BYU Basketball: 3 Things We Learned from Colorado College Exhibition Game
BYU got its first look at how this year's team looks in competition against other schools, with an exhibition game against Division III team Colorado College at the Marriott Center. While BYU won as expected, 94-59, things didn't always go so smoothly.
BYU struggled defensively in the first half, and the Tigers were able to stick around and even take the lead a couple of times as a result. Once the second half began, the Cougars were much more dominant and pulled away with ease.
This was the first real glimpse of the team in a competition situation, so let's take a look at three things we learned about BYU from this performance.
Kyle Collinsworth Has the Skills, but the Consistency Isn't There Yet
No player logged more playing time against the Tigers than Kyle Collinsworth, who was on the court for 25 minutes. In his first season back after his two-year LDS mission, the Cougars are trying to get Collinsworth back in prime playing condition.
He utilized his time well, notching a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds while adding five assists. With the Cougars often utilizing a four-guard setup in which Eric Mika was the only big man on the floor, Collinsworth was called upon to be more of a hybrid player and pull down rebounds for BYU, which he did an admirable job of.
While displaying talent, however, Collinsworth did struggle with consistency. His outside shooting was questionable at best, and one three-point attempt ended as an air ball.
Head coach Dave Rose will need to be careful to not overwork Collinsworth, as it is clear that his recovery from his mission is still a work in progress.
The Transition to Man-to-Man Defense Is Also a Work in Progress
BYU has relied quite heavily on zone defense for most of Rose's tenure as head coach. After opposing teams exploited that last season, Rose made the switch to a primarily man-to-man defense this offseason.
The first glimpse of that new defense was not exactly encouraging. Colorado College was able to get all sorts of looks in the first half and shot 50 percent from the field before halftime.
In the second half, BYU tightened up the defense, and Colorado College's shooting prowess came to an abrupt halt.
The pieces are there for a successful man-to-man defense for BYU this season, but they haven't all come together yet.
Anson Winder Is Going to Be a Key Player on This Year's Squad
On a squad with two star players (Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino) and a freshman phenom (Eric Mika), it can be easy to overlook other players who don't put up flashy stats frequently. However, one of those underrated players had quite the impact against the Tigers.
Anson Winder scored 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting and knocked down three three-pointers. On offense, he filled his role perfectly and took advantage of the limited opportunities he got.
Most importantly, Winder was the lock-down defender BYU so desperately needs if their man-to-man defense is to be effective this season. It is clear already that Winder is the best defender on the team. Look for him to get assigned to guard the star players on opposing teams frequently.