Coach Rose looks to consistency and growth

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PROVO — As BYU reaches the mid-way point in its season, things are starting to calm down. The new semester is underway after a busy last half of December with finals week and a trip to Hawaii.

Coach Dave Rose is looking forward to a more consistent pattern in the Cougars' schedule.

"We're going Thursday, Saturday for eight straight weeks," Rose said during his weekly KSL Radio show broadcast, "which is about as consistent as it's ever been."

"We should get into a nice rhythm here if we can win some games, get some confidence and have the all the guys start playing really well. I really like where we are."

Being at the mid-way point, there is an opportunity to look back at where BYU was at the start of the season to see how things have gone and compare expectations then to now.

"Things are a lot different right now than they were at the start of the season," Rose said, "as far as the health of the team, and we've had a few guys leave the team for different reasons."

Although things look a little different than they did to start the campaign, Rose likes how things are looking for the future. "This group that we had together in Hawaii and our ability to be able to recover from a very tough overtime loss and then beat two really good teams, I think got us started in the right direction."

One of the surprises up to this point in the season is the solid play of the freshmen. Both starter Nick Emery and reserve Zac Seljaas have played major roles in the team's success and continue to improve as the season progresses.

"The key for those guys at this position," Rose said, "is that now things are going to get a little more difficult because they're going to be game planned for and it's not like they're going to be able to go through this league without people knowing about them, and I do believe they can continue playing at a really high level, even though the scouting reports going to get pretty serious for them."

Seljaas, who started the season playing few minutes, has come on very strong in the last month. If Seljaas continues his hot shooting from the 3-point line, he will soon be leading the country in 3-point shooting percentage at an amazing 62 percent.

"He's playing really well, with a lot of confidence," Rose said. "I think the most important thing is he's kind of found where he fits with this group, and we've actually rode him a couple times. A lot of times he'll just jump up and hit a big shot in a timely manner, but I think the lift he gives us coming off the bench has given our team a lot of confidence."

Along with the freshmen stepping up, the seniors are continuing their consistent play as well. Chase Fisher joined the "BYU Basketball with Dave Rose" radio show Tuesday night to discuss his strong play of late.

Fisher, one of the three seniors on the team, has really picked up his game after a slow start to the season. Fisher had the best game of his career in BYU's 96-66 win over New Mexico in Hawaii. Fisher made 9 of 14 shots from three-point range scoring a career high 41 points. Fisher is currently on a four-game streak of 21 points or more.

"You can go though a lot of Division I players and you wont find at any time where they hit six three-pointers on the road," Rose said, "The fact that he's had nine in the New Mexico game, he had 10 in the Chaminade game (in 2014-15), I mean I expect every one to go in--every time he shoots, it looks good to me"

After a long stretch on the road, the Cougars are back in the Marriott Center this Thursday against Santa Clara and on Saturday against San Francisco. Rose hopes to see his team build on their growth to this point in the season.

"What I really want to see from our guys is our ability to improve as a group," Rose said. "I think every guy has challenged themselves to improve individually but find that mix between individual commitment and then be able to trust your teammates. Hopefully we will be able to find that combination and then just build on it."

Andrew is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho. He is an intern for KSL Sports Radio. Andrew lives in Springville Utah with his wife and son. Follow Andrew on twitter at @drewthehoop

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