NCAA Tournament First Four Preview: #11 BYU vs. #11 Ole Miss


BYU Cougars (25-9, 13-5 WCC) vs. Ole Miss Rebels (20-12, 11-7 SEC)

Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Location: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH

Time: 7:10 MT

TV: TruTV (Brian Anderson, Steve Smith, Lewis Johnson)


Live Stats:



Kyle Collinsworth, 14.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 5.8 APG

Chase Fischer, 12.9 PPG

Tyler Haws, 21.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG

Josh Sharp, 1.5 PPG

Corbin Kaufusi, 3.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG

Ole Miss

MJ Rhett, 6.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG

Sebastian Saiz, 7.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG

Martavious Newby, 3.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG

Jarvis Summers, 12.4 PPG, 4.6 APG

Stefan Moody, 16.3 PPG

Previewing the Matchup

The BYU Cougars got into the NCAA tournament as a bubble team for the third time in the last four years, surviving Selection Sunday by getting into one of the first four, receiving an 11 seed and a matchup against Ole Miss in Dayton.  After seeing teams such as Indiana and UCLA get in the field, the BYU players were probably nervous, but alas they made it into the field.  BYU is very familiar with a former Ole Miss player Marshall Henderson, who intentionally hit former BYU guard Jackson Emery to the ground as a member of the Utah Utes in 2010.  This year’s Ole Miss team is very long and athletic, and enjoy a similar up-tempo pace as the Cougars, which should make for an excellent game.

Keys to the Game for BYU

  • Contain Moody’s dribble penetration:  Ole Miss 5’10 guard is a terrific ball handler who can attack the rim and finish acrobatically around the rim.  He’s also a decent three point shooter, but driving is his primary asset.  His drives will allow for kickouts to sharp shooting 6th man Ladarius White.  Ole Miss head coach had this to say about Moody earlier in the year: “Moody’s a little bit like Marshall Henderson, and thank God only a little bit.”
  • Get Halford/Winder Healthy: At the end of the WCC final loss, Skyler Halford suffered leg nerve contusion, but appears to be ready for the game against Ole Miss.  His offense will be key off the bench as this game has the makings of a high scoring contest.  Winder is apparently going to try to play tomorrow, but I would get my hopes up.  Even if he does play, I would expect too much of the quickness that allowed him to be so effective for most of this season.
  • Haws/Collinsworth shot balance:  In the loss to Gonzaga last week, Tyler Haws took 14 shots and Kyle Collinsworth took 22 shots.  For BYU’s offense to be at its best, those numbers should be reversed.  If Collinsworth is finding Haws and the other shooters, who are then knocking down their shots, BYU’s offense will be much more efficient.
  • Fischer and Kaufusi need to recover:  Those two played very poorly in the Gonzaga loss, and both provide skills that, when they are on, are very helpful for BYU.  If Fischer is hitting is shots, and Kaufusi is owning the post on offense and defense, BYU is very hard to beat.

Current Line: BYU is favored to win by 3.5 points