BYU MenÕs basketball vs. Nevada 11

Brigham Young University guard Alex Barcello (4) celebrates along with his teammates as a timeout is taken during a game between the BYU Cougars and the Nevada Wolf Pack on Tuesday, Dec.10, 2019, at the Marriott Center in Provo. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head. You know, I totally take back all those times when I was little and I wouldn’t take a nap.

Talent galore

The official signing of former Wasatch Academy and Utah commit Caleb Lohner adds even more depth to what is already a very good BYU men’s basketball roster.

Over the years, BYU has had players whose skill sets were unique to the Cougar program: Eric Mika, Elijah Bryant and Yoeli Childs, just to name a few. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a roster with as much unique talent as Mark Pope is collecting this summer in Provo.

Think about it: When was the last time BYU had someone like 7-foot-3 Matt Haarms? Brandon Averette? Gideon George? Alex Barcello? Wyatt Lowell? Richard Harward? Gavin Baxter?

Most of those athletes are atypical BYU basketball recruits, which probably why most of them were elsewhere before joining the team. Some players on the roster — guys like Kolby Lee, Connor Harding and Spencer Johnson — would fit the mold of a typical Cougar recruit: From the western U.S., a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and possessing a variety of solid skills.

My point is that Pope is having a lot of success bringing guys to Provo who probably would have never given BYU a second look in previous years.

There is still a lot to do with bringing this varied assortment of athletes together and finding the best rotations. Last year’s team had chemistry and leadership which will be difficult to replace. Every year there are highly touted teams that disappear from the rankings for one reason or another.

And for the record, this group has never even practiced all together yet.

I do know this: It’s going to be really exciting watching what happens in the Marriott Center.

Just a little off the top

By the way, can BYU create a “Samson” card so Lohner and Haarms can keep their non-honor code approved hair? I mean, what if their hair is the source of their basketball skills?

Too late: Lohner posted a photo on his Twitter account with his new shorter haircut.

Always a shot

Bill Connelly of ESPN (@ESPN_BillC) had this to say about BYU’s ambitious 2020 football schedule, which includes four straight Power Five opponents to start the season.

“There is opportunity here — there always is with the way BYU’s indie schedules are drawn up — but Sitake’s tenure has been defined by the other shoe dropping. We’ll see if his team can put all the pieces together this time.”

Tom Holmoe has done a pretty good job of providing opportunities for the football team to get big wins. It just hasn’t happened consistently enough — yet. Maybe 2020?

Idaho pipeline

Former BYU basketball player Danny Bower and former Cougar volleyball standout Caroline (Steuer) Bower are sending another one of their seven daughters to Provo.

Whitney Bower is the starting setter on the BYU volleyball team and her sister Morgan is a libero. This week Skyview High School (Nampa, Idaho) sophomore outside hitter Eden Bower made her pledge to join her sisters as a Cougar in 2022.

Eden Bower has some of her father’s height (he was 6-4, she’s 6-3) and reportedly can already touch 10-3.

The rabbit hole

The internet can take you to some interesting places.

Follow me.

So my sister — she and I sang in an a capella group in high school — sent me a link to one of those “Vocal Coach Reacts” videos of the group Pentatonix singing “Shallow.” That reminded me of the TV show “The Sing Off” and one of my favorite groups, “Groove for Thought,” so I searched YouTube for and came across one of their recordings called, “Groovin’ Hard,” which I realized we played in Jazz Band in high school (I played trombone). My junior year I played a solo at a contest for a song called, “Blues for Waldo.” Sure enough, YouTube had a video of a jazz band playing that song, complete with the trombone solo. That dude was much, much better on the trombone than I ever was but it brought back great memories.

The Sing Off performance was 10 years ago and my trombone solo was, ahem, more than that, but it was a pretty good 15 minutes on the internet on Saturday.

The right stuff

Former Cougar soccer star Ashley Hatch is back in Utah this month as a member of the Washington Spirit, playing in the NWSL Challenge Cup in Salt Lake City, in the opening round, Hatch went old school, applying defensive pressure in the scoring third just like BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood taught her. Hatch deflected a pass attempt from the Chicago goalkeeper, then tapped the ball into the net for the score.

Even better: Hatch posted on her Instagram page that she is donating her goal bonuses from the tournament to the NAACP and DC Score in an effort to fight racism.

Another former BYU star, Michele Vasconcelos, is a member of the Red Stars.

Smart move

The University of Utah is dropping ACT and SAT requirement for enrollment applications to make the school more accessible due to COVID-19 restrictions for testing.

Somehow, I’m reminded of something former Daily Herald sportswriter Patrick Ridgell — a Colorado grad — told me one time: “All you needed to get into Kansas State is a note from your mother.”

That’s all for now, but for this: Here’s a very good reminder from Dr. Emily Porter (@dremilyportermd).

“Wear a mask. That is, unless you want to be intubated by a gynecology intern July 1st who did her last semester of med school via Zoom.”

Stay masked, stay safe and have a great week.

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

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