It was just good to see it go in. It was my first shot as a BYU Cougar, so it was good. —McKay Cannon
OREM — It didn't take long for BYU's newest addition to make his impact on the basketball program, although the coaching staff didn't necessarily plan it that way going in.
McKay Cannon, hours after it was announced he'd received an NCAA waiver to play this season, entered the Cougars' game at Utah Valley with 4:15 left in the first half. The Weber State transfer fit right into the flow and hit his first shot as a Cougar with a straightaway 3-pointer with 1:20 before halftime.
Did Cannon's immediate surprise his teammates? "No. McKay's a beast," responded BYU sophomore forward Yoeli Childs. "He's been on the practice squad ... and he just kills us sometimes. That first pull-up 3 he had? That's automatic for him."
Cannon finished with a team-high six assists and eight points in his 20 minutes of play, and took a lot of confidence from his first 3-pointer going through the net.
"It was just good to see it go in. It was my first shot as a BYU Cougar, so it was good," Cannon said. "From there I just wanted to play hard. It didn't matter if I made or missed shots, I just wanted to play hard and go out there and compete."
Cannon followed up his first shot with a blocked shot on a UVU fast-break opportunity, and showed quite a bit of emotion thereafter, eliciting some jeers from the home crowd fans.
"We just took it to them. We were the more aggressive team," Cannon said.
🎥: McKay Cannon (@mckaycannon24) made a big impact for @BYUbasketball in his first game as a Cougar, with 8 points, 6 assists, 2 3-pointers, a steal and a block in an 85-58 win over @UVUmbb pic.twitter.com/FPx7OQNTxO— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 30, 2017
Although the Weber State transfer fit into the rotation like a glove, Cougars coaches didn't plan on that being the case. Having learned he'd be eligible to play before Wednesday night's game, BYU coach Dave Rose planned to use his newest addition only if needed.
"It was more of foul trouble in the first half — for sure we'd get him in, and that's what happened," Rose said. "We had a bunch of guys with two fouls, and he had a chance to get in there and he looked really comfortable. He looked just as he does in practice every day."
For Cannon, he was still beaming after the game for not just being given the opportunity, but making the most of it right off the bat.
"It's more of a blur, more than anything," Cannon said. "I just wanted to play hard, and that's what I did, and the team followed. It was a great win. I just love this team, so I'm grateful to be part of it and to be able to play with them."
Cannon joined the Cougars during the summer as a walk-on after playing his freshman and sophomore seasons at Weber State. The 6-foot guard played in 67 games for the Wildcats and made 40 starts.
Since arriving in Provo the Shelley, Idaho, product has impressed Cougar coaches during practices, and then validated his practice play by matching it during Wednesday's win.
"He was ready. He was dialed in," Rose said. "He'll really be able to help our team and he has a lot of experience. When you think about the youth of our team, and what he's done — started 41 games and you bring that to this group — it will really help us."