Gonzaga BYU Basketball

BYU students and fans celebrate on the court following BYU's 91-78 victory over Gonzaga in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head.

When the temperature drops 40 degrees from one day to the next, is there a word for that?

Back in the 1980s, Rich Hall was a comedian who came up with the term “sniglet” to describe a word that isn’t in the dictionary but really should be. For example, the word “flirr” is a photograph that features the camera operator’s finger in the corner. Or “carperpetuation,” which is the act, when vacuuming, of running over a string at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.

So when it’s 99 degrees on Friday and 59 on Saturday, what is a sniglet that we can use?

Let me think about it for a minute.

Coming home

The news broke on Friday that Wasatch Academy star Caleb Lohner, who had signed to play basketball for the University of Utah, wants out of his letter of intent and intends to sign with BYU.

Wow

Lohner is somewhere between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8 (depending on who you believe), is 230 pounds and has a 42-inch vertical. He was ranked as a top 100 player by ESPN while starring for Wasatch Academy, which plays an independent schedule against some of the top high school teams in the country.

The Tigers finished 27-2 overall and Lohner averaged 14.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 60% from the field (36% from the 3-point line). It should be noted that Wasatch Academy had five players who averaged double figures, many of whom signed with Division I programs.

Lohner’s offers included Utah, Baylor, BYU, Kansas State, Michigan State, Texas, Texas Tech and TCU.

To make a long story short, this is big.

Lohner didn’t even have Utah on his radar but assistant coach Tommy Connor and head coach Larry Krystkowiak made a late push that eventually landed the prize recruit last August.

Obviously, that relationship has changed.

There are reports that Lohner wants to play in a more up-tempo offense. Lohner’s father, Matt, was a former Provo High standout and a walk-on at BYU in the mid-’90s.

His son is a singular talent that would be a huge get for the BYU basketball program. He can play several positions and is very skilled for a kid his size.

Lohner’s teammate, Richie Saunders, signed with BYU and will serve a church mission before enrolling. Lohner would need to be granted a release from Krystkowiak in order to claim a scholarship in Provo. If Krystkowiak decides not to grant the release, Lohner would have to pay his own way as a freshman in 2020-21.

Meanwhile, what was once touted as one of Krystkowiak’s best recruiting classes is falling apart and players are fleeing the program in alarming numbers.

BYU is becoming a destination for talented basketball players and transfers, which has everything to do with Mark Pope and his coaching staff’s relentless efforts to create the kind of program that stands out.

The bad news …

Has someone told Lohner that he’ll have to cut his hair? It’s pretty stunning right now, but obviously too long to pass BYU honor code scrutiny.

Welcome back

BYU basketball and football players were allowed on campus last week to begin voluntary off-season training. While talking to Cougar basketball player Trevin Knell, I discovered that in the weeks leading up to the training he and his teammates would connect on a FaceTime call every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to stretch and practice together.

BYU baseball coach Mike Littlewood said one of his athletes who doesn’t live near any teammates ended up playing games of long toss with the neighborhood kids, needing as many as four relays from the children to get the ball back for another throw.

Those stories, along with those of athletes working out with free weights in their garage or shooting baskets in their driveway, helps to me have hope that we’ll have fall sports to cover and watch in August.

Crunch

Hearing the screeching of tires when you’re stopped in a long line of cars at a stop light? Man, that’s terrifying.

Just know that everyone, including the vehicle, is OK.

WCC decisions

The West Coast Conference held its summer meetings last week and declared Gonzaga the men’s basketball league champion for 2020-21.

Just kidding.

The meeting was scheduled to be held in Santa Cruz but ended up as a virtual conference over the course of the four days. The league spent a lot of time discussing ways to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and that’s all good.

As for as actually teams and sports are concerned, the league affirmed it is planning to hold all of its championship events in 2020-21. The league also looked into cost containment measures for championship events and reduced its operating budget by 10%.

At long last

Covering the Last Chance Baseball Tournament came at a time when most of us sports writer types were wondering if we’d ever go to another live event.

Talking to other sports writers I found out most of us had gotten to some dark places during the all the cancellations and social distancing. We live for being at sporting events.

The final day produced some great baseball despite terrible weather in Spanish Fork. In the 6A final, American Fork center fielder Jack Walker made a spectacular diving catch in the sixth inning to help preserve a 7-7 tie with Riverton. The Cavemen went on to win the title with an 8-7 victory.

In the 5A tournament, another center fielder, Timpanogos’ Trevor Herrick, was called on to pitch the final two innings and made a terrific defensive play by covering third base to complete a critical double play in the sixth inning against Salem Hills.

Seeing the looks on the faces of the American Fork and Timpanogos players after these crucial plays was really cool.

Thanks to Matt Marziale and a bunch of parents who put the tournament together.

We needed that.

That’s it, but for this: My sniglet for when the temperature drops 40 degrees from one day to the next is “transclimatefy,” because it felt like we had been transported to an entirely new area of the world.

Best I’ve got today. Have a great week and stay safe.

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

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