BYU's first season in the West Coast Conference will begin with the Cougars tabbed to finish third in preseason voting done by the league's nine head coaches.
The voting results, along with preseason all-conference selections, were announced Thursday at the WCC's Basketball Tip-Off event from YouTube headquarters near the league offices in San Bruno, Calif.
The BYU Basketball team tipped off preparation for its first season in the post-Jimmer era and West Coast Conference by holding its annual Cougar Tipoff Wednesday night in the Marriott Center, where the team split into two squads and competed in a formal scrimmage.
Led by senior Noah Hartsock's double-double--including the game-winning three-point playŚ-the Blue Team pulled off a 74-71 victory against the evenly-matched White Team.
Speaking of his hopes to defeat TCU this Friday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall said, "Not all my eggs are in this basket, but I'm anxious to see how our current team goes down and does. They're eager to play, they're excited to play, and they're confident and anxious to take on this team on this stage."
The coach made the comments during Tuesday night LaVell Edwards Stadium broadcast of "BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall, Presented by the University Parkway Ken Garff Dealers," during which we were also joined by former BYU LB David Nixon and current BYU DL Matt Putnam.
You can hear the entire show broadcast by clicking on the audio link in the "Cougar Cuts" box to the left.
Bronco on BYU and realignment: "Those that want us; fantastic. If they don't, I would rather stand alone."Posted Oct 25th - 10:48pm by Greg Wrubell
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall responded to the latest round of college football realignment rumors on his Tuesday night KSL Radio show, saying while he "can only speculate," BYU's current perceived status as an apparent Big 12 membership also-ran "comes to this really unique issue--just to be very blunt--of culture."
You can hear Mendenhall's comments on realignment in "Cougar Cuts," to the left.
With ostensibly the toughest game remaining on BYU's schedule coming up Friday versus TCU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, head coach Bronco Mendenhall doesn't see it as a game that will make or break the season.
"I see it as our next game to improve our team, " Said Mendenhall after practice at the indoor practice facility Tuesday evening. "This is a great opportunity for us, a lot of exposure, but to go any further than that, that's not the way I see it."
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall previewed his team's Cowboys Stadium meeting with TCU during his weekly press conference, saying Friday's game with the Horned Frogs "just made a lot of sense."
"TCU is a program that I respect," said Mendenhall. "It's a program that has won a lot of football games, it's a program that is a consistent, not only a top 20 finisher, but recently a top 10 finisher...and a program that we were matched up with in our conference."
"We have a difficult game coming up on a short week, and our team is looking forward to the challenge."
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall would prefer that this Saturday's meeting with FCS visitor Idaho State be played a little earlier in the season, but independent scheduling challenges being what they were going to be in 2011, he's ready to make the best of the situation.
In BYU's case, the game offers the Cougars a chance to sharpen their new-look offense and make plays on pass defense, while allowing banged-up front-liners to recuperate--and yes, get in some preparation for next week's game at TCU.
With five games to play in his team's regular season, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said "there's a real urgency as the clock is ticking, and I don't think we've reached the level we can play at."
The coach the comment at the start of his weekly broadcast of "BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall," broadcast on KSL Radio from LaVell Edwards Stadium.
You can hear the entire broadcast by clicking on the audio link in the "Cougar Cuts" box to the left, or by going to the show page audio archive in the "BYU Sports Menu."
Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall talked about his goals for this Saturday's game against Idaho State and Offensive Coordinator Brandon Doman spoke on backup quarterback Jake Heaps' role at a media session following Tuesday afternoon's practice.
Mendenhall said the sole object of his team's focus was on the matchup against Idaho State, where BYU hopes to fulfill its goal to "reach its potential."
Saying "we still haven't played to the best of our ability yet," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall assessed his team's season at Monday morning's weekly press conference, calling the prospects of a five-game regular season stretch to end the season "exciting; we have a lot to play for."
"We're 5-2 with a chance, gaining momentum, to compete and win every game remaining on our schedule."
You can hear the entirety of Mendenhall's press conference comments, plus interviews with DL Matt Putnam and WR Cody Hoffman, in "Cougar Cuts," to the left.
Following his team's inaugural practice of the 2011-2012 season, BYU Basketball Head Coach Dave Rose met with members of the media on Friday evening and proclaimed his team "comfortable" and "competitive."
"I though that for the first day it was great," Rose said. "A lot of energy. It was a very competitive practice. I'm excited to watch these guys as the continue to get better." BYU opens its exhibition season with Midwestern State at the Marriott Center, October 29th on KSL Newsradio.
Recalling some of the memories that came from his years as a student-athlete and coach at Oregon State University, BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall said that his team's trip to his alma mater this weekend comes with "a lot of mixed feelings." BYU visits Corvallis to face the Beavers Saturday at 2:00pm MT on KSL Newsradio/BYU Radio/KBYU TV.
"I've had a lot of thoughts this week about the classes that I had, teachers that I had, games that we played, and some things that I did in my college years," Mendenhall said at his weekly radio show from LaVell Edwards Stadium. "I've matured since then," he added with a smile.
At his team's annual Media Day on Wednesday, BYU head basketball coach Dave Rose acknowledged that Gonzaga would be the team that "you'd probably have to go with" when looking for a favorite to win the West Coast Conference basketball title in 2011-12, adding that "we'll just try to see if we can compete with those guys."
Then, when asked about his own expectations, those who gave been around Rose long enough knew very well what the answer would be. "What are our expectations?" asked Rose, repeating the question. "We expect to win the league."
"That's why we practice, that's why we recruit, that's why we do what we do; to try and win league championships, get our team in the NCAA Tournament and advance as far as we can."
During Tuesday afternoon's post-practice interview session at BYU's indoor facility, head coach Bronco Mendenhall covered many subjects ranging from the quarterback situation to his thoughts on upcoming opponent Oregon State, but the hot topic was conference realignment.
You can hear Mendenhall's remarks and post-practice interviews with players Riley Nelson, Cody Hoffman and Michael Alisa in "Cougar Cuts" to the left.
During his weekly press conference, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall all but plainly stated Riley Nelson will continue as his starting quarterback this Saturday at Oregon State.
Saying he "really thought Riley had a strong game in his first start" of the season against San Jose State, Mendenhall said Nelson's insertion into the offense "made us much more difficult to defend," and "provided a spark and an inspiration to our team, and gave us some momentum going into a road game."
They didn't get there in a way anyone would have predicted, but the BYU Cougars have hit the half-way point of their season with a 4-2 record--discovering a new starting quarterback and (for the time being) a new number one running back, just as they reach the campaign's midpoint.
Saturday night's 29-16 home win over San Jose State featured a BYU team that while still mistake-prone, has taken on an almost completely new identity than the one with which it began the season.
After keeping a public lid on the news all week, BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall decided to let the quarterback cat out of the bag early Friday evening, announcing that junior Riley Nelson will take the starting reins from sophomore signal-caller Jake Heaps against San Jose State on Saturday night.
Mendenhall revealed the news in a school-issued press release, in which the coach was quoted:
During his weekly KSL Radio broadcast from LaVell Edwards Stadium on Wednesday night, BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall praised his team's "diligence and resiliency" in last Friday's comeback win over Utah State.
"I feel great about the win," Mendenhall said. "We had a lot of fun. It was a hard-fought game and a fantastic way for us to win. And to have a 98-yard drive to cap a comeback, you can't do much more than that in terms of adding excitement to a game."
BYU's quarterback situation was the topic of the day after the team's Tuesday afternoon practice, with media swarming the Indoor Practice Facility in attempt to glean information on the subject as it relates to this Saturday's game against the San Jose State Spartans.
The current situation was sparked last Friday with 5:06 remaining in the third quarter of BYU's home game against Utah State, when backup quarterback Riley Nelson took the helm from starter Jake Heaps and led the Cougars to a 27-24 comeback win over the Aggies. Nelson passed for two touchdowns, the last coming off a 96-yard drive that was capped with only 11 seconds left on the game clock.
BYU goes for a third straight win Saturday night when San Jose State visits Provo, but with no disrespect for the Spartans, the game is third on the list of current concerns for Cougars fans.
BYU's quarterback quandary and the Big 12's plans as they relate to BYU are 1-2 on the "hot list," in either order, and hardly an hour goes by that I am not asked my opinion on one matter or the other.
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