BYU Basketball Practice Report

TBS checked in at BYU's basketball practice this week to see what the Cougs were working on after their blowout victory over Brock University. The team is still doing preseason work on fundamental skills and schemes, but the focus has clearly shifted to prepping for another exhibition game and the season opener against UCLA.

On Monday, the BYU men's basketball team continued their preparations for their season-opening road trip to sunny southern California. In about a week's time they will visit sixth-ranked UCLA.

It will be the first game of the season for both teams. Following the game, UCLA will head to Hawaii and play in the Maui Classic.

The Cougars conclude their exhibitions this Wednesday (7 p.m. tip-off) at the Marriott Center when they will host the University of Montevallo. The Division II school from Alabama is currently ranked second in the Division II rankings. They reached the Elite Eight and finished with a 29-5 record. Last week they lost to twelfth-ranked Alabama by just nine points.

Spiff's Observations

- Effort and intensity were stressed repeatedly by the coaching staff. Several times the Brock game was referenced and the need to play all forty minutes.

- Getting back quickly on offense was also a matter of emphasis. Coach Rose would rather the team get up the floor quickly and look for an early/good shot than walk the ball up and run the offense.

- Vuk Ivanovic was the player of the practice. He scored 14 points over the three five-minute scrimmages that concluded practice. He was equally adept at scoring on Trent Plaisted and Fernando Malaman.

- There is still a lot of teaching going on. Coaches are instructing players on the fundamentals of sound basketball. They spend time each practice going over zone defense and offense, help-side defense when in man-to-man, how to come off screens and get a shot off, how to get around screens and double screens. Being strong with the ball (whether dribbling, holding, or moving with the ball) and not turning it over is constantly mentioned.

- Mike Rose could find an increased role this year. He is knocking it down every time he is given space. He has also been hustling more than last year.

- Austin Ainge continues to see the floor very well. He found Sam Burgess on two great passes that led to easy lay-ups.

- Lee Cummard was also feeling it during the middle of practice. At one stretch, he made eight straight shots.

- There are no injuries to report as every one was participating fully.

- UCLA game preparation is very prevalent. Nearly every drill was in preparation for that game. UCLA runs their plays this way or they play defense like this prefaced all instruction.

- Plaisted looks to have added to his offensive repertoire. He is making baskets with both hands.

Spiff's Correction

- Last week, my report gave the impression that Austin felt that the football team was boring. Austin is a football fan and always cheers for the Cougars. He in no way feels that football is boring or that the team plays that way.


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