BYU men's basketball vs. San Francisco 2-25-21

BYU guard Alex Barcello (13) laughs as he talks to teammate Gideon George during a time out against San Francisco in the Marriott Center in Provo on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head. We’re all in this together and I’ve got your back. Just know I would jump in front of a train for you, as long as the train wasn’t moving.

Hopeful

On Monday Seneca Knight, who has played at both San Jose State and LSU, will announce his choice for his next college basketball program.

Mark Pope and the BYU coaching staff hope it’s the Cougars. They’ve been working hard to fill the last roster spot and Knight is their target.

Knight visited Provo this weekend with his parents, according to Robby McCombs of Vanquish the Foe. Knight is a 6-foot-7 wing who can score (17 points per game while playing at San Jose State) and his length would be a big addition to the Cougars rather smallish guard line.

Exhibit A: BYU’s loss to UCLA in the second round of the NCAA Tournament can be directly attributed to the Bruins big guards having their way offensively.

Knight also visited Georgia Southern and Idaho and has been contacted by Minnesota and Virginia Tech.

Part of our lives

I was thinking about the upcoming 2021 BYU football season the other day and realized that college football didn’t play a really big part in my life growing up.

Back in the day, we could only get two and a half channels (ABC and NBC full, CBS half) with our TV antenna so I didn’t get a chance to see a ton of games. I saw exactly one BYU football game live until I came to college.

Growing up in Oregon, the Ducks were OK at football and the Beavers was dreadful. I followed pro football, basketball and baseball much more than college football.

Now, there’s a palpable sensation the closer college football gets. BYU begins fall camp the first week of August and the Cougars go to Las Vegas to play Arizona the first week of September.

I can’t imagine my life without college football, by far my favorite sport to follow.

Pay attention

If you want to learn more about the impact of name, image and likeness on college sports you’d do yourselves a favor by tuning into Ben Criddle’s ESPN 960 radio program Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Criddle brings on the best and most informed guests to break down what is happening and what the whole thing means. It’s been a strong start to NIL at BYU and other universities around the country. Opportunities are there for athletes to make some money.

My position has always been that most college athletes already get paid. It’s called a scholarship and it’s worth a lot of money, especially to those of us who had to work three jobs and take out loans and grants to go to school.

On the other hand, I don’t begrudge athletes their new opportunities to make some dough, but I wish it was more regulated. Because you know someone (looking at you SEC programs) will take advantage of the athletes and ruin it for everybody.

Once a Ute?

I had lively conversations recently with the three transfers to the BYU women’s volleyball team for a feature that will run this week. Kenzie Koerber (Utah), Gretchen Reinert (Santa Clara) and Aria McComber (Washington State) all have interesting stories to tell about how and why they came to Heather Olmstead’s program.

Koerber said she was kind of surprised at the response from Utah fans and most of her teammates when she announced she was leaving the Hill for Provo since they were mainly supportive and pleasant. She did say Utes coach Beth Launiere wasn’t happy, and you can’t blame her: Koerber is a three-time All-American and a second team honoree this spring.

She said her name isn’t spoken much around the Utes program now that she’s gone.

I guess if the football coach at Utah can refer to BYU as “the team down south,” Launiere can refer to Koerber as “the left-handed right side hitter down south.”

Too much hoops

TBT (The Basketball Tournament) can flood my Twitter timeline with as many tweets as it wants and I still don’t have much interest.

When Jimmer was playing, or Dave Rose was coaching, there was a curiosity and it helped fill a couple of summer story slots.

Maybe if they shared some of that million dollar prize money, I’d pay more attention. Most of the players in the tournament are G League or European worthy at best.

Hard to get excited about that, or the Elam Ending (which I don’t like).

I guess the timing has something to do with it since we’re still deep into the NBA Finals. The Olympics begin at the end of this week and we’ll be watching the B team compete for the USA since the big stars don’t want to risk their careers after just finishing the NBA season (not that I blame them). It’s hard to get excited to watch JaVale McGee and Keldon Johnson (who?) represent the red, white and blue against the world’s best.

If they win a gold medal, it will be a surprise, to be perfectly honest.

I seriously have more interest in watching the USA women’s team.

That’s what I like

By the way, an amazing finish to Game 5 of the NBA Finals as the Milwaukee Bucks got a key steal from Jrue Holliday and a dunk by Giannis Antetokounmpo with less than a minute to go to help secure the win.

It’s a great story that former Cougar Elijah Bryant is one game from earning an NBA championship ring after playing a couple of years in Israel.

I’m kind of cheering for the Bucks for that reason and the fact that I hate it when Suns star Chris Paul flops and flails about trying to draw fouls.

Come to think of it, most of the NBA flops and flails in attempts to draw fouls. Seriously, it’s getting worse than soccer, and that’s saying something.

What puzzles me is that officials fall for this buffoonery. They should know better at that level of the game.

Call him what you want

Nicknames used to be a thing in sports, but not so much anymore. That’s why I got a chuckle over a social media reference from Criddle, who commented on a picture of Cougar wide receiver Puka Nacua that his nickname should be “Pukachu.”

As in “gotta catch ‘em all.”

If you have kids that are young adults now, ask them about Pokemon.

That’s all there is for now, but for this: This week’s social media gem comes from @Jamesjimmyjimm, who tweeted, “I wanted to make a belt out of my watch collection but I realized it would be a waist of time.”

Dad joke, I know, but still funny.

Have a great week, be kind to everyone and try to stay cool. Fall is coming.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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