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PROVO -- The BYU Cougars (2-0) are coming off of an emotional game against the Utah State Aggies, and will try to avoid a letdown against the Chicago State Cougars. Although BYU's win against the Aggies was a step in the right direction, they still see a lot of room to grow.
"We've got a lot of things to improve on," said Head Coach Dave Rose. "Defensively we need to do a lot more early in the possession. Offensively we need to do exactly the opposite, where we do a lot of work before the catch and we're catching the ball deeper so our spacing is a lot better."
Although BYU did win, it was not a dominant performance in the slightest- and give the Aggies some credit for that. The Cougars' shooting percentage was a poor 38.7 percent field goal range and 26.9 percent from beyond the arc. They also had only 12 assists on their 24 field goals. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how successful the Cougars can be when they start making more of their shots.
One thing that was obvious throughout the game against the Aggies was that the team was unified- a good sign for such a talented team. Each member of the team stayed positive and encouraged to each other. Junior Noah Hartsock explained why.
"We were together all summer and we're good friends off the court," Hartsock said. "We're great competitors and we just cheer for each other. Whoever is playing, we just want the best for them."
The Chicago State Cougars have struggled so far this season, with losses against DePaul and Notre Dame. Their team is however filled with experienced players- four of their five projected starters are seniors.
"We just need to be ready to bring a good game," Hartsock said. "Doesn't matter who we play, everyone is good at the college level."
On paper BYU should not have too much difficulty with Chicago State, but it must improve in the post no matter the outcome of the game. Hartsock, who had 15 points, five rebounds and four blocks against Utah State, was the only bright spot offensively from the front court and BYU fans are curious if and when Brandon Davies will play a more prominent role.
Tipoff from the Marriott Center is set for 8 p.m. You can listen to the game on ksl.com and on KSL Newsradio 102.7FM/1160AM.