When I initially began perusing the stats sheet for this glorious matchup between two high-octane, up-tempo teams, I must admit my arousal peaked whilst looking at the amount of three pointers each team shoots. It's like if you had Golden State playing against themselves, two teams who are near mirror images of one another; yet at one you've got a sickly shooting guard in Collinsworth - who appeared in warmups late due to the flu - and the undeniably sexy play of Creighton point guard Maurice Watson Jr. The stark difference betwixt the ballclubs was that BYU relied on the talents of three players - Fischer, Collinsworth, and Emery - while Creighton relies on the talents of... well... just about everyone. All five starters can go out and have a career night, which is sort of excellent.
What we were treated to in the first half was a clearly off-balance performance by Collinsworth. He was missing a step, having trouble getting back on defense, and his shots near the rim were coming up pretty short. The dribble drive had some flashes of brilliance, but was mostly negated by the defense of both Khyri Thomas in the back court and Geoffrey Groselle in the front court.
Now, I'm not some dude who likes to heap praise upon a player for no good reason. I am, however, a guy that will completely fabricate story lines for entertainment purposes. Some may call this "bad journalism" but I call it "fun with narratives." I'm not a serious reporter, I'm just a guy who likes to write stuff for you to read.
Cole Huff is a phenomenal basketball player, and we're only really finding out about him as of late because of some early injuries. He was hyped up to an extreme degree last offseason, supposedly the saving grace of this Bluejay squad - the clutch shooter who'd hit shots to win those close games that were lost in the waning seconds. Against Seton Hall in the first round of the BIG EAST tournament, we saw him do insane things on the basketball court to the tune of 35 points on 11-16 shooting. Right now, I mean right now, Cole Huff is trying to put that performance to shame.
As the half wore on, it became more and more evident why there's a relatively small yet very loud fanbase surrounding the BYU Cougars. There's something about their style of play that is grating on the psyche, especially when your favorite sportsball team happens to be playing them. There's this aura of cockiness that leaves one hoping and wishing that they'd just sort of stop when things are going their way. They emote a great amount when they make a shot or disagree with a call - and that's all fair in the game of basketball, I enjoy it when my team does it, too - but the way they do it brings out the sad in me.
BYU ended up playing a zone defense in order to stymie the Jays attack, and it worked. They managed to crawl back from a 12-point deficit and make this a game.