Freshmen were the story of the night as Blue team came back from a 23-point first-half deficit to beat White team 66-60 in the annual Cougar Tipoff at the Marriott Center.
The leading scorers for each team were true-freshmen Nick Emery and Zac Seljaas. Sophomore guards Elijah Bryant and Cory Calvert along with junior forward Kyle Davis made significant offensive contributions.
Emery started out slow in the first half with only six points. But was able to find his groove in the second half finishing with 19 points for the night.
“That first half we were really excited and we weren’t making shots,” Emery said. “I think that second half we were a lot more settled and more confident.”
Emery recently returned from serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He led Lone Peak High School to a National Title his senior year.
Seljaas looked comfortable and was a little more consistent scoring nine points in the first half and finishing the game tied with Emery at 19 points.
“We’ve been practicing all summer and fall,” Seljaas said. “We just went out there and showed what we could do.”
Seljaas was named the 4A MVP and led Bountiful High School to the 4A state title his senior year.
BYU has a lot of depth this year that they haven’t had in past years. Which is a good thing considering four key players are fighting injuries right now.
Both Kyle Collinsworth and Corbin Kaufusi were on the bench going into the game. Collinsworth is still dealing with tendonitis in his knee while Corbin Kaufusi tweaked his hamstring during Boomshakalaka. Kaufusi is officially on a week-to-week basis.
Chase Fischer and Jordan Chatman both left during the game. Chatman went down with a sprained ankle and Fischer left the floor with a severe thigh bruise in the second half.
BYU Basketball head coach Dave Rose wasn’t worried about any of the injuries and is optimistic for the season.
“I expect everybody to be ready for the season,” Rose said. ” I think we’ll wait as long as we can with Kyle but we wanna make sure…of the best time to get him back.”
The Cougars will be back in the Marriott Center on Friday for an exhibition game against Arizona Christian.