Dick Harmon: Loss to Baylor was learning experience

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  • sls Columbia, MO
    Dec. 19, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    @truecoug 1

    Has it occurred to you that the career nights of 3-point shooting from opponents might have something to do with BYU's defense?

    The BYU guards, as a group, have problems with shooting, decision-making, and ball-handling. But their biggest defect is in how they defend (or don't).

    It was a good move to bring in a replacement for Dave Rice who can coach the big men. It shows in their improvement. However, BYU really needs a good coach to help the guards. Is there an Ainge available?

  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    Interesting stats on the BYU losses to ranked teams this year:

    In each loss, BYU has had a scoreless period of 4+ mins in the second half of each game.

    In the losses to Wisconsin and Baylor, both the Badgers and the Bears had players with career shooting nights (Brust for Wisconsin was 7-10 from 3, Baylor's Heslip was 6-10 from 3).

    Wisconsin ranks 37th in the country in 3pfg%, averaging 40.2 percent per game. Against BYU, they shot 54 percent.

    Baylor is 57th in the country in 3pfg%, averaging 37 percent a game. Against BYU, they shot 52 percent.

    BYU is 50th in the country in 3 pfg%, averaging 39.8 percent a game. Against the Bears and the Badgers, BYU was a combined 8/31 from downtown (26%).

    BYU's 3pfg% defense is averaging allowing 30.2 percent per game. Wisconsin gives up 24.6 percent from threes a game, and Baylor gives up 32 percent from three per game.

    To summarize, both games played against Wisconsin and Baylor were statistical anomalies, with both the Badgers and the Bears shooting well above their averages from 3 against a pretty good BYU defense. BYU shot well below its average in both games which, along with the scoreless streaks in each game for the Cougars, culminated in a blow out loss to Wisconsin and a down-to-the-wire finish against Baylor.

    Props to both Wisconsin and Baylor for making the shots needed to win. However, I feel that in both the Wisconsin game and the Baylor game, we were right there with each team and the uncharacteristically great 3 point shooting by the Badgers and the Bears, along with our uncharacteristically poor shooting nights, was the ultimate difference in the games.

    Am I reading too much into this? Probably :) But my point is, BYU's got a really good team that can play with some of the best in the country. Come tourney time, with a fully healthy and more experienced squad, who knows what can happen?

    Go Cougars!

  • Runner Chandler, AZ
    Dec. 19, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    BYU carried two timeouts with them into the locker room at the end of the game.


    Coaches, coaches?? Anyone, anyone??

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 10:27 a.m.

    The sad thing is, the comments of the players and the coach show that if BYU were in one of the conferences it "was in talks with" and teams visited on a regular basis, word would get around and non-LDS players would be impressed and could be recruited to Provo.

    Oh, what might have been...

  • GJ Greenwood, IN
    Dec. 19, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    This game had three firsts for the season. First game BYU lost with more than 70 points scored, the first game that Baylor alowed an opponent to score more than 70 points, and the first game to go down to the wire. It was a great game to watch even with the heartbreaking finish. Losing it will make it difficult to get an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. Too bad we can't count on Utah winning in the weak PAC-12 to improve BYU's SOS. Maybe Oregon can do the heavy lifting to improve BYU's post season outlook. Hopefully they will just win the WCC tournament and not have to worry about an at-large bid.

  • Blue Chelan56 Chelan, WA
    Dec. 19, 2011 12:24 a.m.

    I am exited once again. The Carlino addition is a great gift to Byu Basketball. Even though the turnovers were big issues, his wasn't the only one that hurt in the last 2 min. A very lazy pass by Hartsock hurt, and Abouo's lack of handle on the loose ball down court also hurt 'as well as the coaching staff not using their time outs to play plan the last couple of key posessions following key rebounds. Especially with a freshman new point guard on the floor. Carlino still made tough shots and created space over very good defenders ,and ended up being the high-point getter for the game. Not bad for a first varsity game and for a Red-shirt freshman.

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Dec. 18, 2011 9:59 p.m.

    >So...how bout them refs?

    Some of their calls in Baylor's favor (and even a couple in BYU's favor) were so blatantly wrong that I actually laughed out loud. It was almost like playing an away football game at a Pac-12 stadium. 5 against 8 is hard to overcome. That being said, Baylor did what they had to do at the end, and BYU couldn't quite do what they had to do. It was a good game, that almost made it worth watching basketball.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 7:33 p.m.

    A disapointing loss but I was so proud of the class the students showed with the big poster congratulating Baylor's Heisman trophy winner. That was really a class thing to do. Way to be BYU students and fans. Having great sportmanship in a game makes it ten times more fun. Makes me happy to be a BYU fan even if the team loses.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Dec. 18, 2011 6:39 p.m.

    Great comments from the baylor coach and players regarding the fans. Classy, clean and energetic. Always good to hear those types of things from the opposing team. Good show cougar fans.

  • Farid @ Pocatello Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 18, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    I like this team -- no, it's not a 25-30 win team but it is a very good 20-25 win team, certainly good enough after back-to-back 30 win seasons.

    Think about this: The top three point guards are all freshman and the shooting guard has almost no playing time. By year's end, these guys are going to be phenomenal.

  • agarrett PROVO, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    So...how bout them refs?

  • SportsCenter Olympus Cove, Utah
    Dec. 18, 2011 10:35 a.m.


    Why the panic? BYU will be favored in 18 of their remaining 20 games, with the only games that they won't be favored at Gonzaga and at Saint Mary's. Finishing 14-2 WCC, 26-4 Overall, is still very doable. Beating Wisconsin or Baylor would have been great, but neither was a must win game for BYU to get an at-large berth in the NCAAs.

    Current Sagarin Rankings:

    #4 Wisconsin
    #11 Baylor
    #20 Saint Mary's
    #33 BYU
    #46 Gonzaga
    #47 Virginia Tech (oh yes, BYU still has a road game against a good ACC opponent)

    #135 Utah State
    #187 Utah Valley
    #295 So. Utah
    #326 Utah

  • sls Columbia, MO
    Dec. 18, 2011 6:48 a.m.

    I agree that this was a costly loss. Nobody will care in March that it was close. BYU already has one bad loss (USU) and no signature wins, with no other stellar opponents on the schedule. They needed to beat either Wisconsin or Baylor to have the resume for an NCAA at-large bid. Now, they must win the WCC automatic berth or the best they can hope for is to be a bubble team, and maybe on the outside looking in (just like St. Mary's was last year).

    In order to get an at-large bid BYU would have to win all their remaining non-conference games, all their games against the lower WCC conference foes, and win at least 3 of 4 games against St. Mary's and Gonzaga. In other words, the Cougars can only lose one more game on their remaining regular season schedule and then hope--not an easy task when they have some tough road trips.

  • braandtje OREM, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 4:29 a.m.

    Dear Dick,

    BYU lost one game at home last season, which was to UNM right after Davies was lost for the season. BYU lost to Wake Forest during the 2008-09 season. Not quite last year.....

    "BYU cannot afford to lull in offense like they did against a team like Baylor and expect to win. They did this same thing against Wake Forest in Provo last year."

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 11:27 p.m.

    # point loss that game could have easily gone either way, nice job cougars keep moving forward.

  • TheNun Granstville, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    Slow, or not, a 3 point loss going down to the wire to a top 10 team is a great accomplishment. Last year the cougs would have lost by double digits as everyone watched jimmer try to take on the great guards of Baylor by himself, while everyone else just stood around and watched.
    This year's team, is just that a team. They play well together and look to get the best shot available, they will do well in their weakened conference, which will help with the seeding come tourney time known as March Madness.

  • nehu Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 7:45 p.m.

    BYU is so slow they may never win again.