Dec 13, 2014; Ogden, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars leading scorer Tyler Haws (3) is helped off of the court during the second half by Brigham Young Cougars guard Anson Winder (20) and Assistant Athletic Trainer Rob Ramos. Haws twisted his ankle and would not return to the game against the Weber State Wildcats at Dee Events Center. Brigham Young Cougars won the game 76-60. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
BYU Cougars (8-3) vs. UMass Minutemen (6-5)
Date: Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Location: Marriott Center, Provo, UT
Time: 12:00 PM MT
Kyle Collinsworth, 12.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 5.5 APG
Tyler Haws, 23.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG
Chase Fischer, 14.1 PPG
Isaac Neilson, 5.8 PPG
Luke Worthington, 3.4 PPG
Trey Davis, 9.6 PPG, 3.6 APG
Jabarie Hinds, 7.5 PPG
Derrick Gordon, 11.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG
Maxie Esho, 14.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG
Cady Lalanne, 13.5 PPG, 9.2 RPG
Meet the Opponent
The Minutemen are sorely missing their do-everything point guard from last season Chaz Williams, who was the team’s leading scorer and assist man. As a result, UMass does not have any great wins on their schedule so far, and they have some questionable losses including one at Harvard, a team that just scored 27 points for the entire game against UVA on Sunday. Big man Maxie Esho has played for four seasons and is finally coming to his own, relying on a ton of NCAA Tournament and NIT experience in the past few years. Derrick Gordon, who made national headlines as the first openly gay men’s college basketball player, is a strong guard who can attack the rim. Cady Lalanne, coming off a strong season last year, has improved this season and will be a tough player for BYU to keep off of the boards and defend on the interior at 250 pounds. West Virgina transfer Jabarie Hinds also plays a key role in the starting lineup. After sharing ball-handling responsibilities with Williams last season, Trey Davis has done a solid job running the show for UMass so far this season.
Keys to the Game for BYU
Unlike many teams BYU has faced this season, UMass relies primarily on the interior players for scoring. Since UMass averages only 3.8 three point shots made per game at a clip of 29%, the Cougars always have a zone defense as an option to try to eliminate post touches or driving opportunities for Derrick Gordon. BYU will still need someone to come close to the production of Esho and Lalanne in the frontcourt, and Isaac Neilson could definitely push them out on the perimeter on defense. It will be interesting to see how Tyler Haws does on defense against UMass’ penetrating guards on his ankle. In general, the Cougars need better shot selection than they had at the end of the Stanford game.
BYU’s significant three point shooting advantage will make up to UMass’ advantage down low, and the Cougars will head into Christmas break with 81-68 victory.