PROVO — BYU coach Dave Rose is probably tired of answering the question. But invariably, it comes up.
The Cougars (5-2) continue to struggle shooting from 3-point territory.
In fact, they are last in the West Coast Conference, and No. 309 nationally (out of 351 teams), at 28.8 percent (51 of 177). It's become a glaring weakness through seven games this season.
In BYU’s 76-62 setback at home against Houston last Saturday, the Cougars shot 8 of 28 from distance, although TJ Haws went 6 of 12 and finished with 25 points.
Only two players are shooting above 30 percent from 3-point range this season — Haws (41 percent) and Zac Seljaas (38 percent).
The rest of the roster is having a hard time getting 3-pointers to connect — Jahshire Hardnett (6 of 20), Yoeli Childs (4 of 17), Connor Harding (5 of 22), Dalton Nixon (1 of 12), Rylan Bergerson (3 of 14), McKay Cannon (3 of 13).
"Our percentages are not good enough right now," Rose said Monday. "We’re at the point where we need to find better what we want from our guys … I would bet their confidence is pretty fragile right now just because they have an opportunity to shoot open shots and the percentages aren’t what they want them to be.”
BYU visits Illinois State Wednesday night.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Perennial WCC champion Gonzaga jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 in this week’s Associated Press poll.
The Zags defeated then-No. 1 Duke last weekend to claim the Maui Invitational championship.
Meanwhile, the NCAA released the new NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool) rankings for the first time. It is a ranking system that replaces the antiquated RPI.
In the NET debut, Gonzaga was rated No. 5 while fellow WCC teams Loyola Marymount came in at No. 10 and San Francisco checked in at No. 25.
BYU debuted at No. 94.
The NET, which was approved last July, relies on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.
NCAA STATS: BYU has limited five of its seven opponents to 40 percent shooting or lower. For the season, the Cougars’ opponents are shooting 38.8 percent, top 50 in the nation.31 comments on this story
Through seven games, BYU is one of the top ball control teams in the country. The Cougars are No. 7 in the nation in turnovers at 8.9 per game and are No. 3 in assist to turnover ratio at 1.98:1. After averaging 11.7 turnovers in the first three games, BYU has averaged just 6.8 turnovers over the last four contests.
“Our turnover numbers are great because we’ve missed so many shots,” Rose said. “You don’t have time to turn it over.”
IN-STATE BATTLES LOOMING: After visiting Illinois State Wednesday, BYU will play three in-state games in a row, starting Saturday at Weber State. The Cougars will then host Utah State on Dec. 5 and take on Utah at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Dec. 8.