On a roster with only five returning players, the BYU basketball team has been searching for a new identity for the 2015–16 season.
“The first three or four games we are trying to figure out who we are and what our style of play is and how we play together,” said Nick Emery, a freshman guard. “I think against Adams State we kind of found our identity of who we are and how we play. I think it is a huge confidence boost going into this next stretch that we have. It’s going to be a battle, but we are finding ourselves and I think that is the most important thing.”
Emery will start his first BYU basketball game tomorrow night against Mississippi Valley State — excluding the exhibition games that don’t count toward the schedule — and that is just one way BYU head coach Dave Rose is shuffling things around.
“We are just trying to find a group that executes and that we can consistently count on. And we need to get started off in games better. We’re a little bit inconsistent in our execution, and I think Nick (Emery) can help us.” —Dave Rose, BYU head basketball coach
“We are just trying to find a group that executes and that we can consistently count on. And we need to get started off in games better,” Rose said. “We’re a little bit inconsistent in our execution, and I think Nick (Emery) can help us.”
In the past, BYU (2–1) has relied on prolific scorers such as Jimmer Fredette and most recently the all-time scoring record holder Tyler Haws to carry the team by producing large numbers every night. However, so far this season a different player has been the leading scorer in each of the three games.
Rose says he is looking for some players to step up and be a reliable scoring source for the team; he’d love to have at least eight players that BYU could turn to and expect results.
“This game tomorrow night is so much about us and how we can progress from the last game,” Rose said. “To me, execution is the whole key with this team right now … and not just with one lineup. We need three, four, five different groups of guys. That’s where we are having issues right now is trying to expand our group a little bit. Having guys come off the bench and be productive will be a big key.”
Rose expects the Mississippi Valley State (0–3) game on Wednesday night to be a fast-paced game similar to the game against Adams State, but he hopes the team can continue to progress and make strides to finding their new identity.
“It’s one of those games where if you aren’t really focused in executing you’re going to turn the ball over a lot,” Rose said. “You’re going to see a lot of possessions in this game.”
BYU plays the Delta Devils on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv.