In a few hours, the BYU Cougars kick off their 2011 season-- the school's first-ever season to start without a conference to call home.
The newly-independent Cougars debut in the Deep South: Oxford, Mississippi, where the rebuilding SEC's Rebels provide the opposition. Coming off a 4-8 campaign in 2010, Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt is out to prove that last season was a trip-up and not a trend.
A third BYU player who started August camp healthy has been lost for the season.
Devin Mahina (pictured above) becomes the second tight end to have his season ended before it began, after being diagnosed with a neck fracture on Tuesday.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall and head trainer Kevin Morris reported that Mahina underwent X-rays on Monday, followed by a CT scan on Tuesday. Typical recovery time is in the neighborhood of 10-12 weeks; with a redshirt season available, plans are to sit Mahina for the season and get his sophomore season back in 2012--assuming he can continue his playing career.
The picture above was taken tonight, moments after Lone Peak High School stars Nick Emery (left) and T.J. Haws (right) committed to play for Dave Rose and the BYU Cougars.
Nick is the younger brother of former Cougar Jackson Emery (center), while T.J. is the younger brother of Cougar Tyler Haws, who is currently serving an LDS mission to the Philippines.
Word I get is that both players got together on Sunday night and decided they would commit to BYU at the same time. They arranged to meet Coach Rose in his office Monday evening and delivered him the good news around 6:30pm--shortly after coaches and players had left the Marriott Center floor following individual skill development sessions.
BYU head hoops coach Dave Rose and three of his players reflected on a just-completed trip to Greece and the return of Brandon Davies, when they gave interviews to a group of local reporters Monday afternoon at the Marriott Center.
You can hear interviews with Rose, Brock Zylstra, Noah Hartsock and Charles Abouo (along with the football-related interviews from earlier in the day) by going to "Cougar Cuts," at left.
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall met the media in his first weekly press conference of the season Monday morning, pronouncing his team "really excited" for Saturday's opener at Ole Miss.
You can hear the entirety of Mendenhall's press conference remarks in "Cougar Cuts" (left).
Last summer, when the first conference realignment tremors were being felt, BYU administrators may have been sitting by their phones. No calls came. Not from the Pac-10, not from the Big 12. "We were never involved," said BYU AD Tom Holmoe recently.
The reasons were probably numerous, but in general, you could say the Pac-10 seemingly had a genetic, philosophical aversion to BYU, while the fractured Big 12 had a stated desire to unify and prosper within its Texas/Oklahoma power center.
PROVO -- With BYU's fall semester starting in only three days, Cougar basketball coaches, players and fans have received the news they had hoped was coming: Brandon Davies has been readmitted to BYU and will reclaim his spot on the Cougar Basketball team.
BYU announced the news in a Friday afternoon press release:
It was back to the great indoors on Friday morning, as the Cougars continued Ole Miss game prep with a roughly 90-minute practice session at the Indoor Practice Facility.
With Saturday projected to be a typical "Tuesday" format practice, head coach Bronco Mendenhall said the last two days of practice functioned as sort of a two-part "Monday."
The football Cougars started game prep for the season opener with Ole Miss Thursday morning, conducting a 90-minute practice within the Indoor Practice Facility.
The IPF was intentionally warm and a bit muggy today--the ventilation turned off to give the Cougars a hint of what awaits the Cougars next week in Oxford, Mississippi. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall acknowledges there is no way to truly assimilate the hot and humid conditions of the southeast, but says "the focus on conditioning is something we started quite a while ago, and that's what our plan is."
The BYU Cougar hoopsters are headed home from a 10-day, four-game playing tour of Greece, during which Dave Rose played lineups unlike any he used last season, discovering promise in the process.
On Wednesday, the Cougars concluded their two-game appearance in the prestigious Acropolis of Athens Tournment, falling 102-63 to the Italian National Team--a team featuring three NBA players. The day before, Greece topped BYU 83-54, with the Greek national squad also loaded with professional and some NBA talent. Both national teams are ranked in the top 10 of the current FIBA world rankings, with Greece 4th and Italy 7th.
The BYU Cougar hoopsters opened their two-game run at the Acropolis of Athens Tournament earlier Tuesday, dropping an 83-54 decision to the Greek National Team.
Stephen Rogers led the way with 18 points, while Charles Abouo added 16. Returning senior Noah Hartsock was not operating at full strength, having just recovered from a three-day bout with the flu. He had foul trouble early and finished with four second half points. Brock Zylstra chipped in with eight points, newcomer Josh Sharp scored five, while freshman Damarcus Harrison added three. Greece was led by former Jazzman Kosta Koufos' 24 points.
The Cougars hit the practice field Monday morning in Provo, for the first of two sessions on the final day of two-a-days.
While all practices are now closed to the media, we were informed by the Athletic Media Communications staff that the offense struggled in the 11-on-11 segment to end the morning.
Jimmer Fredette has still yet to make his professional basketball debut, but the former BYU Cougar will taking the court for a pair of exhibition games next month.
In an announcement made live exclusively on KSL Newsradio this morning, Fredette confirmed that he will play in a two- game event called "Jimmer's All-Stars: Presented by Zions Bank." The games will take place Wednesday, September 21st and Thursday, September 22nd. The first game will be played at the Maverick Center in Salt Lake City, with the second contest a night later at the Marriott Center in Provo.
The Cougars held their final scrimmage of camp on Saturday morning at LaVell Edwards Stadium: a 51-play affair that included the first-string offense for only the first series, and was conducted with many front-line defenders sitting out.
Jake Heaps and the "ones" were not on the field very long, but they made their time count, staging an 11-play, 72 yard march that ended with J.J. DiLuigi scampering six yards into the end zone. On the drive, Heaps was 5 for 5 passing, for 52 yds. There were two third downs on the drive, both converted.
The BYU Basketball team's summer tour of Greece has gone from challenging, to internationally intriguing, in the space of a few days.
Having easily dispatched its first two Greek professional opponents on Wednesday and Friday of this week, and with a game in Crete (at a U.S. military base) on the agenda for Monday, the Cougars have learned of a surprise development that will place them in the middle of a multi-nation tournament next week.
The Cougars were back at work after an unscheduled day off on Thursday, returning to the Indoor Practice Facility for a 90-minute session in helmets only--a practice that head coach Bronco Mendenhall called "great...really sharp. The intensity is almost unmanageable right now, which is great."
Mendenhall says yesterday's trip to Provo Beach Resort had "a lot" to do with the energy and execution levels on display at this morning's practice.
PROVO -- It doesn't happen every year, but it happens enough for us to kind of expect it by now: an unscheduled day off for the Cougars at camp.
Bronco Mendenhall gave his team a break and replaced practice #13 with a team activity Thursday morning.
It was practice number 12 on Day number 10 of camp for the BYU Cougars Wednesday morning in Provo. "I don't think (the offense) responded that well today," said head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "Defensively, they had a good day."
You can hear all of Mendenhall's post-practice comments and an interview with RB Bryan Kariya by going to the "Cougar Cuts" area to the right.
The BYU Cougars ran through their 11th practice of camp on Tuesday morning, with head coach Bronco Mendenhall calling the offense v. defense segments of practice "inconsistent and sloppy."
You can hear Mendenhall's post-practice assessment, in addition to shorter interviews with Offensive Coordinator Brandon Doman, CB Corby Eason and NT Romney Fuga, by going to their audio links in "Cougar Cuts" to the right.
On a day that gave the Cougars their first cloud cover of camp, a few depth chart positions began to clear up as BYU ran through its ninth practice of the month.
You can hear head coach Bronco Mendenhall's post-practice assessment by going to his interview in "Cougar Cuts" to the right.
|Scott Stadium, Charlottesville||8/31 1:30 pm|
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