Friday in Fresno



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Got settled in Fresno this afternoon, opened the e-mailbox, and found this, from BYU Football Media Relations Director Brett Pyne:

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PROVO, Utah (Dec. 11, 2009) — As a further tribute to recognize the 25-year anniversary of BYU's 1984 National Championship season, BYU announced today that its football team will wear royal blue uniforms in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas on Dec. 22.

"The seniors felt strongly about wearing the royal uniforms in the bowl game as another way to honor the 1984 team," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Our team leaders wrote a formal request to our administration requesting an opportunity to wear them one more time. With the increased exposure of the bowl game, I think this is a fantastic way to continue our tribute to the accomplishments of a remarkable team."

This year BYU has recognized the 1984 team throughout the season. The players have worn a 25-year anniversary helmet sticker and a member of the 1984 team has been recognized before each game by running out the alumni flag with the team. At halftime of the Utah game, legendary coach LaVell Edwards and members of the 1984 team were presented the AFCA Coaches National Championship Trophy, which was not in existence when BYU won its national championship but has since been made available to prior champions.

The team wore the school's old royal-colored uniforms in its final home game against Utah to honor the 1984 team. Even though the plan was in place for months, the players were not made aware of the uniform tribute until the day of the game.

"The athletic administration felt the seniors' request provided a worthy opportunity to further recognize the accomplishments of the 1984 National Championship team," BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe said. "It is important to note that the team will not be wearing the royal blue uniforms beyond this year's bowl game. We would only consider wearing them again for a very special and unique occasion — every once in a royal blue moon. With this being the final game of the 25-year anniversary season, we think this is a fitting final tribute."

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Switching to hoops, BYU senior Jonathan Tavernari quietly made a jersey number switch in the offseason; suffice it to say it hasn't had the desired effect.

Of course it's more than just the digits, but since dropping down from #45 to #24, JT's numbers have dropped down, too--

PPG: 15.7 (last year); 10.6 (this year)

FG: 43% (last year); 34% (this year)

3PFG: 38% (last year); 30% (this year)

RPG: 7.2 (last year); 5.1 (this year)

APG: 1.8 (last year); 1.3 (this year)

SPG: 1.8 (last year); 1.5 (this year)

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JT has never taken a lot of free throws, but while his percentage is up over last year (80%, compared to 76% in 08-09), his attempts per game number is down (1.3/gm, compared to 1.7 in 08-09).

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Knowing JT to be a... quirky individual, I wouldn't be surprised if he has contemplated a return to his familiar #45, hoping the old duds can help recapture some of last year's mojo.

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BYU head coach Dave Rose and Fresno State coach Steve Cleveland are scheduled to conduct a joint fireside tonight in Fresno, following BYU's brief early evening practice at the Save Mart Center.

I'm not sure how many opposing coaches in D1 history have made similar arrangement for the night before a game; it's not surprising that these two good friends would take the time.

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