The second time through there's a lot of adjustments guys are making — hopefully we can be better at not predetermining what we're going to do, but actually read and react to it. —Dave Rose
PROVO — Turnovers have been a big problem for the BYU men's basketball team this season, and correcting it has been a focus for Cougar coach Dave Rose throughout practices this week.
Rose noted during his weekly press conference on Tuesday that since committing 10 turnovers in a 75-62 loss at Saint Mary's on Jan. 25 that the turnovers have reached well into double figures in every game after. The problem seemed to reach a crescendo last Saturday, with 19 turnovers contributing to a narrow victory over San Francisco in overtime.
A lot of the cause for the turnovers, according to Rose, is being perhaps too passive with possessions.
“We’ve got to be strong,” Rose said. “We’ve got to be strong with the ball and aggressive with the ball, and make the right reads. Hopefully we can be really tight in that part of the game.”
But there also has to be a balance. A bit part of the turnover problems on Saturday was forcing action in the wrong direction, with the Dons able to read and react effectively.
“I addressed that in practice and I think we’re prepared for it,” Rose said. “The second time through there’s a lot of adjustments guys are making hopefully we can be better at not predetermining what we’re going to do, but actually read and react to it.”
The good news is the Cougars seemed to tighten things up over the course of Saturday's game. After committing 11 turnovers in the first half, and two more within a minute of play in the second, the Cougars went with just six, extending into the overtime period.
PEPPERDINE COACH SACKED: When BYU visits Pepperdine on Thursday, the Waves will have head coach Marty Wilson patrolling the sidelines, although he was informed his contract will not be renewed after the season. The situation creates an unusual scenario, with Rose uncertain on how the Waves' players will react.
“It’s a good question. Probably we won’t know until we start playing,” Rose said. “I do know they play really hard they were just having a hard time winning. But they were executing and playing hard — competing until the very end.”
Wilson is 86-125 in just short of seven seasons coaching. The Waves have struggled mightily this past season, with just a 1-13 record in West Coast Conference play.
SMALLER PLACES: BYU normally conducts in-season practices at the Marriott Center, but opted for the Annex practice facility in preparation for games at Pepperdine and then at San Diego. The reason? To simulate better what the team will encounter when playing at Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse (3,104 seats) and then at San Diego's Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100.)
“It’s just playing in a smaller place. Shooting the ball in a smaller place,” Rose said.