Three Observations From BYU Hoops Win Over Weber State

Dec 23, 2020, 8:10 PM
Alex Barcello - BYU...
Alex Barcello makes a jump shot against Weber State (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars basketball team defeated Weber State 87-79 winning all of their matchups against in-state opponents.

Matt Haarms led the way for BYU with 15 points. He had a big second half scoring 11 points.

Credit Weber State for hanging in there with a chance to steal the game late. They made enough three pointers to hang around but ultimately the Cougars made enough plays to leave Salt Lake City with a win.

Here are my three observations.

1. Alex Barcello three point shooting

Barcello entered the game as the country’s best three point shooter and that won’t change after another solid outing for the senior.

He’s shooting at such an efficient clip it’s becoming a surprise when he misses a three point shot.

The senior guard made two of his three long distance attempts keeping his percentage in the 60’s at 63 percent.

His release is so quick that he can get off a shot even when a defender is right up in his face.

It’s not easy to improve upon his 48 percent three point shooting from his junior season, but so far, Barcello has done just that.

2. Bench Points

There’s no better indicator of depth than bench scoring. Once again, the BYU bench out scored their opponent 32-13.

Moving Caleb Lohner back to the bench has beefed up the second unit. He’s relentless on the glass and consistently gets second chance buckets.

Coach Mark Pope emphasizes the rebounding battle as a critical one and Lohner has embraced that.

Richard Harward has found his groove as the backup center. He battled hard in the second half scoring eight points and pulling down two big offensive rebounds.

Strong bench play goes a long way, and who knows, maybe that’s what can help BYU upset Gonzaga later in the year. It’s happened before.

3. Poor free throw shooting

It wasn’t critical to the outcome of this game, but the BYU Cougars have a free throw problem.

They only made 62% of their free throws going 13 of 21 from the line.

Harward missed the front end of a crucial one and one situation with less the two minutes to go and a five point lead.

At some point in WCC conference play, the Cougars will find themselves in a dog fight against a team they should beat and they’ll need to shoot better than 60% from the line to win that game.

That wraps up the non-conference portion of the schedule. BYU resumes action on New Years Eve Mwith a matchup in California against the Pepperdine Waves.

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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