MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The obvious talk was about missing Kyle Collinsworth.
But there's one thing BYU couldn't do lately with or without the injured sophomore guard:
Make many 3-pointers.
"I trust my guys' shots. We've got great shooters on the team. They go in all the time in practice. Sometimes in games, they don't go in," said forward Nate Austin.
BYU made just 5-of-19 against Oregon on Thursday in its lone NCAA Tournament game, which ended with an 87-68 setback.
That followed up a 6-for-35 display over a three-game period at the West Coast Conference tournament.
Hurried at times, bad luck at others. An airball off a frantic try once. Whatever the case, nothing was falling. BYU set the tone by going 2-of-11 in the first half, then trailing by eight points.
Oregon missed 7-of-8 attempts in the opening half, then wised up. It made 13-of-15 2-point shots during a long sequence in the second half, only take five more trey shots over the 20-minute period. It hid star-of-the-game Elgin Cook along the baseline against the Cougars' zone defense, and found ways close to the rim to advance to the next round.
The arc tone set up Oregon – which advanced to the Sweet 16 last year as a No. 12 seed — to win an NCAA Tournament game in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history.
Certainly the Cougars missed Collinsworth on myriad levels. He had eight assists against UO in the previous meeting, not to mention 15 points (albeit on 5-of-13 shooting) and five rebounds. They missed him in various aspects.
Two of his great attributes don't even get measured in a stat sheet.
He's known for delivering the ball in good places to teammates, hitting them in rhythm to take shots; good tempo. Also, Collinsworth himself cherishes a hockey-style assist. That's the pass that leads to the next pass, which becomes the assist.
BYU made only 32 percent of his shots. Of those 20 baskets, 14 came with assists. Matt Carlino (15 points, five assists, no turnovers) was simply too much of a volume shooter again (4-of-16 accuracy).
"Kyle is a guy you can't replace. He brings so much to our team. But even without him, I thought we had chances to win the game," said Tyler Haws, who made 1-of-4 3-point attempts. "We had momentum and guys stepped up. We stayed in it mentally. We had our chance."
UO coach Dana Altman acknowledged that Collinsworth's absence "hurt" BYU.
"The difference was Collinsworth not being in there," Altman said. "Because he is a really talented guy. Does a lot of things for them."
∫Frank's swag: Among the more pleasant moments in a dejected post-game locker room was Frank Bartley getting asked about a 3-pointer he made with 13 minutes left.
Bartley looked like Michael Jordan beating the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals, holding up his shooting hand a little longer, after the ball went through the net. Then he peered quickly into the crowd. The game was on, BYU cutting its deficit to 52-45.
Bartley had 10 points in 19 minutes to cap the freshman's first NCAA experience. He made just 3-of-10 shots, but appreciated the chance.
"I just feel blessed," Bartley said. "But I also wish we could've gone farther, and that I could've done more to make that happen."
Bartley's father made it from Louisiana to Milwaukee in time for tipoff on a morning flight, he said.
Bartley smiled and winked when asked about that shot.
"That's just how I play. I'm aggressive. I can attack. I can play like that sometimes. It just felt right then."
∫Nate's bad move: Austin would be the first to say his early flagrant foul for tripping was a bad idea. It came 5:38 into the game, and the two free throws gave UO a 13-7 lead. It saddled the junior forward with an unnecessary foul, too. All three primary BYU post players (Austin, Eric Mika, Luke Worthington) had a pair of fouls by halftime.
"I got an offensive rebound. I felt like I got fouled going up on the shot and I was on the ground. It was a split-second thing. I just tripped him, I grabbed his foot. He fell. It was probably the correct call. It was a dumb thing on my part."
∫Good genetics: Elgin Cook is from Milwaukee, and there's a good reason why.
His father played for the NBA's local team, the Bucks.
Alvin Robertson was a four-time NBA all-star during his dozen-years career that also included trips to San Antonio, Toronto and Detroit.
Robertson made his living with defense. Leading up to the NCAA Tournament, Oregon coach Dana Altman praised Cook as his best defensive player.
Also from Milwaukee: BYU guard Matt Carlino's mother, Brett.
∫Of the ref crew: Tommy Nunez was part of the three-man crew. He worked a few BYU games this year, most recently the BYU-San Francisco West Coast Conference semifinal victory last Monday.
∫Tip-ins: BYU coach Dave Rose missed out on the chance to become the first BYU coach in school history to record five NCAA Tournament wins. ...Among the crowd was BYU's usual crew of family and school officials. Among it was Cecil O. Samuelson, who will soon be replaced by Kevin J. Worthen. The pair sat next to each other, by Rose's family, athletic director Tom Holmoe and a few athletic-department boosters. ...BYU is 15-31 in 28 NCAA Tournament appearances. ...UO point guard Johnathan Loyd played in his 143rd game, a new school record. ...Haws had double figures scoring for the 48th consecutive game.