Safety First: How BYU Basketball can take down the Utes

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /

Safety alert: BYU Basketball squares off with Utah on Saturday afternoon, and the Cougars look to build on their momentum from the Utah State win.

It’s the rematch we’ve all been waiting for.

Nick Emery vs. Larry Krystkowiak.

The last time these two squared off a punch was thrown, words were exchanged, and Utah’s coach tried to cancel the series, fearing that the diminutive Cougar guard endangered his entire team’s safety.

If Emery is going to channel his inner Bruce Lee against the Utes on Saturday, it’ll take place at Vivint Smarthome arena.

That’s highly unlikely, so we’ll just have to enjoy a rivalry matchup between the Cougars and Utes in the first game of this year’s Beehive Classic.

Neither team is off to the start they’d hoped for. BYU sits at 6-4, while Utah comes in at 4-3.

BYU is coming off their most impressive win of the season over Utah State, and they’ll need to do these three things to keep that momentum going against the Utes:

Push the Pace

This year the Cougars have done a great job of playing up-tempo without playing out of control. The Cougars average just 10.1 turnovers per game, and their transition offense has been excellent.

BYU’s half-court offense has been sharp as well, with much better ball movement than last season. And their three-point shooting seems to finally be heating up.

But the Cougars are at their best when they’re playing with energy. While they played well in the second half against the Aggies, they were much better in the first half when they held Utah state to a miserable shooting percentage and used those opportunities to push the ball.

Since BYU still can’t depend on their shooting from distance, their best chance to win is by outrunning the Runnin’ Utes.