If I ever saw one. BYU comes off the biggest win in a Decade, Pepperdine plays much better at home then on the road and they have played Gonzaga perhaps better then any other WCC team. Just a lot of reasons to worry about any kind of BYU let down next Sat…
Keys to a win:
Don’t let their elite player, Ross get going, he is like SMC’s Fitts when he is on a roll.
Likewise for the Edwards brothers. They can be a handful.
At home, Pepperdine has shot over 50% for their games all season long…and they average 9 threes…BYU had just better bring their A game or they will loose.
On the other hand…Baxter is playing waaaaay better and should improve with his confidence growing by the game, We are really going to need him in Vegas and beyond. Nixon looks to be able to go possibly at Pepperdine.
This will be a tough game for BYU-even before the Gonzaga victory. Ross is a legitimate game breaker, so BYU better bring a hundred percent. The win over Gonzaga will take some of the pressure off as BYU should be assured of a berth in the tourney and the advantage over SMC in seeding
Two other things to consider about Pepperdine. They shoot in the 50%, even in the BYU loss, They were over 50% for the night…BYU just made a record 17 threes in the Marriott. 2) They shoot close to 80% from the FT. We don’t want to be close at the end of a game and have Childs at the FT line any more then we want the waves to be shooting FTs.
It’s a good thing that we have until Saturday to play the Waves. It’s a total trap game. Playing after the Saturday night showdown in the MC will be a challenge. But hopefully the Cougs come out strong.
People on this board have seen more games than me this year. I don’t really get why people are so high on Nixon. He seems fine, but totally unnecessary now that Baxter is back. Am I missing something? Isn’t Harding a little better version of Nixon?
Nixon has just been so outstanding-hustle, rebounding, shooting 3’s. He actually is ahead of Seljaas and Harding in every statistical category-but that isn’t what’s really important-he just gives himself up-100 percent for the team-just like everyone else does
Oh, got it. Nixon seems like a slow 4 who works hard but shoots pretty well. I haven’t seen all the games as I’m busy with my 5 kids and not all games are on tv here in Oregon.
I like Seljaas. He has been tough lately. That play against Gonzaga where he was laying on the ground and ripped the ball away from the Zaga player was awesome. Play of the game. And it was right in front of Mark Few. Ha ha.
The Cougs won on home court against Pepperdine because they smoked the net. The teams best offensive outing of the entire season.
This version of the Cougars has not been able to do that on visiting courts.
Defensively the Cougs played Pepperdine very badly, one of their worst defensive outcomes of the entire season. They essentially let a nearly happless Pepperdine offence play like they were the Gonzaga Bulldogs against them–at the Marriott Center. If Pepperdine plays as well on offence at home, which is unlikely; (they will probably play better) then the game could be ugly.
Most teams do play offense better at home than on the road. And looking at Pepperdine’s specific stats they have played better at home than on the road by an appreciable margin this year in conference. Their only conference home losses, and both were relatively close, were to the Zags and the Gaels.
The Cougs need to play defence like they played last Saturday.
If the team plays their conference road offence average without upping their defence it will be ugly.
As Coach Pope has said multiple times this week. The team has to improve to win at Pepperdine.
It has to learn to not have its normal bad cold shooting at the beginning of the game on the road, which has been a growing problem at home for that matter.
It has to learn to play defence strong at the beginning of the game, ala the home game against the Zags, and then keep it up without the letdowns.
The scariest thing about the upcoming game is that at home in the Marriot Center the Cougs let Pepperdine play offense like they were the Zags…the Cougar defence has to step it up.
If they only win by one point and it is ugly that will be good enough for me.
Since it is the only game this week and is on Saturday that gives a few more days for Nixon to heal and Baxter to get more mobility in his injured shoulder and some additional practice time. It is an opportune time to only have a Saturday game because a lot of guys have been nicked up this year and the depth could be better than it has been all year. That is the silver lining in the cloud.
I get the angst. I can hardly bear to watch the games sometimes. As long as BYU approaches Pepperdine the way they do Gonzaga and St. Marys they should be OK. They come to far and have too much to lose so I hope they are completely dialed in.
Pepperdine averages 50% all season long…In the last game at the Marriott they averaged 54%. Pepperdine is amongst the most efficient teams in all D1 but then their defense is very suspect ranked 188 nationally
Sure this is a trap game but I doubt that BYU is going to come in unprepared. BYU has too much to lose…they’ll be ready.
over the season pepperdine has averaged 35% of threes and 48.7% of their twos.
Against BYU, at home in the Mariott Activities Center,
Pepperdine was 6 of 16 or 37.5% of their three and 22 of 41 or 53.7%.
BYU’s defense played worse against Pepperdine than 22 other games that Pepperdine has played. https://byucougars.com/event-stats/m-basketball/box-score/1290283
BYU won the game because like many teams the Cougs have simply outscored their opponents.
No opponent has burned the Waves the way the Cougs did.
In Malibu, the Cougs are not likely to burn the Waves the way they did in Provo.
BYU must improve their defence. Not just for the Pepperdine game purposes but because SMC and potentially Gonzaga await on a neutral court.
BYU’s seeding depends on them winning the next three games.