Houston pressured the BYU guards, who were simply unable to handle it. Austin Ainge had seven turnovers and Rashaun Broadus had six. Teams will call timeouts to prevent turnovers or deal with pressure by opponents. Last night, Houston's was so aggressive in their press thatt with 16 minutes left in the game, BYU had already expended all of their allotted timeouts.
The game started out well as BYU quickly jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but as Houston missed shot after shot, BYU could not capitalize by extending the margin. Over the next 20 minutes or so of game play, Houston went on a 51-26 run and broke the game wide open.
After a great run in the regular season that saw BYU go 20-7, the Cougars floundered in both post-season tournaments. The Cougars will now look to getting bigger and stronger in the off-season.
Point: F. There is no other possible grade. Together they combined for 13 of BYU's turnovers. They could not handle the pressure of Houston's quick guards. BYU was never able to get into their offense.
Wing: D. Between Brock Reichner throwing up all day with food poisoning and Jackson Emery leaving with an injured knee early in the game, this position was in trouble. Jimmy Balderson scored just seven points from his nine shots. Beside Lee Cummard (who was 3-6) the other wings combined to shoot 6-20 (24%).
Post: B. This group actually came to play. The problem was that the guards and wings simply could not get them the ball. Trent Plaisted scored 18 and grabbed 13 rebounds. Keena Young had 11. Even Fernando Malaman made both of his shots and had three rebounds. This position was 60% from the floor.
Coach: C. The game plan was there. BYU jumped to an early lead. Houston was struggling from the floor as they started 0-10 from the three point line. But, BYU could not handle the pressure and extend the lead. Coach Rose really did not have any options as both his points, struggled.
- Lee Cummard showed why he will contribute greatly to BYU, in the future. Although several of his points came late in the "Show Time Dunk Session" at the end, Cummard showed his all around game. His line: 7 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 1 turnover. With a little more meat on his bones, and more experience, he will be a player.
- Plaisted showed why he will be BYU's best post player since Kresimir Cosic. He had another double-double. He had several highlight dunks at the end, including two alley-oops. Unfortunately, like all his best dunks this year, they came on the road with no television.
- Plaisted blocked a shot by Houston's Lanny Smith in the final seconds. If Smith made the shot he would have had a triple double. Smith finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and 11 steals.
- Houston finished the game with 18 steals. They led the nation in steals for the year.
- I have two theories as to why BYU lost its final game. 1) Houston teams wore red and BYU thought they were playing the Utes. 2) It was the Curse of Cosic. As we know, Cosic's jersey was retired on March 4. Or so we thought. Reichner was finished the year wearing the "retired" number 11, but before the Utah game, Reichner caught the flu and was held scoreless. BYU lost 74-70. Before the Houston game, Reichner got food poisoning and threw up several times before hand. He could not even make it to the shoot around. Cosic was grateful for the jersey retirement – and even helped BYU come back in the second half to beat New Mexico, but when the jersey was worn after the retirement night, he would not allow BYU to win.
- Following the game, Coach Rose said that they did not anticipate Plaisted leaving BYU for a mission. He did say that Jackson Emery was leaving. He said that everyone in the program (coaches, players, trainers) will work even harder during the off-season to get better. He did leave the door open for potential roster moves to free up scholarships.
- BYU finished the year 20-9, one win away from a total reversal of their 9-21 record last season.