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PROVO — Coming off a week of in-state battles, BYU head basketball coach Dave Rose took time in his weekly coach’s show to talk about the positives he is seeing in his team as well as answer the big question on the minds of Cougar fans, coaches and players alike: how is Tyler Haws?
After suffering what doctors are calling a sprained ankle, which Haws injured late in Saturday’s contest at Weber State, Rose spoke of how at this point in time there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered in time about Haws’ ankle and how soon he’ll be ready to return to full action.
“We just have to see how these first couple of days go to respond and all of us hope he plays on Saturday, and on Tuesday, but we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Rose.
Doctors have told Haws he can be as aggressive in his recovery as he can stand the pain to be, and Rose hopes similar to Haws’ teammate, Kyle Collinsworth, who recovered from an ACL injury during the offseason, that Haws can return sooner than later because of his dedication to what the doctors are recommending he do to recover his ankle efficiently.
“What Ty needs is time because he’ll put the work in,” Rose said.
Looking back at the week of in-state action, Rose spoke of the intensity that comes from playing three of the last four games versus in-state rivals.
“You play all those in-state games one right after another, it gets to be really intense,” he said.
Rose thanked the fans for keeping the energy up despite last week versus Utah, pointing out that the crowd was a big factor in keeping the energy up, despite the team trailing most of the game, and he has hopes that the crowds will keep turning out for the big three matches remaining the rest of the month of December.
“Our fans were absolutely fantastic and I think that there will be a lot more really good basketball in the Marriott Center,” said Rose.
After the defeat to Utah, Rose said how proud he was of his team’s ability to bounce back and take on the challenge of going up and getting a win in Ogden in what he called the team’s most complete game thus far.
One of the bright spots in the game versus Weber State was freshman forward Isaac Neilson, who scored a career-high 15 points, including four 3-pointers. Rose said that with the absence of Nate Austin, the coaching staff was looking to implement more of a stretch-four dynamic and they like what they saw out of Neilson.
“We’ll see how this continues,” said Rose. “We’re really comfortable with Isaac in that position. We need to get him more experience, more time, and then expand his game as far on the defensive end, and rebounding.”
Rose acknowledged that the team has let a few games slip that could have bolstered their tournament resume, but with matchups the next few weeks with Stanford, UMass and Gonzaga, now is not the time to live in the past.
“The most important thing now is to just look forward to the next opportunity and take advantage of it when it comes,” said Rose.
This week’s player guest was sophomore forward Luke Worthington. Rose told the story of a time when he and coach Pope went to Wisconsin to watch Worthington play in a high school football game and explained how he knew they were getting a contact guy when he decided to come to BYU.
Rose talked about taking someone like Worthington who is a three-sport athlete in high school and how when they are able to get to college and focus on one sport the growth really takes place, and that is exactly what is happening with him.
“The ceiling is really high for Luke. I think he can just continue to improve and get better,” he said.
Worthington talked about this team’s ups and downs so far this season and knows it’s time to focus on the next part of the season.
“As we look at the next two-thirds of the season, we just want to focus on being us, playing our game and playing to the best ability that we can and really using each other on the floor,” he said.