What fans can learn from the Cougar tipoff

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It didn’t start well for the BYU basketball team. Eric Mika and Luke Worthington went head to head in the tipoff, and when they swatted for the ball neither of them could hit it. The referee blew the whistle, and the ball was re-thrown for a second attempt to start the publicly held scrimmage.

Adding to the disappointing start was an injury within the first two minutes of the game. Junior Nate Austin literally went head to head with Worthington, knocking out Austin’s tooth. The team found the tooth, but Austin didn’t reenter the game.

BYU guard Tyler Haws dribbles by Washington defender Scott Suggs during Tuesday's game at the Marriott Center. Photo by Chris Bunker.
BYU guard Tyler Haws dribbles by Washington defender Scott Suggs during the 2012-13 season at the Marriott Center. (Photo by Chris Bunker)

“It was really, probably — well, no question in the nine years I’ve been here — the most energetic and emotional shoot-around,” said head coach Dave Rose. “The guys have been practicing a long time, and they were ready for something different.”

Fans enjoyed the energy as well as the extra space in an empty Marriot Center looking more like a well-attended high school game than a division 1 scrimmage. Chase Fischer could have used some of that high school spirit during the first half of the game.

As a senior in high school, Fischer made 141 3-point field goals, averaged 37.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.5 steals per game. During the scrimmage, Fischer was 0-6 from the 3-point line in his first 18 minutes of play. He started to warm up in the second half of the game right as Mika appeared to be slowing down.

“I think I was a little more tired than I thought I would be,” Mika said. “It was my first time under the lights like that, playing on the biggest stage I ever have.“

Mika was the second leading scorer for the white team and contributed nine of the 35 points in the first half. The leading scorers during the first half included Matt Carlino and Tyler Haws, who both put up 14 points against each other.

At half time the White team led the game 35-34.

When the teams returned for the second half, they were completely rearranged and the scoreboard reset. All the non-scholarship players were wearing the blue jersey, and all the scholarship players were in white. White beat the blue in a final score of 60-39.

Not much was seen from team captain Kyle Collinsworth, who only scored a total of four points during the entire scrimmage. His main contribution was in the form of defensive rebounding and assists to his teammates.

Most of the leadership seemed to be coming from the other two captains — Carlino and Haws. According to Haws, there is much the team can do to improve, but overall he was happy with what he saw from the team, especially the new players.

“We just gotta get consistent at sharing the ball and making the right plays,” Haws said.

Coach Rose also recognized the need for improvements after this scrimmage, although he felt pleased with the way the guys played.

“I think what we learned most of all is our rotations,” Rose said. “Maybe we will need to expand the roles of a couple guys and get them to learn multiple positions for us … that will really help.”

Highlights from the event included an alley-oop to Mika, Haws’ slam dunk and a behind-the-back pass from Fischer.

Fans were invited after the game to meet the players on the court and get their autographs on free posters.

The Cougars will be back in the Marriott Center Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. to face Colorado College in the first exhibition game of the season.

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