Three Observations From BYU Hoops Win Against St. John’s

Dec 2, 2020, 8:46 PM
BYU Basketball - Alex Barcello & Brandon Averette...
BYU basketball guards Alex Barcello and Brandon Averette compete in practice. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – Led by Alex Barcello, the BYU Cougars bounced back with a win against previously undefeated St. John’s University 74-68.

Head Coach Mark Pope has yet to lose back-to-back games at the helm for BYU.

The Cougars led for over 33 minutes of the game and resisted a last second push by the Red Storm aided by missed BYU free throws.

Gideon George was the star of the night, posting his first double-double with 13 points and 15 massive rebounds.

Here are my three observations from a big-time bounce back win for BYU.

1. Connor Harding draining threes

At one point in the first half it seemed like Connor Harding was entering a drought. He was scoreless against USC missing all six of his shots.

Harding missed his first four shots in the first half and I was beginning to think he might be in some sort of shooting slump.

Thankfully for BYU, Harding found his shot and scored 11 points making four of his last six shots.

He drilled a couple critical long distance buckets in the second half that helped BYU withstand several pushes from the Red Storm.

The Cougars need Harding to be a reliable scoring threat. He’s been mentioned by Coach Pope as one of the best defenders on the team, but they need him to score consistently like he did tonight.

2. Trevin Knell off the bench

The Cougars lost a lot of firepower from deep last season when Jake Toolson and T.J. Haws graduated. Even Yoeli Childs became a threat from distance.

Trevin Knell was one of those guys that was expected to help fill the void from behind-the-arc.

He did his part against St. John’s. Knell poured in 11 points while knocking down three long distance shots.

Most of his looks were uncontested. With the defense focusing on Barcello and Matt Haarms, Knell will need to keep hitting open shots to help this team win games.

3. Gideon George rebounding machine

I had a feeling George would see an expanded role after his performance against USC. He played the same amount of minutes, but remained on the floor late when it mattered most.

George was the guy who knocked down key free throws to hold off the Red Storm.

His most important play of the game was his offensive rebound after two missed free throws from Brandon Averette.

The Cougars did a much better job on the boards, out-rebounding the Red Storm by nine. George was one of the main reasons why BYU controlled the glass.

As the rotation continues to be tweaked, one thing is for sure, Gideon George will remain a key piece of that rotation.

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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