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BYU men's basketball: Cougars looking for more consistent and balanced scoring

PROVO — BYU coach Dave Rose would like to see more offensive balance with his team.

In two games last week, a victory over Portland and a loss to Saint Mary’s, Elijah Bryant and Yoeli Childs combined for 48 points (out of 69) against the Pilots while they combined for 45 points (out of 64) against the Gaels.

“It would be great to find another couple of guys that could consistently score for us,” Rose said Tuesday. “That’s kind of been a focus of the last couple of days, to be able to get back to the balance that we’ve had over the course of the year. It’s become where we’re forcing it offensively. We’re getting results with that but I don’t think it can’t sustain itself long-term. We’ve got to get back to where we balance the floor and get a lot of production from a lot of guys.”

The Cougars are looking for a number of players to pick up some of the scoring slack, including TJ Haws, Jahshire Hardnett, Payton Dastrup and Zac Seljaas.

“TJ obviously is a guy who’s scored points his whole life. Payton’s a guy that has shown that at times he was a pretty consistent scorer in high school,” Rose said. “He’s progressing pretty well and you don’t want to overload him with something that may cause him to set back a little bit. Jahshire can score. Zac. We have a lot of guys. We have confidence in all of them. It’s just a matter of being balanced and being where everyone trusts each other. I think we’re making the right play most of the time. But the success is coming from a couple of guys. What we need to do is get our confidence up.”

Childs is confident that as the season progresses, his teammates will have big scoring games.

“We have guys that will step up. That’s just the way our offense is built. Some nights it’s one guy’s night, the next night it’s another guy’s night,” he said. “There was a stretch where TJ had some 20-point games in a row. It’s just a matter of time. Teams are going to start taking away me and Eli and start face-guarding him and they’re going to start doubling harder in the paint. Other guys are going to step up. Payton might come out and drop 20 (points). TJ might drop 30. Guys will step up. Whatever the defense wants to take away from us, they’re wrong.”

Hardnett might be poised to take on more scoring responsibility.

“If you asked him, he would like to be more involved,” Rose said. “He’s playing a lot of minutes but his role now is pretty much to get things going and make the offense work and be a real important cog on the defensive end. I’m sure he’d like to get more involved offensively. Hopefully we can get him that way.”

INJURY UPDATE: Rose said that forward Braiden Shaw, who played in his first game last week after dealing with a lingering injury, suffered an ankle sprain Tuesday.

"I thought in another week or so he’d be in position to maybe come in and help us,” Rose said. “But that’s going to set him back a bit.”

Meanwhile, forward Ryan Andrus, who has yet to play this season due to injury, is set to undergo surgery on his “other” knee, Rose said.

“We’ll know when they actually do the procedure if it will be a short period of time or a situation that will force him to redshirt. We’ll know that in probably a couple of days from now.”

Forward Dalton Nixon, who hasn’t played for nearly a month due to a foot injury, still isn’t ready to return to the floor, either.

“It’s better but it’s not good enough to be cleared to play yet,” Rose said. “It is feeling better, so we’re on the right course. It’s a matter of time. I don’t think he’ll play this week.”

LEE’S STATUS: Freshman 6-foot-9 forward Kolby Lee, who joined the team last week, has been practicing but he may not play this season.

“The plan is to redshirt him this season unless something really changes,” Rose said.