Heath Schroyer making a difference with BYU basketball – again

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Dani Jardine
Associate Head Coach Heath Schroyer talks with Assistant Coach Quincy Lewis during a game against Pepperdine. Schroyer has improved the team’s defense drastically in his first year back.

BYU basketball coach Heath Schroyer is making a big impact just months into his return to Provo.

Dave Rose hired Schroyer last May as associate head coach — 16 years after he left the Cougars for Wyoming.

“Heath brings a lot of energy to the office,” Rose said during the team’s media day in October. “He pays attention to detail and has a special connection with the guys.”

Schroyer moved his family back to Utah from North Carolina, where he was the assistant head coach for North Carolina State.

“At this point in my career if I was going to be an assistant I really wanted to work with someone I really knew — and knew me,” Schroyer said on what brought him back to BYU. “I’ve always enjoyed my time at BYU, and it’s just a great place.”

Schroyer and Rose worked together from 1997 to 2001 as assistant coaches on Steve Cleveland’s staff. Schroyer said the adjustment has been “really easy.”

“The staff has just been fabulous to work with,” Schroyer said. “I’ve been really, really blessed to be with such good coaches.”

Schroyer likes to focus on the defensive side of the game, where BYU has seen one of the biggest improvements this season.

“We have a group that’s unselfish. They are playing for something bigger than themselves,” Schroyer said. “We are getting better defensively and more efficient offensively.”

Schroyer said the changes are due to the players buying into the emphasis on defense.

“Coaching isn’t really about what you teach, as much as what you emphasize,” Schroyer said. “We have had success where we haven’t shot the ball well and defensively we have won the game.”

Schroyer has high expectations for this team, including winning a WCC championship and getting back to the NCAA tournament. Schroyer said the players will be successful if they continue to work hard on both sides of the ball.

“Coach Schroyer is intense, and he’s given us that mentality and we understand that that’s how we win games.” said forward Yoeli Childs. “Every day in practice he brings it; every game he brings it. He is just an intense guy, and it has helped us out a lot.”

The Cougars hit the road to play at Saint Mary’s Thursday, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. MST and return to Provo to host Pacific, Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. MST.

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