BYU basketball: Observations from the Cougar tipoff

Yoeli Childs had a big night as the Blue team easily outlasted the White team 88-68 in the Cougar Tipoff on Wednesday night.

Childs finished with 23 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the floor while adding seven rebounds and a pair of assists as the BYU men’s basketball team took the floor for the first time during the 2017-18 season with its Blue vs. White scrimmage.

Elijah Bryant and TJ Haws added 20 points apiece for the victors while Dalton Nixon led the White team with 19 points. The White team also got big performances from Luke Worthington who registered 16 points and six rebounds while Jahshire Hardnett totaled 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

The result was very much expected since the Blue team featured much of the projected starting lineup, including Haws, Nick Emery, Bryant, Zac Seljaas, Childs and Payton Dastrup along with Evan Troy.

The lineup for the White team featured newcomers Hardnett, Rylan Bergersen, Kajon Brown and McKay Cannon along with Braiden Shaw, Worthington and Nixon.

Here are some observations from the scrimmage

  • The ball movement was crisp and effective for the Blue team in the first half. Emery, Haws and Bryant moved the ball willingly and consistently passed up good looks for better shots.
  • Bryant looks to be more healthy than he was last season. He showed better lift and more quickness.
  • Childs is going to be a monster in the paint. He showed strong touch from in close and repeatedly finished with huge dunks, including three first half alley-oops.

  • Hardnett has a burst that we haven’t seen out of a BYU player in quite some time. He got to the rim using his quickness and showed the ability to finish.
  • Worthington appears to have a more refined offensive game than during his first two seasons. He showed off a little jump hook while showing solid touch around the rim.
  • Nixon has the potential to be a good second-unit scorer. He can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim and also has good range on his jumper.
  • Zac Seljaas is still an elite outside shooter, but is too unselfish for my liking. There were times when he had the ball in his hands with plenty of space to shoot but didn’t even look at the bucket.
  • Even with all the changes to the lineup, the Cougars appear to have more depth than a year ago.
  • TJ Haws showed off the excellent shooting touch that earned him a spot on the All-WCC First-Team a season ago.

The Cougars will be back on the floor on Friday as they travel to New Mexico to take on the Lobos in an exhibition game.

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