BYU Mens basketball vs. Nevada 19

Brigham Young University players cheer after defeating the University of Nevada Reno 75-42 in a game Tuesday, Dec.10, 2019, at the Marriott Center in Provo. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head three days before Christmas: “Just how many presents do I have to wrap, because I hope it’s less than two.” Wrapping gifts is something I’ve just never had to patience to do well. Give me a good, sturdy holiday sack and I’m good.

On a roll

The BYU men’s basketball team whipped Weber State on Saturday 91-61, its third 30-plus point win in the past four games.

What impresses me about Mark Pope’s Cougars?

Several things.

They share the ball well, they work hard on both ends and they can all shoot it. They are completed committed to making the right basketball play on every possession and it’s just beautiful basketball to watch. The Cougars shot 80% — 80%! — in the first half against Weber State to set a program record.

Two of those 30-plus point wins happened in the Marriott Center, which is a good sign. BYU needs to own its home court.

Yoeli Childs is generally a happy guy, but he’s been in an especially good mood during our postgame interviews lately. He knows he has great shooters around him. Weber State doubled him early and he found wide-open teammates for 3-pointers. When the Wildcats single covered him, he destroyed them. Pope said he loves that Childs’ defense is getting better every day because that’s what NBA scouts want to see.

The Cougars host Oral Roberts next Saturday to end the preseason schedule and will be tested pretty quickly in West Coast Conference play when they travel to Moraga to play Saint Mary’s on Jan. 9. It looks like Gonzaga will be No. 1 in the next AP poll.

Should be fun.

Hard pass

I ranted about the movie version of “Cats” in my column a couple of weeks ago since the trailer looked ridiculous and made me want to watch the film less every time it came on. I read a scathing review this week in the Chicago Tribune from Michael Phillips, who gave “Cats” zero stars and wrote, “Wrong animal. It’s a dog.”

Told you so.

Good taste

I’m a guy from the baby-boom generation who thinks the music of Billie Eilish is remarkable. Come at me.


BYU needs to force at least three turnovers against Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl in Tuesday. I don’t have a lot of confidence that the Cougars can get into a shootout on the islands and come out on top. It’ll be the last chance for us to see BYU football until August and I’m fascinated with the talking points they will create with their performance on Tuesday.

This team has be so inconsistent (in good and bad ways) all season and I’m really not sure what to expect.

Oh well, one more surprise for the holidays, right?

Stuff Mark Durrant Says

Former BYU basketball standout Mark Durrant (@DurrantMark) is one of the funniest follows on Twitter, so I thought I’d feature a few of this week’s gems.

In reference to college football signing day, Durrant tweeted, “Apparently all it takes for me to love someone is for them to sign to play at BYU.”

And anyone who lives in Orem can relate to this one: “UDOT construction schedule: Complete 95% of project in record time, take six months to finish final 5%, take three weeks to remove cones.”

May the Force

be with you

My family and I went to see “The Rise of Skywalker” on Thursday. It moves pretty fast from scene to scene but I got caught up in the story pretty quickly. It was a very difficult task for director J.J. Abrams to wrap everything up but I thought he did a fine job. One of the ways I rate a movie is “Does it drag? Am I looking at my watch halfway through?” With “The Rise of Skywalker,” I was entertained from start to finish.

Two of my kids and I disagree on how good “The Last Jedi” was but you know what? That’s OK. Everyone can have their own opinion, despite what you might see on social media.

Recruiting crystal ball is hazy

It’s always hard to judge just how good BYU’s football recruiting class will be due to missions. I think what the Cougars really look for are good athletes who are coachable. You can develop two-and three-star guys into really good college football players.

A high school All-American such as Mater Dei (Calif.) receiver Kody Epps? Now that guy could be a superstar.

Finally, I had a dream last night that I was watching the Knicks play the Bulls on the NBA on NBC and Marv Albert said, “Coming up next to call the play-by-play for the second half is Darnell Dickson.”

What? No one told me I was going to do that! So I was scrambling around trying to get dressed in time to get to Madison Square Garden for the second half.

What do you suppose that means?

Here’s hoping you have a tremendous Christmas and a remarkable New Year.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at

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