With all of the focus on Jimmer and the incredible talent he is, teams are going to build their game plan around stopping him, and the BYU big men need to take advantage.
Noah Hartsock has come out this season and solidified himself as the starting power forward with some very solid play.
Noah is averaging 10 points, 5.6 rebounds and two blocked shots per game (3rd best in the MWC).
Although Noah is not the most physical power forward, he does have a very nice shooting touch, is a decent athlete and is playing with a lot of confidence.
With the ankle injury to Chris Collinsworth, guys like James Anderson, Logan Magnusson and Stephen Rodgers have been thrown into the fire and all have responded well.
James Anderson had a coming out party against Arizona with a career high 25 minutes of solid play, especially on the defensive end.
Sophomore Brandon Davies has shown us glimpses of what he is capable of doing, but has been slowed down by foul trouble. Against Arizona (5-5 fgs for 11 pts in 13 min.) and Creighton (9-11 fgs for 24 pts in 27 min.) Davies showed us he can be a dominant force on the offensive end.
Coach Rose has built a team that has some depth and lots of versatility.
When Chris Collinsworth returns from injury (which looks like won’t be until Dec. 21 vs. Weber St.), Coach Rose should have a solid 5-6 player rotation of big men with Chris Collisworth, Davies and Hartsock getting a majority of the minutes.
Look for Anderson, Rodgers and Magnusson when Coach feels he has a favorable match up, or is dealing with foul trouble. Although undersized, Magnusson, Rodgers and Hartsock have proven they can extend defenses with their shooting range, which will be helpful when teams decide to double Jimmer off of ball screens.
James Anderson showed us a glimpse of his defensive potential by playing very solid against Arizona. This will go a long way towards earning the trust of Rose and getting more minutes off the bench.
This team will need our big guys to continue to play well for the Cougars to have continued success. It’s hard to gauge how good this year’s team really is, and with the Mountain West Conference having its best basketball year in its history, this BYU team will need the “bigs” to continue to get it done by committee.