BYU Basketball: Three things to watch in tonight’s Cougar Tipoff

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Cougar fans get their first chance to see the 2018-19 BYU Basketball team on Friday night, and there are three big things to watch for in the Cougar Tipoff.

BYU Basketball is finally back, at least to a small degree.

The Cougars will play the annual Cougar Tipoff on Friday night in the Marriott Center, and fans can get their first taste of the 2018-19 team.

There are some new faces on the team this year, as well as one who’s back after a year-long absence. If BYU is going to get back into the NCAA Tournament this season, some of those new players will have to step up big as the season progresses.

According to TJ Haws, the Cougars are going back to their up-tempo style, which should suit the team better with the players they have right now.

While this scrimmage will pit BYU against BYU, there’s still plenty of reason to watch.

Here are three big ones:

1 – The Return of Nick Emery

He’s back.

After sitting out a year due to personal reasons and an NCAA investigation, Nick Emery is back for the Cougars, and his play will be a big factor in BYU’s success this season.

Emery will sit out the first nine regular-season games, so this scrimmage and the exhibitions will be the only chance Cougar fans have to watch him play until December.

How will he play now that he’s back? As a freshman he scored 16.3 points per game and hit 38% of his three pointers. He didn’t improve much offensively as a sophomore, taking a slight step backward instead, with 13.1 points per game on 37% shooting from deep.

With a year off, there’s no telling how he’ll look this season. If he’s anywhere near his freshman level he’ll become a key player for the Cougars. If he’s actually improved then this BYU team will be very dangerous.

And we’ll get our first chance to see how he looks in the scrimmage.