Takeaways from BYU Basketball’s win over…BYU

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 2: Head coach Dave Rose of the Brigham Young Cougars looks on in the first half against the Utah Utes at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on December 2, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 2: Head coach Dave Rose of the Brigham Young Cougars looks on in the first half against the Utah Utes at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on December 2, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /

The Cougar Tipoff is in the books, and while it was just a scrimmage there’s plenty to take away from Cougar Nation’s first look at 2018-19 BYU Basketball.

BYU Basketball stormed back from a 16 point deficit to beat BYU 81-77 on Friday night.

Yes, you heard that right. It was the Cougar Tipoff, with the roster split in two and the Blue team knocking off the White team.

Of course this was just a scrimmage, and you have to take everything you see in these events with a grain of salt, but there’s still a lot to take from Cougar Nation’s first chance to see BYU Basketball in action in more than six months.


Last week TJ Haws told the Deseret News that the Cougars would play at a much faster pace this season, and they certainly did in Friday night’s scrimmage.

That up-tempo style will fit the personnel that head coach Dave Rose has this year, especially with how thin BYU is down low.

Ball Movement

Both the ball movement and player movement was much crisper than it has been the last couple of seasons. Of course that may just be the fact that it’s a scrimmage, but if the Cougars can move the ball as well as they did on Friday night they should be in for a strong offensive season.

Player Observations

Yoeli Childs – Childs is a beast, and he looks better than he did last year. He’s improved both his perimeter shooting (he hit three out of five three-pointers) and his touch from the post. If he plays at this level all season he’ll be in the discussion for All-American status.

Jashire Hardnett – Hardnett looked much more confident offensively and made smart plays throughout the night. Most importantly he hit a couple of threes, and if he can do that consistently this year he’ll open up the floor for the rest of the team.

TJ Haws – The shooting stroke is back, or at least it was for one game. Haws hit half of his shots from distance, and he’s still one of the best playmakers on the team. He’s got to make better decisions when driving to the hoop, though.

Nick Emery – Emery’s shot was off in the scrimmage, but that’s not unexpected when he’s playing in front of a Marriott Center crowd for the first time in a year. Like Haws he can still play out of control at times.

Zac Seljaas – His shooting stroke is back, and so is his willingness to stroke it. If his three-point shooting can bounce back up anywhere near where it was as a freshman he’ll become a huge asset to the rotation.

Luke Worthington – His offensive touch in the post is much improved, but he has to stay out of foul trouble.

Dalton Nixon – He’ll continue to be a glue guy that gives solid minutes, although he’d still be better utilized as a wing rather than a post player.

Rylan Bergersen – He looks much more decisive offensively, and if that continues he’ll see plenty of playing time this season.

Connor Harding – Harding is a smart player that knows the game. He had a quiet scoring night, but did a lot of little things well. He’ll push for playing time early.

Gavin Baxter – He needs to adjust to the college game, but when he does he’ll be a nightmare for opponents with his athleticism. Look for his playing time to slowly increase as the season progresses.

Taylor Maughan and Evan Troy – Both had almost identical nights, and both played well. One or both of them could steal McKay Cannon’s minutes as a backup guard until Nick Emery’s suspension is up.

Jesse Wade – Man it would be nice to have him this year, especially while Emery is out. He’s a smooth player who can play both guard positions. He’ll be a big piece for the Cougars in the future.


While the defense wasn’t atrocious on either side, it wasn’t particularly stellar either. Keep in mind this was a scrimmage, and the defense should improve as rotations become settled and cohesion can develop.

But if there aren’t improvements on the defensive end this will be a long season.

Next. BYU Basketball gets little love in preseason poll. dark

Free Throws

Speaking of which, the Cougars will have to drastically improve their free throw shooting if they want to return to the NCAA Tournament. Both sides shot a combined 17-29 (59%) from the charity stripe, which is at least 15% lower than where BYU needs to be to be a tournament-caliber team.