Monday, December 10, 2007

BYU loses control

BYU lost a heartbreaker to #9 Michigan State on Saturday, 61-68. If you watched the first half, though, the final score might shock you a little bit. See, the Cougars ripped MSU up and down the first half. The defense was good, the energy was up, the crowd was roaring and the shots were falling. We went into halftime with a 10-point lead.

So what happened?

Actually, the same thing that always happens when we play upper-echelon teams: BYU failed to adjust, and they lost control. Michigan State obviously had a pow-wow in the locker room, adjusted their game, and completely stifled BYU in the second half. BYU, on the other hand, failed to switch up their game. What happens when one team adjusts and the other team stays the same? Bingo- exactly what happened on Saturday.

Watching the game on Saturday was just like watching UCLA last year, UNLV during the MWC championship game, and even UNC earlier this season. It happens all the time: Opposing teams are surprised by BYU's speed and sharp-shooting, and BYU starts out strong. Then in half time the other teams change it up, while BYU thinks the same old formula will work. Guess what? It doesn't work.

Dave Rose: you're a great guy, but you got outcoached.

The exception? Louisville. That was possibly the best 40 minutes BYU has ever played. They started strong, and they finished strong. If we would have done that every game this year, we'd be undefeated and in the top ten.

I guess Saturday was so frustrating because we saw BYU play at its best, and then we saw BYU come out in the second half and completely struggle. Remember how quickly our 10 point lead disappeared? Ouch.

One more thing: Do you know how valuable free throws are? For some reason, BYU coaches haven't figured it out. I love 'em, but BYU players just can't seem to hit their free throws. Sam Burgess, for instance, missed the frontside of a HUGE 1-and-1 free throw, and Trent Plaisted left at least 7 points on the floor with missed free throws. What does this mean exactly? If BYU hits their free throws, we win the game.

Michigan State, on the other hand, made every free throw that mattered. They were automatic.

Oh what I would give for a free throw shooter who was automatic.


Russ Nelson said...

I think what contributes to the deadness in the second half may be due to our lack of conditioning because our shots are so flat and our defense is slow. Not to mention that our bench isn't very deep.

Run them to death Rose!

Becky O. said...

This was a disappointing game for it was for all Cougars.

Two thoughts to add.
1- Rebounds killed us.
2- I LOVED HOW PACKED THE ESA was! I wish we could fill the Marriott Center every game!

Ross said...

The bad:
We lost the chance to be ranked in or near the top 10.

The good:
Having playing our third top-10 team, the MWC is going to be a walk in the park.

Trevor said...

Adam, I was going to write a blog myself on getting outcoached, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. I think Rose has done a great job thus far, but it was clear why Izzo has won a national championship.

In the second half MSU started fronting/half-fronting Plaisted. We absolutely refused to run someone to the high post to make them pay for it. That's something you learn in middle school basketball....when they front the post, the other post players runs to the high post. He'll either have a wide open 15 footer or an easy entry down to the low post player whose man was fronting. I could see it from the stands so I don't know how Coach Rose missed it. We did it twice....once for a made Tavernari 15 footer and the other time JT dumped it down to Plaisted who got fouled going up for a dunk. By not adjusting we had many unnecessary turnovers trying to feed Plaisted from the wing. It was killing me.

The other thing I put on coaching is Jonathan Tavernari. The dude's a chucker. But obviously Rose is ok with it because he leaves him out there. He shouldn't shoot all those horrible three's, but Rose shouldn't let him either. If he hasn't talked to him about it, he needs to. If he has but JT keeps shooting outside of the offense, Rose needs to pull him and make him realize it's not ok. That hurt us big time on Saturday.

Sorry this comment is so long, it's pretty much my own blog post. But BYU coaches do great against MWC coaches, but I don't think they're at that next tier yet where we can consistently win on a national level. It will only come by playing those teams repeatedly and learning the hard way, but for now, we can compete, but won't usually win.

Lesley said...

All I can say is ditto to what my husband wrote. We talked about this for a solid hour after the game - coaching. You're exactly right - coach Rose never adjusted. We needed a major adjustment offensively AND defensively the second half in response to how Michigan state adjusted, but nnnnoooo. Why just ahd to keep running our exacty same offence and couldn't box and one their best player.