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Two Weeks Until Tipoff

Two Weeks Until Tipoff

By Jennifer Ball, KSL Radio Intern/"cougar Tracks" Contributor | Posted - Oct. 15, 2011 at 8:40 a.m.



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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."

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"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.

You can find Friday's post-practice interviews with Coach Rose, Charles Abouo and Noah Hartsock in the "Cougar Cuts" box to the left.

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Abouo, returning for his senior year at BYU, noted that his position as a team leader won't change how he approaches the game. "You just have to come out here and give it your all," he said. "Just like always. You have to help push some of the guys and help them get better every day. We're focused on getting our team to the point where we're really competitive and can win all the games we play. So it's similar to all the past years."

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Hartsock, also a senior, expressed hopes that his team's breadth of talent will allow the Cougars to compete for a crown in their new conference: "We've got a lot of good individual talent, and I think if we put it together we'll have a really good year. We've got the mindset to win a lot of games in the West Coast Conference and hopefully be champions of the league."

"Last year we depended a lot on Jimmer (Fredette) and what he did," Hartsock continued. "But I think this year we have a lot of different options, a lot of people to score, a lot of people who can make plays for us. I think that's one of our strengths."

When asked about whether Fredette's talent and reliability may have caused his teammates to relax take the back seat on the court, Hartsock admitted, "Yeah, I think there was a lot of that. Especially in late games or close games, you knew it was going to Jimmer and that he was going to make the moves. This year we have to find different players who can step up and fill that role, make good plays, and really contribute, especially in big games and down the stretch for us."

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Regarding Friday's practice performance by Chris Collinsworth, who has recently recovered from microfracture surgery in his right knee, Coach Rose said "I'm really pleased with him. I don't think that he feels like he's hurt, but I think he feels like he's weak if you talk to him he might tell you he's a little bit frustrated but the coaching staff is really pleased with how he's progressing."

"Chris is in a situation where he just needs to get back on the floor and feel comfortable. We'll see how he feels tomorrow and we'll give him the time that he needs, but if he can continue the progress that he's made in the last five or six weeks, I think he'll be terrific for us right from the beginning."

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Jennifer Ball Radio Intern/"cougar Tracks" Contributor

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