BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose talked about a busy upcoming week for the Cougars on Monday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly show at Legends Grille.
Senior center Brandon Davies also stopped by to talk about games versus Utah State and St. Mary's; you can hear the entire show in "Cougar Cuts," left.
Earlier this season the Cougars' home game against the Aggies was postponed due to USU wing Danny Berger's cardiac arrest and emergency hospitalization. Rose characterized the outcome of the situation as a "miracle" and is grateful Berger has recovered.
But now, the time for the game has arrived, squeezed into a conference play slate for both teams. Rose talked about the challenges that Utah State pose for the Cougars.
"For us going into it, the challenge is still pretty similar because we like as many possessions in a game as we can get. We're trying to force the tempo and pace is a big, big part of this game. And (USU coach Stew Morrill's) pace is basically really similar (to what it has been), as far as they are going to limit our ability to defensively rebound the ball and be able to get out and get looks in transition."
Coming into tonight's game, BYU is among the nation's fastest-tempo teams at 72 possessions per game; the Aggies counter at a 61 possession-per-game pace.
Rebounding is another primary concern for the Cougars; USU has a +9.3 rebounding margin, and ranks highly in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. Rose cited the Aggies' "consistent ability to attack missed shots."
Brandon Davies talked about the improvements the team has made after some mid-season setbacks and how the team's attitude has changed as they season has gone on.
"I think we have definitely shown some strides now with the way our past week has been and our preparation as a team and everything. I think everyone is focused in and we realize this is crunch time now and you are seeing that in everyone's effort."
Davies also talked about the Cougars' focus on the game versus Utah State and how the everyone felt to play the makeup game.
"I know for a fact all our guys were preparing for this, we're excited, we can't wait to get out there and play, and work our way on getting this win."
Without looking past tonight's game, Rose spoke briefly about the tough Saint Mary's team BYU will face on Thursday.
"I do believe it is going to be a real physical game. These guys are really good defensively, really strong defensively, but what really impresses me is offensively how they share the ball, it's one of the most efficient offenses in the country as far as point per possession, and it's all based on how unselfish they are in their shot selection, they are really good at it."
Last time out against Saint Mary's, the Gaels stole one in Provo as Matthew Dellavedova sunk a desperation 35-footer at the horn, giving the visitors a 70-69 victory.
BYU's next win will be its 20th of the season, and would give Rose 20-plus victories in all eight seasons of his head coaching tenure. At 9-4 in the WCC, the Cougars are intent on remaining the in league's top four, thus ensuring passage to the conference tournament quarterfinals.
As the Cougars play a makeup game and seek some revenge, fans can hear both games on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio (SiriusXM 143). Pregame for the Utah State game begins at 6:00 p.m. MST with tip-off at 7:00. Thursday's game against Saint Mary's starts with pregame coverage at 8:00 p.m.; tip-off at 9:00.