BYU Men’s Basketball Faces Kansas In Maui Invitational Semifinals

first_imgNovember 26, 2019 /Sports News – Local BYU Men’s Basketball Faces Kansas In Maui Invitational Semifinals FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLAHAINA, Hawaii-After a 78-63 win over UCLA Monday evening, BYU men’s basketball (4-2) has advanced to the semifinals of the Maui Invitational against legendary power Kansas (4-1) of the Big 12 Conference.First-year BYU head coach Mark Pope (4-2, .667 at BYU, 81-58, .583 as a collegiate head coach) has the Cougars playing at a high level as they shot a torrid 62 percent (31-50) from the field against the Bruins.Presently, the Cougars average 72.2 points per game, which ties them for 187th nationally in scoring offense with Minnesota.Being forced to play without star forward Yoeli Childs until the November 30 home game against Montana Tech, the Cougars have found other stellar contributors.Senior guard Jake Toolson (16.7 points, 4.2 rebounds per game), senior guard TJ Haws (12.5 points, 2.7 rebounds per game, a team-best 22 assists) and junior guard Alex Barcello (10.8 points, a team-best 9 steals) all score in double figures on average for the Cougars. Barcello and senior forward Dalton Nixon are tied for the team lead in blocked shots with 2 apiece.BYU’s defense surrenders 67.2 points per game. This ties the Cougars for 148th nationally in scoring defense with Southern Utah and Boston College.As has traditionally been the case, Kansas comes into this game as one of the best programs in the country.In his 17th season at Lawrence, Kan., head coach Bill Self (477-107, .817 at Kansas; 684-212, .763 as a head coach including stints at Oral Roberts and Oklahoma State) has another quality Jayhawks squad.The high-scoring Jayhawks average 84 points per game which ties them for 23rd nationally in scoring offense with Western Kentucky, Duke and Iowa.Sophomore guard Devon Dotson (18.8 points, 4 rebounds per game), senior center Udoka Azubuike (13.2 points, a team-best 8 rebounds per game and a team-best 9 blocks on the season) and senior guard Isaiah Moss (11 points per game, a team-best 55.6 field goal percentage from 3-point range) all score in double figures on average for Kansas.Junior guard Marcus Garrett has a team-best 23 assists for the Jayhawks and is tied for the team lead in steals (11) with sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji.Kansas only surrenders 62.6 points per game, ranking them 88th nationally in scoring defense.The Jayhawks lead the Cougars 3-1 all-time in a series dating back to 1959. Written by Brad James Tags: BYU Basketball/Kansas Basketballlast_img