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Bryant, Childs and Haws shine for Blue in annual Cougar Tipoff
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PROVO, Utah – Elijah Bryant, Yoeli Childs and TJ Haws shined for their squad as Blue beat White 88-68 Wednesday night in the annual Papa John’s Cougar Tipoff at the Marriott Center.
“I thought that it was a good scrimmage for what we are trying to do and how we are going to bring this group together,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “I think that when you take the pieces that we saw here, we can put together a pretty competitive team. I am excited for the next couple days and the improvement I think we can make.”
Childs led all players with 23 points to go with seven boards. Bryant and Haws followed close behind with 20 points apiece, respectively. Zac Seljass had eight boards and Bryant collected eight assists to lead both teams.
Dalton Nixon led the White team with 19 points, with Luke Worthington, Jahshire Hardnett and Rylan Bergersen scoring 16, 14 and 12, respectively.
Childs started out strong by collecting the first six points for Blue, leading 6-5. Back-to-back dunks from Childs then extended the lead to four at 15-11 with just over 11 minutes left to play in the half.
A 3-pointer from Seljass increased Blue’s advantage to double digits at 23-13. Nixon then ended a near four-minute field goal drought for the White team to get his squad within 11, trailing 28-17.
Bryant quietly scored his 11th and 12th points of the game after a pair of free throws five minutes before the half, extending Blue’s lead at 33-19.
A Nick Emery jumper from just inside the 3-point line put the Blue squad ahead 44-24 in the closing seconds of the half.
A 3-pointer each from Bryant and Childs kept Blue ahead after halftime 53-32.
Hardnett’s layup gave him double-digit points as he helped the White squad stay within 20, down 55-37 with 14 minutes left in the game.
A layup and 3-pointer from Haws on consecutive trips down the court increased Blue’s advantage to 21, 60-39.
Nixon helped the White team stay in the game, scoring seven of nine points to get within 16 at 66-50.
A Worthington bucket pushed White closer, 73-60, with just under four minutes to play.
A pair of Seljaas free throws then sealed the 20-point win for the Blue team, 88-68.
The Cougars next head down to Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. MT, to face the University of New Mexico in a charity game to benefit the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
"I thought that it was a good scrimmage for what we are trying to do and how we are going to bring this group together. I thought there were some really great things. Every time there is a basket scored in a game like this you have a little bit of anxiety because you’re happy for the group that scored and happy for the guy that scored. Probably the best thing about this is you get to move on and just coach one team from now on. I think that when you take the pieces that we saw here that we can put together a pretty competitive team. I like the feel and the pace and I thought the guys stayed within themselves which a lot of times when you practice as long as we have and then you turn the lights on they turn to their own selves and there weren’t a lot of those possessions today. I look forward to breaking the film down with the guys. I am excited for the next couple days and the improvement I think we can make."
On Childs' play:
"Tonight, Yoeli was very limited around the basket and the key. He’s got the ball in his hands and he’s making good decisions. He has a lot of options and is feeling pretty good."
"Yoeli getting the pass from the guard is a really good thing for us because we want to make the right play."
On consistent team play:
"Not too many questions were answered tonight. I was happy for Dalton. The way he played tonight was exactly like he has been practicing the last three weeks and that could be a real plus for us. Luke played within himself pretty good and then Zac. Those three guys after coming off missions having played for a year, we really need them to step and start from the front all the way through. I thought those three guys actually showed pretty good tonight. The new guys actually played within themselves and those are good things."
On Bryant's game:
"I am an Elijah fan. I think that he has the physicality, the diversity and the skill and he’s got a big hear too. Hopefully, we can keep him healthy. He could be a really good player for us."
About Hardnett's play:
"Jahshire is different than all our guys. He is fast, quick and strong. We don’t want him to over dribble or take over which he is capable of doing. I think he is physically tough enough to be a real factor at this level. He did a good job to do what we wanted tonight."
"It was fun. It's different than a real game because you kind of know what the other team is going to do and you've been playing against each other for so long but it was good to get out there with some fans in the stands. It was just a different vibe and really fun."
About being more vocal:
"The coaches are on me about getting out there and getting the guys going. I think last year, especially around this time, I was a freshman and kind of a deer in the headlights just trying to survive and get in the right spots. I learned a lot from guys like Eric, Jamal and Kyle and I was in that learning role. Now that I've been through all of that, I feel like I can help out some of the guys that haven't seen as much court time yet. And I feel like I'm in a position where I can talk to these guys. But, a lot of it comes back to the coaches. They're always staying on me about that and a bunch of our other leaders are always staying on me and keeping my motive going."
"Almost everybody touches it almost every play and that's a huge deal on offense, both for making the defense chase it and mentally for every guy on the team knowing that I'm going to pass this ball and get it back."
About playing in the Pit:
"I'm so excited. I had a dream last night about playing in The Pit. I'm so excited and ever body on the team is excited. It's going to be fun going out and playing against some new faces. Guys that don't know what we do and we don't know what they do. It's going to be so much fun. And it's a great cause too. It's great that we can go out and do something that will donate a lot of money to the victims of the hurricanes. It's a win-win.
About playing again after the mission:
"It feels really good. It's hard to explain. It's so familiar but it's so unfamiliar at the same time because it's been a while. It just felt really good to get out there and get with the guys. It's a whole new team but guys I've been familiar with and played against in high school."
"It was a fun time tonight playing the Blue and White scrimmage but we look forward to getting better. We'll see what happens this season."
"I was a couple years older than Yoeli in high school. I was a senior and he was a sophomore and he didn't have his quickness, body or frame and so I could school him back in the day. Then I got back from my mission and he had turned into a man. He's a great leader, hard worker and so skilled and so strong. He has such a drive and I think he will be a great leader for the team this year."
About the Pit:
"I was talking to coach the other day and it's been seven years since he's taken a team to The Pit and I've heard stories of when my dad was playing of how hostile of an environment it is so we're just really excited. Hopefully, we can get a lot of people in The Pit and sell that thing out and send all the proceeds to the victims. We're really excited."
Cougar Tipoff set for Wednesday
PROVO, Utah – After several weeks of practice, BYU men’s basketball will give fans a first glimpse at the 2017-18 team at the annual Papa John’s Cougar Tipoff Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. MDT in the Marriott Center.
BYU coach Dave Rose returns four players with starting experience from last season’s squad and 10 total letterwinners – four of whom recently returned from LDS missions.
Sophomores TJ Haws and Yoeli Childs were recently named to the All-WCC Preseason Men’s Basketball Team at the annual WCC Basketball Tip-Off. Haws earned All-WCC First Team and Freshman Team honors after averaging 13.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.0 steal in 2016-17. Childs earned All-WCC Freshman Team honors while posting averages of 9.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
Also returning are junior guards Nick Emery and Elijah Bryant. Emery averaged 13.1 points and a team-best 1.6 steals while starting 33 of 34 games in 2016-17. Bryant played in 23 games and started nine and averaged 11.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
Headlining the four returned missionaries is sophomore guard Zac Seljaas. As a freshman in 2015-16, Seljaas averaged 7.6 points and 2.9 rebounds and shot a BYU freshman record 50.0 percent from 3 while hitting 68 treys, third all-time for a Cougar freshman.
Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant will be on the headsets to provide live coverage on the BYU Sports Network. Their live call will be available on Sirius XM 143, ESPN 960 AM and BYUcougars.com. Coverage will begin at 7 p.m. MDT.
BYU Broadcasting will air the game live online at BYUtv.org and YouTube.com. BYUtv Sports Nation’s Spencer Linton and Jarom Jordan will call the action.
The event is free to the public and includes a fan fest from 5 to 7 p.m. on the Marriott Center concourse. The fan fest will include face painting, poster making, inflatables and more. In addition to the fan fast, there will also be a halftime giveaway. Player introductions will begin at 7 p.m. and the game will tip at 7:05 p.m.
BYU plays its first of three exhibitions on Friday, Oct. 27, at New Mexico. The Cougars then host two exhibitions, the first being Wednesday, Nov. 1, against Westminster. The second exhibition will be played Wednesday, Nov. 8, against Colorado College. Both home exhibitions tip at 7 p.m. MT and will be televised on BYUtv and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 102.7 FM and 1160 AM and BYU Radio Sirius XM 143.