BYU Basketball Weekly Preview

(Disclaimer: While I am posting this tonight, I did write it before yesterday’s game.)

November 13 – 19

Season Record: 1-0

Georgia State Panthers vs. BYU Cougars

Date: Tuesday, November 13
Location: Marriott Center, Provo
BYUtv, 7 PM Utah Time


Stats Comparison:

Statistic BYU Cougars Georgia State Panthers
(per game) Stat Rank Stat Rank
Points 81 79 55 300
Rebounds 40 119 33 243
Assists 20 22 4 336
Field Goal % 55% 24 37% 263
3 – PT % 36% 127 36% 127
Steals 4 289 7 157
Blocks 8 14 0 326

How they match up:

Georgia State comes to town from the Colonial Athletic Association 0-1 after a 19 point drubbing at the hands of Duke last week.  The team is led by 5-10 junior guard Devonta White who scored 19 on the Blue Devils last week.  He also led the team in steals and 3 pointers made and percentage.  But he also accounted for more than 1/3 of the team’s turnovers.  He’s partnered by 6-5 freshman guard RJ Hunter who also grabbed the most rebounds for the Panthers en route to a 14 point night on 4-11 shooting.

On the other side, BYU was led by return missionary Tyler Haws and senior Brandon Davies.  TSU kept it close throughout but started finding success later as they dropped the ball to Davies inside.  Shots from distance weren’t exactly finding their mark as BYU only hit on 36% of their attempts.  That’s not a bad clip, but inside the Marriott Center, that number should be much higher for a team that shoots them as often as BYU does.  Overall, the team distributed the ball well and the bigs patrolled the middle on their way to collect 8 blocks on the night.

BYU will have to play inside out on Tuesday night in order to maintain control of this game.  Georgia State doesn’t appear to be a very opportunistic team defensively so they will try to beat BYU with shooting and speed.  Playing defense in the transition and staying strong in the paint will be keys to BYU success.

Prediction: BYU wins in Provo

Florida State Seminoles vs. BYU Cougars

Date: Friday, November 16
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
truTV, 5 PM Utah Time

Stats Comparison:

Statistic BYU Cougars Florida State Seminoles
(per game) Stat Rank Stat Rank
Points 81 79 83 63
Rebounds 40 119 31 276
Assists 20 22 13 157
Field Goal % 55% 24 51% 56
3 – PT % 36% 127 39% 95
Steals 4 289 10 65
Blocks 8 14 3 189

How they match up:

Florida State is always in the mix to be a top team annually.  So imagine their surprise to lose at home to the University of South Alabama, proving once again that in NCAA basketball, anyone can win on any given night.  For a team that has some really good height (they have a 7-1 and a 7-0 guy as well as three more guys over 6-8) they don’t seem to rebound particularly well, nor do they defend the paint as well as they should.  But they have some really good shooters led by 6-5 senior guard Michael Snaer who leads the team in scoring and is close to the top in rebounds, assists, and steals per game.  And while he leads the team in scoring, it primarily is due to a slasher style of play as he is averaging 7 free throw attempts per game.  He isn’t particularly proficient from distance.  6-8 junior forward Okaro White and 6-3 sophomore guard Terry Whisnant II round out the top performers for the Seminoles.  Whisnant is the one to watch for in the jump shooting game as he is shooting 50% from the field and 100% from the charity stripe as well as almost 56% from three.

BYU will have to play determined, hard-nosed basketball against the Noles to have a chance to win in this game in Brooklyn, New York.  The shooters will need to find their touch while the big man duo of Davies and Nate Austin will need to play big in the post.  Sophomore guards Matt Carlino and Tyler Haws will need to manage the tempo of this game and know when to speed it up and slow it down according to opportunities presented.  If they can control tempo and force FSU to play their style of game, BYU should have a very good chance to win this game.  And since our coach knows a thing or two about beating cancer (this is part of the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic) BYU should have the edge in this game.

Prediction: BYU wins a close one in Brooklyn

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