Replace Tyler Allgeier? Perhaps impossible, but this is where BYU football will try


BYU operating again Lopini Katoa runs with the ball throughout follow within the Indoor Observe Facility at BYU in Provo on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 5-6 minutes

PROVO — For all of the adjustments accessible to the BYU soccer program because the Cougars opened spring practices this week, one stood out greater than arguably another.

No, this is not a reference to the elevated measurement of the BYU offensive line, the place an enhanced deal with the burden room and extra power and conditioning employees has led to 11 gamers within the place group that tip the scales at 300 kilos or extra, together with the returning of Keanu Saleapaga.

The 6-foot-6, 310-pound native of Lakewood, California, has returned to Provo after spending final season again dwelling — a lot to the shock of many.

However the greatest distinction is not who was accessible after Monday’s follow, like beginning quarterback Jaren Corridor, defensive star Tyler Batty, and a bunch of Cougars, however who wasn’t there.

Coming off a 10-3 season and the primary back-to-back Related Press High 25 rankings since 2006 and 2007, BYU has a gaping gap within the backfield in making an attempt to interchange Tyler Allgeier. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound tailback ran for over 1,000 yards in every of the previous two seasons, together with a career-high 1,606 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2021.

That Allgeier wasn’t there is no surprise; he declared for the NFL draft following BYU’s 31-28 loss to UAB within the Independence Bowl, when Allgeier averaged 7.1 yards per carry for 192 yards and three touchdowns — as he ought to. No one on his former workforce blames him for making one of the best life resolution and cashing in on his NFL draft inventory.

However the gap was noticeable.

“I do not know if there’s a spot to interchange a man like that,” Corridor admitted after the primary day of follow, “however subsequent man up. All our operating backs regarded good at this time. Who will it’s (to begin the season opener at South Florida)? You by no means know as a result of that is how good of a operating again room now we have.

“On daily basis, day-by-day via spring ball, is the way you substitute him, persevering with to get higher and discover who the subsequent man up is.”

Simply two years in the past, that very same Allgeier was re-introducing himself to the operating again room after spending time at linebacker. If there have been expectations for the Fontana, California, native previous to the 2020 season, he actually blew them out of the water with 1,130 dashing yards and 13 scores in an 11-1 marketing campaign in any other case dominated by the likes of Zach Wilson, Dax Milne and Khyiris Tonga.

California Golden Bears running back Christopher Brooks (34) runs the ball against the Washington State Cougars during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 in Berkeley, Calif.
California Golden Bears operating again Christopher Brooks (34) runs the ball towards the Washington State Cougars throughout an NCAA soccer recreation on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 in Berkeley, Calif. (Picture: Lachlan Cunningham, Related Press)

So who’s anticipated to return out of the operating again room this 12 months? The percentages-on favourite could also be Christopher Brooks, the graduate switch from Cal who averaged 5.2 yards per carry for 607 yards and 4 touchdowns a 12 months in the past with the Golden Bears. In 4 years at Cal, Brooks totaled 1,734 yards and 14 touchdowns on the bottom.

The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Brooks took snaps with what appeared just like the top-flight gamers throughout restricted media viewing accessible to finish Monday’s follow — at the least, it was the lineup that additionally included Corridor, heart Connor Pay (who is predicted to interchange departed junior James Empey) and extensive receiver Puka Nacua.

And for a hefty 235 kilos packed inside his 6-foot-1 body, the chiseled Oceanside, California, native regarded virtually surprisingly “mild on his ft at this time,” Corridor quipped. The identical with returning incumbent Lopini Katoa, the returning senior who initially thought-about graduating however opted to return after operating for 260 yards and two touchdowns a 12 months in the past..

“Brooks and Lopini regarded actually good at this time,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake mentioned, unintentionally enumerating a depth chart at tailback.

“I’m actually enthusiastic about our depth,” he later added. “The sport-ready expertise that I’m seeing from the offensive line is trying nice. Our line of defense is younger however sturdy and they’re going to develop up rather a lot within the subsequent few months earlier than fall camp.”

Within the plug-and-play offense getting into the second season underneath coordinator Aaron Roderick, Brooks has hit the bottom operating, pushing Katoa, rising operating again Jackson McChesney, and Sione Finau, who returned to the operating again room after briefly flirting with a transfer to defensive again.

That is a great velocity for a participant who nonetheless remembers the date BYU first contacted him about transferring — Dec. 28 — and who initially dedicated to Purdue earlier than enrolling at BYU simply over every week later when courses started Jan. 5.

“I believe it simply encompassed me as an individual, not solely as an athlete however off the sphere as nicely,” Brooks advised BYUtv of his resolution to hitch his new teammates at BYU. “It was simply the best match on the proper time. That made the choice fast for me, and separated itself from everyone else.”

However Brooks additionally is not Allgeier; he hesitates to match himself to even an NFL operating again, saying he has his personal type and principally does his personal factor, with consistency being his mantra.

And CB is not trying to be TA.

“I am simply me. I am gonna be me,” Brooks mentioned. “I am a workforce man, and I simply like to win. I’ll be me, and that is all I’ll do.”

Whether or not BYU performs a workhorse operating again prefer it did with Allgeier or takes a committee strategy round a bunch that additionally options Stanford switch Houston Heimuli and Masen Wake at fullback is but to be seen, Sitake mentioned.

However both method, the offense is predicted to be higher, anchored by a deep line, the second 12 months of Corridor, and the return of extensive receivers like Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney — along with newcomers like Brooks.

“Higher by leaps and bounds,” Corridor mentioned of the offense. “We return most of our guys, versus lots of talent place guys final 12 months not having a ton of expertise. The quarterback place was the identical deal. After we return a giant majority of our starters and lots of our playmakers, it confirmed in follow the place we have been at.”

Images

Associated Tales

Extra tales you could be concerned with

‘Salty’ and ‘fighting,’ BYU looks toward WCC Tourney opener — with key rematch in view


Brigham Younger Cougars guard Spencer Johnson (20), left, high-fives Jackson Parcell, 5, after Brigham Younger Cougars wins over Loyola Marymount Lions in an NCAA basketball sport at Marriott Middle in Provo on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 6-7 minutes

PROVO — Even with out admitting it publicly, you might inform Spencer Johnson has spent the previous month excited about the loss at Pacific.

His teammates have, too, even when the BYU males’s basketball crew has lengthy moved previous the 76-73 loss to Pacific that was the low level of the season, the Cougars’ solely Quad 4 lack of the Mark Pope period and the largest blemish on an in any other case NCAA Event-caliber resume.

However with 54 seconds left in Stockton, California, Alex Barcello drained a 3-pointer that pulled the Cougars inside 2 factors — with all of the momentum.

However BYU may get no nearer. What adopted was a mini-tragedy of errors, that includes three steals and two turnovers — to not point out 4 free throws — within the remaining 41 seconds as BYU fell 76-73, the primary time in Pope’s three years that the Cougars have failed to reply from a loss with a win.

“We simply did not actually have any vitality,” mentioned Johnson, talking publicly for the primary time concerning the Jan. 29 loss. “Everyone hits a degree within the season within the trenches of January and February the place it will get long and hard; you are within the grind, and typically it is easy to lose vitality and lose focus.

“We simply did not have a ton of struggle. Clearly, it confirmed; we did not play very properly. We could not get stops. I believe it will likely be totally different this time round if we performed them.”

That loss changed into three, which then grew to become 4, when San Francisco and Gonzaga got here to the Marriott Middle to cap off the longest dropping skid of the Mark Pope period. It is that skid that has BYU opening the West Coast Convention Event sooner than it ever has earlier than, a 7 p.m. MST tipoff Friday because the No. 5 seed.

The Cougars’ opponent that evening? It might be Loyola Marymount, which BYU has performed — and crushed — twice within the remaining three weeks of the common season, because of the WCC’s unbalanced schedule. Or it might be Pacific, that very same crew that handed the Cougars the loss on a bizarre weekend evening in a health club shut down for a prolonged delay as a result of the Tigers could not shut off an inadvertent shot clock.

Johnson will take both matchup Friday — he is aware of that a very powerful factor is to win that gameand advance to face San Francisco, at the moment ranked No. 28 within the NET and a Quad 1 neutral-site sport with potential NCAA Event implications Saturday evening on the Orleans Enviornment.

Pepperdine Waves guard Houston Mallette (0) drives against Brigham Young Cougars guard Spencer Johnson (20) during the game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.
Pepperdine Waves guard Houston Mallette (0) drives towards Brigham Younger Cougars guard Spencer Johnson (20) through the sport on the Marriott Middle in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (Photograph: Spenser Heaps, Deseret Information)

However deep down, even with out absolutely admitting, it is easy to inform this crew desires one other crack at Pacific.

“It would not matter to me,” Johnson mentioned, earlier than slyly including, “however it could be good to play Pacific once more; that may be enjoyable. A redemption sport.”

Past that stretch, he additionally feels just like the Cougars have corrected a lot of their points from the skid. Johnson has been a key purpose why, too, coming off the bench in all 29 video games he is performed to common 5.8 factors, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per sport in lower than 20 minutes.

The Salt Lake Group School switch who prepped at close by American Fork has scored in double figures eight instances this season, together with a career-high 15 factors on Dec. 1 towards Utah Valley. However he is been greater than a scorer, taking pictures 45% from the sector and sometimes being one of many first gamers off the bench as Pope turns to his 6-foot-5 body as a part of his prolonged defensive lineup.

An enormous a part of Johnson’s sport, by his personal admission, includes “ensuring we’re locked in defensively” and main the Cougars’ ball-screen protection and defensive rotations.

There’s some saltiness to his sport; and proper now, Pope admits there’s a number of saltiness amongst his crew that is aware of it must win not less than two video games in Las Vegas to have any probability of an NCAA Event bid.

“We had some guys that had been salty; that made me actually glad,” Pope mentioned after Tuesday’s follow within the Marriott Middle. “That is how it’s important to be as we translate this into tomorrow and Thursday and an enormous sport on Friday.

“However that is what we wish. I believe the blokes have some juice proper now. It makes me excited.”

Get to that Monday semifinal, the place BYU would face top-ranked Gonzaga for a 3rd time, and something can occur. The Cougars (21-9, 9-6 WCC) could be large underdogs in Sin Metropolis, however they had been a yr in the past when dealing with the Bulldogs within the match title sport on the Orleans Enviornment.

BYU had then-unbeaten Gonzaga on the ropes that evening, utilizing an 11-0 run within the first half to construct up a 12-point halftime lead. However Jalen Suggs scored 23 factors, together with two late 3-pointers, to rally the Zags to the win towards a fellow NCAA Event crew, 88-78.

“Gonzaga was actually good final yr, too, huh?” Johnson recalled pensively. “I hope we get to play them once more this yr; I actually do.

“Our crew is totally different this yr than it was final yr, and now we have a number of guys which are able to tackle that problem, to compete and struggle with them. The 2 instances we performed them this yr have not been nice video games; they’ve blown us out. However I believe if we get them once more, we will be prepared. The expertise from final yr teaches us that we are able to have a 10-12 lead at halftime, and us returning guys hope we get to play them once more. It will be a 40-minute sport, and we will get after them.”

Harm notes

Seneca Knight didn’t follow in full Tuesday afternoon as he continues to recuperate from a wrist damage suffered two weeks in the past at Saint Mary’s. However the junior switch from San Jose State put up photographs with the crew in each practices this week as he works again into type, Pope mentioned.

“He is doing good,” Pope mentioned. “It is simply form of a day-by-day factor that we’ll see.”

With out Knight, the Cougars have trimmed the common rotation to simply eight gamers, together with Caleb Lohner and Fousseyni Traore — who proceed to recuperate from nagging accidents suffered through the yr.

It is one purpose why BYU did not schedule a make-up sport towards a Quad 1 nonconference opponent this week that might have been added when the league opener towards Portland was canceled attributable to COVID-19. The Cougars had a sport tentatively aligned for Monday, however did not really feel taking part in on a fast turnaround from Saturday evening — and never practising Sunday — with a flight to the opposite crew’s campus made sense for his or her present place.

“That is the place you might be on this a part of the season,” Pope mentioned. “That is why it is a lot enjoyable.

“While you get to that second, you are battered and crushed, with photographs at your confidence, strife in your locker room; that is while you stroll into the largest second — as a result of it’s important to battle by all these things. It is an unimaginable expertise for our guys to develop.

“The postseason, there’s nothing prefer it.”

Postseason awards

The West Coast Convention will launch its annual postseason awards Wednesday morning, a convention spokesman mentioned. The honors are voted on yearly by the league’s 10 coaches.

Associated Tales

Extra tales you might be thinking about

Why QB Jaren Hall is a Warriors rugby fan, and how it’s helping BYU football


BYU quarterback Jaren Corridor (#3) talks to members of the media after soccer observe within the Indoor Apply Facility at BYU in Provo on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 6-7 minutes

PROVO — Jaren Corridor had a bit of further pep and a bit extra zip on his ball when the BYU soccer workforce opened its monthlong spring observe season.

He was blissful, wholesome and having enjoyable enjoying the sport he cherished because the Cougars formally turned the calendar from the 2021 season to 2022, and past Monday within the faculty’s indoor observe facility.

It wasn’t simply because the previous Maple Mountain star was allowed to sleep a bit of longer when his child daughter was crying the night time earlier than, because of his “superhero” spouse, former Utah Valley soccer standout Breanna McCarter.

Corridor was certainly one of 4 native athletes who signed a reputation, picture and likeness cope with the Utah Warriors rugby membership earlier Monday morning, an settlement between himself, offensive deal with Kingsley Suamataia, linebacker/security Chaz Ah You and former Utah star Britain Covey to advertise the fifth-year Main League Rugby franchise in alternate for financial worth.

Below phrases of the settlement, the quartet could be answerable for making appearances in Warriors matches, collaborating within the pre-game ball supply ceremony, and signing autographs for followers after every sport.

They’re going to additionally obtain 50% of gross sales from a customized piece of workforce merchandise that will probably be accessible within the Warriors’ workforce retailer quickly. And whereas Corridor, who additionally performed basketball and baseball in highschool, does not know a lot about rugby, he is excited to be taught the sport and assist promote an area workforce as he helps his younger household and focuses on his workforce for what could be the redshirt junior’s final season at BYU.

“Go Warriors,” quipped Corridor, who will probably be at Zions Financial institution Stadium in Herriman for the Warriors’ residence opener Saturday towards MLR growth aspect Dallas Jackals (12 p.m. MST, KMYU). “I am studying; it is undoubtedly a terrific alternative.”

Corridor threw for two,583 yards and 20 touchdowns whereas profitable eight of the ten video games he began for the Cougars in 2021, and he is again a yr later with out trying too far over his shoulder. He is the incumbent beginning quarterback forward of a crowded room that features former four-star recruit Jacob Conover and Boise State switch Cade Fennegan backing him up.

Between spring ball practices, faculty and his new child, Corridor does not have a lot time to work a job and assist his household. He is additionally spent the majority of the previous six months — for the reason that season opener towards Arizona in Las Vegas — making an attempt to get wholesome.

Corridor revealed Monday he first harm his ribs within the win over the Wildcats, an harm that acquired progressively worse with subsequent hits taken towards Utah, Arizona State and the remainder of the 2021 schedule that triggered him to overlook BYU’s bowl sport.

By Monday afternoon, he (lastly) felt wholesome once more.

“I really feel actually good. Again to 100%,” he mentioned.

NIL offers just like the one with the Warriors play a fair larger function in his life than different (learn: single) faculty athletes.

“As among the state’s prime soccer gamers that every one have Utah roots, they stand for the whole lot that the Warriors signify in being part of this nice state,” mentioned Warriors co-founder and CEO Kimball Kjar, a former BYU rugby participant. “Soccer’s roots are tied to rugby, which is among the world’s largest sports activities, and we’re excited to work with these athletes to showcase the connections and athleticism of each sports activities right here within the state of Utah and past.”

The Utah Warriors have partnered with college athletes Jaren Hall, Chaz Ah You, Kingsley Suamataia and Britain Covey in a first-of-its-kind Name, Image and Likeness deal for the duration of the 2022 Major League Rugby season, the team announced Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.
The Utah Warriors have partnered with faculty athletes Jaren Corridor, Chaz Ah You, Kingsley Suamataia and Britain Covey in a first-of-its-kind Identify, Picture and Likeness deal during the 2022 Main League Rugby season, the workforce introduced Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. (Photograph: Courtesy: Utah Warriors)

Quite a bit has modified in faculty athletics over the previous yr, however one of many largest rule amendments continues to reshape the NCAA for the reason that affiliation opted to permit faculty athletes to revenue off their identify, picture and likeness rights a yr in the past.

BYU has been on the forefront of NIL participant rights since establishing the Constructed 4 Life program final summer time, together with pushing the envelope with a team-wide partnership with Constructed Manufacturers that pays the value of tuition for all walk-ons in alternate for in-person and social media promotion of the corporate’s protein bars.

Monday’s announcement by the Warriors was additionally a primary: the primary skilled rugby workforce to accomplice with faculty athletes on an NIL deal, and one of many first professional sports activities franchises to signal a gamers’ rights to an settlement.

Work will probably be required for the 4 faculty athletes who signed the settlement with assist from Orem-based Oncoor Sports activities. However it’s additionally a job, and one that permits gamers like Corridor to assist a household whereas additionally enjoying the sport they love.

Breanna additionally does not should work and might keep residence with the couple’s first-born baby, Corridor added.

“Just a little bit of cash right here and there to assist my household and my child lady takes a number of stress off my shoulders,” he mentioned. “It permits me to exit, play soccer, and do the whole lot I must do.

“I am simply grateful for all of the individuals who take a shot on faculty athletes to assist us out. It is a terrific factor, and I am actually blissful and grateful for it.”

Solely a handful of faculty athletes have been provided actually life-changing cash — six figures and above — from giant nationwide manufacturers to pitch their merchandise whereas they play.

And whereas USC quarterback Caleb Williams and Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei (amongst others) have been allowed to make one thing corresponding to an expert wage, most NIL offers are a lot smaller in scope — just like the deal between Provo-based location providers firm Smarty and each BYU feminine athlete price as much as $6,000 a yr.

“NIL has been superior,” mentioned BYU defensive finish Tyler Batty, one of many first Cougars to signal an NIL deal when he inked an settlement with Idaho-based Balmshot lip balm. “We’re simply getting began; for lots of people, they’re nonetheless ready on new offers. However for me personally, it is had a huge effect on what I’ve to do day-to-day.

“Throughout the summer time, I haven’t got to work an additional job. That is big, giving me a number of time to coach, get better, and finding out soccer. I believe that is the most important benefit. … There’s so much that goes into the sport, and I believe NIL is large as a result of it permits student-athletes to hone their craft a bit of extra.”

Notes

Among the many newcomers on BYU’s spring roster is Ma’a Natoa, the Skyridge Excessive star and first-team all-state tailback who redshirted his freshman season at Dixie State. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Lehi native wore No. 47 as he took reps within the backfield alongside CAl switch Christopher Brooks, who regarded “gentle on his toes” working routes at 6-foot-1, 235-pounds with the first-string gamers.

Keanu Saleapaga additionally made his return to BYU after departing the roster a yr in the past. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound redshirt senior from Lakewood, California has one remaining season of eligibility remaining.

Among the many quantity modifications on the Cougars’ roster are Jackson Kaufusi, who will put on a slimmed down No. 13 within the spring, and tight finish Dallin Holker, who broke in his new No. 5 jersey with an acrobatic one-handed seize whereas tiptoeing the sideline on the primary day of spring practices.

Pictures

Associated Tales

Extra tales chances are you’ll be considering

BYU DB Keenan Ellis medically retiring after suffering severe neck injury last year


Ellis sat out all of 2021 after being rushed to a trauma middle in BYU’s season opener

(David Becker | AP) BYU defensive again Keenan Ellis reacts to an obvious harm after defending towards Arizona operating again Michael Wiley through the first half of an NCAA faculty soccer sport Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Las Vegas.

BYU defensive again Keenan Ellis is medically retiring after struggling a extreme neck harm a yr in the past.

The junior from San Diego missed all of 2021 after being concerned in a head-first collision with Arizona receiver Jaden Mitchell. Instantly, Ellis misplaced consciousness and fell to the bottom.

He was transferred to a neighborhood trauma middle in Las Vegas after being immobilized on a stretcher. By the subsequent morning, Ellis was strolling round. He mentioned he didn’t keep in mind the hit.

“It’s unhappy and unlucky,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake informed The Salt Lake Tribune. “He has subsequent degree skill to play within the NFL. He’s gifted and may do a variety of different issues. He’ll nonetheless be concerned with the workforce, it simply received’t be on the sector.”

All through the offseason, individuals inside BYU’s program anticipated Ellis to return to soccer. He was operating and performing non-contact exercises this winter. His mobility and power elevated.

However as Ellis noticed a number of head and neck specialists, the consensus was he couldn’t danger taking one other collision.

“We have been actually hopeful he would return,” Sitake mentioned. “With him we noticed him transferring and operating. All of it was working effectively. However the problems he might get with one other hit like that simply weren’t definitely worth the danger.”

Ellis appeared in 13 video games in his faculty profession, beginning his last sport towards Arizona. He tallied 22 tackles and had 5 passes defended. Ellis would have probably contended for a beginning place in 2022.

“Now we have had a lot of conversations. I be ok with the choice,” Sitake mentioned. “As an individual, it simply sucks as a result of he’s such an amazing soccer participant.”

‘Get me the ball’: Barcello feeds Traore to push BYU basketball to 16-point win in home finale


Brigham Younger Cougars guard Alex Barcello (13) goes to the ring forward of Pepperdine Waves guard Mike Mitchell Jr. (1) through the recreation on the Marriott Middle in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

PROVO — Halfway by way of the second half of BYU basketball’s residence finale towards Pepperdine, Alex Barcello stepped by way of a depraved crossover dribble, stepped again, drained a 3-pointer and tapped his wrist.

Fousseyni Traore acquired the message.

Traore poured in 25 factors, 19 rebounds and three assists en path to the seventh double-double of his profession and BYU basketball wrapped up the common season with a 75-59 win over Pepperdine in entrance of a near-sellout crowd Saturday evening within the Marriott Middle.

Barcello added 10 factors, eight rebounds and three assists, and Te’Jon Lucas had 15 factors and 4 assists on senior evening for the Cougars (21-9, 9-6 WCC), who additionally honored injured massive males Gavin Baxter and Richard Harward earlier than tipoff.

However on one explicit play, Traore — like several good freshman would to a senior chief — was simply following orders.

“I used to be so hyped,” he mentioned with amusing. “He (Barcello) simply wanted to relax somewhat bit, proper?”

That is when head coach Mark Pope jumped in, with a joke that may as properly have been fully correct.

“When AB did that,” Pope mentioned, tapping his wrist, “Fouss turned to AB, and mentioned, ‘if you wish to put this factor away, get me the ball. Each. Single. Time.'”

Level taken for the 6-foot-6, 254-pound freshman from Bamako, Mali, the previous Wasatch Academy standout whose freshman yr has seen a gentle rise since he grew to become the highest put up participant on a group lacking its two high bigs in Baxter and Harward. However when Traore goes off, good issues occur for BYU, which improved to 6-1 on the yr when he data a double-double.

Traore has scored in double figures in three of the previous 4 video games, paralleling an increase that has seen BYU proper itself after a four-game skid that propelled the Cougars to the sting of the NCAA Match bubble.

With 4 wins within the final 5 video games — the one loss, a 69-64 setback at Saint Mary’s, when Traore struggled to 4 factors and 5 rebounds whereas enjoying by way of a groin harm — the Cougars have (seemingly, presumably, perhaps) righted the ship.

“25 and 19? That’s absurd,” mentioned Lucas, who celebrated his second senior evening however first with followers and a crowd that included his mom, sister and grandmother in attendance. “And for a freshman to get that, 9-of-10 capturing. Seven-of-nine free throws. That’s absurd.”

Gideon George provided 11 factors in BYU’s regular-season finale, and Trevin Knell had 8 factors and 4 assists for the Cougars.

Houston Mallette scored 23 factors to steer Pepperdine (7-24, 1-15 WCC) and fellow freshman Mike Mitchell Jr. provided 18 factors, eight rebounds and 4 assists for the shorthanded Waves, who solely performed seven gamers.

However on Barcello’s second celebrated senior evening in a BYU uniform, the Chandler, Arizona, product needed to finish the common season in fashion.

Pepperdine Waves guard Majok Deng (22) goes to the hoop around Brigham Young Cougars forward Fousseyni Traore (45) during the game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.
Pepperdine Waves guard Majok Deng (22) goes to the ring round Brigham Younger Cougars ahead Fousseyni Traore (45) through the recreation on the Marriott Middle in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (Picture: Spenser Heaps, Deseret Information)

Knell capped a 7-0 run over simply 57 seconds that pushed BYU to a 20-13 lead halfway by way of the primary half. However the Waves shot 48% from the sector to BYU’s 45% to creep inside three, 36-33 at halftime.

The Cougars outrebounded Pepperdine 21-15 and scored 8 factors off 5 turnovers earlier than the break however could not draw back from a gaggle of Waves guards that acquired something they needed — together with 13 factors from Mitchell.

It did not take lengthy for Barcello to take over, although. The Arizona switch discovered Atiki Ally Atiki for a hammer dunk halfway by way of the second half. On the following possession, Barcello completed off his crossover with a stepback 3-pointer that pushed the Cougars’ result in 49-40, highlighting an 11-3 spurt that pushed the Cougars’ lead as excessive as 55-43 with 7:27 remaining to assist seal the win for good.

“That stepback, that is Alex; that is what he does,” Lucas mentioned. “I simply needed to go over there and have enjoyable with him, however that is OK. We talked about it within the locker room later, how he was wobbling or one thing.

“However that is Alex Barcello; I do not count on nothing much less.”

Moments later, Lucas discovered Caleb Lohner for a transition dunk that introduced the home down and gave the Cougars a 61-46 lead they’d by no means relinquish, holding the Waves to 27% capturing within the second half.

However again to Traore, who set a BYU freshman file with 19 rebounds — together with 14 defensive boards. The West Africa product tied Mark Helpful for the second-most double-doubles in a freshman season in BYU historical past, and likewise knocked down his thirty fifth block of the season — the fourth-most all-time by a BYU freshman.

“I have been saying all yr: he would not understand how good he’s,” Barcello mentioned. “This college, the coaches are fortunate to have a man like Fouss, who’s so keen to be taught and has a lot uncooked expertise. However once you put that collectively along with his onerous work, work ethic, and also you see him within the gymnasium at 8 o’ clock on daily basis, then to the research corridor for 5 hours a day. It is superior.”

The win, mixed with wins by San Francisco and Santa Clara, locks BYU into the No. 5 seed within the West Coast Convention Match — the Cougars’ highest seed since becoming a member of the league in 2011. The Cougars will open the tourney subsequent Friday, March 4 on the Orleans Enviornment in Las Vegas.

Pictures

Associated Hyperlinks

Associated Tales

Extra tales you might be fascinated by



BYU women’s basketball wins WCC title; men finish season with second straight blowout win


The 2 Cougars basketball groups ended their common seasons Saturday.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU guard Shaylee Gonzales (2) leads a quick break for the Cougars, in ladies’s basketball motion between the BYU Cougars and the Pepperdine Waves, on the Marriott Middle in Provo, on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022. Judkins scored his 450th win tonight.

Provo • The BYU ladies’s basketball group waited for this second all season. The second when the Cougars may formally say the West Coast Convention title belonged to them and solely them.

The Cougars secured the outright championship Saturday with a blowout 82-52 street win over Pacific, bringing their WCC report to 15-1 and 25-2 total. It’s the group’s first convention title because the 2015-16 season.

“That is massive for our program to have the ability to win this convention,” coach Jeff Judkins stated by way of videoconference after the sport. “Gonzaga has gained it so a few years. It’s good for us to have the ability to actually do it.”

The ladies not solely secured the common season title, but additionally earned the WCC Match’s No. 1 total seed. Their run begins Monday, March 7.

“We’re favored to win the match,” Judkins stated. “We’re going to go on the market with a variety of confidence and know that we are able to try this.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Younger Cougars ahead Fousseyni Traore (45) scores as Loyola Marymount Lions guard Lamaj Lewis (13) defends, in WCC basketball motion between the Brigham Younger Cougars and the Loyola Marymount Lions on the Marriott Middle in Provo, on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

The boys, in the meantime, beat Pepperdine 75-59 and unofficially gave them the No. 5 seed within the match. Meaning they’ll play Friday, March 4 to begin their WCC Match run.

Freshman Fousseyni Traore had a profession sport, scoring 25 factors, grabbing 19 rebounds and blocking two photographs.

In a tribute, coach Mark Pope subbed in seniors Gavin Baxter and Richard Harward for one possession. The 2 suffered season-ending accidents and had not performed in any respect. Baxter tore his ACL earlier within the season, and Harward took a “step again” from basketball because of a coronary heart difficulty.

This story might be up to date.

Traore, Barcello help BYU basketball finish off regular season with 16-point win


Pepperdine Waves guard Majok Deng (22) goes to the ring round Brigham Younger Cougars ahead Fousseyni Traore (45) throughout the recreation on the Marriott Middle in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 1-2 minutes

PROVO — Halfway by means of the second half of BYU basketball’s dwelling finale towards Pepperdine, Alex Barcello stepped by means of a depraved crossover dribble, stepped again, drained a 3-pointer and tapped his wrist.

Fousseyni Traore acquired the message.

Traore poured in 25 factors, 19 rebounds and three assists en path to the seventh double-double of his profession and BYU basketball wrapped up the common season with a 75-59 win over Pepperdine in entrance of a near-sellout crowd Saturday night time within the Marriott Middle.

Barcello added 10 factors, eight rebounds and three assists, and Te’Jon Lucas had 15 factors and 4 assists on senior night time for the Cougars (21-9, 9-6 WCC), who additionally honored injured massive males Gavin Baxter and Richard Harward earlier than tipoff.

Gideon George provided 11 factors in BYU’s regular-season finale.

Houston Mallette scored 23 factors to steer Pepperdine (7-24, 1-15 WCC).

However on Barcello’s second celebrated senior night time in a BYU uniform, the Chandler, Arizona, product needed to finish the common season in fashion.

The Arizona switch discovered Atiki Ally Atiki for a hammer dunk halfway by means of the second half. On the following possession, Barcello completed off his crossover with a stepback 3-pointer that pushed the Cougars’ result in 49-40, highlighting an 11-3 spurt that pushed the Cougars’ lead as excessive as 55-43 with 7:27 remaining to assist seal the win for good.

Moments later, Te’Jon Lucas discovered Caleb Lohner for a transition dunk that introduced the home down and gave the Cougars a 61-46 lead they’d by no means relinquish, holding the Waves to 27% taking pictures within the second half.

This story shall be up to date.

Pictures

Associated Hyperlinks

Associated Tales

Extra tales it’s possible you’ll be inquisitive about



In ‘attacking the pressure’ of predictions, BYU women cruise to 1st regular-season title since 2016


The BYU Cougars rejoice after successful a West Coast Convention sport in opposition to the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the Marriott Heart in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

PROVO — After a thunderous, emotional win over Gonzaga within the remaining house sport of the common season, BYU girls’s basketball had yet one more formality left: win the West Coast Convention outright championship.

The formality got here to a head shortly in Stockton, California.

Shaylee Gonzales poured in 18 factors, eight rebounds, three assists and 4 steals, and Paisley Harding added 14 factors and 4 rebounds as No. 19 BYU rolled to a 82-52 win at Pacific on the Spanos Heart to clinch the Cougars’ first West Coast Convention regular-season title in seven years.

Lauren Gustin added 11 factors and 13 rebounds — her league-high 14th double-double of the season — for BYU (25-2, 15-1 WCC), and Tegan Graham had 12 factors and 5 assists for the Cougars.

It is the primary outright regular-season convention title for BYU (25-2, 15-1 WCC) because the 2015-16 season, and the second general since becoming a member of the West Coast Convention in 2011. BYU additionally received convention regular-season titles below head coach Jeff Judkins in 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2010-11 as members of the Mountain West.

Maybe the toughest half for the Cougars, who ranked No. 8 within the NET with a mean margin of victory of 20.9 factors, was how they received that league title: from the entrance. Judkins knew his workforce had the prospect to do one thing particular.

“I realized a very long time in the past that you do not cover from strain; you assault it,” Judkins mentioned. “When the season began, we had our targets and after we bought picked first, I allow them to know they’ve a bullseye on their again.

“You have to methods to go: both relish it and reap the benefits of it and win a championship, or fold. I do know my workforce, they usually’re rivals; they took that problem actually arduous.”

The Cougars had been predicted to win the WCC title a 12 months after a bevy of seniors like Harding, Graham, Sara Hamson and Maria Albiero returned from an additional 12 months of eligibility offered by the NCAA because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However BYU did not simply exit and win — the workforce rolled to the championship, sweeping runner-up Gonzaga and taking over all challengers (aside from one highway sport at Portland) to pummel groups by double digits, evening in and evening out.

Saturday was no exception. The one draw back to the afternoon was having to clinch the title and lift the trophy in Pacific’s fitness center, and never at house in entrance of a rising era of Cougar followers within the Marriott Heart.

BYU opened the sport on a 16-2 run, led by 5 factors from Harding and 4 factors apiece from Gonzales and Gustin, to spoil the Tigers’ senior day early.

Harding capped a 13-3 run, bridging the primary two quarters with a driving layup that pushed the Cougars’ result in 29-9 lower than two minutes into the second quarter. Gonzales had 12 factors and 7 rebounds within the first half, Harding added 9 factors, two assists and two steals, and Tegan Graham provided 9 factors and 5 assists as BYU took an amazing 50-20 lead into the break.

Even Arielle Mackey-Williams, the freshman reserve from New Zealand had, 7 factors on 3-of-3 capturing within the first half — simply 2 factors off her profession excessive because the Tigers shot simply 25% from the sphere within the first half.

Gonzales took any doubt away from the sport early, not simply offensively, however with a game-high 4 steals and three assists with only one turnover.

“The factor about Shaylee is she’s so targeted on desirous to be one of the best participant,” Judkins mentioned of his star sophomore. “It is the toughest place on the workforce, however I believe her and Paisley this 12 months labored so effectively collectively.

“Shaylee does a number of issues; she scores a number of factors, however she does a number of different issues defensively, will get a number of steals, deflections, rebounds, and she or he’s a wonderful passer.”

It was a rout early and a rout usually — one which shut down the West Coast Convention’s web site, which was streaming the sport, just some minutes after tipoff.

The preseason favourite Cougars had waited all 12 months to clinch their first convention title in seven years, they usually weren’t ready any longer, leaping out to a 71-32 lead after 4 quarters earlier than Judkins put within the reserves to seal the win.

Have been the Cougars excellent? Not hardly, and the loss to Portland will present that. However they’re going to even be the favorites to win the convention match in Las Vegas — and Judkins plans to assault that week in Sin Metropolis like his workforce did the common season.

“Did we slip up? Yeah, one time. However I believe after we misplaced that sport (at Portland) after which received at Gonzaga, I believe it set the tone for our workforce and what they may accomplish,” Judkins mentioned. “I’ve by no means been a coach to shrink back from strain, and my workforce isn’t that method, both.

“We’re favored to win the match, too, and we will exit and battle there, too.”

BYU will open the WCC Match semifinals Monday, March 7, tipping off at 1 p.m. MST on the Orleans Area in Las Vegas.

Associated Tales

Extra tales you could be involved in



He first picked up football last year. After flipping from Utah to BYU, could tight end Anthony Olsen be a steal for the Cougars?


Editor’s observe • This story is accessible to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers solely. Thanks for supporting native journalism.

Melissa Olsen sat in her bed room because the clock ticked previous 11 p.m. Her husband, Corbin, and her son, Anthony, had been sitting within the room subsequent to her, speaking in regards to the prospects of Anthony signing along with his dream faculty, the College of Utah, the subsequent morning.

Because the dialog waned, Melissa felt her eyes glaze over. However simply earlier than she drifted off, she obtained a textual content from an unknown quantity. She vaguely acknowledged the title within the message. However she Googled it simply to make sure.

“Who’s Kalani Sitake?”

Minutes later, BYU’s head soccer coach was on speakerphone within the bed room, pleading his case as to why Anthony ought to flip his dedication within the eleventh hour. He went by an entire host of causes, none larger than BYU needing a decent finish instantly. Utah, however, had a surplus on the place simply within the incoming recruiting class.

Because the time crept up on midnight, Sitake ended his last-gasp effort with this: “It’s good to be wished, isn’t it?” he informed the 17-year-old. “Savor this.”

And as unlikely as this scene was, it labored. Olsen de-committed from Utah the subsequent day. By Thursday afternoon, he wrote on Twitter he was dedicated to BYU. There was no scholarship concerned. As an alternative, he ditched the varsity he was a lifelong fan of to wager on a most popular walk-on spot in Provo.

“I actually didn’t see this one coming,” stated Olsen, who known as Utah his “dream faculty” in an interview 48 hours earlier.

Olsen’s last-ditch recruitment and de-commitment isn’t completely stunning. He would have been a most popular walk-on at Utah, whereas there’s a chance he might be on scholarship sooner relatively than later in Provo. And for Olsen, it’s really fairly becoming given the context of the uncooked however gifted prospect’s final 12 months.

At the moment final 12 months, Olsen had by no means performed a snap of soccer. He knew of BYU, however hadn’t thought-about going. He was a Utah fan by and thru. And his relationship with the college was made extra advanced by his household historical past with the soccer program. It dated again to his grandfather, one of many first Black soccer gamers in BYU historical past.

If anybody requested if Olsen can be taking part in tight finish at BYU in 2021, the reply would have been a powerful no.

‘Caught me off guard’

The whispers round Olympus Excessive College began within the midst of basketball season final 12 months. Olympus head soccer coach Aaron Whitehead heard {that a} 6-foot-4 middle was contemplating choosing up soccer within the fall. He didn’t know if he believed it. He didn’t know if it might work. However he went out to a basketball sport anyway.

Sitting on the scorer’s desk, Whitehead couldn’t take his eyes off Olsen. He was skinnier again then, however fought for rebounds and seemingly got here up for each free ball.

“A person amongst boys actually,” stated Whitehead, who began inviting his assistants to video games.

Quickly after, Whitehead heard straight from Melissa the rumors had been true. In the identical dialog, Olsen’s mom introduced a complete plan for her son that may assist him turn into football-ready within the span of six months.

She had reached out to Anton Palepoi, a former NFL participant and Hunter Excessive College graduate, to assist Olsen practice. She didn’t know Palepoi, however the two made a connection by a neighborhood hairdresser. Anthony wished to achieve 30 kilos by the point he performed soccer. Perhaps Palepoi might assist him get there.

The opposite main concern was Olsen giving up basketball. If soccer didn’t work out, Melissa didn’t need her son to stop a sport the place he had an opportunity to play Division I. So, if Olsen was going to play soccer, he needed to go all-in.

“It caught me off guard at first after I heard he wished to play soccer,” Palepoi stated, realizing he was going into his senior season. “But it surely grew to become full-time coaching. He wished it that unhealthy.”

By the point summer time hit, Olsen gave up AAU basketball. Palepoi would drive to his home for a exercise at 7 a.m. They’d do agility coaching on basketball courts adopted by a raise. By 3 p.m. Olsen would usually drive out to Skyridge to work out once more with a bigger group. On the finish of the evening, Olsen would raise as soon as extra. He went from 185 kilos to almost 230 in a six-month span.

The one a part of the plan that didn’t work was the place. Whitehead initially considered Olsen as a defensive lineman. However in his second soccer exercise, Palepoi’s seventh-grade son performed catch with Olsen. He caught the ball with ease. From then on, he performed tight finish.

“I’ve been doing this a really very long time, over 25 years being an assistant and head coach,” Whitehead stated. “I’ve by no means skilled this. By way of simply pure expertise. I’m pinching myself.”

The backstory

In fact, the pure query for Olsen is why he hadn’t picked up soccer sooner. His senior season produced 514 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns. He picked up practically a half-a-dozen provides in six months.

And the reply has every thing to do along with his grandfather: Bennie Smith.

Smith was one of many first Black faculty soccer gamers at BYU within the Seventies. He ended up within the NFL and had a trailblazing profession.

However the toll {of professional} soccer hit arduous for Smith. He had accidents and well being issues. His psychological state, later in life, deteriorated. It grew to become tough for the household. Melissa didn’t need her son to play soccer or go down that path.

“My mother by no means informed me a lot about my grandpa,” Olsen stated. “Simply because it’s a [difficult] topic.”

Bennie Smith is Olsen’s grandfather who performed at BYU from 1971-72. He was one of many first Black soccer gamers to play on the college.

So Olsen grew up round basketball. He grew to become a Utah fan like his father. Melissa went to BYU, even getting her campus tour from her father’s head coach, LaVell Edwards. However the household cheered for the Utes. One 12 months, Olsen went to BYU basketball summer time camp. Through the week, he was the one child carrying a Utah shirt.

By the point he hit highschool, folks began to ask Olsen if, at his dimension, he performed soccer. He’s 5 inches taller than Smith and a bit thicker. However Melissa had reservations. It wasn’t till final spring — on the situation that Olsen would achieve weight — she agreed.

“I had come round to it,” Melissa stated. “Simply watching him play basketball, he is among the greatest and most bodily youngsters on the court docket. That was my reference. I didn’t suppose any of the [offers] would occur. I simply wished him to expertise the friendship in soccer.”

Trying forward

When Olsen informed his father that Sitake’s last-second pitch labored, there was an preliminary disappointment. Utah was Corbin’s faculty, nevertheless it had additionally turn into his son’s. In spite of everything, one in every of Olsen’s babysitters rising up had been Nate Orchard — a Utah soccer legend who now performs within the NFL.

“I feel he’s nonetheless grieving a bit,” Melissa joked.

Anthony Olsen known as Utah his “dream faculty” 48 hours earlier than he flipped his dedication to BYU.

However the disappointment has given solution to pleasure for each Corbin and Melissa. Their son has accomplished an unbelievable transformation and can play Division I soccer 13 months after his first soccer sport. He might even vie for a beginning place in his freshman 12 months. After 2022, he hopes to be on scholarship. None of that may have been possible at Utah.

Olsen will even be following in his grandfather’s footsteps, a prospect no one thought was within the playing cards.

And thru all of it, they’ll have a basic recruiting story to inform. A flipped dedication within the eleventh hour.

“It’s form of cool [my story],” Olsen stated. “My household is tremendous proud. It’s particular.”

BYU women cruise past Pacific for 1st WCC regular-season title since 2016


The BYU Cougars have a good time after successful a West Coast Convention sport towards the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the Marriott Middle in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: Lower than a minute

PROVO — After a thunderous, emotional win over Gonzaga within the closing dwelling sport of the common season, BYU girls’s basketball had yet one more formality left: win the West Coast Convention outright championship.

The formality got here to a head rapidly in Stockton, California.

Shaylee Gonzales poured in 18 factors, eight rebounds, three assists and 4 steals, and Paisley Harding added 14 factors and 4 rebounds as No. 19 BYU rolled to a 82-52 win at Pacific on the Spanos Middle to clinch the Cougars’ first West Coast Convention regular-season title in seven years.

Lauren Gustin added 11 factors and 13 rebounds for BYU (25-2, 15-1 WCC), and Tegan Graham had 12 factors and 5 assists for the Cougars.

It is the primary outright regular-season convention title for BYU (25-2, 15-1 WCC) for the reason that 2015-16 season, and the second total since becoming a member of the West Coast Convention in 2011. BYU additionally received convention regular-season titles below head coach Jeff Judkins in 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2010-11 as members of the Mountain West.

This story can be up to date.

Associated Tales

Extra tales you might be concerned with