Feb 13, 2014; Stockton, CA, USA; Pacific Tigers guard Sama Taku (3) dribbles the ball against Brigham Young Cougars guard Matt Carlino (2) during the first half at Alex G. Spanos Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

WCC Game Preview: BYU vs. Portland


BYU Cougars (19-10, 11-5) vs. Portland Pilots (15-12, 7-8)

Date: Saturday, February 22, 2014

Location: Marriott Center, Provo, UT

Time: 6:00 PM PST

TV: BYUtv

Video: byutv.org

LiveStats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=33655

This Season: Portland won the first matchup in triple overtime at the Chiles Center, 114-110.

PROJECTED STARTERS 

Portland

Alec Wintering, 7.7 PPG, 4.5 APG

Bryce Pressley, 8.5 PPG, 3.3 APG

Bobby Sharp, 8.1 PPG

Ryan Nicholas, 12.8PPG, 9.0 RPG

Thomas van der Mars, 12.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG

BYU

Kyle Collinsworth, 13.9 PPG, 87.8 RPG, 4.9 APG

Anson Winder, 5.5 PPG

Tyler Haws, 23.6 PPG

Josh Sharp, 1.6 PPG

Nate Austin, 4.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG

 

Keys to the Game

BYU

Keep Mika and Austin on the floor: This should be a little bit easier given the fact that Josh Sharp started over Mika in the Gonzaga game.  But nontheless, Mika and Austin are the only Cougar bigs who can actually guard Portland’s front line well.  In short, 185 pound Josh Sharp against 245 pound Ryan Nicholas will not bode well for BYU.

 

Portland

Who can replace Bailey’s production?:  The answer is not one player, because no one player will score 16 points above their season average.  However, Nicholas and van der Mars needs to be in the 15-17 point range and it would be nice if Sharp/Wintering/Pressley could be in the 9-11 point range.  Portland is a high scoring team, averaging 76 points per game, but they only got 59 points against San Diego.

 

Key Matchup

Bryce Pressley vs. Kyle Collinsworth: Both are point guards in a shooting guard’s body, and both make their teammates much better.  Collinsworth has the weight advantage however, so we’ll see if he looks to score inside against lankier Pilot guard defenders.

 

Prediction

BYU knows that they need to win these last two regular season games to still be in the NCAA Tournament conversation.  They know a loss tonight will sting really badly.  They have the sense of urgency to defeat the likely Kevin Bailey-less Portland Pilots.  BYU 77, Portland 65.

Tags: Basketball BYU BYU Cougars College Basketball Featured Popular Portland Portland Pilots WCC West Coast Conference