Now that virtually every school on the landscape of NCAA Basketball has at least a few games in the books here in 2014-15, definitive trends are beginning to show up among the 351 Division I teams. This week’s College Campus Tour will examine the extreme ends of the offensive-to-defensive spectrum.
Starting out in Provo, Utah, Head Coach Dave Rose’s squad has set the scoring pace for the nation, as BYU currently stands at 5-2 on the back of 95.7 points per game. That mark places them nearly four points better than the next best team, Incarnate Word (91.8). Leading to most of this success on the offensive end has been the combined play from the Cougars’ backcourt duo of Tyler Haws and Chase Fischer.
Haws has averaged north of 21 points per game in each of the last two seasons at BYU and appears well on the way to eclipsing that number once again in his senior campaign. The 6’5” guard out of Alpine, Utah is averaging a team-best 22.1 points per contest and doing so at an excellent level of efficiency (50.5 FG%, 42.4 3P%, 91.1 FT%).
Fischer, a junior transfer from Wake Forest, is playing his first season under Coach Rose and certainly impressing the Cougar fanbase to this point. A lethal threat from beyond the arc, Fischer has knocked down 27-of-60 three-point attempts, leading to his overall scoring average of 16.3 points through seven games this season. One effort from the 21-year-old sharpshooter that should specifically be pointed out came back on November 25th versus Chaminade. In that Maui Invitational matchup, Fischer nailed a ridiculous 10-of-13 shots from downtown and finished with a career-high 30 points.
Traveling to the other side of the country, the state of Virginia is the home of defensive dominance as far as the collegiate court is concerned. Residing in the city of Charlottesville, Coach Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers of the University of Virginia are 7-0 and hold the No. 7 spot in the AP Top 25. That early-season success can be largely attributed to stifling defense that is really second to none, as the “Wahoos” are allowing the opposition to score just 43.6 points per game on 30.1 percent shooting from the floor.
With the focus remaining on defense, we travel about 70 miles east to the capital city of Richmond to take a look at Virginia Commonwealth’s senior shutdown defender Briante Weber. After leading the nation by far in total steals (121) as well as steals per game (3.5) last season, Weber appears to once again be the most skilled pickpocket in the land. Through five games, he is averaging 4.0 steals to go along with solid all-around stats that include 9.2 points, 5.4 assists and 4.0 boards. Weber is obviously vital to VCU’s success and the spearhead of Head Coach Shaka Smart’s “Havoc” defense.