Key Takeaways From BYU Basketball’s Victory Over Texas

Jan 27, 2024, 6:13 PM | Updated: Jan 29, 2024, 5:28 pm

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball took down the Texas Longhorns 84-72 in Big 12 action.

It was a victory that put BYU back in the win column, ending a two-game losing streak.

Here are the key takeaways from the game.

Fousseyni Traore had his best performance since nonconference play

Junior forward Fousseyni Traore has been dealing with a hamstring injury since November. When Traore suffered the injury on Black Friday against NC State, it’s been a slow, day-to-day process to get him back to full strength.

On Saturday afternoon against Texas, the 6-foot-6 big man had his best performance since nonconference action.

Traore finished with 16 points, six rebounds, and two blocked shots.

One of Traore’s two blocks led to a Richie Saunders three-pointer that sent the sold-out Marriott Center into a frenzy.

Traore was 6-of-7 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. He put up those numbers in 17 minutes of action.

“I thought he was good and super deliberate. He brought a real physicality to the game,” said BYU coach Mark Pope.

Having a healthy Traore gives a strong presence in the post to match up against bigger teams in Big 12 play.

BYU basketball won a game without firing off 30+ threes

Typically, BYU has a set mandate of firing off 30 or more three-pointers in a game.

They didn’t need that against Texas, as they only attempted 17 threes.

BYU finished the game 7-of-17 from three.

Instead, BYU attacked the paint. The Cougars finished with 40 points in the painted area compared to Texas, who had 26.

“That’s a credit to Texas,” said Mark Pope. “They had a game plan that they were really committed to and they said, ‘We’re not going to let you beat us the way that you want to beat us.'”

It should be a confidence boost for BYU that they were able to win a Big 12 game without 10+ threes in a game. Sometimes you will have to win a matchup in the paint or on defense.

BYU’s defense shined in the second half

The starting five for Texas was on fire from three in the opening minutes. They knocked down their first four three-point attempts.

During the first half, Texas shot 55.6% from three and 51.5% from the field.

Then BYU’s defense tightened up.

Texas, in the second half, shot 23.1% from beyond the arc and 35.7% from the field.

BYU took care of business on the defensive glass, doubling the Longhorns 24-12.

The Cougars defense also limited prolific scorer Max Abmas to 12 points and 4-of-12 from the field.

BYU is tough to beat when Noah Waterman and Jaxson Robinson are hitting their shots

Between Noah Waterman and Jaxson Robinson, the two starters combined for 34 points on 22 field goal attempts between them.

If BYU gets anywhere close to that level of production on a nightly basis from these two, they will be in a position to climb the Big 12 standings.

Whenever Waterman delivers, BYU is tough to beat.

In the last three games Waterman has played, he’s scored 17 or more points in all three. BYU is 2-1 in those games. The lone loss was against Houston, where Waterman knocked down a clutch three with two minutes remaining to tie the ball game.

Robinson had his best shooting performance since his career-high 28 points against Denver on December 13 when he knocked down eight threes.

Turnovers are an area that needs to improve

One of the areas that needs improvement for BYU coming out of Saturday’s win is turnovers.

BYU finished with 16 turnovers and had 16 assists. Aly Khalifa accounted for eight of those assists.

It’s a stat that can be an afterthought when you’re hovering around 70% from the field. But in games where the shooting goes cold, valuing possessions has to be at the top of mind.

Seven of BYU’s eight players who logged minutes against Texas had at least one turnovers. The only player that didn’t have a turnover was Richie Saunders.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s’ coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s’ sports leader. You can stream live radio video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars


Michelle Bodkin

Utah, BYU, Utah State Represented In East-West Shrine Bowl 1000

All three major colleges in the state of Utah- Utah football, BYU, and Utah State are represented on the Shrine Bowl top 1000 players list.

47 minutes ago

BYU Football, QB Competition, Jake Retzlaff...

Mitch Harper

BYU Players Lay Out Positives From Open QB Competition

BYU football players see good things emerging from the quarterback position entering fall camp.

49 minutes ago

Jimmer Fredette, Olympics, 3x3...

Mitch Harper

Jimmer Fredette Set To Become Team USA 3×3 Pioneer At Olympics

Will "Jimmermania" make an appearance in Paris?

5 hours ago

Tei Nacua, BYU Football, Puka Nacua Brother...

Mitch Harper

Puka Nacua Excited For Brother Tei Nacua To Begin BYU Career

Freshman Tei Nacua is set to begin his college career at BYU.

7 hours ago

BYU Football, Opposing QBs, Kansas State Avery Johnson...

Mitch Harper

Ranking The Opposing Quarterbacks BYU Football Will Face In 2024

Breaking down the signal-callers who BYU football will face in 2024.

1 day ago


KSL Sports

60 in 60: #29 BYU’s Keanu Hill (Tight End)

The countdown is on for Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 for the 2024 college football season. Coming in at No. 29 is BYU wide receiver Keanu Hill.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Key Takeaways From BYU Basketball’s Victory Over Texas