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BYU basketball: Cougars recovering during time off before WCC tourney

2014-03-03T06:00:00Z 2014-03-20T21:00:03Z BYU basketball: Cougars recovering during time off before WCC tourneyJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
March 03, 2014 6:00 am  • 

SAN DIEGO — Kyle Collinsworth may be in the minority on BYU's game schedule among teammates and coaches.

He likes this extra time off.

His view is certainly shaped by having a sore knee that was deeply bruised Feb. 15 at Saint Mary's.

The sophomore point guard may be darn near healed by the time BYU plays again. The Cougars have been afforded plenty of rest time.

They won at San Diego on Saturday to cap the regular season, and won't play again until March 8 in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference tournament. The Cougars will face either Portland or Loyola Marymount — both of whom split two-game series this year.

Put it this way: BYU defeated Portland on Feb. 22 and will have played two games since then, in the span of two weeks.

Rose and most players could see both sides of the issue.

"It's how you manage it," BYU head coach Dave Rose said after the 78-70 conquest of USD. "We managed it pretty well last week (preparing for USD), had a lot of energy late in the game."

It was the final day for the 10 teams to try and jockey seeding position.

The Toreros' loss left them vulnerable to an extra game. The lowest four of the 10 teams have to play first-round games Thursday. A win would've assured a No. 6 seed, and a couple extra days rest.

But USD was helped by Portland losing at Pacific not long after BYU-USD was finished.

"I like where we're at right now," Tyler Haws said.

BYU (21-10) improved to 13-5 in conference play. The second-place standing is BYU's best in three WCC seasons.

BYU is also on a four-game winning streak.

Not a flop: On his back, Nate Austin helped produce one of BYU's key plays at USD.

Matt Carlino hit a 3-pointer and a Torero foul afforded the Cougars a couple of free throws — and the chance at a rare five-point play.

"I was going in for the rebound and Simi (Fajemisin) just drilled me," Austin said. "Luckily the refs saw that one."

Austin nailed both free throws for a 52-50 lead with 10:42 left, right after USD finished its climb back from a 16-point deficit that peaked late in the first half.

Late in the game, diminutive USD guard Chris Anderson tried to draw a whistle by exaggerating contact as he drove to the hoop. He didn't get help.

Austin insisted he didn't end up on the floor on his own.

"He drilled me. I was kind of surprised how hard he hit me. But no, there was no flop on that one," the 6-foot-11 junior said.

Tip-ins: BYU is 10-5 when at least four players score in double figures. ...BYU shot 65.4 percent in the first half, a season high...Former BYU football standout Kyle Van Noy, who is training for the NFL draft in the Los Angeles area, sat behind BYU's bench next to Rose’s family.

-- Jason Franchuk covers primarily BYU football and basketball for the Daily Herald. You can connect with him by email at or by following him on Twitter at

Read more from  Jason Franchuk here.

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