The Cougar hoopsters finished their season-opening two-game home set with an 87-53 win over Idaho State last night, in front of 8,637 fans at the Marriott Center.
Jimmer Fredette made it back-to-back 20-point-plus outings for the fourth time in his career--scoring 22 on 7/13 shooting. Jackson Emery added 19, while Tyler Haws chipped in with nine off the bench. Lone Peak products Emery and Haws combined for 28 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals.
It may not happen, but I wouldn't be surprised if Dave Rose makes a change to his starting lineup as soon as Friday night at Hawaii, with Tyler Haws potentially replacing Abouo at the "3." Or we could see a change in the post, with Chris Miles replaced by either Brandon Davies or Noah Hartsock. Whatever is decided, I get the sense there will at some point be some movement between the wing and the post positions.
It's conceivable that Coach Rose could also bring Jonathan Tavernari off the bench as he did to start the second half last night, but I don't think the coach is considering that particular move right now. JT needs to slow things down and be more judicious, but I believe he'll remain in the starting lineup. Having said that, BYU played well with Davies and Hartsock on the floor together last night, and Hartsock in particular has had a very solid start to the season.
Regardless of who starts and who comes off the bench, BYU has more depth and variety of options than Coach Rose has had at any other time during his tenure, and that bodes well as the season progresses. Dave Rose is a coach who typically decides on a starting five and sticks with it; trying to find the right combination is just taking a little longer than normal, as might be expected with the diversity of talent available to him this season.
Hartsock has distinguished himself in the Cougars' early season PAP ratings. As a refresher, PAP stands for Points Available Percentage, and measures a player's offensive efficiency by expressing a player's points made as a percentage of his points available. It's not the be-all and end-all of efficiency ratings--after all, it is purely a production number and doesn't measure assists or offensive rebounds, but I like it as one notable measure of a player's contributions on the offensive end.
For example, let's say Player A goes 6/14 from the floor, including 3/8 from the arc, and shoots 6/10 from the free throw line. He scores 21 points, but since 46 points were available to him, his PAP number is 45.7%.
Player B goes 4/5 from the floor, including 2/2 from the arc, and shoots 5/6 from the free throw line. That player scores only 15 points, but on 18 available points, his PAP number is 83.3%.
And while Player B's stats don't belong to Noah Hartsock, 83.3% just happens to be Hartsock's PAP number through two games.
While we are only two games in, here are BYU's PAP rankings, for only the players averaging 10+ minutes per game:
1. Noah Hartsock: 83.3%
2. Jackson Emery: 58.5%
3. Jimmer Fredette: 56.6%
4. Mike Loyd: 55.2%
5. Brandon Davies: 50.0%
6. Charles Abouo: 48.0%
7. Tyler Haws: 46.4%
8. Chris Miles: 42.9%
9. Jonathan Tavernari: 23.0%
Yes, JT's current PAP numbers are miserable, but he had a similarly sluggish start to last season before turning it around.
Tavernari has taken more shots (7/30 fg) and more three-pointers (3/14 3pfg) than any other player, and is the only regular without a free throw attempt. He has twice as many turnovers as assists. The bottom line is JT is an exponentially better player than he has shown through two games, and he is bound to come around.
The good news for BYU is that while in years past a bad night for Tavernari equated to a bad night for BYU, the Cougars have cobbled together two double-digit wins with Tavernari struggling to shoot the ball.
Tonight's "Bronco Mendenhall Show" is live at Ken Garff Nissan on University Parkway in Orem, starting at 7:00 pm.
You can pose questions to the coach by e-mail (email@example.com) or via text message (57500).
Iceberg Drive-Inn will be there of course with free burgers and drinks until they're gone.