Provo • The big in-state clash is over, as is the friendly little scrimmage with its brother.
Now is the time for the BYU basketball team to get comfortable and find its rhythm, coach Dave Rose said after the Cougars concluded their final practice in preparation for Friday night's game against Longwood University at the Marriott Center (7 p.m., BYUtv).
The game is actually part of the Chicago Invitational, and the first of two home games in that tournament before the Cougars head off to the Windy City after Thanksgiving. Win or lose Friday against Longwood or next Tuesday against Prairie View A&M, however, the Cougars will still enter the games at the Sears Centre Arena in suburban Chicago with a chance to win the tournament.
"I like getting four games and having them only count as a couple of games," Rose said.
The Cougars (1-1) could be without sophomore forward Chris Collinsworth against the high-scoring Lancers (1-2), who are averaging 81.3 points per game. Collinsworth has a sore knee, the same one that required surgery last winter, and missed practice Thursday to have it checked out.
Rose isn't sure if the soreness "is just part of the recovery that he is in, or maybe he has done something else to it."
Collinsworth played only five minutes in the 69-62 loss at Utah State and seven minutes in the 73-52 win over BYU-Hawaii.
As for the rest of the Cougars, "we are still a work in progress," Rose said. "We have a lot of things to get better at. But I like the attitude of our players."
With the Cougars having committed 42 turnovers in their first two games, Rose said there could be some changes in the point guard rotation.
"Right now, I believe the next four or five games, it is all about becoming comfortable playing in our system and not having to think through our system," he said. "Then your ability and your talent will be able to be way more effective because you are not thinking about how we are playing. So the comfort level of each of these players are what we are looking for every night we play."
Longwood at BYU
P At the Marriott Center, Provo
Tipoff • 7:05 p.m.
TV • BYUtv
Radio • 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
Records • BYU 1-1, Longwood 1-2
Series history • First regular-season meeting
Last meeting • N/A
About the Cougars • They are coming off a 73-52 win over BYU-Hawaii in which Noah Hartsock posted 14 points and nine rebounds and Brandon Davies had a career-high 25 points and nine boards. … Point guard Brock Zylstra had a career-high six rebounds against the Seasiders. … Josh Sharp posted career highs in points (five) and rebounds (six) in his last outing.
About the Lancers • Coach Mike Gillian is 76-170 in his ninth year at the helm of the school in Farmville, Va. … The Lancers played their first three games at home, defeating Virginia Intermont College 91-73 and losing to Navy 78-70 and Canisius College 87-83. … Antwan Carter leads them in scoring and ranks No. 7 in career scoring at Longwood with 1,338 career points.