PROVO — In the moments after BYU’s humbling 113-103 setback at Weber State last Saturday night at the Dee Events Center, forward Yoeli Childs was asked how his team could turn things around after three consecutive losses.
“That’s the question, right?” replied Childs, who scored 31 points against the Wildcats.
“We’ve got to play harder,” he said, adding that team captain Luke Worthington addressed the team in the locker room after the game. “Luke was talking to us and everyone needs to bring more. We need to figure out what we can do individually, each guy, to make our team a little bit better. I don’t think we’re too far off. Every guy, especially myself, needs to find a way to give more. We’re not broken but we obviously have a problem right now. You can’t lose three in a row. But we’re not broken. We’re going to figure it out. We’re going to grind and get there.”
Nine games into the season, BYU is at a crossroads of sorts. The Cougars are slipping backward and the schedule isn’t getting any easier.
BYU hosts Utah State Wednesday (7 p.m. MST, BYUtv) at the Marriott Center.
The Aggies are 7-1 while the Cougars are 5-4.
This in-state showdown marks the return of junior guard Nick Emery, who has served a nine-game suspension to start the season. Emery hasn’t played for BYU since the end of the 2016-17 campaign.
On Saturday, the Cougars collide with Utah in the Beehive Classic at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Against Weber State, the Cougars yielded 66 second-half points and 65 percent shooting from the field in the second half. It marked the Wildcats' first win over BYU in 15 years. The Cougars had won 15 consecutive matchups between the two programs.
That loss was reminiscent of BYU’s memorable home defeat to Utah Valley University a couple of years ago when the Wolverines stunned the Cougars at the Marriott Center, 114-101, in a game that saw UVU knock down 18 3-pointers.
Against Weber State, the Cougars shot 63 percent in the second half and scored 57 points themselves.
But, as coach Dave Rose said, BYU was “exposed” defensively.24 comments on this story
The Wildcats had six players score in double figures, led by Jerrick Harding’s 30 points.
“We have some issues we have to deal with. It starts with everybody. It starts with our coaching staff figuring out a way to play to be successful,” Rose said. “We’ve played three games outside of our building and we’re giving up close to 100 points a game. The pace that we’re playing isn’t … we don’t score well enough to give up that many points. We’ll have to digest this and find a better way to give these guys the best chance we have to be successful.”