BYU basketball enjoyed a successful 2012-13 season that included another 20-win campaign and a fourth-straight season with postseason success.
The Cougars finished with a 24-12 record overall and 10-6 in the West Coast Conference. While the regular season did not yield an NCAA tournament bid for the first time since 2007, BYU accepted a bid to the NIT and made a deep run that ended in the semfinals in Madison Square Garden.
The 24 wins gave Dave Rose and the Cougars eight-straight 20-win seasons and the NIT bid was an eighth-straight trip to the postseason. With three victories in the postseason, Rose has led BYU to four-straight seasons with a postseason victory. All three streaks are program records.
Senior forward Brandon Davies and sophomore guard Tyler Haws led the Cougars throughout the 2012-13 campaign. Davies came within one block of averaging one of everything and finished second on the team in scoring (17.7 ppg), assists (2.4 apg) and steals (1.3 spg) and first in rebounding (8.0 rpg) and blocks (0.97 per game). The Provo, Utah, native was named All-West Coast Conference, first-team all-district by the USBWA and second-team all-district by the NABC.
In his first season since returning from a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines, Haws set several BYU scoring records. The native of Alpine, Utah, averaged 21.7 points per game to lead the WCC and finish seventh in the nation in scoring. He became the first BYU sophomore to finish among the nation’s top 10 scorers and set team sophomore records for total points (780), scoring average (21.7), 20-point games (25) and double-figure scoring games (34).
Haws concluded his sophomore season with 1,177 career points, a BYU record for most points through a sophomore season. He and Danny Ainge are the only BYU players to reach 1,000 career points as sophomores.
Sophomore guard Matt Carlino etched his name in the record book for his ability to share the ball and take it away from opponents. Carlino averaged 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game to rank third and second all-time among BYU sophomores in each category. His career averages of 4.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game rank him first and third in BYU’s career record book in each respective category.
Seniors Brock Zylstra and Craig Cusick concluded their careers with solid seasons. Zylstra started 33 games and averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 rebounds and hit 46 threes. Cusick averaged 3.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists and shot .403 from three.
BYU totaled an 11-4 record in nonconference action, including a sweep against instate foes Weber State, Utah and Utah State. The Cougars also added a win over Virginia Tech at EnergySolutions Arena. BYU opened league play with a 92-51 win over LMU at home and extended the start to 4-0 with wins at San Francisco and Santa Clara and a home win over Pepperdine.
After losing two of three following the 4-0 start, the Cougars bounced back with a three-game win streak. Hopes of contending for a league title faded with a loss at San Diego and a home defeat to San Francisco. BYU finished league play by splitting its last four games for a 10-6 record. The Cougars lost to San Diego in the quarterfinals of the WCC tournament and later accepted a bid to the NIT.
The NIT bid brought new life to BYU’s season as the Cougars earned convincing wins over Washington and Mercer in the first and second rounds at home. Haws scored a BYU-NIT record 37 points in the opener against Washington and averaged 27.8 points per game in the tournament, also a BYU record. In the win over Mercer, Davies posted a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Zylstra had his best game of the season in the third round against Southern Miss as he posted his first career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. The senior guard hit 5 of 9 from three and added four assists. Carlino played his best basketball of the season in the three wins, averaging 17.7 points and 9.0 assists.
BYU faced Baylor in the semifinals, giving the Cougars a chance to avenge a road loss from earlier in the season. The game was close throughout before Baylor opened up an 11-point lead late in the second half. Carlino drilled three-straight threes to cut the lead to three with 37 seconds to play but Baylor held on.