I woke up Saturday morning all excited because the BYU/UNLV game was going to be on Versus, so I could actually watch it. Something I don’t often get to do since I don’t have the MTN. Unfortunately, UNLV shattered my enjoyment within about 10 minutes of the game starting.
This game was over very quickly. UNLV came out firing on all cylinders, and it never really slowed down. I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw a team shoot so well. It was simply unbelievable. Even my wife, who knows nothing about basketball, was shocked at how good UNLV looked.
I would venture to guess that UNLV was even a little surprised themselves, since they are not normally a three-point shooting team. But like any smart coach, Kruger told his boys to just keep it going.
Every timeout they showed him talking to his team mouthing the words, “keep it going.” I can’t imagine it being very difficult to coach a team that is on fire like they were.
On the other side, BYU looked totally starstruck. They were never allowed to get into any kind of a rhythm on offense, which led them to just throwing up threes like there was only a few minutes left in the game, when in actuality it was only a few minutes into the game. Even Jimmer was unable to play his extremely effective game during the first half.
Credit UNLV and their defense. It was a great game plan that they executed to perfection. By playing defense farther out on the perimeter, they “tricked” BYU into taking deeper shots and not penetrating like they usually do.
I just couldn’t figure out why BYU didn’t figure this out and pound the ball inside. I guess it was just one of those days when UNLV could do nothing wrong.
On defense, BYU could have just as easily been a church basketball team playing on a playground. They looked completely lost with no semblance of order. There was no backside help, their rotation was non-existent, and UNLV made them pay.
Again, give all the credit in the world to UNLV. They shot BYU out of the gym from the tip-off and never looked back. It would not have mattered who UNLV played yesterday—they would have won. When everything you do works that effectively, it is almost impossible to lose.
As much as I hate losing in any circumstance, this was one of those games where you just shake your head and move on. Dave Rose said it best when he said, “There’s no question who was the better team tonight.” There was really nothing BYU could have done to beat this team.
Sure, it would have helped if BYU had hit some of their early threes, or actually got the ball inside and made some shots, since they only shot 33 percent in the first half, but I am not sure it would have helped them win. We lost to a quality opponent in a very tough venue, and all you can do is move on to the next game.
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