WCC Championship Keys to the Game: BYU


After a hot shooting performance from Chase Fischer and a triple-double for Kyle Collinsworth in BYU’s semifinal victory over Portland.  Now comes the tougher task: beating Gonzaga for the second time in 11 days, this time on a neutral court.  So what will it take for the Cougars to win their first conference tournament in 14 years?  Here are my keys to the game for BYU:

  • Keep Gonzaga off the boards:  BYU out-rebounded Portland 30-26 last night, so they are now 21-0 on the season when they out-rebound their opponent.  It will be key to keep guys like Karnowski and Sabonis off the boards.
  • Don’t let Karnowski go to his left hand jump hook: Przemek Karnowski has been very good offensively in this WCC Tournament, and his primary move in the post is backing the defender down, and shooting a jump hook with his left hand, a very high percentage shot for him.  If BYU can force go to his right hand, they will have much more success defending him.
  • Find shooters: Pangos and Bell have been cold in the last 3 games, but that can change in a hurry, so the Cougarsneeds to know where they are along with Kyle Wiltjer when he is on the perimeter.
  • For Chase Fischer, do it in consecutive games: One of the weaknesses of Chase Fischer this season has been his inability to put together multiple hot shooting games in a row.  A game where he is on fire is usually followed by an ice cold game.  If he can put together another hot shooting game, things will open up for Tyler Haws to get more scoring opportunities and Collinsworth to get more passing opportunities.
  • Reserve big men: It’s no secret that Corbin Kaufusi has made drastic improvements this season that are really showing in this WCC Tournament, but Andrus and Worthington have not looked their best coming off the bench.  If they can bring the same level of intensity and focus, BYU will have a better chance of stopping Gonzaga’s imposing frontcourt.
  • Don’t worry about the NCAA Tournament, just play the game:  If the Cougars can stay focused on simply beating Gonzaga, and nothing else, they will have a much better chance of winning the game.