Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What to Watch for: BYU vs New Mexico

First and foremost you should watch out for the snake.----->

But that goes in the category of watching out and not watching for...

1. Secret Weapon Elizabeth Lambert. Ok so this might also fall in the category of what to watch out for, but unless you have a pony tail and you're attending the game, you should be safe. The Lobos are likely to suit up Lambert in an attempt to slow down Fredette. If Fredette can stay away from the kicks to the face he should be fine as the Cougars have already preempted the Lambert move by making all their players wear short hair cuts. Thank you Honor Code.

2.Watch for Tyler Haws to have another big game. I think opposing coaches are playing the percentages and allowing Haws to get open looks while trying to shut down Fredette and Emery. The thinking is that a Freshman is less likely to hit big shots than a seasoned veteran. The problem is that Haws does not play like a freshman. New Mexico plays an extended man to man defense that opens up the mid range jumper. The Lobos will try to shut down the three and the drive to the basket and that will leave Haws with his bread and butter mid range J.

3. The Lobos will focus their whole defensive game plan on Jimmer, but it won't work. Fredette will once again put this team on his back and carry them when they need him most. I'm seeing another 30 point outing from the Junior superstar.

4. Jax will break out of mid season slump and hit some big shots for the Cougars. Emery started out the season on fire from behind the arc but defenses have started focusing on him more and as a result his shot percentage has gone down. He will once again pick up some of the scoring load and have somewhere around 15 points.

5. BYU will establish themselves in the low post before they look for the outside shot. Look for one of our big men (Miles, Hartsock, or Davies) to score in the double digits this contest.

6. BYU 72 New Mexico 67

Friday, January 22, 2010

BYU vs SDSU 10 things to look for

Before you sit down to watch the game on Saturday you might want to print this list off and follow along as the game goes on. (If you get lost during the game, it's not that I'm wrong, everyone else must be doing it wrong)
1. In the 5 road games that Jimmer Fredette has started this year he is averaging 29 pts on 58% from the field while averaging 6 assists and 2 steals per game. Those are some really impressive numbers. Expect Jimmer to come out and do something really similar. A great game and a win for the Cougars would all but seal his bid at MWC POY.
2. Watch and see how Miles, Hartsock and Davies handle SDSU's "athletic bigs". They did an exceptional job against UTEP and Fresno St. who both have very athletic big men. They'll need to stay out of foul trouble and give the offense a consistent low block presence. SDSU is a terrible shooting free throw team and so I wouldn't be surprised if BYU doubles on the low block and tries to make SDSU earn their points from the charity stripe.
3. Tyler Haws has really stepped up his game when other teams try to take away Jimmer and Jax. If SDSU has watched any film they will know this and will have to pay more attention to the Freshman. If they don't Haws will have another 20 point game.
4. The MWC Freshman of the Year award has become a two horse race between SDSU freshman Kawhi Leonard and Tyler Haws. It will be fun to see which of these two is able to step up his game in a big time setting. My money is on Haws. Look for him to stay cool and calm under pressure as he runs away with the FOY honors.
5. Which bench player will have a career game? Will it be JT? Maybe Lamont Morgan? Or will Lloyd come through again? JT has really embraced his role as the 6th man and is arguably the best 6th man in the conference if not the country. If he plays within the offense and doesn't force up shots, he will have a big game. Watch for JT to take advantage of all the attention that Jax, Jimmer and now Haws will draw from the SDSU defense.
6. Watch for SDSU to put some full court pressure on the Cougars. They will try and get our guards out of rhythm early by trapping and extending the defense well beyond the 3 point line. They will find out as Wyoming did, that BYU is just too deep and BYU has too many shooters. When SDSU pressures up front a lot of space opens up for our mid range jump shooters like Haws and Hartsock who will take advantage of this and knock down their J's to keep BYU in the lead.
7. Pay attention to how BYU uses its depth to wear teams down. A lot of teams this year have been able to hang around for half a game and a few have lasted longer but BYU starts to poor it on at about the 10 minute mark. They are very deep and have the ability to run opposing teams into the ground.
8. Look for BYU to employ a zone defense. BYU's guards are very good at getting into the passing lanes. SDSU struggled against our zone last year when we beat them in San Diego and I think you will see a similar drought on Saturday. Coach Rose knows exactly when to use the zone to get fast break points and put a game away.
9. SDSU is a very good offensive rebounding team. Over the course of the year BYU has turned into one of the nations best defensive rebounding teams. This will the match up that decides the game. If BYU can control the defensive glass and limit SDSU to one shot then they will be able to get up the court and run on SDSU all night.
10. 81-71