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Sharp hurt; BYU continues NIT prep

Posted Mar 18th - 5:59pm by Greg Wrubell

On the eve of his team's NIT meeting with Washington, BYU head coach Dave Rose said that forward Josh Sharp--who started 22 of 32 games this season--is a question mark for Tuesday night's game with an Achilles tendon injury.

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Rose said Sharp was injured during a practice last week, and is listed as 'day-to-day.' Sharp was in a walking boot and did not practice today.


BYU gets 'great opportunity' in NIT, hosts Washington

Posted Mar 18th - 9:59am by Greg Wrubell

PROVO — Seven years after BYU last played in the NIT, the Cougar hoopsters are back in that tournament field.

Sunday night, almost three hours after the NCAA Tournament bids were handed out, BYU was awarded an NIT berth and a valued home game as a three seed, matched up with the University of Washington. BYU will host the sixth-seeded Huskies Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. MT, in the Marriott Center.

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BYU Spring Football, Day 5

Posted Mar 13th - 6:38pm by Greg Wrubell

On a 60-degree day in Provo, the BYU football team held its fifth practice of spring ball, and its second outdoors session of the week.

After practice, head coach Bronco Mendenhall met with the media and said "I think we're making progress; we're certainly pushing them really hard, we're demanding a lot of work, getting a lot of volume in a very short amount of time...really high intensity, super-fast tempo."

"The offense is progressing very, very quickly, (with) still a lot of work to go. (There's) equality in terms of players (and) how hard they're working in position groups, and coaches are pushing the players, really, really hard. So, I'm really encouraged by what I've seen to this point."


BYU awaits unfamiliar postseason opportunity

Posted Mar 13th - 8:52am by Greg Wrubell

PROVO — BYU's one-and-done exit from the West Coast Conference Championships signaled the end of two record-setting streaks for the program: after six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and wins in three consecutive Big Dances, the Cougars will not see their name in the field of 68 on Selection Sunday.

Following his team's Friday night loss to San Diego in Las Vegas, head coach Dave Rose said "this is not just one loss. This is one of those losses where you realize that a lot of what you really worked six months for, is not going to happen." What should happen, after the NCAA Tournament field is filled, is an invitation for BYU to continue its season in the NIT.


BYU Spring Football, Day 4

Posted Mar 11th - 6:51pm by Greg Wrubell

The return of a hoopster to the gridiron and the naming of a new coach were items coming out of BYU's fourth practice of spring ball on Monday--the first day with the team outdoors.

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Defensive end Bronson Kaufusi made his first appearance of the spring after missing last week while he remained with his BYU basketball teammates. With the hoopsters on semi-hiatus awaiting their postseason destination, Kaufusi was back on the field and taking his regular spot at the end of the line.


BYU Spring Football, Day 2

Posted Mar 6th - 8:32pm by Jason Shepherd

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall called Wednesday's practice, "just as spirited, (with) probably more work done in this one than even the first one. They're responding really well; I like their attitude, I like their work ethic and they're getting a ton done."

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Unfortunately, the biggest story coming out of BYU's second practice of spring was word that JC cornerback Trenton Trammell tore his ACL on Monday and will miss the 2013 season. Trammell will undergo surgery on March 14th.


Cougars aim to repeat distant history in Vegas

Posted Mar 6th - 9:02am by Greg Wrubell

LAS VEGAS — It has been a long time since BYU last won its conference's postseason tournament. The year was 2001, when BYU knocked off New Mexico to capture the Mountain West Conference tourney title, securing an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Looking back 12 seasons and comparing the 2000-01 season to the 2012-13 campaign, a number of coincidental occurrences appear. They may be merely trivial, but if the Cougars are looking to catch lightning in a bottle, they need look no further than 2001 for some cosmic inspiration.

Locale: In both 2001 and 2013, it's Vegas, baby.


BYU Basketball with Head Coach Dave Rose

Posted Mar 6th - 7:45am by Clint Martinson, Ksl Radio Sports Intern/cougar Tracks Contributor, and Greg Wrubell

BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose previewed West Coast Conference tournament week during Tuesday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly show at Legends Grille.

Senior Craig Cusick also came on to talk about his BYU career and the challenge ahead for the Cougars.

You can hear the entire broadcast in "Cougar Cuts," to the left.


Davies, Haws nab All-WCC honors

Posted Mar 5th - 12:51pm by Greg Wrubell

The West Coast Conference announced its postseason honorees today, with BYU's Brandon Davies and Tyler Haws earning all-league recognition, while Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk and head coach Mark Few headlined the annual award winners.

Today's selections make it 16 straight seasons that BYU has at least one player named to an all-conference team (1st, 2nd or 3rd team WAC/MWC or All-WCC).

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SLCC star Halford commits to BYU

Posted Mar 4th - 10:13pm by Greg Wrubell

Salt Lake Community College scoring leader Skyler Halford verbally committed to Dave Rose and the BYU Basketball program on Monday, bolstering next season's team with a shooter who earned Region 18 regular season and tournament MVP honors in 2012-13.

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A 6'1", 180 lb. combo guard who prepped at Timpanogos High School, Halford began his college career at Utah State as a preferred walk-on, redshirting the 2008-09 season. Following an LDS mission to Brazil, Halford enrolled at SLCC, intending to eventually return to Utah State on scholarship. When those plans never materialized, he opened up the recruiting process, and ultimately chose BYU from among a number of schools, including West Coast Conference foes San Diego and Portland.


BYU Spring Football, Day 1

Posted Mar 4th - 9:09pm by Greg Wrubell

Under the direction of a revamped coaching staff, the BYU football team ran through its first spring practice on Monday at the Indoor Practice Facility.

The almost two-hour session was run at a brisk tempo, with head coach Bronco Mendenhall saying for an opening day, "I think it is probably the hardest our collective team has worked since I've been the head coach."

Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae was also pleased with his players' effort on the first day of learning a new scheme with an entirely new collection of offensive coaches.


My WCC Postseason Picks (If I Had a Vote)

Posted Mar 4th - 9:48am by Greg Wrubell

While we await the release of the West Coast Conference all-league honors tomorrow, I have compiled my choices for postseason honors. In the WCC, only the nine coaches get votes, and none of the coaches are permitted to vote for members of their own team, which as I understand it, is somewhat standard procedure for polls that are limited to coaches' input.

Many other conferences involve media members, who cast postseason ballots which are then aggregated with those of the league's coaches. The WCC has historically not involved media members in the voting, and I presume part of the reason is the relatively limited numbers of media representatives that cover WCC teams on a regular basis. Few league members have beat writers assigned solely to that team, and it is rare that writers or columnists travel to cover those teams. BYU and Gonzaga stand apart in terms of media coverage, on TV, radio, and print/internet, but most other WCC teams simply don't have consistently broad media representation, beyond the team's radio broadcaster.

To that end, I would like the league to consider inviting a single media member from each team's local market to participate in pre- and post-season balloting, along with national/regional TV broadcasters and/or writers who cover the conference and its schools on a regular basis. For schools which don't have beat writers assigned to their programs, use a member of the radio crew. For institutions with a more comprehensive media cadre, the league can rotate the selection from among radio broadcasters and print reporters/columnists. Such a change would:


BYU Football: Howell named DC; Bronco to call plays

Posted Mar 1st - 10:58am by Jason Shepherd

The BYU football program announced new responsibilities for three current coaches on staff. Nick Howell will now hold the title of defensive coordinator. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who has served as the Cougars' DC will continue to call defensive plays. Offensive coordinator Robert Anae will also serve as assistant head coach, and outside linebackers coach, Kelly Poppinga, will handle special teams coordinator duties. The leadership changes come on the heels of several off-season coaching moves; most notably, the overhaul of the offensive staff. The official press release from BYU is below...

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall today outlined additional leadership responsibilities of his coaching staff, announcing offensive coordinator Robert Anae will serve as assistant head coach, secondary coach Nick Howell as defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Kelly Poppinga as special teams coordinator.

"This formally recognizes our staff responsibilities and the contributions already being made by our coaches," Mendenhall said. "Robert, Nick and Kelly are pillars of our coaching staff. I have complete confidence in their coaching and leadership abilities and the sincere desire each has to help the young men in our program succeed at the highest level. I have great expectations regarding the contributions of each member of our staff as we prepare our team for the 2013 season."


Carlino, Davies, Haws face 'Big' expectations

Posted Feb 27th - 9:21am by Greg Wrubell

PROVO — The month of February began with BYU on the NCAA Tournament bubble. At 17-5 on the season, the Cougars had a respectable RPI, and despite a lack of marquee wins, no bad losses on their postseason portfolio. February is historically Dave Rose's best month of the season, and when the month opened with a 96-79 home win over dangerous Santa Clara, Rose's all-time February record had improved to 43-7.

The home win over the Broncos featured sophomore point guard Matt Carlino scoring a season-high 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting, including a trio of three-pointers, a perfect performance from the free throw line and six assists. In the preceding game — at Pepperdine — Carlino sealed the deal with late free throws and a clutch three-pointer, and was subsequently named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He hasn't really been the same since.


BYU Basketball with Head Coach Dave Rose

Posted Feb 27th - 6:58am by Clint Martinson, Ksl Radio Sports Intern/cougar Tracks Contributor, and Greg Wrubell

BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose talked about this week's huge match-up with No. 2 Gonzaga during Tuesday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly show at Legends Grille.

Senior Brock Zylstra also came on the show and talked about his BYU career and the opportunity to make some national noise against the Bulldogs.

You can hear the entire show in "Cougar Cuts," left.


Rose, Cougars welcome WCC top 'Dogs to Provo

Posted Feb 26th - 6:40pm by Greg Wrubell

Leaving aside a meeting between the two teams in 1949, the BYU-Gonzaga rivalry began in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, when the Cougars, playing as a favored seed but heavy underdog, easily handled the Zags in Denver, paced by national Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette.

That game preceded BYU's admission to the West Coast Conference the following season, and their first meeting as conference foes also went the Cougars' way: an 83-73 decision at the Marriott Center, on February 2nd of last year.

Since that time, the series has been all Gonzaga. Mark Few's team has ripped off three straight wins against BYU, each more dominant the one preceding it. An 11-point win last season in Spokane, followed by a 19-point victory in the 2012 WCC Tournament, and then a 20-point shellacking last month at The Kennel.


BYU Basketball with Head Coach Dave Rose

Posted Feb 19th - 9:16am by Clint Martinson, Ksl Radio Sports Intern/cougar Tracks Contributor, and Greg Wrubell

BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose talked about a busy upcoming week for the Cougars on Monday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly show at Legends Grille.

Senior center Brandon Davies also stopped by to talk about games versus Utah State and St. Mary's; you can hear the entire show in "Cougar Cuts," left.

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BYU breaks away from WCC play to host USU

Posted Feb 18th - 2:21pm by Jason Shepherd

Despite having huge conference games to play over the next week and a half, the BYU Cougars will play outside the WCC on Tuesday night when they host the Utah State Aggies at the Marriott Center.

The game was originally scheduled for December 5th, but due to the near-fatal cardiac arrest suffered by Aggie junior Danny Berger, the game was rescheduled for Tuesday night.

There was a lot of speculation back in December that this game would simply be cancelled. Head coach Dave Rose said the two schools never came close to calling it off.


BYU finalizes offensive staff; hires Holliday and Beck

Posted Feb 15th - 6:37pm by Jason Shepherd

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall finalized his offensive staff on Friday with the announcement that the Cougars have hired Jason Beck and Guy Holliday as assistant coaches. The full press release from BYU is below...

BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall today announced Guy Holliday and Jason Beck have been hired as assistant coaches. Holliday will coach receivers and Beck will coach quarterbacks.

"I'm excited to have Guy and Jason join our coaching staff," Mendenhall said. "Guy is an experienced wide receivers coach who promotes tough and physical football and has great relationships with his players. He excels in the role of mentoring young people. Jason is an intelligent, poised coach who understands quarterback play and is a great teacher of young men. He is extremely passionate about our football program and the mission of the university. We are fortunate to have both of them at BYU."


Cougars hope for bye-week bounce-back

Posted Feb 14th - 5:32pm by Greg Wrubell

With his team on its second two-game losing skid of the season, BYU head basketball coach Dave Rose on Thursday said that "sometimes adversity can really strengthen your team, if everybody approaches it right and has the right attitude."

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Losses at San Diego and home to San Francisco all but mathematically took the Cougars out of contention for the conference crown and at the same time removed BYU from the NCAA Tournament bubble, but Rose observed after Thursday's practice that "the guys have been positive, and I think that's the most important thing right now, is for our guys to continue to believe in our team and believe in each other and I think from what we've seen, that's a good sign."


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