Falling in the West Coast Conference tournament final on Tuesday night was tough enough for BYU, as they fell 75-64 to Gonzaga. What makes things worse for Dave Rose’s team is the fact that their best playmaker has played his last game of the season.
Guard Kyle Collinsworth suffered a knee injury in the second half of Tuesday’s defeat, and on Wednesday the school announced that Collinsworth tore the ACL in his right knee. He will undergo surgery early next week, according to the school release.
A first team All-WCC selection, Collinsworth led the Cougars in both assists (4.6 apg) and rebounds (8.1 rpg) while also scoring 14.0 points per game. Both Collinsworth and Tyler Haws, BYU’s leading scorer, were selected to the WCC’s All-Tournament team. Losing Collinsworth is a big loss for a team thought to be on the bubble in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s defeat.
On the court more will be asked of Matt Carlino, who was moved into the sixth man role last month and has become more comfortable with the change as the season’s worn on. However the bigger concern is how Collinsworth’s injury affects the selection committee’s thinking.
Injuries are something that the committee takes into consideration, and not having Collinsworth certainly changes things for BYU. The Cougars have non-conference wins over Stanford and Texas on their resume in addition to a win over Gonzaga on February 20, giving BYU three wins over teams ranked in the Top 50 of the RPI.
Will that be enough for a team that is a different group without Collinsworth? What was bound to be a long five-day wait before this news becomes even more nerve-wracking for BYU, with the hope being that the selection committee believes that they’re worthy of an at-large bid.