Dick Harmon: BYU's Matt Carlino could be X-factor in West Coast Conference

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  • mussingaround Palo Alto, CA
    Dec. 29, 2011 12:33 a.m.


    BYU plays like a Top 30 team in a handful of packed high school-sized gyms.

    Utah plays like a Bottom 30 team in front of numerous high school-sized crowds.

    Given a choice, which team would you really rather be?

  • gchris rock springs, wy
    Dec. 28, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    Luv 2 Troll U

    Duke plays in Cameron Indoor Arena, capacity-9,000(with standing room). Loyola of Chicago won a national championship and played in a 4,000 seat gymnasium. I'm not sure what excites you about BYU playing some of their games in smaller arenas. They play half their games in the third largest college arena in the country which, by the way, is often near capacity. And as for the HD truck, don't you wish you had one?

  • BYUHOCKEY American Fork, UT
    Dec. 28, 2011 7:30 p.m.

    Matt Carlino has proven he is a game changer. in just over 4 minutes he scored 16 last night. wow. he can shoot the 3 in the face of adversity but does it with the idea he can score every time. he is a freshman and in reality is playing like jimmer did as a late sophomore/early junior. i don't think he will be the next Jimmer as he does see the other members of his team on the court and does play very good defense. one thing he has that Jimmer didn't is a better all around supporting cast especially at the freshman level. this team is deeper than it ever has been. i would hope that Jabari Parker in Chicago is seeing what kind of impact he could have and immediately.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 28, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    I know I am in the minority here, but the PG play is not the "X-factor" that this team needs to worry about in WCC play. Carlino is just fine as a replacement for ole #32. To me, the bigger question mark is a replacement for the defense of Mr. Emery. Again, I know I am in the minority, but that kind of effort is not apparent in his replacements this year. Also, I don't think Davies' consistency is any different than it was last year -- just more apparent because he is counted on to do more this year - or more directly, BYU fans put more expectations on him than they should have (go figure). Harstock has become my favorite Coug this year. In fact, as a Utah fan, I gave him a standing ovation for his performance against Utah. The guy looks like he should be the leading scorer for the Provo 256th Ward, but he has some serious heart.

  • Bloodshy DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 28, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    Harrison needs to get major minutes--possibly a permanent starter role. His shot selection needs some work, but he has strong handles and amazing wing defense. Vs. Baylor our D was substantially better when he was in the game. His athleticism is elite. He could become Emery-like defensively, but with the ability to create his own shot.

    Also, I don't want to get my hopes up about Carlino and I don't want to do him the disservice of Jimmer comparisons, but wow... He is ridiculously skilled for being a freshman. I'm excited to see his progression.

    If we can dominate the point/wing, this is going to be an amazing team going forward. Carlino/Harrison are the two players on our roster that have the potential to do it.

  • JustintimeY Boise, Id
    Dec. 28, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    This team is looking good but they need Rogers back ASAP, Collinsworth is out for the season and will not be back this year. The question will be if he decides to come back next year. We need that position filled with a player that is not hurt all the time.

  • Blue Chelan56 Chelan, WA
    Dec. 28, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    I predict BYU will split home and away with Gonzaga and St Marys. Gonzaga will sweep St Marys and win the WCC. BYU will win the Tourney in Las Vegas and both Gonzaga and BYU will go to the Big dance in March. By Tourney time the young Carlno, Winder and Harrison will be seasoned players,then watch out! Go Cougs!

  • Marked it Down Park City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 11:00 p.m.

    Carlino has only played in four games for the Cougars and the Carlino envy from the kids on the hill has already started.

    Gotta love it!

  • IndianaCoug Bloomington, IN
    Dec. 27, 2011 8:41 p.m.

    I was wrong about Carlino. I thought Rose was giving him too many minutes, too soon. Cusick has done a great job of controlling tempo and directing the team... and he plays good defense. The first few games Carlino showed great spark and potential on offense but was a defensive liability, and seemed to disrupt team chemistry. That certainly wasn't the case tonight against San Marcos. If Carlino plays day in and out like he did tonight he'll be playing in the NBA. Great work Carlino and go Cougs!

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    Luv 2 Troll U | 9:17 a.m. Dec. 27, 2011
    Sandy, UT

    WCC X-factor...

    That sounds hilarious. I sure hope the team can fit their HD truck in high school gyms.

    It is indeed a worry, alot more worry than Utah carrying in their super 8 camera for coverage....

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 6:05 p.m.

    Honor Code

    I suggest you change breakfast choices and newspapers.

  • Barney Google Beaver, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 5:20 p.m.

    X Factor!

    So, is Simon Cowell one of the Line Judges?


  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    @anonymous infinity

    BYU both out rebounded and outscored Baylor in the paint. Baylor clearly did not "expose(d) what I(you)say".

    BYU is also pretty deep, especially at the guard and wing positions, the bigs took a hit in depth when Collinsworth went down and losing Rogers is definately a hit although both should be back before the conference season even ends, but the bigs have decent depth as well since Abuo, Collinsworth and Rogers when they return, play down low. You also conveniently left BYU's best player and big, Hartsock, completely out of your "analysis". Was that because it disproves your "points"?

    BYU is definately not the best team in the country but your "analysis" of them was simply nonsensical.

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    @ anonymous forever?

    I beg to differ on a few points: 1) Overall team speed is better with this version of the Cougs see Baylor game as evidence (although we miss Emery's defensive speed). 2) The Y can field a bigger frontcourt and overall taller team now than most years. 3) Team depth is vastly improved as well. 4)I think you'll see BYU absolutely contend and not just "compete" in the WCC. 5)An interesting mix of talent has seemed to make up for many deficiencies.

    So, I guess I beg to differ on most of your post.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 2:35 p.m.

    There is no real quickness, explosive jumping ability, or beef on this edition of the Cougars. There is also a clear tendency to commit silly fouls. Austin and Davies cannot carry BYU in the post. One or both of them will undoubtably get hurt, and then what? Baylor clearly exposed what I say. Abuou needs to be more consistent. And Carlino/Cusic need to drive and kick to get the front court players involved early in the game. Zylstra, if he is a consistent scorer could make the Cougars competitive in the WCC. Beyond conference play, the going for BYU will be difficult due to their lack of depth and player dificencies.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    This cougar team has alot of potential, Carlino just is the icing on the top, inconsistency by Daivies may be the biggest problem/question mark we have, if Rogers can come back and play to the level he was before he hurt his knee , this team will be tough to beat. I love what we have seen in Carlino but I don't think we have seen anything yet, I think he hasn't even had a true breakout game for him, 30's and maybe even 40 pts are well within his reach. I think he really thinks he can be the next Jimmer, I hope he can.
    Harrison has alot of potential and I hope he gets major minutes while Rogers is out and that it gets him to shooting with confidence, he can be a difference maker.

  • fan in orem Orem, Utah
    Dec. 27, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    Troll: I am pretty sure those HD trucks don't actually drive *in* to the buildings themselves. Please grow up. Oh, except for when the HD truck is at Cowboys Stadium, *then* it pulls right into the building. But I guess a u fan doesn't know anything about playing there, do you?

    Dec. 27, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    Troll U, I bet BYU puts more fans in those "high school gyms" than the U does in any Pac 10.2 arenas all year, including the Huntsman Center. So much for U pride!

  • Starfarer Mesa, AZ
    Dec. 27, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    Luv 2 Troll U

    Riddle me this...

    What's worse, small gyms that are packed to the rafters, or the huntsman center with less than a thousand fans?

    Do some homework, look at how big some of the top 25 teams gyms are and then ask yourself this question...

    Is it the size of the gym that matters, or is it the teams playing in those gyms.

    Just as in football, you should be well read before you comment.

  • Max-was-right springville, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    I am pretty sure that Honor code and troll U are the two biggest HOH's on the cougar stories.

  • Luv 2 Troll U Sandy, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    WCC X-factor...

    That sounds hilarious. I sure hope the team can fit their HD truck in high school gyms.

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    Lots of talent on this team. Coach Rose is the right person to develop it and pick a starting rotation. Good luck and we look forward to March Madness.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 27, 2011 9:00 a.m.

    I don't know all the WCC awards yet, but if the conference has a Freshman of the Year award; my money is on Carlino. To step onto the court and make the kind of impact he has made in three games, is very unusual and very encouraging.

    Davies has been hot and cold this year. If he can play consistently like he did against Baylor, the Cougs are a legit Sweet 16 team. I think he is the real X factor.

    We know what we're going to get from Carlino and Hartsock. Both will average 15 - 20 points and 5 - 10 assists / rebounds respectively.

    I'd be surprised if we see Collinsworth again this year. I'm hopefully he can get another year of eligibility, and return healthy for a successful campaign next yeat.

    I haven't read any updates on Rogers since his surgery, but my expectations are low that we will see him anywhere close to 100% the rest of this year. To have somebody of his caliber coming off the bench, and provide the spark, was exciting. This was a big loss for the Cougs.

    Demarcus Harrison could end up being another X factor with increased time in Roger's absence.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    Carlino has the ability and mind to be a great scorer. I think it's unusual to have such a player come into the program immediately after the greatest player of all time left. Pretty fortunate for BYU.

    The kid is going to be great.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    BYU's offense is doing well, but the Cougars have struggled on defense, especially in defending the 3. If BYU wants to win the WCC and do something in the NCAA this year, they're going to have to step up their defense. Holding CSSM to under 60 tonight would be a good start.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 8:00 a.m.

    Only time will tell on Carlino. So far the coug's appear tentative in the paint. However, I love the ball movement and unselfish, mature court presents.

    As long as the Cougs stay in there game rhythm dictating the game tempo and push the middle and kicking the ball out they will wear down teams and come out on top.

    Keep the pressure on boy's and it will be another exciting season.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 27, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    It seems to me like Davies (so far) has been weak when it comes to finishing in the paint. He needs to be more aggressive down low. Carlino will be the X-factor but he needs help from Davies. Abuouo needs to take better care of the ball.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    Dec. 27, 2011 6:32 a.m.

    Always good to read Dick Harmon stories for breakfast. Crunchy bowl a corn flakes to start off with and then they get soggy just like Dicks reporting!

  • Louisiana Cougar Pineville, LA
    Dec. 27, 2011 5:14 a.m.

    Carlino has played well . . . but there are so many conditional situations for any team and/or combination of events.

    Collinsworth and Rogers certainly could have also made the difference against Baylor. Perhaps Carlino and chemistry could have pulled out the USU game, but this article is so much speculation!

    I am looking forward to Thursday's game. It should tell a lot about the Cougars and their future this season.

    Hartsock is the X-factor in my book this year. Davies has disappeared at times. Noah Hartsock has been Mr. Dependable.

    Anson Winder's emergence has been a pleasant addition -- and he was the Mike Loyd (as in the Florida game) in pulling out a great victory last week.

  • Realistic Goggles Alpine, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 4:50 a.m.

    Carlino did not start against Baylor, as the article states. He came off the bench in that game.

    Good luck to Matt the rest of the way!

  • Kyle loves BYU/Jazz Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2011 3:38 a.m.

    Carlino did not start against Baylor. He is the x factor and if he plays well the cougars win. It would be nice to have brandon davies be more consistent as well and a healthy Stephen Rogers sure wouldn't hurt. Asking for a healthy Collinsworth would be too much.