BYU basketball staying positive despite bump in the road

Josh Sharp goes for the dunk with Davies protecting the ball. (Photo by Whitnie Soelberg)

The men’s basketball team will welcome the Portland Pilots after a rough week of conference games.

Regardless of BYU’s two consecutive losses, the Cougars are staying focused and remaining positive for the remainder of their season.

“We’ve had really spirirted practices,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “The guys have been really positive. I think that’s probably the most important thing now, for our guys to continue to believe in our team and believe in each other.”

BYU (18-8, 8-4 WCC) had a bye week, with their only game that will come against Portland (10-17, 3-9 WCC) Saturday night. As the season comes to a close, bodies have been breaking down, but with a week off, the Cougars have been able to get back on track.

“We’ve been focusing on staying aggressive,” guard Tyler Haws said. “We still have a lot to play for. We’re staying positive and looking forward to the next few weeks.”

Despite a previous, heated game when Portland guard Tanner Riley was ejected after grabbing Brock Zylstra around the neck and throwing him down, the Cougars routed the Pilots in a 85–67 victory. BYU’s “Big Three” scored 63 of their team’s points and hopes to bounce back despite their recent struggles. As a senior and leader of his team, Brandon Davies helps his team stick together.

“We just have to keep everyone positive, keep everyone focused and keep everyone together,” Davies said. “Teams have a tendency to fall apart when they get a couple losses, but with us, the more we fight, the more we come together, the better we’re going to be.”

While staying positive and focused is important for BYU, Rose emphasizes the importance of being a consistent team and being able to execute.

Haws believes the team still has a lot to prove and looks forward to the games ahead of them.

BYU will tip off against Portland on Saturday at 7 p.m MST at the Marriott Center. The jerseys of former all-time greats, Mel Hutchins and Roland Minson, will be retired at halftime and the game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and KSL radio.

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