BYU Hoops Mailbag Week Five

Dec 10, 2013 - Posted by knielsen on December 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Updated: December 11, 2013 10:01 am

The mailbag returns at the more-or-less first third point of the season. There are still two weeks before the Cougars jump into West Coast Conference play and two Pac-12 opponents are left before that happens. On to the questions.

The Cougars are scoring a lot of points this season, even when they lose. Has that affected other things or are more points the only unique part of the season so far?

Through 10 games, the Cougars have put up 89.9 points per game, the highest in the Dave Rose era by almost seven points. Thanks to BYU playing fast and scoring points, there are two things that are happening that don't happen all that often.

The Cougars have two players averaging 5+ assists per game in Matt Carlino and Kyle Collinsworth. A player averaging five assists by himself has only happened six times by five different players in BYU history: Matt Montague did it twice, Nathan Call, Danny Ainge, Marty Haws and Randy Reid all accomplished the feat for one season. 

Heading into the Prairie View A&M game, Carlino and Collinsworth each average 5.4 assists per game.

That isn't just unique at BYU. Carlino and Collinsworth are the only teammates in the nation who average 5+ assists per game. They are both 25th in the nation in assists per game and BYU as a team is fourth in the country for total assists and 10th in assists per game. They average 17.8 per game or Carlino and Collinsworth plus seven more assists per game. The last time BYU averaged 17 assists per game was the first year after Jimmer, when Matt Carlino led the team and four players averaged two or more assists each game.

The other unique part about this season so far are the four players who are averaging double figures in scoring. Tyler Haws, Matt Carlino, Eric Mika and Kyle Collinsworth each put up more than 10 points a night. Having a team do that has happened three times during Dave Rose's tenure: in his first year 2005-06, in Jimmer's junior year (and Haws' freshman year) of 2009-10 and the year after Jimmer in 2011-12. 

In Rose's first year, Trent Plaisted averaged 13 points a game, while three others averaged just above 10. The team made it into the NIT and averaged 76 points a game. In 2009-10, Jimmer averaged 22 a game, while Jackson Emery, Haws and Jonathan Tavernari averaged 12, 11 and 10, respectively. The team averaged 83 points per game and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. In 2011-12, Noah Hartsock averaged 16, Brandon Davies 15, Carlino 12 and Charles Abouo 11. The team made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament while averaging 77 a game.

So far this year, Haws is averaging almost 24 a game, Carlino has averaged 18, Mika 14 and Collinsworth 12. 

The three previous teams to have four players average double digits were all a bit different in what they accomplished. The 2005-06 season was the first under coach Rose and his system and the Cougars flipped their record from 9-21 in 2004-05 to 20-9. In 2009-10, they were getting used to being Jimmer's team and improved by five wins from the previous year and won an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 1993. In 2011-12, they were replacing Jimmer and Jackson Emery and still won 26 games and made the NCAA tournament.

This year's team is unique in a couple ways. Haws is a prolific scorer and in his junior year a la Jimmer in 2009-10, but this team doesn't have any seniors and has freshmen who are contributing as well as some very experienced juniors. Most pundits have the Cougars in the tournament if it started today. Going with these numbers, they have a great shot at advancing in the tournament as they did in 2010 and 2012.

Have a question you'd liked to have answered?

Send it in with your name and hometown to basketballpr@byu.edu. The mailbag runs on Wednesday each week with a Monday night deadline for questions.