Santa Clarita, one stop

We only see SCU once this year and its at the Marriott. Whew! With all our injuries, this is a much needed at home game. With our barely win at SD last night, BYU fell to #19 from 16, mark it down as a case of very bad reff calls, a confident surging SDU team, Childs in foul trouble all night and Nixon’s ankle injury. Makes you realize just how important Dalton Nixon is to our team this season.
How cool was it to see Haws’s lob to Childs for a game winning DUNK!!!

This SCU game will cure all kinds of what ails BYU. Outside of that shocking win at Moraga over SMC, SCU has been, yawn, trending downward. They lost to LMU and SF at home, that should say everything. They have mailed it in.

SCU is a very tall team but lumbering. They don’t do anything really good or really bad. BYU is chomping to get that sour SDU game out of their mouths. BYU to outperform their expected win

Santa Clarita? That’s about 30 miles from me in Southern California. And, #19 in what poll?

What I would like to see:
Gavin Baxter show that he has shaken off his rust.
Jake Toolson show he has shaken off his ankle injury.
the team show that they can put a complete defensive game together.
Obliteration on the offensive end.

In short, a good feeling heading into the Gonzaga game that this team is closer to peaking than they have been since the beginning of conference play

Santa Clarita? I wish. That’s a 30 minute drive from me. It’s hard to win all games in league. They know us well. Especially our weaknesses. We still win and then Gonzaga

Baxter still looks rusty.
Jake looks better but not back yet.
The team is looking worse than ever on defence.
The team seems to have forgotten how to play offence.

In short, come Saturday, I wonder how badly the Bulldogs will maul the Cougars…

The Dalton Nixon injury seems like it has hurt the team very badly.
Barely beating two of the worst teams in the league does not bode well for any future games.

Pepperdine will be licking their chops.

Counting blessings…at least the team won and did not harm its chances at a dance invite too badly.
It did harm its chance at a good seed though…two maybe three maybe four games to impress the committee…given that the next three games will all be more difficult than the last two…optimism does not seem to be the order of the day.

Only in your half-glass empty view of things. But, I’m wondering if the team has been looking ahead to Saturday and really not taking care of business. Shooting poorly on the road is understandable. But not at home. I’d fatigue setting in?

And, defense is slacking. GU will score 110 if we play defense like we did tonight. But, I think we will be ready. It’s time!

Pepperdine is a question mark. In the past we haven’t played our best at their gym.

Looks like Gonzaga may be looking ahead as well. They are down 31-22 at the half to San Francisco. I hope they come back and win because I don’t like our chances if they are coming off a loss. They will be super motivated and not likely to lose 2 in a row.

I don’t know if fatigue is setting in or not. Why wouldn’t BYU’s opponents be getting fatigued as well? BYU’s 3 point shooting has been phenomenal until the last 2 games… Maybe it will come back Saturday. There will be games where it won’t be so good. Hopefully they got those games out of their system.

They played below par and still won by 10. I’ll take it at this time of year.

The key is peaking at the right time. Teams want to peak after the season is over for the conference tournaments. We may have peaked early trying to stay in the Dance.

Mostly I would agree with you.

My biggest concern is that the strength of BYU’s dance resume was their ratings in the statistical indexes.
The team has dropped from a 13 to a 21 with their two abysmal showings in the last two games.

A few things

  1. BYU doesn’t match up well with SC height
  2. Lee is not a good defender and Child’s is undersized against players 3-4 inches taller
  3. Except for Haws ft shooting was abysmal
  4. Nixon was a big loss-because BYU wasn’t deep before the loss

The free throw shooting was a problem. Also, need more assists. Not a lot of open 3’s. Poor 3 point shooting. They rushed shots.
Lee did okay. Childs didn’t want to get into foul trouble. Baxter is disappointing from his real good summer play overseas before his injury.

Lee is a problem defensively as he is slow on his switches, unless you call being the biggest player for BYU on the court, playing 13 min yes and hauling down one rebound. Of course, when your vertical leap is less than an inch, all that size goes for naught

“They had a game plan where they wanted to get us off the 3-point line and force us to drive,” Toolson said. “They did a good job making it tough on us. As the game went on we started to take the best shot each possession. T.J. was driving and we were getting to the line. We were listening to what the game was telling us.”

SCU won in that that in the second half they forced BYU to play to their game plan.
That is the genius, and discipline, of coach Sendak. When Pope can get his boys to do the same he will be a HoFer.
Rose started out that way, which in Pope’s own words on several occasions, is why Pope came in to be an assistant to Rose.
Now that Pope trusts TJ, and the rest of the team for that matter, the winning percentage has gone up.
Pope’s trust in his boys let him give up enough control that the team won.

Now if only Nixon were back to provide more of the glue, then the team would have a chance to play the rest of the eleven games some coach mentioned earlier this week.

I think Lee needs to learn how to use his wide body better to get position. There have been big, slow, wide body players who were decent rebounders because they knew how to block out and position themselves and use their bulk and muscle. He seems to know how to use his body to position himself to score but no so much to rebound. I doubt he will ever be anything better than average defensively because quickness and jumping ability play a big role for inside defenders. He could learn to rebound better.

I hope Baxter can get his game together by Saturday because he does have the skill set to be good defensively and rebound well.

I agree 100 percent. Nixon is a great one for not forcing the offense, just working through the rotations and taking the open look or the easy inside look. He is also a tough kid who is quick on the defensive end. Pope likes ball movement and one on one matchups inside. He doesn’t like his bigs forcing things when they are being doubled or triple teamed, but rather passing out to the wide open teammate. The biggest reason BYU is in the upper echelon of 3 point percentage. Haws and Toolson Came through last night. They played smart and took advantage of matchups. Child’s was good also, except his ft shooting could have cost BYU the game. Baxter just looks lost and it’s hard to see him being a factor this year. I don’t see BYU beating Gonzaga on Saturday and Pepperdine will be tough without Nixon, but hopefully he will be back for the WCC tournament. It is really great to see TJ play like we thought he would

Baxter dropped a pass as he was going into the lane. Had he caught it he would have been able to dunk it. He’s just lost and that is surprising because he has been practicing for almost a month now.
Lee’s knee seems to be an issue, maybe. Early on in the year he seemed quicker.

Hopefully Baxter will click with the team at some point. Hopefully this Saturday. He has great upside. He doesn’t seem to have the chemistry yet with the rest of the team. Practicing for a month as opposed to playing with the rest of the team in real games are 2 different things. He has only played limited minutes in 4 games. If he could even log 15 quality minutes a game it would be a great help. It would offset the loss of Nixon to some degree.

Lee is a starter but you will notice he rarely plays as much as 20 minutes, usually about 15. Baxter and Seljass are all BYU has right now to spell the bigs and Seljass is ideally a wing player and not a post player.

You are right about Lee-he can learn to position himself better and become more effective. In high school he could dominate with his large frame but now it’s a different story. Offensively he has come a long ways, but it needs to be relatively quick, within the flow of the ball rotation. I shudder when he starts his long slow back in dribble and 4 of his teammates are standing around watching. That’s why, even though Lee starts, his minutes aren’t usually large and Nixon, while he wasn’t starting was logging quality minutes

Agreed, Nixon’s loss has hurt more than I would have expected. If Baxter could get in the flow it would offset Nixon being out but so far it is slow going for Baxter. I hope things will start clicking for him soon.

I’m guessing expectations were to high for Baxter after sitting while recovering for most the season