BYU @ Portland Game Preview


Jan 10, 2015; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Tyler Haws (3) shoots the ball over Loyola Marymount Lions guard Chase Flint (23) during the second half at Marriott Center. Brigham Young Cougars won 85-72. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

BYU Cougars (21-8, 11-5) @ Portland Pilots (16-12, 7-9)

Date: Thursday, February 26, 2015

Location: Chiles Center, Portland, OR

Time: 7:00 PM PT

TV: Root NW/RM (Tom Glasgow, Jack Sikma) Jack’s son Luke played for Portland (2007-2011), and he is the school’s all time leading rebounder.


Live Stats: Portland StatBroadcast



Kyle Collinsworth, 13.2 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 5.7 APG

Chase Fischer, 13.1 PPG

Tyler Haws, 22.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG

Josh Sharp, 1.8 PPG

Corbin Kaufusi, 2.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG


Alec Wintering, 12.5 PPG, 5.9 APG

Bryce Pressley, 7.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.0 APG

Kevin Bailey, 14.5 PPG

Voldymyr Gerun, 8.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG

Thomas van der Mars, 10.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG

Injuries, Inconsistency Hurts Portland

Returning all key players from last year’s team other than Ryan Nicholas, the Portland Pilots were supposed to finish in the upper echelon of the WCC this season.  However, injuries have taken their toll on the Pilots this season.  Kevin Bailey missed 8 games with a foot injury and is just now returning to the form he had last season.  Riley Barker injured his knee on January 8th, ending his season and career.

In addition, several players have not been able to live up to the expectations after strong seasons last year.  Thomas Van Der Mars has had five games this season of 3 or fewer points, which is enigmatic given how talented he is in the post.  Bobby Sharp is down from a 40% three point shooter last year to 32% this season.  Bryce Pressley struggled mightily to start the season before regaining his shooting stroke in late January.  So while the Pilots will likely be making their first postseason appearance since 2011 (in the CBI or CIT), their 7-9 conference record and most recent overtime loss to Pacific have left Pilot fans wondering what could have been this season.

BYU Cannot Look Ahead to Gonzaga Just Yet

Last year, BYU lost to Portland in triple overtime despite 48 points from Tyler Haws.  So while the Gonzaga game is a marquee game to look forward to on Saturday, the Cougars need to focus solely on Portland right now.  Kevin Bailey is a dangerous scorer that Kyle Collinsworth will likely be tasked with stopping.  If Chase Fischer can regain his shooting touch, BYU will be dangerous, as Anson Winder’s return really helps the Cougars on defense.  He could be tasked with guarding the sharp shooting nifty passing point guard Alec Wintering.

Corbin Kaufusi looks to have the most potential of all the BYU big men, and with Luke Worthington’s impending mission, look for Coach Rose to feature Kaufusi, who figures to be a bigger part of the immediate future for the team. If the Cougars can avoid getting distracted by Tyler Haws passing Jimmer Fredette’s scoring record, which will happen in the first half, and focus on winning the game, the Cougars should be able to get the job done.

Current Line: BYU is favored by 4 points