The Cougars lost a heartbreaker last night in the Marriot Center dropping to St. Mary’s 70-69 on a last second 40 foot Hail Mary shot. No one likes to watch their team lose, but this particular loss left me physically ill and wondering what went wrong. Luckily I was so upset that I didn’t sleep much and had a lot of time to think about it. I put last night’s loss squarely on the shoulders of Dave Rose.
1) Up 20-4 with 8 minutes gone in the first half BYU seemed to be in complete control. Then, St. Mary’s figured out the Cougar’s 2-3 zone defense and how to beat the rotation and started getting wide-open jumpers. Dave Rose was slow to adjust the defensive scheme the rest of the first half, allowing St. Mary’s to climb within 7 points by halftime. The Cougars did a better job in the second half switching up the defense (man-to-man, 2-3 zone, 1-3-1 zone) to keep St. Mary’s guessing about how best to attack the defense, but by then the damage was done.
2) St. Mary’s star player Matthew Dellavedova had 4 fouls with 8:04 left to play in the game. Why weren’t BYU’s players instructed to attack the basket going at Dellavedova? One of two things would have happened…he was going to foul out (never a bad thing) or he was going to play soft defense allowing BYU to dictate the action. Instead BYU consistently passed the ball AWAY from Dellavedova. A huge opportunity missed.
3) With 2.5 seconds left in the game Tyler Haws hit the go-ahead basket to put BYU up 2 points 69-67. Then every player on BYU’s team immediately ran BACKWARDS. The inbounds pass was completely unchallenged, and Dellavedova was allowed to run upcourt unguarded until he put up his miracle shot. Watching the replay on ESPN shows how open the inbounds pass was, and how freely Dellavedova was allowed to run up the court. Why was there no pressure on the inbounds pass? Why not press St. Mary’s and force them to break a full-court press in 2.5 seconds? The team should have been told coming out of the timeout that if the shot was made they should press the inbounds and not allow St. Mary’s a clear path!
3 coaching mistakes that lead directly to BYU’s loss last night and I have to wonder what Dave Rose was thinking. With decisions like that the best BYU is going to be able to do this year is to host a couple of early round NIT games…