I've avoided writing a recap on the game because, well, it just isn't fun discussing losses. However, unlike the SDSU game, this loss stings a bit more, since it came at the hands of BYU and it will most likely be another year where Utah fails to defeat the Cougars in anything that matters.
I don't think I need to go into specifics about the game Saturday, as I'm sure we've all racked our brains thinking about the final 33 seconds of the game. So the details of the game will be left to the sports writers and fans, instead, I'll just focus on some things I liked and didn't like.
What I liked...
Luke Nevill once again kept Trent Plaisted in check. In every meet, Plaisted has struggled and Saturday wasn't much different. Nevill's defense has vastly improved this season and it does appear it could be at the expense of his offense, but we won't go into that here.
Jim Boylen is intense. Utah was down at the half by 3 and after a small scoring blitz put them up by, 5, I believe, early in the second half, Boylen charged to the center court and celebrated with the players after the Cougars quickly called timeout. That energy, though, was short lived, unfortunately.
Nevill's offense looked pretty solid. Unlike most of this season, Nevill actually played pretty well on the offensive end, WHEN HE HAD THE BALL. The problem for Utah, though, was that they failed to get him the ball enough. Which brings me to...
What I didn't like...
Why didn't Utah go inside more? It seemed the Cougars were giving and Utah failed to take. Had the Utes gone to Nevill more, who knows what the outcome would've been, but I definitely would have felt better than I do now.
Uh, where are the guards? Kepkay was a no-show and Drca still has some issues he needs to work out before I feel confident in him leading this offense. Without solid point play, Utah is going to struggle a lot this season.
The final 33 seconds. What the hell was that? I've never seen a more inept half-minute in my life (outside of sex, of course). Utah was down one, why not go into Nevill and get the basket, hunker down on defense and win the game? The fact going inside got Utah back into the game should have been enough to continue with it, but they didn't. Instead, they ate the shot clock and Kepkay eventually settled on an awkward lay-up that had no chance of going in. The Cougars rebounded and essentially won the game, since A) Utah didn't have a timeout and B) the Utes had to inbound under the Cougars' basket.
I love Boylen, but this was probably his worst coached game as a Ute. I don't know if he was overwhelmed with the rivalry or what, but I saw some major flaws in this team that need to be addressed by tonight, or Utah will have its worst loss of the season.
Here's a look at the stats for the game:
|L. Borha (G)||23||12||5-10||50.0||1-1||100.0||1-4||25.0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||3|
|T. Kepkay (G)||33||2||1-8||12.5||0-0||0.0||0-2||0.0||0||5||5||1||0||0||0||1|
|S. Green (F)||33||8||3-5||60.0||0-0||0.0||2-4||50.0||1||8||9||2||1||1||1||2|
|C. Brown (F)||11||0||0-1||0.0||0-0||0.0||0-0||0.0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|L. Nevill (C)||32||11||5-12||41.7||1-2||50.0||0-0||0.0||1||8||9||1||0||2||2||3|
Brigham Young Players
|B. Murdock (G)||32||2||0-2||0.0||2-2||100.0||0-2||0.0||0||0||0||4||0||0||1||1|
|S. Burgess (G)||33||12||5-8||62.5||0-0||0.0||2-5||40.0||0||4||4||0||1||0||2||2|
|L. Cummard (F)||34||19||6-15||40.0||7-7||100.0||0-3||0.0||3||6||9||1||2||0||2||3|
|J. Tavernari (F)||24||0||0-6||0.0||0-0||0.0||0-3||0.0||2||3||5||0||1||0||1||2|
|T. Plaisted (C)||27||6||2-11||18.2||2-4||50.0||0-0||0.0||3||1||4||2||1||1||3||3|
Tough loss, but now an even tougher bounce back game for the Utes. They'll take on New Mexico at the Pit tonight, a game I don't expect Utah to win, sadly. However, a victory would go a long way toward healing my fresh BYU wounds.