BYU Basketball’s Small Lineups Among Observations From Win Over Missouri State

Dec 4, 2021, 6:59 PM | Updated: 8:39 pm
Spencer Johnson - BYU Cougars...
BYU guard Spencer Johnson (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The No.12 BYU basketball team fought their way to a much needed win against Missouri State defeating them 74-68.

It was their second road win of the season led by stellar play from their starting backcourt of Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas. 

Here are my observations from the win in the Missouri Valley conference.

1. Spencer Johnson two way player

Outside of Alex Barcello, I’m not sure there isn’t a more important player on this team.

He’s one of the teams best wing defenders, and he’s becoming a reliable weapon from the three point line.

Johnson made all of his three point attempts en route to 14 points off the bench.

Only two players are shooting the three ball better than 40 percent and Johnson is one of them.

It’s critical for BYU to shoot the long ball better with a lack of size, and Johnson is proving to be reliable shooter on the perimeter.

He’s always worked hard on the defensive end, and now he’s indispensable offensively.

2. BYU basketball small lineups

With the injury to Gavin Baxter, head coach Mark Pope had to get creative with his lineups.

Gideon George remained unavailable, meaning Seneca Knight started in his place for the second straight game.

Trevin Knell started for the injured Baxter which meant Caleb Lohner moved to the center position.

Fousseyni Traore played 18 minutes off the bench in the backup role.

Hunter Erickson saw eight minutes of action in the first half because of the need for small forwards to play up a position.

It’s going to take BYU a while to figure out a new rotation. They have a few more opportunities to fine tune things before WCC play begins.

3. Rebounding issues

It’s hard to remember that early in the season BYU basketball was top 20 in rebounding margin.

Those days are long gone.

There isn’t enough size on the floor for the Cougars to be a good rebounding team.

Coach Pope will need to find other ways to beat opponents because it’s too tall of a task for this team to be exceptional on the glass.

However, one of the biggest plays of the game was a critical offensive rebound.

Leading by three with one minute left, Lohner crashed the offensive glass after a miss by Johnson.

He scored, pushing the Cougar lead back up to five.

The Cougars need more of that from Lohner going forward.

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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