BYU men's basketball vs. Saint Mary's

BYU guard Alex Barcello (3) lines up defensively against Saint Mary's guard Jordan Ford in a West Coast Conference game at the Marriott Center on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.

Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head on Memorial Day 2020. BBQ powers, activate.

Clinging to McClung

The BYU men’s basketball team is staying pretty active in the transfer portal and their latest target is Georgetown’s Mac McClung. His final seven includes the Cougars, Texas Tech, Auburn, Memphis, USC, Arkansas and Wake Forest.

I’m having mixed feelings about McClung.

First off, the only high school highlights that blew my mind more than McClung’s were those of Zion Williamson. Dude can really make spectacular plays.

McClung averaged double digits in both of his years at Georgetown in the Big East, and that’s impressive. His shooting percentages are pretty low (39% field goal, 29% 3-pointers) so Mark Pope’s “owning your shot” mantra would be a new concept for McClung.

On Friday I was co-hosting with Ben Criddle on his radio show and we spoke to Tony Jones of The Athletic. Jones is an NBA writer but he knows Georgetown basketball inside and out. He said some players left the program this spring because they no longer wanted to play with McClung. Jones also said that McClung would be a star in the West Coast Conference.

What I’m saying is that McClung is going to have to humble himself and find a good role to fill if he wants to play at BYU. Pope did wonders with Alex Barcello’s shooting numbers in just one year and could likely do the same for McClung if the youngster is willing to sacrifice a little of his game.

Let’s see, a 6-foot-2 point guard from the East Coast? Could we be looking at a dunking Jimmer?

Safety first

Our normal Memorial Day activities usually include a BBQ and a movie. There aren’t any blockbusters — or any movies at all — coming out right now so we’ll stick with the BBQ.

Another memory of Memorial Days gone by is about lawn darts. If you’re too young to remember lawn darts, let me enlighten you.

You have two plastic circles spread 15-20 feet apart and two pair of heavy darts with sharp points. You’d throw them like horseshoes, as it were. Two points for a ringer and one point for closest to the circle. It was a super fun game and we played it at just about every holiday get-together when I was a kid.

Lawn darts were banned from America by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1988. But enough people still owned and played the game that the commission had to reissue the ban in 1997. People were actually urged to destroy the game.

You can read about the history of lawn darts on Mashable ( which claims that between January 1978 and December 1986, lawn darts resulted in 6,100 hospital emergency-room treated injuries.

You can still find some modified soft-tip versions of the game, but it just isn’t the same.

MJ? Nah

I saw a little bit of the Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” and don’t really have much of a desire to watch the rest. Sure, Jordan was a beast of a player but he was also a bully. I really got turned off by his bitter rant when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I’d rather watch players who seem like good guys in real life.

Out of his league

I came across “The Darkest Timeline” podcast last week and found out that actor Joel McHale (“Community”) played high school basketball with BYU coach Mark Pope in the state of Washington.

“He (Pope) dunked whenever he wanted,” McHale said. “It was like a 10th grader player against a second grader.”

I know how McHale feels. I had aspirations of playing professional basketball until I came up against a player named Kyle Brock, a full-grown man at 6-foot-6 and younger brother of former major leaguer Greg Brock. I was a sophomore in high school and got into the end of game where we were getting killed by Kyle Brock’s team (Stayton High School in Oregon). I rushed up to defend him and being 5-10 (barely) looked up and up and up — and came to the realization that I probably wasn’t going to play in the NBA.

Coming back slowly

The NCAA has announced that all sports can head back to campuses for limited practices on June 1. That’s good news as we look toward BYU fall sports. I wonder what coaches will discover when their players start showing up? Likely some that will be in superb shape and others … not so much.

Can’t wait

It’s been more than two months since I last covered a live sporting event (UVU men’s basketball) and it looks like that streak will be broken this week. A baseball tournament involving local high school teams has been organized and will take place late next week. I joked with fellow Daily Herald writer Jared Lloyd that we’ll write a game story, a column and a sidebar on each game. That’s how desperate we are to actually cover live sports.

Nice try

This is a gem from Ashley Nicole Black (@ashleyN25593782) on Twitter: “How is FedEx still trying to pull ‘we tried to deliver but you weren’t home?’ I’m the most home I’ve ever been.”

That’s all for now, but for this: I was supposed to have an appointment with my doctor this week so I could renew some prescriptions. Due to COVID-19 the office sent me a link for a tele-appointment. I sat (electronically, anyway) in a virtual waiting room for about 20 minutes before my doctor called me on the phone and told me he couldn’t get his side of the technology to work. So we talked for less than five minutes and he wrote my prescription.

I still got charged the co-pay.

Have a terrific Memorial Day and please, be smart and be safe when you go out into the public. This thing isn’t over yet.

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

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