BYU held the Cougar Tipoff on Wednesday—its annual opening scrimmage in which the team plays against itself. In the first half, the teams were basically evenly split, with both the blue and white squads having a mixture of starters, key backups and bench players who will see little playing time during the season.
In the second half, the teams were switched up, with the white squad comprising all the starters and main backups, while the blue team became a chance for mainly the redshirts and practice squad players to show their stuff.
Throughout the evening, there were a few players who stood out. Let's take a look at three returning BYU players who were impressive at the Cougar Tipoff. A similar list of three newcomers to the team who had big nights can be found here.
It should come as no surprise that the No. 7 scorer in the country last season looked good in an intra-squad scrimmage. However, to dismiss Tyler Haws' performance because it came against his own team would be doing a disservice to how truly dominant he was.
In both the first and second half, Haws was dynamic all-around. He drove to the basket better than anyone else, drew fouls at a ridiculous rate, converted a high percentage of the resulting free throws, unleashed his deadly jumper often, and was a marksman from behind the three-point line.
Haws appears to have honed his game even more, which is terrible news for opposing defenses this season.
Matt Carlino was effective in his ball distribution, finding open teammates with ease. The point guard also had few issues with turnovers, which have plagued him for much of his BYU career.
As a shooter, Carlino was hit-and-miss. While he was deadly for the most part from behind the arc, he also had questionable shot selection at times, especially while driving to the hoop.
Overall, the positives greatly outweighed the negatives with Carlino, who looks set to have a monster season assists-wise.
Although not a starter, Anson Winder was effective every time he stepped on the court. The junior from Las Vegas' fast-break ability is arguably the best on the team, and he utilized it effectively. He also used his speed to make quick drives to the basket, resulting in many quick slashing scores through the defense.
On defense, Winder continued to be the best on the team. While several players struggled with the man-to-man defense that BYU will utilize more heavily this season, Winder locked down his man consistently, regardless of who he was defending.
Winder's athleticism and defensive prowess is sure to get him a good chunk of playing time this season, especially on such a young squad.