practicing together for the first time in three weeks. At the same time, however, not sitting on that first loss for too long might be beneficial as well.
"The most important thing is that you want to get back out and play. That's what good players want to do," Rose said.
STILL AMONG THE BEST: The Cougars (10-1) remain ranked in both national polls despite the loss to UCLA, but dropped a few notches in both. They are now ranked No. 23 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Top 25. They were No. 16 and No. 18, respectively, in the two polls last week.
ONE MORE HONOR: Cougars guard Jimmer Fredette was one of 66 players named Monday as a candidate for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the nation's top point guard.3 comments on this story
STILL LIMPING: The Cougars should have both Noah Harstock and Chris Collinsworth back and stronger for tonight's game, but guard Jackson Emery is still hobbled by a stress reaction in his right shin. Because doctors believe continued pounding on the shin could result in a stress fracture, Emery's participation in practices the next few weeks will be limited, but his game minutes probably won't go down.
"If we have to limit his practice time to do that, we will," Rose said.
SERIES NOTES: Tonight's game will be the 36th meeting between the two teams, with BYU holding a 25-10 advantage. Weber State holds a 10-7 advantage at the Dee Events Center, but the Cougars have won the past seven meetings.
Cougars, 'Cats on the air
No. 23 BYU (10-1) at Weber State (6-4)
Today, 7 p.m.
Dee Events Center, Ogden
TV: KJZZ Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM