BYU-Texas Southern Postgame Notes & Quotes


PROVO, Utah — The following notes are from BYU's 81-64 win over Texas Southern on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, at the Marriott Center. 



First Five Games

With the win, BYU has started the season 5-0 for the first time since the 2010-11 season. That season, the Cougars would eventually reach the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

In each of their first five games this season, the Cougars have kept their opponent under 65 points. The last season that BYU allowed no more than 64 points in its first five games was 1952-53.

First Half Runs
Down 4-0 early, the Cougars went on a 15-3 run that included spans of nine- and seven-straight points to go ahead 16-7. BYU closed the first 20 minutes on a 6-0 run to take a 43-30 lead into the half. 

Work in the Paint
BYU out-rebounded Texas Southern 52 to 38 in the game. The Cougars scored 34 points in the paint to the Tigers’ 24, and also scored 20 second-chance points to the Tigers’ five.

Sharing the Basketball
Nine of the 10 players who saw action in the game scored. The Cougars finished with 17 assists on 28 made field goals.


Gideon George

The forward paced BYU with eight first-half points. George also grabbed 11 boards in the half, becoming the first Cougar to record double-digit rebounds in a game this season. Finishing with 10 points and a BYU career-high 16 rebounds, George earned the third double-double of his BYU career and the first BYU player with a double-double this season. 

Te’Jon Lucas
Finishing with 18 points and seven assists, Lucas set a new BYU-high in points. The guard has also recorded five-plus assists in four-straight games.

Fousseyni Traore
The forward contributed 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks off the bench for the Cougars. 13 points is a career-high in Traore’s young freshman season. 

Notable career-highs and firsts:

First career 3-Pointer: Fousseyni Traore
BYU-high point total: Te’Jon Lucas (18)
Career-high point total: Fousseyni Traore (13)
Career-high rebound total: Gideon George (16)
BYU-high rebound total: Seneca Knight (7)


Head coach Mark Pope

On Te’Jon Lucas's ability
"He reminds me in some sense of TJ Haws a little bit, in terms of his ability to make plays off the bounce. They're very different players, but Te'Jon is certainly accomplishing things on the floor that are reminiscent of TJ in terms of his vision, the way he can penetrate and then just sling the ball anywhere on the court and find guys. Tonight he had a couple of great keep-the-dribble-alive plays along the baseline where he was physical enough to actually stay in bounds and make huge plays. He's really a gifted playmaker."

On utilizing the bigs and their progression
"We're playing two rookie bigs and one big that's off two years of season-ending injury. They're coming, but these are not seasoned guys that we're like yeah just throw it in the post, let them go to work and we're not going to worry about it. They'll get better and better every day. Te'Jon, Alex and the rest of the guys make their life easier. I think those guys are making huge strides. We actually got Atiki a couple of catches in the post the last two games. He's going to become a really proficient player inside. Gavin has been really unbelievable off the roll.”

On second-chance points
“It gives you confidence on the offensive end when you can hit the offensive glass. It's a two-fold deal. The offensive glass not only gives us extra opportunity, after extra opportunity, it also negates transition offenses.”

Guard Te'Jon Lucas

On the team's performance 
“Great game against another NCAA tournament opponent. They fought hard. A big emphasis for us was hitting the glass, and we were plus-14 and taking care of the ball, less than 10 turnovers, and I think that was a big reason we came out with the win tonight”

On the bigs
“Those guys are special. They don’t get enough credit. They are part of the heart and soul of the team. Getting those rebounds and banging it out with those guys down low just shows that it can be anybody’s night.”

On Fousseyni Traore
“That’s a big grown man freshman. We were excited to get him back out there on the floor. He’s very impactful when he’s out there.”

On team identity
“We learned a lot. We feel like we can be one of the best rebounding teams in the country and just continue to take defense as our main objective coming into every game. Defense is our main priority all the time, and that’s what’s been helping contribute to the wins”

On the rivalry with Utah
“Just going to the football game shows you the impact and how dedicated each fan base is. A lot of red came here, and there was a lot of blue in the stands. I'm just looking forward to it and being out there to play in it.”