BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose talked about last week's two-win performance and the Cougars' upcoming games during Tuesday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly coaches' show at Legends Grille.
Also on the program were assistant coach Tim Lacomb and forward were Nate Austin; you can hear the entire show in "Cougar Cuts," left.
Rose reviewed the previous week's victories over Pepperdine (63-61) on the road and Santa Clara (96-79) at home, and noted how pace is an important factor in the Cougars success.
"We would probably prefer the 96-point games, where the games are fast and both teams are kind of racing up and down the floor. We can score in transition, we get a lot of guys involved offensively, but sometimes the other team has a real say in how that tempo is going to be played."
The importance of pace showed in both of BYU's games as Pepperdine slowed the tempo in Malibu. The Cougars struggled but eked out their two-point victory. Against Santa Clara, up-tempo play prevailed as BYU set its WCC-era single-game scoring record.
Referring to this week's games at San Diego and home to San Francisco, Rose took on the Toreros first, saying "I think our guys understand the challenge that we're in for and I think they know this is a very well-coached team, it's a talented team. Their front line is every bit as intimidating as their guard line."
"You're really preparing for that Thursday night game, but in the back of our minds we know San Francisco is going to come in and spread the floor and try to drive us into the middle and then space the floor with shooters."
Forward Nate Austin chatted about how team chemistry is coming together for the Cougars.
"I think our team is meshing pretty well right now. I think we have figured it out. I think each person has figured out their roles and kind of where they stand with the team, whose starting, whose coming off the bench. You know just different roles and I think that's really big for us."
Assistant Coach Tim LaComb handled the show's final segments, and reiterated the challenge BYU faces in taking on some of the WCC's excellent point guards in the week ahead.
"We have had our fill of point guards. It's kind of been the year of point guards for us on our schedule both in the league and non-league games. So we've had a lot of opportunities to play against different style of points guards, and we will just keep going."
The Toreros will start a back-court led by shifty Christopher Anderson, while the Dons are paced by Cody Doolin; in league play, both players average double-figure scoring and are in the top five in assists per game.
"Huge key for both games, and starting with Thursday, is just being able to keep the ball in front of us, to not allow penetration," LaComb said. "Chris Anderson does a great job of beating guys to the middle of the floor. They use ball screens a lot to try to free guys up so we have to do a good job of not fouling on the ball screens and keep guys out of the middle of the floor. And then starting Thursday we have to do a good job of making sure we are with shooters, trailing them out, and contesting all those shots so we don't give up cheap threes."
Both games can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio (SiriusXM 143). The Cougars play San Diego Thursday with pregame coverage at 7 PM and tip off at 8 PM MST and San Francisco Saturday with pregame coverage at 6 PM and tip off at 7 PM MST.