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

Help from Role Players

BYU had a clearly defined big three through their first nine games: Yoeli Childs, TJ Haws, and Jashire Hardnett.

They’re the only three Cougars that averaged double-digits, and if one or two of them struggled the Cougars struggled.

Now with Nick Emery’s return there’s a big four of sorts, and it will give a little bit of breathing room for one or two of them to have an off night.

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But the rest of the rotation is just as key.

In BYU’s four losses the rest of the team has scored:

  • 32 points
  • 17 points
  • 31 points
  • 40 points

That’s an average of exactly 30 points per game. Now compare that to BYU’s wins:

  • 23 points
  • 43 points
  • 37 points
  • 49 points
  • 39 points
  • 44 points

That averages out to 39.2 per contest. And while 10 points may not seem like much, those 10 points would have made a huge difference against Illinois State and Weber State.

Yes, Nick Emery gives the Cougar offense some margin for error going forward, but the role players will determine how the Cougars fare, both against the Utes on Saturday and against the other tough teams coming up on BYU’s schedule