Yoeli Childs is taking the responsibility of replacing former BYU center Eric Mika to heart.
Childs earned a double-double — 25 points and 14 rebounds — in BYU basketball’s 76–62 win over Westminster Wednesday night.
“I thought that was one of our really bright spots,” BYU coach Dave Rose said about Childs’ performance. “Our guys early in the game realized how he was being guarded and what was available on the perimeter. … Then he was really good one on one and with angles. He was able to finish.”
Childs proved his worth in the first half. In 13 minutes of play, Childs was perfect on field goal attempts, scoring 20 points in the first half, including one from behind the 3-point line. To top it off, the sophomore center had a near double-double with 8 rebounds in the first half. Before Wednesday night, Childs had only ever attempted two 3-point shots in his BYU career — and he didn’t make either of them.
“As a post, I feel like I need to be able to do a lot of things like that and be able to stretch the floor because, if i can do that, then guys have to step out and respect that and it opens up lanes and it opens up posts for other guys,” Childs said. “It’s definitely something I’ve worked on a lot and then my teammates and my coaches have given me a lot of confidence in taking those shots and expanding my range a little bit.”
As far as if the 3-point shot becoming a regular part of Childs’ game in the future, Rose says that will be determined by how consistently Childs hits those deep shots.
“He’s worked a lot on that part of his game,” Rose said. “I don’t think that’s the part of his game that he’s going to rely on all year long, but if people are going to guard us that way, than (Yoeli) will make quite a few of those. When he rushes into that shot, it’s not very good. Very few guys are. … If he starts making two a game the next three-four weeks, that will close down really quick because guys will be guarding him different and the scouting report will change.”
“I think we showed a lot of good things tonight. I think it is all about consistency for us, and we’ve got to remember it’s Nov. 1st and we’re just locking in on things we’re doing.” — Yoeli Childs, BYU sophomore
Only one other BYU player was in double figures for scoring, junior Elijah Bryant scored 17 points and contributed 6 rebounds in 34 minutes of play. Despite his teammates failing to reign in those statistics, Childs is optimistic and patient for the team’s future.
“I think we showed a lot of good things tonight,” Childs said. “I think it is all about consistency for us, and we’ve got to remember it’s Nov. 1st and we’re just locking in on things we’re doing.”
Bryant agrees, saying all of the 13 players who played in the exhibition game gained good experience that will help the team moving forward.
“We’ve got to pay attention to the details,” Bryant said. “The offense is so easy and simple that we get bored with it sometimes, so the important thing is to stay locked in and pay attention to the details.”
In Rose’s critique of the game, he expressed concern for the fouls and inability to guard screens. Then there is the ever apparent turnovers. BYU had 13 turnovers in the game, but Rose believes watching game footage will help his team scale back that number.
“We go back and watch them. (Turnovers will come from) when we are trying to force something that’s not there,” Rose said. “What we need to do is get the ball to the other side of the floor and take a look. These guys have a real attacking mindset and what we need to be is more of a counter punch mindset when we know what we are going to get because of what they do.”
BYU junior Nick Emery left the game after four minutes of play to go home sick.
BYU’s next and final exhibition game is against Colorado College on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Marriott Center.