Right before the Utah game, Cougar center Nate Austin tore his hamstring. The move left coach Dave Rose scrambling. He decided to put a few unproven big guys in the game. While the big men played hard, the Cougars suffered through one of their worst offensive showings of the season. The Cougars played better overall against Gonzaga but something was still missing.
The switch to a four guard lineup
Desperate for a quicker start, Rose went to a four guard starting lineup against Portland. The move appeared to be risky as Portland is one of the tallest teams BYU has played this season. The results were immediately positive. BYU shelled a tough Portland team. The next two games they thoroughly dominated Santa Clara and a San Francisco team that’s given the Cougars fits since joining the WCC.
The move to a smaller lineup has played to the Cougars strengths. The team has no shortage of talented guards like Haws, Collinsworth, Winder, Fischer, Halford, Bartley and Halford. Going with a traditional lineup means there are not enough minutes to go around for the guards. Going with a four guard lineup allows these players to be on the floor more.
What makes the lineup work
What really makes the lineup work is Collinsworth’s rebounding. It is debatable that he is the best rebounding guard in the entire nation. Collinsworth’s ability takes away the one possible problem going smaller.
Return of Nate Austin
The question is what happens when Austin comes back? I think the team should continue to go small and have Austin and whatever other big men play mostly for rebounding and defense.
What do you all think?