BYU done

BYU Hoops: Oregon exploits Cougar defense at will in NCAA 1st round

2014-03-20T20:00:00Z 2014-04-15T16:08:51Z BYU Hoops: Oregon exploits Cougar defense at will in NCAA 1st roundJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
March 20, 2014 8:00 pm  • 

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The scouting report said to foul.

Said it all over the place, regarding BYU's views of Oregon.

The Cougars, however, wasted too many fouls in the first place Thursday. And then the ones they used on guys like Elgin Cook turned into bigger mistakes, anyway.

Season-ending mistakes, as it turned out.

BYU's season is over after an 87-68 defeat, one which the Cougars led the NCAA Tournament game only once after scoring the game's first basket.

It was a sign of this 23-12 season's times: Oregon could drive at will. BYU couldn't make a 3-point shot.

The Ducks produced another unexpected career game. BYU is left looking for how to be better next year, if it has any plans of advancing past a one-and-done appearance like the one at Bradley Center.

"There are lots of things on the defensive end we can get better at," Tyler Haws said. "They just got in the lane and got easy buckets. Got to the foul line. Oregon just kept making plays."

The 6-foot-6 Cook returned home and scored a career-high 23 points, including a 3-point play that squashed BYU's momentum for good with about 12 minutes left after his team called a timeout during a critical stretch.

Oregon coach Dana Altman called it the "biggest play of the game."

BYU coach Dave Rose did everything but call it the story of the Cougars' season.

The Ducks produced a career-best night in both meetings against BYU.

Jason Calliste had 31 in the first meeting in December. He followed up with 14 points, including 11-of-12 at the line.

Cook missed a couple of free throws in the closing seconds of regulation right before Christmas, which led to an extra five minutes needed to win. He made sure overtime was out of the question this time. The 66-percent foul shooter made 7-of-10 attempts. Oregon made 31-of-38 (81 percent — five points above the season average) and had a 36-14 advantage on points in the paint.

That's how easy it was for UO to get what it wanted.

Johnathan Loyd may be 5-foot-8, but he sliced and diced at his comfort level — six assists and no turnovers.

Even Rose knew that it could've been worse. Imagine if Mike Moser hadn't encountered foul trouble that stifled him to 19 minutes and eight shots (seven points).

"It all came down to their ability to penetrate the ball. They all took turns penetrating that ball in," Rose said. "As soon as we'd step up and give help, they'd find whoever it was. Cook seemed to be the man who benefitted from most of those assists....The scouting report was pretty thorough. Our guys were just overwhelmed at times as far as being able to control their penetration.

"They just keep coming at you," the coach added after finishing seventh NCAA appearance in nine years.

Cook added a putback layup then a hefty dunk off a teammate's missed shot on back-to-back possessions early in the second half.

Oregon (24-9) had its rickety moments, though, which is why it was a No. 7 seed.

The No. 10 Cougars finished the first half with a 7-0 run over the final 2 1/2 minutes, getting within 39-31.

Trailing 54-45, the Cougars finally hit some 3-pointers on an afternoon of 5-of-19 accuracy.

Matt Carlino (4-of-16, 2-of-7 from 3-point) hit a couple from the arc with an Eric Mika rebound and layup in BYU's best offensive surge.

Problem was, Oregon matched just about everything.

Richard Amardi made baseline jumpers from both sides of the floor. Carlino's second trey cut it to 56-53.

But Altman's timeout at 11:55 led to Cook's 3-point play 15 seconds later.

Loyd drove to the rim, delivered a little bounce pass that only Cook could grab.

Laverne and Shirley didn't work that well together in this brewing town.

"We lost our juice after that," Carlino said.

Oregon made 13 of its first 15 2-point shots in the second half, Altman finally convincing the group that 3-pointers (2-of-13 overall) weren't worth it.

"We just had to keep being aggressive," Cook said. "We knew we could get inside shots. We had to keep trying to get them."

Of course, BYU played without Kyle Collinsworth. His surgically repaired knee left him posting a picture to his Twitter account; iced up and watching the TV.

His teams battled without him, evidenced by the two runs to get within striking distance. But they clearly missed his experience, plus his 6-foot-7 size that may have made life a little tougher for Loyd to navigate the court.

"It was extremely difficult," Rose said of the task of playing without the sophomore, who the Cougars will simply hope can get ready for next season.

Collinsworth had 15 points, five rebounds and eight assists in the first meeting with UO.

Would he have totally changed this one? Hard to say if his presence could've earned the Cougars a shot against Wisconsin (which throttled American in the earlier game) on Saturday.

But a lot of time has passed since that first meeting.

"Our perimeter defense was better in that game," Rose said. "We were a lot more confident in the times we got open shots."

BYU shot 32 percent (compared to Oregon's 50).

Mika had 15 points on five shots, also going 11-of-16 from the foul line to cap his freshman season.

But Carlino and Haws needed 34 shots to achieve a combined 34 points, Haws getting 19 on 7-of-18 accuracy.

"We're a much better shooting team than that," Rose said. "You've got to give Oregon a lot of credit."

Still, it wasn't offense that had Haws' attention when he starts thinking about next season.

"We're all good offensive players. We can all score the ball. But we've got to get better at the other end. There are things we'll address, and hopefully we'll get better."

jason-franchuk
-- Jason Franchuk covers primarily BYU football and basketball for the Daily Herald. You can connect with him by email at jfranchuk@heraldextra.com or by following him on Twitter at

Read more from  Jason Franchuk here.

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