San Francisco @ BYU Game Preview


Feb 8, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; San Francisco Dons Matt Christiansen (3) and Brigham Young Cougars forward Luke Worthington (41) look to grab the rebound during the first half at Marriott Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Dons (9-12, 3-6) @ BYU Cougars (15-7, 5-4)

Date: Thursday, January 29, 2015

Location: The Marriott Center, Provo, UT

Time: 9:00 PM MT

TV: ESPNU (Roxy Bernstein, Play-by-Play, Corey Williams, Analyst)

Livestream: WatchESPN

Live Stats: BYU’s StatBroadcast



Kyle Collinsworth, 12.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 5.8 APG

Anson Winder, 14.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG

Tyler Haws, 22.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG

Chase Fischer, 14.9 PPG

Luke Worthington, 2.5 PPG


Devin Watson, 8.0 PPG

Tim Derksen, 11.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG

Mark Tollefsen, 14.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG

Kruize Pinkins, 15.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG

Matt Christiansen, 3.9 PPG

What BYU Needs to do to get Back on Track

After BYU’s 99-68 victory at USF earlier this month, this game would appear very lopsided on paper.  However, the Cougars have lost 3 out of their last 5 games at home vs. Pepperdine, at Saint Mary’s, and at San Diego.  There has been one common theme in the four BYU conference losses: the inability to guard big men.  Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer (24 points), Pepperdine’s Stacy Davis (23 points 8 rebounds), Saint Mary’s Brad Waldow (24 points, 14 rebounds), and San Diego’s Thomas Jacobs (19 points, 13 rebounds) are all forwards who have had their way against the BYU frontline.  Earlier this week, Dave Rose said he was leaning towards Nate Austin not returning for the rest of the season with his torn hamstring (I’ll discuss his redshirt possibilities in depth at a later time).  The Cougars will need to find other guys who are able to defend the post.

With BYU’s inexperienced centers, there is the distinct possibility that Kruize Pinkins and Mark Tollefsen could replicate the effort of those four big men listed above.  Pinkins in particular has the potential to muscle his way in the paint for baskets, and Tollefsen will have a major size advantage against BYU’s four guard lineup.  Look to see Anson Winder guarding the emerging talent in USF freshman Devin Watson, who was averaging 14.8 points per game in the five games before the team’s loss against LMU on Saturday.

Unlike last season, BYU is extremely reliant on the three point shot, and their long range shooting is extremely reliant on Chase Fischer, who shoots much better in wins than he does losses.  It wasn’t just Fisher struggling against San Diego, as BYU’s big 4 guard tandem of Haws, Fischer, Winder, and Collinsworth combined for 38% shooting (18/47).  They need to be closer to 45% if they want to win games with the mediocre defense they have been playing.  As BYU basketball analyst Blaine Fowler said on BYU SportsNation on Monday, BYU doesn’t have the ability to win games ugly because they lack toughness when Nate Austin is out.  My mind keeps going back to the February 2013 matchup between BYU and USF at the Marriott Center where the Cougars gave up 60 second half points in a 99-87 loss.  They cannot let that happen again.

Previewing the Dons (By Mary Harvill)

USF can match up and play against any team in the WCC when they are firing on all cylinders. It is always hard to know which game they will do that. We’ve seen them do it with Pacific, Portland, Pepperdine, even LMU, which the Dons had in the bag until Evan Payne’s buzzer beater gave LMU with the win.

At this point, the Dons have nothing to lose and everything to gain by throwing caution to the wind giving this game everything they have. There isn’t anything Kruize & the Gang to worry about when the team is playing for the basement of the WCC. Actually it would be pretty fun for the Dons to win in Provo since the BYU fans can be a bit over the top in their fervor and enthusiasm for the home team which is almost, dare I say, devilish.


Tyler Haws will lead BYU to a revival in the second half of league play, stepping up on offense and defense, which will start on Thursday against USF.  The Dons will struggle with distributing the basketball with an inexperienced Devin Watson and a slumping Matt Glover.  BYU 79, USF 69.