March 03, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Anson Winder (20) chases down the ball ahead of Gonzaga Bulldogs guard David Stockton (11) during the first half of the semifinals of the 2012 West Coast Conference tournament at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
BYU Cougars (9-7, 1-2) vs. Pepperdine Waves (10-6, 3-1)
Date: Thursday, January 9, 2014
Location: Marriott Center, Provo, Utah
Time: 6:00 PM PST
Last Season: BYU won both matchups. The Cougars defeated the Waves 76-51 in Provo, and 63-61 in Malibu.
Kyle Collinsworth, 13.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 5.4 APG
Skyler Halford, 8.3 PPG
Tyler Haws, 21.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG
Eric Mika, 13.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG
Nate Austin, 4.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG
Jeremy Major, 11.6 PPG, 4.4 APG
Malcolm Brooks, 9.7 PPG
Atif Russell, 3.7 PPG
Stacy Davis, 14.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG
Brendan Lane, 15.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG
KEYS TO THE GAME
Keep Lane and Davis off the boards: While Nate Austin does a very admirable job of rebounding, he needs to make sure that Brendan Lane cannot snag any offensive rebounds, because Pepperdine offensive rebounds will lead to put backs and inevitable fouls from Austin and also Mika.
Take care of the ball: I don’t know that the Waves necessarily want to make this a track meet with the Cougars at the Marriott Center, which means that Jeremy Major will have to take care of the ball against pesky defenders such as Kyle Collinsworth and Matt Carlino. The more assists and fewer turnovers for major, the better for Pepperdine.
Malcolm Brooks vs. Skyler Halford: Both players are junior college transfers and both have the ability to light it up beyond the arc. Both players are on fire recently, and they have won the last two WCC Player of the Week awards. Yet, neither player is option one on offense. Nor option 2 or 3. Yet they both play a central role in their teams success. Whoever performs better has a good chance of helping their team to victory.
The Marriott Center is just such a tough place for opposing teams to play at. BYU will ride their surge of momentum from the San Diego victory and keep it going against Pepperdine. While I do not see Matt Carlino breaking out of his slump tonight, I do not think BYU will need him. I predict a 81-68 victory for BYU.