BYU Basketball: Poor shooting dooms the Cougars again

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

The season-long shooting slump continued for BYU Basketball on Wednesday night as they fell to Illinois State in overtime.

BYU Basketball seems able to make shots regularly from anywhere on the court but two places:

  • The free throw line
  • The three-point line

All of the Cougars not named TJ Haws struggled from the charity stripe and all of the Cougars not named Yoeli Childs struggled from beyond the arc.

Yes, you read that right.

That horrible shooting doomed BYU in their 92-89 overtime loss at Illinois State.

The Cougars’ woes from the three-point line continued as they went 6-28 from deep and three of those triples came from Childs. That drops their percentage on the season to 27.8%, which puts them among the worst 50 teams in the nation from three.

If that doesn’t improve almost immediately, BYU can kiss their NCAA Tournament hopes goodbye.

And if you remove Haws’ free throws (9-10), the rest of the team went 16-26 (61.5%). That included a key miss by Jashire Hardnett that would have put the Cougars up by three with 24 seconds left in regulation. Instead the Redbirds drew a foul and hit both of their free throws to send it into overtime.

Contrasting Illinois State to BYU, the Redbirds shot 43.3% from distance and 94.4% from the free throw line. In fact, they shot better from outside the arc than they did from inside.

The Cougars have won five games against inferior teams even with their poor shooting, but against their three good opponents (No. 5 Nevada, Houston, Illinois State) that horrid shooting has been their downfall.

And BYU’s schedule only gets harder from here. They’ve still got to take on Utah State, Utah, UNLV, San Diego State, and Mississippi State, and that’s just in their non-conference slate.

Fortunately the Cougars only have one more game without Nick Emery, and his shooting will certainly help BYU.

But if other players can’t hit their open shots it won’t be nearly enough.