Having been a coach, I realize how important it is to look for the good in every game and especially after a loss. You have to give your players something to build on, and something to hold onto when they are down in the dumps.
Fortunately, I am not the BYU basketball coach, I am a somewhat upset and mostly disappointed fan, so I can focus on the bad as much as I want.
This game was just simply pathetic.
First of all, could the officiating have been any worse? If you look at the game as a whole, it was really bad on both sides, but for the entire first half, every single call went against BYU.
No matter what they did it was a foul, and even when Jimmer Fredette got knocked to the ground, it wasn’t a foul.
Not to mention when Jimmer got elbowed in the nose...it is apparently a foul on him, because what was he doing smashing his nose into that guy’s elbow?
If refs want to call a tight game that is fine. If they are going to let the boys bang a little, which I prefer, that is fine too, but when there is no consistency in the officiating, it is impossible to know how to play.
Our big men get confused enough all by themselves, but when they try and play hard and get called for everything, it really leaves you even more confused and it really showed early for BYU. It ultimately cost them the game.
Despite BYU coming out hot and actually leading 10-0 early, Kansas State was able to claw back into it with the help of the officials.
The point at which the game changed sides for good was after Kansas State made seven consecutive free throws near the end of the half, including one total crap call on Jonathan Tavernari.
I had to listen to part of the game on the radio as I drove to work, and even the announcers repeatedly mentioned how poor the officiating was.
It is still no excuse for losing, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier when the zebras are against you too.
BYU didn’t need any help struggling tonight, either.
For the second game in a row they got destroyed on the offensive glass. I don’t understand what is so difficult about the concept of boxing out.
Every kid on a junior high team can tell you how to box out, so why is it that BYU players don’t know how?
The numbers don’t look that drastic, but that is mostly courtesy of one possession where BYU had three offensive rebounds. If you take that one out, the disparity is unreal.
I know I have said this everyday for weeks now, but BYU’s big men looked more lost than a fat kid in the vegetable aisle. They couldn’t rebound, they couldn’t handle passes, and just about the only thing they did successfully was foul.
Tavernari was back to his old self chucking the ball at the basket from everywhere on the court. He was definitely a momentum killer off the bench.
I give him a little credit for trying to hit some big shots, but they were bad looks at bad times, and not the kind of shots a senior should be taking.
Jimmer put up his average 21 points along with five assists, but he also had 5 turnovers. Give a ton of credit to Jacob Pullen for playing some great D, but after he stuffed Jimmer a couple of times early, he pretty much gave up trying for most of the game.
I know how frustrating it is to get shown up, but you have to find a way to fight through it for your team, and try something different. Apparently Pullen had studied his film, and took Jimmer out of the game early.
Once that was accomplished, nobody else had any answers. Apparently Jimmer is the only one who knows how to create anything. Michael Loyd Jr. was completely invisible, as was most of the rest of the team.
Tyler Haws and Jackson Emery had normal games for them, and filled their roles, but neither has ever shown the ability to step up when the team needs them. They just get right around 10 points, a couple of steals, and a couple good defensive plays.
That was one of the things that made John Stockton great. He never had real big numbers, other than assists, but he had the ability to go out and drop 30+ points when he saw that his team needed it.
Nobody on this team seemed willing to step up last night.
It was just such a heartbreaking loss for me because I know we could have won this game. We were clicking early, and then the wheels fell off, and they lost their minds.
No one was moving off the ball, Jimmer was unwilling to go to the hole, nobody wanted to get a rebound on either end, and no one could make a shot to save their life.
I always hate to see the end of the season, but it is extra hard after a loss like this that could have been so much closer, if not a different result.
On the bright side of things, only five more months until football season!