BYU is preparing for an upcoming match up against a much improved Santa Clara basketball team.
PROVO – The BYU Basketball team has faced growing pains during their 2016-2017 campaign. With the losses of Kyle Davis for the season as well as Elijah Bryant for ten games, there have been several adjustments to be made with those growing pains. To BYU’s misfortune, they may have to deal with another lineup adjustment due to an injury Nick Emery suffered against Pacific on Saturday.
BYU head coach Dave Rose gave an update on Emery’s status Tuesday after practice.
“Nick has a contusion on his knee,” said Rose. “Other than that, it’s stable, just kind of sore. He was able to get out on the floor today.”
Emery was key in BYU’s previous matchup against Santa Clara – which they won 89-59. Emery was given the assignment to guard the Bronco’s star guard, Jared Brownridge and held him to just eight points on 2/8 shooting from the floor. The frustration created disruption for the Santa Clara offense.
The key in this game will be to disrupt Brownridge to prevent him from finding a rhythm, especially beyond the arc. Rose says that they plan to do so by committee.
“We might use a few more guys [on Brownridge] when Nick was almost totally dedicated to him. With Nick’s situation, that’s what we kind of have to plan for.”
Since that first game, Santa Clara has played much improved basketball and this game won’t be a cakewalk for the BYU Cougars. The Broncos have recorded a 5-2 record since opening conference play with a loss and now sit in fourth place in the WCC standings – one spot behind BYU.
Even with Emery’s potential limitations, they will have some help with the addition of Elijah Bryant who didn’t see the court in the previous meeting.
Bryant has provided great play for the Cougars in his return to the hardwood. Averaging 12 points per game, Bryant has provided a spark for the Cougars off the bench and has become a key member of the rotation.
Coach Rose says that Bryant’s addition will be big for the Cougars.
“We didn’t have Elijah in the first game we played against them,” said Rose. “I think he’ll give them a tough look.”
BYU’s game against Santa Clara will tip-off at 9 pm MT and will be broadcast on ESPNU. The game can also be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network (102.7 FM, 1160 AM, 143 SiriusXM) with Greg Wrubell on the call.