Post-Day 6 Update

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From the minute I left BYU early this afternoon, until the current moment, I have been busy with personal commitments, leaving me only a few moments at the end of the day to offer my perspective on a handful of noteworthy developments from the last number of hours.


First of all, and most unfortunately, it was announced late this afternoon that Jason Speredon's season is over before it began--the junior guard having suffered a torn rotator cuff that will require surgery and 3-5 months of recovery and rehab.

While the injury is obviously most disappointing for Speredon himself, the BYU offensive line is a bit of a mish-mash right now as a result.

While walk-on Marco Thorson has served as the starting left guard in Speredon's absence, the backup left guard spot before Speredon went down was manned almost exclusively by Ryan Freeman, and he would have to be considered a starting option, seeing as he is a scholarship player with game experience (seven games played during his freshman season in 2006).

Additionally, freshman center/guard Houston Reynolds has to be seen as another alternative when he returns from his quad strain. Before he went down, he was seeing some time with the second-string at right guard, and with the third-string at center. The learning curve for Reynolds would be steep, but brothers Dallas and Matt played (and started) as freshmen, so why not Houston, too?


Seeing as starting left tackle Matt Reynolds has already been sidelined and will possibly be out of commission until the game with Oklahoma, Coach Mark Weber and his charges will be under immense pressure to solidify a unit facing one of the top two or three defensive lines in the country on September 5th.

While the starting center and right side of the line have remained consistent this week, the left side has been hit hard by the injuries to M. Reynolds and Speredon. That side of the line just happens to be Max Hall's back side. The Sooners will be well aware of BYU's front line travails, and all too anxious to test the Cougars' readiness and resolve.

A year after entering the season with perhaps the most experienced offensive line in BYU history, the boys in blue are true greenhorns this time around. How well BYU manages the transition may well set the table for the season, and those management skills will face the sternest of tests starting in week one.


Wild weather in Utah County had the Cougars moving their afternoon practice indoors, meaning cancellation of plans to allow the public to attend the 5:00pm session.

Bronco Mendenhall says he will open an as-yet-unannounced afternoon practice next week to make up for today's cancellation. In addition, the morning session next Tuesday is open to the public.


Austin Collie started and led the Indianapolis Colts in receptions as the Colts lost their preseason opener to Minnesota Friday night, 13-3.

Collie had four catches for 17 yards. His first reception came on Peyton Manning's only pass completion of the night--a six-yard gain on 3rd and 5 early in the first quarter.


Hoops note: please see today's earlier entry for the good news regarding Jonathan Tavernari and his inclusion in the final 12-man Brazilian national team roster.

Later today, there was even more good news, as we learned that Charles Abouo's Cote d'Ivoire national team is continuing its stunning run through the African Basketball Championship ("Afrobasket") in Libya.

Abouo played only three scoreless minutes today, but the Elephants upset Cameroon 68-61 to qualify for the tournament title game, and clinch automatic qualification into next summer's World Basketball Championship in Turkey.

CIV plays Angola on Saturday for the FIBA Africa title, but both teams are already through to Turkey in 2010.

Assuming JT's Brazil squad finishes top four at the upcoming Tournament of the Americas, two BYU Cougars (or one current and one former Cougar, with Tavernari's 2010 graduation) will be playing for basketball's biggest global prize next summer. Pretty impressive.


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