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Three Observations From BYU‘s Win Over Utah Valley

Alex Barcello makes a short jump shot (Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars defeated cross-town opponent Utah Valley University 82-60  in their third consecutive home game to start the 2020 season.

Five Cougars scored in double figures. Alex Barcello led the way for BYU with 19 points.

UVU Wolverine guard Trey Woodbury gave the Cougars all they could handle, scoring a career-high 24 points. He was effective going 10 for 17 with three long distance buckets.

The Wolverines weren’t able to contain the BYU sharpshooters from long range as they were out-scored by 18 points from behind the arc.

BYU started the game 0-7 from deep, but they finished making 11 of 18 three pointers.

Here are my three observations from the Cougars third win of the season.

1. Alex Barcello hot shooting

We saw flashes of Alex Barcello’s offensive game last season, but he’s taken his game to a whole new level in 2020.

It was a slow start for BYU tonight. They trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half. Then Barcello got hot.

The Cougars trailed 20-13 before Barcello made his first bucket of the game. What ensued next was a 25-4 run that gave BYU a 14 points half time lead. Barcello scored 14 points during that span.

His three point stroke is a thing of beauty. He’s making 73 percent of his deep shots this year. Ridiculous.

Hopefully Barcello will be at full strength next week after hitting the deck hard in the final minute of play. I’m not sure he needed to be in the game at that point.

 

2. Jesse Wade back up point guard?

For the second game in a row, Jesse Wade was first off the bench to replace Brandon Averette.

He only played two minutes, but I think it’s telling that he’s the first guard off the bench.

Wade is an intriguing offensive player who can shoot the lights out of the gym. His road back to playing college basketball was a tough one. Some believed that he would never play again after the knee injury.

His only assist of the game was a beautiful pass to Matt Haarms on a high pick-and-roll who scored his first points as a Cougar on the possession.

With Barcello banged up, Jesse Wade might see an expanded role. The Cougars can’t afford to lose Barcello to a bigger injury. Coach Pope will need to lessen his workload going forward.

There’s enough depth on this team that should allow Barcello and Brandon Averette to stay below the 30 minutes a game mark, unless it’s required to win the game.

3. Caleb Lohner rebounding extraordinaire

Get used to the name BYU fans because it won’t be long before Lohner is a household name in college basketball.

Lohner is a dog. He’s tenacious on the glass, leading all Cougars with eight for the game. His ability to rebound helped BYU stay around early when shots weren’t falling.

You can tell that he enjoys the defensive side of the game. His versatility to guard multiple positions will come in handy for Coach Pope at some point this season.

Lohner hasn’t shot the long ball well this season, but that will come with more game experience.

With the announcement of Gavin Baxter out for the season with an ACL injury, Lohner will certainly see an expanded role at the power forward position.

Next up for the Cougars are the Trojans of Southern California. It doesn’t appear that football will get the chance to beat USC, so the basketball team will have the chance to take down a PAC-12 foe on Tuesday night.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

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