BYU Cougars vs. Seattle Pacific Falcons
Date: Saturday, November 8, 2014
Location: Marriott Center, Provo, UT
Time: 7:00 PM MT
PROJECTED STARTERS (2013-14 stats)
Kyle Collinsworth, 14.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.6 APG
Tyler Haws, 23.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG
Chase Fischer, 4.5 PPG at Wake Forest in 2012-13
Josh Sharp, 1.4 PPG
Luke Worthington, 1.0 PPG
Riley Stockton, 8.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.9 APG
Brendan Carroll, 6.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG
Matt Bourton, 7.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG
Garrett Swanson, 9.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG at Casper College (JUCO)
Corey Hutson, 10.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG
Meet the Teams
The BYU Cougars will look to be one of the top teams in the West Coast Conference, returning most of last year’s NCAA Tournament team. Senior Tyler Haws is in his third season as the team’s primary scorer, and has a good chance to become BYU’s all-time leading scorer late this season. Junior Kyle Collinsworth, coming off ACL injury rehab, should be one of the most versatile players in the country. Averaging over 8 rebounds per game at the point guard spot, Collinsworth is his own outlet pass, and he’ll look to find teammates in transition in BYU’s high powered offense.
Rebounding and interior toughness could be a concern if senior Nate Austin is unable to play, as he sat out last Saturday’s exhibition game against Colorado School of Mines due to injury. Neither Luke Worthington nor Josh Sharp are very effective down low on offense or defense, so Austin presence will be needed. With UNLV transfer Jamal Aytes likely to miss most of the season after ankle surgery, sweet shooting big men Isaac Neilson and Dalton Nixon, along with former football player Corbin Kaufusi and forward Ryan Andrus, should all have an opportunity to crack Dave Rose’s rotation.
In the backcourt, Skyler Halford looks to add a point guard presence after dishing out 7 assists in the first exhibition game. Jake Toolson and Chase Fischer will look to provide outside shooting, and 5th year senior Anson Winder will look to do a little bit of everything on offense and defense. Portland State transfer Jordan Ellis could also be in the mix for some minutes at backup point guard. Guards Jordan Chatman and Frank Bartley IV will look to provide quickness and athleticism, but with so many guards on the roster, it remains to be seen if they’ll get the chance to show off their complete skillset.
For the Cougars, these exhibition games will determine which freshmen will redshirt and which ones will see meaningful minutes. (As we were reminded this week, any upperclassmen playing in these games will not be able to redshirt by NCAA rule: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/281698101.html)
Despite losing the top two scorers from last year’s team that went 15-3 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, the Falcons return a wide variety of scorers, including big man Corey Hutson and point guard Riley Stockton, who is similar to Kyle Collinsworth in his ability to score, rebound, and pass very well. X factors for the team this year are Garrett Swanson, who had a good year at Casper College last season before transferring to SPU, and 6th man Mitch Penner, who averaged almost 9 points per game last year. Role players such as Brendan Carroll and Matt Bourton will provide experience and stability on the wings. The question for this years Seattle Pacific team is primarily who will be the go to scorers. They have many pieces however and should be competitive when they play out their Division II schedule.
The return of Kyle Collinsworth and the high powered Cougar offense will have no trouble handling Seattle Pacific. I predict a final score of 101-69 in favor of BYU.