The following notes are from BYU's 63-45 win over Colorado Christian University on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, at the Marriott Center.
ALL-TIME SERIES RESULTS: BYU leads 1-0.
Slow First Half
BYU shot 10-23 from the field and 4-13 from three-point range, hitting 2-8 from the line to lead 26-21 at the half. CCU was 8-27 from the field, 3-10 from three, and 2-2 from the line.
Course-Correction in the Second Half
BYU improved its shooting percentage in the second half to 55.6%, finishing the night shooting 50% for the game. Spencer Johnson shot 3-3 from the field including a three-pointer coming off the bench. After starting the first half without a basket, Gideon George provided nine points of his own, going 4-5 from the field and adding a free throw.
Winning In the Trenches
The BYU bench outscored CCU 24-7, with seven different players providing points off the bench. BYU also outscored CCU on fast break opportunities 17 to 5, and in the paint 28 to 18.
New Guys on the Block
Transfers Te’Jon Lucas and Seneca Knight and Freshmen Trey Stewart, Nate Hansen and Fousseyni Traore each scored in their unofficial (exhibition) BYU debuts.
Senior Alex Barcelo led the way with 16 points including 4-6 from three along with two rebounds and four assists after not playing in the Blue and White scrimmage.
Traore Denies Twice
Traore stuffed not one but two CCU Cougars at the rim and had six rebounds in just 17 minutes on the court.
Efficiency from Gideon George
George only clocked 15 minutes despite playing as a starter but finished with nine points and six rebounds fueling the second-half turnaround.
Transfer Te’Jon Lucas Showing His Versatility
Lucas had the second-most points on the team with 11, shooting 4-5 from the field and 3-4 from the line. He also flashed his defensive skills with a block that led to points in transition.
COACH AND PLAYER QUOTES
On performance tonight
“I’m super proud of our guys. We had a lot of frustration, but they stayed focused on their defensive assignments the whole night, staying locked in. It was exactly everything that we wanted, it was challenging.”
“Best thing tonight was actually being in front of fans, that was awesome. It really seems like it’s been forever since we actually played in front of fans, it’s a beautiful thing for us.”
“[Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucus] are going to be super fun together. They’re built to be in the same uniform on the same court together.”
On rotation behind Richard Harward
“I think those guys are great. This is how a great team functions, and it’s really hard to do it but those four guys have got to sure up that position for us, they’re built to do it. Those guys can be a formidable group securing up that spot.”
On the number of turnovers
“We have so many talented offensive players and sometimes everybody thinks they can just get it done, so that’s a growing process for us every year. It’s a search to get that great balance of being super aggressive and making plays for your teammates, so we’ve got to figure out some things.”
“There were a lot of contributing reasons. I think that excitement and adrenaline of the crowd, the weirdness of the change in rotation, just exploring stuff, but we can’t just hand the other team the ball all the time, so we’ll get better.”
On overall impressions of BYU’s performance
“Obviously, we started out slow. There was definitely frustration on the court. I thought that our focus on the defensive end was there the whole game, even though we were down at one point. But I thought the guys really locked in throughout the course of the game, especially coming out in the second half, just on the defensive side of the ball communicating with each other. But offensively, we definitely struggled. So our main thing was just getting a second or third side. We're all new faces. We've been practicing with each other all offseason and preseason, but it's different when you step out there for a game in front of fans. And guys are still getting used to that. But we need toc continue to get to the second or third side to protect the ball. Turnovers were our biggest thing throughout the game. That's something that we've stressed as we've been practicing but now in games just handling that pressure and knowing what to do when it comes.”
On playing with Te’Jon Lucas
“He's a great player. He's fun to play with. He's so unselfish and he's a playmaker. But we were both talking throughout that frustrating moment. The few minutes that we had were just like, hey, we need to respond. We need to take these guys and respond with them. And we have to do it in the right way. A couple of shots weren't falling for us on our first side on offense but that's what coaches communicated to us in our media timeouts. But we kept telling the guys hey, we got to get to the second and third side because we're going to get open shots. They don't want to guard us when we're running through our offense like that. But it was definitely fun to be out there with him.”
On playing in front of fans
“It’s really fun when the fans are cheering you on. I like when the opposing team is on the free throw line and the crowd is going crazy, making them miss. Seeing the fans out here brings me joy. People got your back out here. I really appreciate them for coming out tonight”
On his performance
“I'm just sticking to the cause and just trying to keep things simple and not force anything. Anything that comes my way I take it. I was just trying to keep the game simple.
On playing alongside Alex Barcello
“I'm grateful Alex came back. That's my brother for life. Playing alongside Alex gives you confidence. He's an All-American. He talks the talk and walks the walk too.”