PROVO — It’s no secret BYU’s offense this season runs through Yoeli Childs and Elijah Bryant.
Beyond them? That’s where things get interesting.
Heading into the Cougars’ matchup with Pepperdine on Thursday night — ultimately an 83-63 win for BYU — the team had failed to top 70 points in a West Coast Conference game.
“We’ve been having a real hard time scoring,” said BYU basketball coach Dave Rose, whose team improved to 14-4 and 3-2 in conference play with the victory.
What can the Cougars take from the win over last-place Pepperdine? “I think the key in this game is that we got help from three or four different guys,” the coach added.
There are a few things to learn from the effort.
One: If both Childs and Bryant are efficient offensively, the Cougars will beat most teams in the league and hang with the others, like top-shelf Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga.
Childs and Bryant pushed BYU offensively in the early going when the game was close, as they combined for 26 of BYU’s first 32 points against the Waves. The duo also scored the Cougars’ first 15 points of the second half, when BYU extended a six-point lead at the break to 17 points at 55-38 with 15:41 to play.
Bryant led BYU with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including five 3-pointers, and Childs had 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting, 12 rebounds and six assists. It wasn’t until BYU had the game in hand, though, that other players, other than TJ Haws, really got going offensively.
Two: the Cougars’ top remaining shooters beyond the two stars must remain assertive.
BYU’s best option behind the top two is Haws, who earned All-WCC honors as a freshman last year. His shooting percentage has dipped this season (from 42.4 percent to 36.9), though his assist total has risen (from 3.2 to 3.9 per game).
Pepperdine is not the definitive test for BYU’s ability to create scoring from players outside of Childs and Bryant. The Waves rank dead-last in the WCC in team defense, giving up 79.9 points per game.
That said, it was a good offensive night for Haws, McKay Cannon and Zac Seljaas.
For Haws, league play has been a struggle shooting, as he’s hit 13 of 41 shots from the field, though against Pepperdine he made 3 of 8, his best shooting night in WCC play so far.
Haws had to grind it out to finish with 10 points, his first double-digit game …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News