After starting off the season with three straight wins, the BYU men’s basketball team was blown out by the USC Trojans on Tuesday, Dec. 1 in the Roman Legends Classic in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The Cougars have made a name for themselves as a high-scoring, 3-point shooting offense but they were anything but on Tuesday. BYU remained competitive through most of the first half and trailed the Trojans 21-20 with just under five minutes to halftime. The Cougars would allow USC to end the half with a 10-0 run and it was never really close again.
Former BYU Hoops star, Tyler Haws, told Ben Criddle he was disappointed in the level of effort on display by the Cougars.
“At times BYU was just lacking that effort and fight,” Haws said following the game on Tuesday.
The game marked one of the worst shooting performances in BYU basketball history. The Cougars shot only 27.5 percent from the field, the worst since 2005. BYU shot a combined 7-of-30 from behind the arc, less than a week removed from tying the all-time record for made 3’s.
— Hunter Miller (@MillerHHunter) December 1, 2020
The Cougars had an equally dismal performance according to most statistics. They were outrebounded 50-35, had only six points off of turnovers and had zero second-chance points. BYU gave up 38 defensive rebounds to the Trojans, compared to only 20 for the Cougars.
“BYU has got to be better on the boards,” Haws said. “Guys need to be more aggressive. If shots aren’t falling from the outside they need to take the ball right at the shot blocker.”
The team has been able to knock off inferior teams so far this season, but Haws said he thinks the loss of T.J. Haws, Yoeli Childs and Jake Toolson left the Cougars without valuable veteran leadership.
“I feel like our youth showed,” he said. “There were some guys that were a little bit wide-eyed in that game. We missed the veterans we had on last year’s team to help us weather those shooting slumps. You can’t go stretches in a game where you don’t have a bucket for ten minutes. You’ve got to find ways to continue to score.”
The Cougars have a chance to redeem themselves on national television when they take on St. John’s on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. MST. That game will be televised on ESPN2.
Written by Bridger Beal-Cvetko
Bridger is a student at Utah Valley University where he studies journalism and mass communication. He is the sports editor of the on-campus newspaper, The Review. Bridger is a life-long Cougar fan and college football enthusiast.