UPDATED 9:20 a.m.: BYU game vs. Utah State cancelled after Aggie player's health scare

2012-12-05T09:30:00Z 2012-12-26T20:16:29Z UPDATED 9:20 a.m.: BYU game vs. Utah State cancelled after Aggie player's health scareJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
December 05, 2012 9:30 am  • 

UPDATE: Per Andy Katz of ESPN, BYU's Wednesday night basketball game against Utah State will not take place.

It is unclear if the contest, which was supposed to take place at the Marriott Center, will still be played this season. Katz had apparently been in correspondence with BYU head coach Dave Rose but did not immediately have every detail to report on Twitter.

The cancellation comes because of an incident suffered at Utah State's Tuesday afternoon practice. Starting forward Danny Berger, an Oregon native, collapsed and had to be revived courtside after his breathing stopped.

The Logan Herald Journal first reported that the game would not be played as regularly scheduled. There has still be no confirmation from either school about the situation, except that Berger had been airlifted to a hospital in Murray in Salt Lake County.

Some teammates reportedly made the drive from campus to visit him, where he is said to be in stable but critical condition.

Berger has averaged nearly eight points a game this season.




Because of an incident suffered at Utah State's basketball practice Tuesday, BYU and the Aggies have apparently agreed to not play the game that was supposed to take place Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.

Further details are still forthcoming about when, or if, the game will be rescheduled. Various media outlets were reporting Tuesday night that the game was not on, but no official word was coming from the two schools.

The Cougars are 3-0 under head coach Dave Rose against USU in Provo. That takes an understandable back seat to the plight of junior forward Danny Berger, who collapsed at practice.

Various reports from Salt Lake City and Logan indicated that Berger was standing alone when he quickly lost consciousness and stopped breathing. He was revived at the Spectrum, the site of practice.

Berger then was taken to a Logan hospital before being airlifted to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. He is reported to be in stable but critical condition, according to the Logan Herald Journal.

The team was expected to head to Provo on Tuesday night, customary even for in-state games to show up the night before the game.

Instead, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that a few of Berger's teammates went to Salt Lake County to visit their friend.

Berger starts for Utah State, averaging 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds for a 4-1 team.

BYU will play Utah on Saturday afternoon. After that, it'll be until next Saturday when the Cougars again have a game — at Weber State.

Traditionally, BYU has not played during the finals-week period.

BYU's team was fortunate last weekend, believe it or not. It flew home privately from Iowa State on Saturday evening, avoiding the turbulence that rocked other Cougar staffers by going home by airplane the day after the loss.

The Cougars have apparently saved their endured choppiness for games.

BYU is winless away from the Marriott Center, where it will play at 7 p.m. tonight against Utah State in the first of three consecutive games against in-state teams.

Yes, a good chance at a win considering successful Aggies coach Stew Morrill has won at BYU just once since 1998.

And while BYU is perfect at home (3-0) head coach Dave Rose would like to see the inconsistency that has plagued his team around the country get alleviated to some distinctive extent, it could be that a visit from the Aggies is a chance to showcase improvement.

"We just need to refocus and regroup," BYU point guard Craig Cusick said. "At Iowa State, we didn't do some small things, which hurt us."

Rose called coming home a combination of trying to evaluate the team and correct some things, "but also to have enough confidence that you're a good team and can respond to tough situations."

But he also noted that "we need to be more consistent. We play well at times. Other times, things get away from us. Consistency is a real issue for us." Consistency, or lack of it, has popped up in interviews with him perhaps more than any of his previous seven seasons. Particularly at the offensive end, with shooting percentages, it’s a mixed bag of what to expect on any given night.

Rose would like to think some of that could wildness could end after Monday and Tuesday. The Cougars finally had an entire fleet of players available for practice.

"It's been awhile since we've been there," he said.

He called them "really good practices."

BYU is still tinkering with minutes.

The power-forward spot epitomizes BYU's struggles at finding even flow. The starting role is held by Josh Sharp, but he was flu-symptoms ill at Iowa State. Nate Austin produced well at Hilton Coliseum, but he had been faced with a lot of missed practice time because of a variety of injuries just severe enough to make basketball a nuisance.

BYU also needs more consistent point guard play. Cusick and now-backup Matt Carlino have different strengths, though they're asked to do mostly the same things in running an up-tempo offense. Rose just talks about quality, consistent minutes from either option along with freshman Cory Calvert. But he is very non-committal about how he intends to use the troika over the long haul.

Cusick missed his only shot at Iowa State. Carlino, more inclined to seek his own shot, scored a season-high 12 points at ISU and had just as many assists (three) as Cusick. There have been other nights already this year where Cusick’s replacement of Carlino has been the trick.

Considering BYU's struggles against high-quality teams away from Provo, it becomes a pivotal three-game stretch against in-state teams.

Utah visits on Saturday and the Cougars will take a week off because of final exams before traveling to Weber State on Dec. 15.

Morrill also laments that the 4-1 Aggies have been inconsistent, saying as much in meeting with reporters Tuesday.

USU lost at home to BYU's West Coast Conference brother, St. Mary's, on Nov. 15 but has won the last three games.

Rose admired Morrill's continued ability to get most of its scoring out of its interior players.

Center Jarred Shaw, who is 6-foot-10, averages a team-best 14.6 points and 10.2 rebounds.

It remains to be seen how much USU is affected because of a Tuesday practice incident. A few hours after Morrill met with reporters to talk about BYU, starting wing Danny Berger lost consciousness and stopped breathing at practice before being revived and transported to a hospital.

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