BYU on Wednesday received its draw for the semifinals at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic, with the Cougars opening against the Texas Longhorns, then facing either Wichita State or DePaul to close out competition.
Organizers of the Kansas City-based tournament announced the championship round matchups this morning, along with TV broadcast assignments. Both of BYU's games will be seen on ESPN Networks.
The tournament format calls for the championship round participants to host two on-campus contests before advancing to Kansas City; the opponents and dates for those games have yet to be announced.
This week's assignment was to identify the five best players BYU will face in 2013. The task is formidable, considering the strength of the Cougars' schedule, and the assemblage of talent that has made those teams what they are--or what we think they will be this season.
Heading into the 2013 campaign, BYU opponents Texas, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Boise State have all received preseason Top 25 attention, and all of those teams have multiple players who could vie for recognition among the best individuals BYU will see this fall. You could arguably fill a top-five including nothing but Texas players, if you so desired.
Then there are the non-BCS teams that nevertheless feature standout athletes playing a little under the national radar; players like Utah State's Chuckie Keeton, for example.
For the second straight season, BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman has been named as a nominee for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's outstanding college receiver.
Hoffman is one of 75 candidates on the preseason watch list released Tuesday; last season, the award went to USC's Marqise Lee, who returns again in 2013.
Hoffman hauled in 100 receptions for 1,248 yards in 2012, becoming only the third BYU player to reach the century plateau in receptions; his single-season yardage total was the second-highest ever for a BYU receiver.
In his final game as a member of Team USA's World University Games squad, BYU's Tyler Haws finished on a high note, scoring 10 points in helping the U.S. defeat Finland 97-70 to win its qualification final and claim 9th place, in Kazan, Russia.
Haws added five rebounds, two assists and a steal in his best performance of the games, which for the team will go down as a disappointment as a USA Basketball men's squad failed to qualify for the medal round, for the first time in 21 WUG appearances.
The college football preseason award watch list parade rolled on Monday, with nominee rosters released for the Butkus (nation's best linebacker) and Rotary Lombardi (college lineman/linebacker of the year) Awards.
BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy appears on both lists, while fellow LBs Uani Unga and Spencer Hadley joined him as Butkus nominees. BYU is one of only three schools with three linebackers named to the Butkus watch list; Notre Dame and UCLA are the others. Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Iowa, Alabama, Florida State, Mississippi State and Stanford each placed two nominees on the 51-player list.
Van Noy is one of 107 players up for the Rotary Lombardi Award. Last year, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o won both the Butkus and Lombardi honors.
Team USA continues to cruise through the classification round at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, defeating Germany 92-70 on Monday to advance to the 9th-place game against Finland.
BYU guard Tyler Haws played just under 15 minutes against the Germans, scoring all six of his points in the first half and helping the U.S. to a 46-32 lead at the intermission. Haws added three rebounds and a turnover as Team USA played its second consecutive game without injured wing Treveon Graham, who had been starting for head coach Bob McKillop prior to getting hurt.
Although eliminated from medal contention at the World University Games, Team USA still has games to play, and Sunday in Kazan, Russia, the Americans got their classification round underway with a 91-51 win over Norway.
With wing Treveon Graham unavailable due to injury, BYU's Tyler Haws played 15-plus minutes, and had his best scoring performance at the WUG, contributing nine points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field and 3-for-5 shooting from the free throw line; he added three rebounds and a steal.
It was a game the United States needed to win, and win big. Instead, on Friday in Kazan, Russia, Team USA fell to Canada by a score of 94-85, dropping the U.S. out of World University Games medal contention and into the classification round.
Now relegated to a finish between 9th and 16th place, Team USA's 2013 performance will go down as the worst showing for a USA Basketball men's squad at the WUG; in 20 previous appearances, the lowest finish was 5th in 2011.
(Note: in 2007, USA Basketball did not field a team at the WUG. University of Northern Iowa represented the U.S. and finished 9th)
Team USA suffered a damaging setback at the World University Games on Thursday, falling 93-84 to Australia in a game that saw BYU's Tyler Haws fail to register any playing time.
The defeat was the first for the U.S. prior to the WUG quarterfinals/knockout phase since 1981, when USA lost to Canada in its fourth preliminary round game, only to bounce back and win out to capture the gold medal. Thursday's loss also occurred in the fourth preliminary-round game for Team USA, following three victories.
BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy had another honor added to his growing list of accolades on Thursday, with the senior standout named to the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded to the nation's most outstanding defensive player.
Teammate Eathyn Manumaleuna has been named to the Outland Trophy watch list, his first honors recognition as a Cougar. The Outland Trophy is awarded to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman; Manumaleuna has played both defensive end and nose tackle over his team-leading 43 career games played.
Van Noy was earlier this week named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, and it is expected he will appear on yet two more such lists--for the Butkus (best linebacker) and Lombardi Awards (best lineman/linebacker), when they are released next Monday.
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