Coach Rose's Observations

Coach Dave Rose's team beat Utah State last Saturday to improve to 8-0, and will face another test this Wednesday when Boise State comes to town. Total Blue Sports was able to get Coach Rose's observations about the development of the Cougars and what challenges Boise State brings.

Here is what Coach Rose had to say:

- On the team being able to defeat Utah State with Lee Cummard struggling and then fouling out: Lee has been a player that has made a lot of plays in crucial situations for the team, and when he fouled out against Utah State, that just gave other players an opportunity. Jonathan Tavernari, Jackson Emery and Jimmer Fredette all stepped up. Lamont Morgan gave them a great lift in that game, just from his defensive presence. He controlled the ball and kept it out further, forcing the Aggies to initiate their offense further out and thus allowing the team to guard a little bit better. "I was please with those guys being able to make plays and finish that game off."

- "One of the things that I'm really impressed with this group is that it's a real competitive group that plays together. I like how they really compete. We need to really work on our execution on both ends of the floor, but they play together and just [have] good chemistry. They're good players. But, we need to get better at executing what we do defensively and offensively."

- On their next opponent, Boise State: Boise State is a very good team that spreads the floor really well. The Broncos are very offensive minded. They have two good low post players, as well as guards that are really active and can penetrate and make plays for themselves. They also have a couple of really good shooters, and the team is really well-balanced one. All games BYU has played against the Broncos over the past several years have been very competitive and have come down to the end. Boise State is playing with a lot of confidence right now.

- Gavin Macgregor had some type of virus and missed practice on Monday. Noah Hartsock practiced for the first time since spraining his ankle, but didn't participate in the entire practice. They haven't thought about redshirting him: "It just depends on how long this thing causes him problems, but if he can get back on it we'd like to get him back as soon as we can."

- Jimmer continues to get confidence the more time he spends on the floor, and he made some big plays for the team on Saturday against Utah State. He was moved to point guard from shooting guard last year because the team needed a scorer on the wing to complement Lee and Sam Burgess. Ben Murdock was really solid for the team at the point last year, but he had some injury problems later in the year and Jimmer was moved over and showed them that he was really comfortable in that position. "From when we recruited him we expected him to come in here and be able to play at the point guard position for us."

- Jackson, like Jimmer, continues to get better with time. "I just really like his court awareness on both ends of the floor. He's extremely quick defensively, he can make plays on the ball, can give a lot of help and still recover to his own man. Offensively, he's done a real good job with his shot selection, being able to space the floor, and he's attacked the basket well. We have a lot of confidence in his ability to shoot free throws. You know, he would have liked to make a couple more, but I like his confidence to get in there and get fouled and go to the line. I just think he continues to get better. He's a good rebounder too so far." Jackson is one of the team leaders in assists, defensive rebounds, steals and shooting percentage, all good signs.

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