After defeating Midwestern State 91-74 in an exhibition game last week, the BYU men’s basketball team hosts the Dixie State Red Storm in the final exhibition game of the season tonight.
Coach Dave Rose expects Dixie State’s style of play to contrast Midwestern State’s and thinks the different style will help the defense as they prepare for the regular season.
“Midwestern was a very up-tempo team but this game will be a lot different,” he said. “Dixie will grind it out. They are a very good offensive team, they screen hard, so it will be a different look.”
Friday’s match-up is also a rematch of sorts between Rose and Dixie State head coach Jon Judkins. Rose coached at Dixie State as an assistant coach from 1987-90 and as head coach from 1990-97. Judkins coached at Snow College from 1995-2002 before taking over the Dixie State program.
“I’m glad coach Judkins agreed to play the game and that we’ll be able to tip it off and see how it goes,” Rose said. “John and I, we coached against each other when I was at Dixie and he was at Snow and we had some great battles. He’s a great coach and I look forward to a really competitive game.”
Besides coaching at Dixie State, Rose was also a student at the school. He played baseball and basketball there before continuing his college basketball career at the University of Houston. He also met his wife at Dixie State and feels the school gave him a great start to life.
“It was such a huge part of my family history,” he said. “My wife, Cheryl, and I met as students at Dixie and I was able to go back there as an assistant coach and as a head coach. The support of the school and the support of the community will always be a huge part of what we feel has been our career.”
Last season, Dixie State advanced to the West Region championship of the NCAA Division II tournament. Griffon Jones, who averaged 10.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, returns from last year’s team.
Looking at the upcoming game, Rose hopes to improve upon the amount of turnovers and continue the team’s strong post play.
A major contributor in the post for the Cougars was forward Chris Collinsworth. Against Midwestern State, Collinsworth saw his first game action since suffering a knee injury last season. In only 11 minutes of play, he came off the bench and recorded nine points and six rebounds.
For Collinsworth, the game provided a big confidence boost.
“It reminded me that I do know how to play basketball,” Collinsworth said. “It’s been a long time since I got to play against another team so it felt good to get out there and compete and do some good things.”
His contribution will continue to be a factor for the remainder of the season, and he hopes to be a key factor in today’s exhibition game.
“I expect to contribute a lot to help this team win,” he said. “I’m going to do it in any way I can as this team continues to grow together and build our identity.”
Collinsworth and the Cougars take the court against the Red Storm at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center.