The BYU Basketball team will help break in a gleaming new hardwoods palace when it plays Florida State in the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, November 16th at Barclays Center, new home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.
The tournament's organizers today formalized the opening night matchups, with the Cougars and Seminoles to be followed to the court by Notre Dame and St. Joseph's. Winners will meet in the tourney title game on Saturday, November 17th, while the losers will play in the Saturday night consolation game.
For a marquee back, Michael Alisa has been given an opening-act workload through BYU's first two games of the season--but that may be about to change.
Before the season, Alisa was identified by coaches as the team's primary back, and that designation was in large part responsible for fellow back Josh Quezada's decision to transfer out of BYU (to Fresno State).
We've all heard the tale: the coach tells his turnover-prone player to start toting the football everywhere he goes--around the house, to class, to bed--just to get used to hanging on to the ball and not letting it go.
Heading into Saturday's game at Utah, BYU's offensive players may want to adopt the same approach, if not literally, then figuratively, because in the Bronco Mendenhall era (seven games; 2005 through 2011), BYU's turnover trouble has been the single-most relative determinant in the Cougars' 3-4 performance against the rival Utes.
It's the day before another BYU gameday, with the Cougars looking to go 2-0 for the first time since 2009. We talked about the Weber State game and a ton of other stuff in a Friday afternoon live chat.
If you missed it, click in below and catch up with 90-plus minutes worth of wit (a little bit), wisdom (perhaps less) and frivolity (lots of that). We'll do it again next week!
KSL Newsradio's Wednesday night broadcast of "BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall" featured a live LaVell Edwards Stadium audience, a defensive standout and an upbeat coach.
After getting off to a 1-0 start for the sixth straight season, head coach Bronco Mendenhall was happy to be joined by Spencer Hadley, who shared some interesting insight into his upbringing, took ridicule for his mustache and earned praise for his play.
You can check out the show in its entirety in "Cougar Cuts," above left; you can also access the audio link in the "Audio Archive" on the right-hand side of the show page. But, for a written highlight reel, just keep reading.
Bronco Mendenhall described Wednesday's practice as "sharp" and said the players were "mentally a step ahead of where they were yesterday."
With just three days remaining before the Cougars host Weber State, it appears that BYU will be close to full strength.
Five days before their in-state meeting with Weber State, the BYU Cougars were back on the practice field Monday, following a weekend off that in turn followed a nationally-televised win over Washington State.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall noted his players' unusual early-season routine when speaking with reporters following Monday's practice, saying that "how well they practice this week will kind of determine how mature they are."
"To have a nice win and a couple of days off, all at the same time, at the beginning of the year, I hope they take it right," said Mendenhall, "in terms of using it for recovery and using it to re-focus."
BYU Basketball's nationally-renowned 2013 recruiting class got another shot in the arm Monday with the news that Wisconsin high schooler Luke Worthington had committed to Dave Rose's program.
The 6'8 1/2", 240-pound power forward from Homestead HS in Mequon, Wisc. said committing to BYU "just seemed right and felt right."
BYU's season-opening 30-6 home win over Washington State was at the same time extremely promising and just the smallest bit frustrating--and that's a good thing.
After helming his team to a sixth straight season-opening victory, head coach Bronco Mendenhall told us during our KSL Radio postgame coverage that "I like our starting point, and I congratulated our team. What's fun is, they fired right back how much better they can get. That's a good sign, when I'm praising them and they're knowing that they can perform better. That's a nice place to begin from."
On the day before gameday, we were talking about BYU's season opener with Washington State in a live chat Wednesday afternoon.
If you missed the live version, enjoy the almost-as-rewarding replay by clicking in below:
KSL Newsradio's season debut of "BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall" aired Tuesday evening, in front a live audience assembled at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Joining the Cougars' head coach was senior running back and team captain David Foote, who recently learned that Mendenhall was awarding him a scholarship for his final BYU campaign.
You can hear the entire broadcast in "Cougar Cuts," left; you can also access the audio link in the "Audio Archive" on the right-hand side of the show page.
We're two days away from the BYU Cougars' 2012 lid-lifter: a "Clash of the Cougars," as BYU entertains Washington State in renewal of a series last contested in 1990.
The BYU-Wazzu match-up takes a marquee position on college football's opening night broadcast agenda, with ESPN televising the contest as part two of a doubleheader that opens with an SEC game pitting South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
A week and a day before his team's season-opening game with Washington State, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said on Wednesday that "I like where we are, and I feel comfortable at least at this point today, that we'll be in good shape."
"I have high expectations for this team."
Nine days ahead of their season-opening game with Washington State, the BYU Cougars have moved into game-prep mode, with Tuesday morning's practice being the first featuring the offense and defense facing scout-team opponents.
The helmets-and-shoulder-pads session was also the first of what head coach Bronco Mendenhall called "basically three extra" practices added to a traditional game-week format.
With "Camp Cougar" having wrapped up and BYU now beginning Washington State prep, we ramped up the build-up with a Monday afternoon live chat.
If you missed it, don't fret--just re-live the drama and the drivel with the almost-as-good-as-live replay.
With "Camp Cougar" going in the books today, it's a good time to reflect on the last two-plus weeks of BYU Football practices and what they might mean for the season ahead.
More than a month ago, I previewed preseason camp with a Cougar Tracks list of "20 Questions"; today, I'll do my best to answer those questions with the benefit of hindsight.
A final day of two-a-days on Friday, followed by a single practice on Saturday, and BYU's 2012 preseason camp will be in the books, with Washington State game prep getting underway on Monday.
Friday morning in Provo, the Cougars held the first of two scheduled sessions; the practice was closed to the media, as all practices will be moving forward and into the season.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall said "there wasn't any easing back today; the number of (practice) periods was less, but what we were trying to get done was still (with) a lot of urgency."
Note: A former BYU receiver and return specialist (2005-2006), Nate Meikle returns to the KSL Radio airwaves in 2012, reprising the role he previously occupied as sideline reporter for BYU Football broadcasts (2007-2009). During the season, Meikle will post his weekly thoughts in "Nate's Notes."
When in 2011 I first learned that Michael Alisa was going to switch positions, from linebacker to running back, my immediate reaction was frustration.
Exactly two weeks before BYU's season-opener with Washington State, the Cougars brought a little gameday atmosphere to LaVell Edwards Stadium on Thursday morning.
With players divided into teams and coaches putting on the headsets, a competitive and lively scrimmage was the product, with head coach Bronco Mendenhall saying "that was the intent" in regards to the game-like feel, adding that "we had a little fun" at the same time, by dividing into separate squads and selecting "celebrity coaches" in former Cougars Chad Lewis and Curtis Brown.
"It was fun, and good to have guys cheering for each other a little bit," said Mendenhall afterward. "Basically,a fairly clean conclusion to what camp is going to be. A couple of 'clean-up days' tomorrow and the next day, then...Washington State (prep) starts Monday. And no injuries today. You kind of keep your fingers crossed, but we held out quite a few players to make sure that didn't happen."
According to head coach Bronco Mendenhall, camp has reached its "grind" phase, as the Cougars prepare for a second final stadium scrimmage on Thursday.
"Players and coaches get tired of each other, which was manifest yesterday," said Mendenhall after practice. "Then there's a 'reset point' which happened today, then there will be a building and in about another week it will happen again."
"Then we'll finally get to play an opponent."
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