Archive for December 5, 2016

A career-best scoring performance from Eric Mika couldn’t help the BYU Cougars overcome another woeful shooting night from the outside in a 91-84 loss to the USC Trojans on Saturday.

Mika had 29 points on 10 for 16 shooting from the floor and 9 for 11 from the free-throw line to go along with nine rebounds, but the Cougars connected on just 5 of 23 shots from beyond the arc (21.7 percent) as they fell to 5-3 on the season.

 Jordan McLaughlin led the way for the Trojans in the win with 24 points, six rebounds and four assists while Shaqquan Aaron added 19 points on the strength of a 4 for 7 shooting night from 3-point range.

Elijah Stewart chipped in with 16 points and five boards as USC improved to 8-0 on the season.

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Jack Maloney of Fansided’s, The Step Back looked at the way the season has started out in China for former BYU guard Jimmer Fredette.

After talking about Fredette’s journey in pro basketball, Maloney wrote, “most importantly, however, is the freedom Jimmer has in China to just go out and get buckets, which is what he was born to do. There’s no pressure now for Jimmer to show teams he can manage the game and direct an offense, no pressure to try and fit his game into a system. In China, Jimmer is the system.”

Maloney continued, “He’s flying around endless screens — both off the ball and in the pick-and-roll; he’s pulling up from five feet behind the arc and sinking demoralizing triples; he’s slicing in and out of the paint to make plays for himself and teammates; he’s grabbing defensive rebounds and pushing the ball up the floor for easy transition buckets; in short, he’s doing it all.”

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Utah is well-represented in the NBA and D-League with 10 players with local ties currently on rosters. Of the 10, Damian Lillard is off to the best start, followed by former Lone Peak High School star Justin Hamilton. The only other player seeing a decent amount of time on the floor is Andrew Bogut, who is in his first season in Dallas.

While those are the only three getting big NBA minutes, others have seen plenty of action in the D-League.

 Here is a look at how the players with local ties have performed in the NBA and D-League so far this season.
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