By Spencer Impellizzeri @Spence_I on March 18, 2014
BYU made it into the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team, but will be without one of their key players as Kyle Collinsworth suffered a torn ACL in the WCC Tournament Final. Collinsworth leads the team in rebounding and assists and is the second leading scorer. He leaves some big shoes to fill, but there are options for BYU. Here's a look at the five most important players for BYU during the NCAA Tournament.
With the loss of Collinswoth, Anson Winder will need to step up. In his fourth year with the program, Winder could be key in replacing Collinsworth's production. He averages just 6.5 points per game but is averaging 13 over the last six games. He also has a 2.6 assist to turnover ratio and could help BYU replace the Collinsworth's numbers in both departments.
Nate Austin is the second leading rebounder behind Collinsworth at eight rebounds per game. He will need to continue to rebound at that level for BYU to have a chance at an upset. Austin could also be a candidate to replace some of Collinsworth's scoring. He averages just 3.8 points per game, and if he could improve that number, BYU would be in much better shape.
Eric Mika will be key to BYU's frontline. As a freshman, Mika has averaged 11.7 points with 6.4 rebounds and has been one of the keys to BYU's success. With Collinsworth gone, though, Mika will need to attack the glass and help make up for that lost production in the rebound department. He pulled down 10 rebounds in the WCC Tournament Final, and he will need to continue to have games like that to help BYU win.
Matt Carlino will get a lot of added responsibility during the NCAA Tournament. Carlino averages just over 27 minutes a game at the point, but with Collinsworth out, he should see more time on the floor. He averages 13.7 points and 4.3 assists per game and will probably need to increase both numbers to make up for Collinsworth's loss. If Carlino can rise to the challenge, BYU could have some success in the tournament.
Tyler Haws is a dynamic scorer for BYU, and the Cougars will rely on him in the NCAA Tournament. He will need to have some great offensive games for BYU to win. He is certainly capable of it, as he averages 23.4 points per game, which is good for sixth in the country. Without Collinsworth, Haws will need to shoulder a lot of the scoring load for BYU to have success.
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