Murdock hit a three-pointer early in the game, which made the defenders guard him and not sag off of him. He ended the game with six points on two three-pointers in three attempts.
Shooting Guard: B
Sam Burgess had nine points and was 3-3 from three-point land. He also had a three-pointer on a display of good passing by Jonathan Tavernari, Murdock and Lee Cummard, as they swung the ball around the perimeter until Burgess had a good look. Jimmer Fredette was 1-7 from the field but had some good passes and a couple of good steals.
Small Forward: A-
Cummard was himself once again. He had 18 points and six rebounds, and was 6-11 from the field and 4-4 from the free-throw line. He also had another alley-oop dunk, this time thanks to a pass from Fredette. Cummard is very athletic and has shown that he is ready to play in every game whether his team is going to show up or not. It's hard to say this early in the season who the MVP will be, but Cummard is definitely the MVP of the first half of this season. Cummard will go down as one of the best wings to come through BYU when his career is over.
Power Forward: A-
Tavernari came off the bench and had 17 points, eight rebounds and five three-pointers, shooting 5-11 from beyond the arc. This is the best game that he has had in quite some time and is a perfect time to get him some confidence before the Cougars head out to ACC country next Tuesday to face Wake Forest.
Chris Collinsworth contributed five rebounds and played like his normal self, having three points and banging inside. He missed two free throws late in the game and was 1-4 from the line overall. Collinsworth still needs to improve his offensive game, especially in a game that the Cougars won by 29 points and a game that he was getting minutes late in.
The center position finally got some support outside of Trent Plaisted, as Miles stepped up. While Plaisted only played 24 minutes, he still scored 12 points and had seven rebounds and three assists, and he demanded a double team nearly every time he touched the ball. He only took three free-throw shots and made two of them. Expect Wake Forest to have a well-designed game plan to guard Plaisted next week. He needs to step up and make his free throws in that contest if the Cougars are to have a chance at winning.
Miles contributed some great minutes. In possibly the highlight of the night, Miles had a tip dunk late in the game that had Tavernari and Archie Rose jumping up and down on the bench. Miles also had a tremendous steal where he slipped the post-up of his man and set up a big dunk for Cummard.
Even though the Cougars played a 3-11 LMU team Thursday night, the Cougars came out and were ready to play after a disappointing lost to the Boise State Broncos. Coach Rose deserves a lot of credit for getting his team ready and on not having another letdown, as the Cougars ended up winning by 29 points. Hopefully he can get his team ready to play on Tuesday when BYU plays a good Wake Forest (10-3) team in ACC land.
As mentioned, Tavernari came off the bench and finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and five three-pointers. Fredette contributed seven points, but was 1-7 from the field and cannot seem to get into a rhythm to score. From all sources, he is a pure scorer and can flat-out shoot. We have seen flashes of brilliance (namely the three-point shot against Michigan State with four seconds left on the shot clock), but we have also seen him miss numerous consecutive shots. The more that Martineau plays, the more I like him. While he is not flashy and not the best defender, he does not make mistakes on offense and chips in with good free-throw shooting and can hit an open shot. The Cougars tied a BYU record Thursday with 32 attempted three-pointers, and made 12 of them.
Next up: BYU @ Wake Forest, 5 p.m. next Tuesday