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PROVO — This week's edition of the radio show "BYU Basketball with Dave Rose" previewed an important stretch of games moves to Hawaii on Christmas Day as part of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic tournament.
Quality play on a more frequent regularity is something BYU coach Dave Rose is still searching for with his team up to this point of the season.
"We need consistent play," Rose said. "We need consistent play in the post, on the perimeter and from our upperclassmen. We need that consistency from our upperclassmen in order to help our underclassmen have confidence in themselves. That will in turn help the upperclassmen have confidence in that group of younger players."
Despite some consistency issues, BYU has had a number of bright spots from some of its newcomers, notably freshmen Zac Seljaas and Nick Emery. Seljaas stepped up in a big way in last Saturday's 92-83 loss at Colorado with a career-high 18 points.
"You really depend on your upperclassmen when you build your team for the conference season, but when you can get these younger guys to perform in that kind of a setting (on the road) it gives the whole team confidence," Rose said.
For his efforts, Seljaas was named this week's SERVPRO of Provo "Sub of the Week."
After failing to capitalize on any of its three true non-conference road opportunities this year, BYU will be faced with another resume building test next week at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. The Cougars will begin play in paradise against Harvard, and if they win their first two games, they could match up against No. 3 Oklahoma in the title game on Christmas Day.
"We're excited to go," Rose said. "We look forward to an opportunity, if we win our first two games, to probably play a top-five team on a neutral floor, which is one of the things you really want to do when you sign up for these kind of tournaments."
This week's player guest was BYU junior forward Kyle Davis. Davis transferred from Utah State in 2014 to play for the Cougars. His major is in accounting, and the nationally ranked BYU accounting program was a major factor, in addition to basketball, in his decision. His wife, Kelly, whom he married in the Salt Lake City LDS temple in August 2014, joined Davis on the show. He talked about his experience during his first year on the BYU active roster.
"It's been kind of up and down," he said. "We've had some good games where things have seemed to flow, but we've also had games where we've been kind of flat and haven't played to the best of our abilities. There are definitely things we can grow on, and I think we're ready to take that next step and start playing better."
After a relatively slow start to the year, Davis does not doubt this team's ability to still accomplish its objectives heading into the season.
"I think our potential is to perform well in the WCC Tournament," he said. "Our goal, like it is every year, is to win a championship and then do well in the NCAA Tournament. I don't think our goals have decreased because we've struggled a bit in the beginning. We're still just finding ourselves, and we're on the right path."
In other news and notes, Jamal Aytes is doing well in his recovery from his most recent ankle injury. He is participating in full off-court workouts in order to get back into playing shape. Rose said he hopes Aytes can appear at some point in Hawaii.
BYU had a player announce plans to transfer from the program this week. Sophomore guard Cory Calvert has decided to transfer to another school starting next season. According to Rose, Calvert plans to return home to Colorado to work out with his high school trainer and then finish out his eligibility at a different university starting in the fall. Calvert has not announced which school he will attend at this point.
The Cougars' first game in the Aloha State is on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 2:30 p.m. MST live on KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM. Blake Dorton is a BYU student studying broadcast journalism and French. He hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting following graduation. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeDorton.