Saying that "it's good to be back" in the Marriott Center, BYU head coach Dave Rose had some not-so-good news regarding one of his veteran players after practice Monday--two days before his team's home-court meeting with Weber State.
Back on BYU's home floor for the first time since before Thanksgiving, Rose was once again without forward Chris Collinsworth, who has suffered a setback in his recovery from microfracture knee surgery last winter.
"Chris saw the doctor today, after going through that MRI again, re-reading it...he does have quite a bone bruise underneath that kneecap," said Rose. "We can't really understand why it hasn't progressed any better than it has."
"The way it stands right now, they're going to go back in, kind of do some exploratory surgery and get a first-hand look at what's going on in there."
F/C Nate Austin missed most of practice with a stomach illness; "we'll just have to see how he feels tomorrow," said Rose.
BYU meets up with Weber State on Wednesday night, having defeated the Wildcats in eight consecutive meetings and nine of the last ten. BYU has never lost to Weber State in Provo, going 18-0 all-time. This year's Weber State team is 5-1, with the nation's leading scorer in Damian Lillard (28.2 points/game).
"This is a very, very good team, a very experienced team," said Rose after practice.
"Early in the season, they are advanced over other teams we have played. They know where they're going in late- game situations, they've played in a lot of close games...Lillard is as good a point guard as we'll face all season long."
"I'm looking forward to the challenge; I think it will be a great game."
You can hear all of Rose's post-practice comments in "Cougar Cuts," above left.
BYU enters the Weber State game 6-2 coming off a solid 79- 65 win over Oregon last Saturday at Energy Solutions Arena. BYU won despite shooting just over 38% from the field and the arc, and under 70% from the free throw line.
"The best thing about that game was out effort," said Rose Monday. "With this group to this point, we've been kind of up and down with our effort. The most positive thing we take from (the Oregon) game is that we got a real consistent effort from all the guys who played."
On meeting up with Randy Rahe's team at the Marriott Center, Rose said "I think all in-state games are very emotional games. It's important for one team to kind of match or exceed the emotion of the other team."
"These guys all know each other. They all play together in the summertime; a lot of them have been to high school together...hopefully you can excute at your best in a pretty emotional situation."
BYU and Weber State tip it off Wednesday night at 7:00pm on KSL Newsradio and BYU Radio; pregame coverage starts at 6:00pm.
Tuesday night at 7:00pm on KSL Newsradio and BYU Radio, it's the season debut of "BYU Basketball with Head Coach Dave Rose." The show is broadcast live from Legends Grille in the BYU Student-Athlete Building; all Cougar fans are welcome, no seat requests required.
You can submit a question for Coach Rose at this link.