BYU ‘Growing Up’ Ahead Of Matchup With San Diego

Feb 13, 2019, 3:56 PM | Updated: 3:57 pm
The BYU bench celebrates a three point basket by a teammate during NCAA basketball against the Paci...
The BYU bench celebrates a three point basket by a teammate during NCAA basketball against the Pacific Tigers in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)
(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – It’s been an up and down season for BYU, but head coach Dave Rose feels the team is finally starting to come into its own lately.

The Cougars have suffered three-game losing streaks at a couple of points this season as well as some major losses, most recently in a 30-point beating by Gonzaga, but now they’re rolling on a three-game willing streak.

According to Rose, the team really matured on its recent road trip to Portland, where the Cougars beat the Pilots 83-48 last Thursday.

‘Growing Up’

“What I really take from the trip up to Portland, I think our team’s really growing up,” said Rose. “I think that defensively, we’ve been kind of a team that played in spurts and a lot of that had to do with how well we were doing on the offensive end. I think we’ve actually been able to grow up to the point where we can struggle a bit on the offensive end and still have a real defensive mindset and focus.”

Over the last three games, the Cougars have been dialed in on defense. They beat Loyola Marymount 67-49 on February 2, Portland on February 7 and then defeated Pacific 69-59 on Saturday.

“It’s not easy to hold teams under 60 points in today’s game and we’ve done it three games in row,” boosted Rose when talking about his team’s current defensive effectiveness.

One player who has caught his coach’s attention is McKay Cannon.

“If you look at just his numbers, he might be playing just as well as any guard in the league,” said Rose.

Rose also commented that his star players, TJ Haws and Yoeli Childs might be getting “overlooked” as they’re expected to get the stats that they’re getting.

A Look At The Toreros

One thing the Cougars aren’t overlooking is the matchup with San Diego on Thursday. The Torero have a similar record as BYU with a 16-9 record and a 5-5 record in conference play. BYU sits at 16-10 overall with an 8-3 mark in WCC play.

Playing the Toreros in their gym has been a tough task for opposing teams. So far this season, San Diego has racked up an 11-1 record at home with the lone loss coming to Pepperdine on January 12.

The Toreros are led by Isaiah Pineiro, who has led his team in scoring in 13-of-25 games.

“This San Diego team has been through a lot,” said Rose. “They’ve had two starters that have been injured…I really like their team.”

Broadcast Info

The Cougars will travel to Southern California to face San Diego on Thursday. That game will begin at 7 p.m. and be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.



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