BYU Basketball: Bench Production and two more keys to beating Nevada

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 05: Dalton Nixon
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 05: Dalton Nixon /
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LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 05: Dalton Nixon
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 05: Dalton Nixon /

BYU Basketball starts their season at No. 7 Nevada on Tuesday night, and they’ll have to have three things go very right to knock off the Wolf Pack.

BYU Basketball finally tips off their regular season, and the first game comes against one of the top teams in the country.

The Cougars will take on No. 7 Nevada on Tuesday night, arguably their toughest non-conference game of the season.

Maybe the toughest game of their whole season.

Last year Nevada made a Sweet Sixteen run, losing by a single point in that round to Final Four participant Loyola-Chicago.

They were a Top 25 team last year, and they’re bringing back their biggest contributors. And they’ve added a 5-Star freshman.

If BYU can hang around in this game it’ll be a good sign. If they can knock off the Wolf Pack it would be a statement win for a Cougar team that’s trying to return to the NCAA Tournament.

If they’re going to pull off that upset they’ll need to do three main things well:

1 – Find Bench Production

BYU’s starting lineup is pretty much set (for the first nine games at least), and they should play solid ball:

  • Jashire Hardnett
  • TJ Haws
  • Zac Seljaas
  • Yoeli Childs
  • Luke Worthington.

But behind those five there’s very little proven playmaking ability. Expect to see four to five bench players see significant action against Nevada: McKay Cannon, Dalton Nixon, Connor Harding, Gavin Baxter, and maybe Kolby Lee.

Cannon and Nixon are both solid role players, but neither are going to take over a game on offense.

The other three have that potential, but all three are freshman who will be playing in their first collegiate game that counts.

By the end of the year this bench rotation could look very good once the three youngsters gain enough experience to limit mistakes, but if no one on the bench can take over that playmaking role against Nevada it’ll be a long night in Reno.