BYU Basketball: Takeaways from the loss at Nevada

(Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
(Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images) /

BYU Basketball fell at No. 7 Nevada in the season opener, but there’s plenty of positives for the Cougars to take away from the loss.

Very few people expected BYU Basketball to waltz into Reno and beat No. 7 Nevada, and they didn’t.

The Cougars lost to the Wolf Pack 86-70, in a game that was much closer that the score suggested.

In a whistle-fest, BYU managed to creatively overcome foul trouble until late in the game, but poor shooting doomed the Cougars’ upset bid.

Here are the biggest takeaways from the season opener:

Slow Start

The basketball team took a page out of the football team’s book, starting off slowly and falling behind 9-0 early.

The Cougars played too fast early, missing easy shots and turning it over, but they settled down quickly and worked their way back into it.

Hurried Haws

Haws never settled down. While he had his moments, he played too rushed the entire game and made costly mistakes as a result. He matched his five assists with five turnovers, and he continues to struggle with his shot.

Shooting Woes

Neither team shot the ball well in the first half. The difference was Nevada getting hot after halftime while BYU continued to struggle.

The Cougars will be able to beat worse teams without shooting well, but their 6-31 (19.4%) three-point shooting killed any chance BYU had at the upset.

Spreading the Love

Give credit to the Cougars for playing team basketball. Everyone contributed, 10 players scored, and the bench played good minutes.

The next step for the bench will be to increase their contribution on the scoreboard. They combined for 20 points, and if they can increase that to 30 per game this team will be very dangerous.

An Aggressive Hardnett

Hardnett did well to take advantage of his greatest asset: his speed. He played much more aggressive, and the results followed. He tied his career high with 17 points and added three assists.

Now he just needs to avoid shooting threes with a hand in his face.

Quietly Big

Yoeli Childs didn’t have a dominant night. In fact, it was a pretty quiet night by his standards.

Yet he still finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. His presence is huge for the Cougars even when he’s not dominating on the scoreboard.

Surviving Foul Trouble

BYU managed to survive the sheer number of fouls called in the first half, but not the second. While the fouls were fairly even in the first half (15 on BYU, 12 on Nevada), the onslaught of fouls called on BYU early after the break completely destroyed their ability to play defense in the paint.

More from Lawless Republic

Quality Freshman Time

All three Cougar freshman got solid minutes, and all three played well. They combined for 11 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, and two assists.

Not bad for their first real collegiate game, especially one on the road against a Top 10 team.

Good Showing

While a win would have been huge for the Cougars come March, the loss doesn’t hurt BYU at all, and there’s a lot of positives that the Cougars can take away from the game.

The team is deep with role players, but a few more playmakers need to step up, and while the shooting woes continue the defense played very well until they were hamstrung by the foul onslaught.

If BYU can play like this game in and game out, and that’s a big if, they’ll have very few losses heading into tournament time.