The story here is this is a team full of Seniors. They know how to play together and will be more then capable of beating BYU if we mess around and let the game be a nail biter. This team went from a 21 loss team two years ago to 19-8 last year and making the big dance before running into Houston, a final four team.
The bigger story is head coach, Dennis Gates
Cleveland State Vikings extend men’s college basketball coach Dennis Gates through 2026-27 season (espn.com)
Gates turned a losing program around in 2 years, has 14 years of coaching and wins the Horizon League in just 2 years.
The team is guard driven. not unlike a typical WCC team. While Clev has only 1 great outside shooter, guard, #3 Beaudion. He just happens to be their assist leader. Another tendency, this team is not tall, a lot of 6’4 guard types, they really like to pound it inside.
Keys to a Clev win: Work inside and try to get key BYU players into foul trouble
stick to a well oiled game plan and get the lead in a loud Marriott
Keys to a BYU win. Work it inside to our bigger stronger low post men of Lohner, George, Baxter (doubt Harward is playing til we know his health status) then kick the ball out to dead eyes Barcello, Knell and Johnson.
Win the rebound battle on both ends.
BYU did not look good in the first half of the CC game, doubt we get much more then the 70s on Cleveland.
BYU 75-66 Cleveland