BYU men’s basketball trying ‘in earnest’ to add one extra game before regular season ends

The Cougars wish to exchange the sport in opposition to Portland in January that was postponed

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Younger Cougars guard Te’Jon Lucas (3) steals a go, in West Coast Convention motion on the Marriott Middle in Provo, on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022.

By the point the week is over, the BYU males’s basketball staff’s common season will probably be over. It should have consisted of 30 video games total, 15 of them within the West Coast Convention.

However the Cougars had been presupposed to have performed 31 video games this season, and 16 within the WCC. What prompted the one-game disparity was a Jan. 1 recreation in opposition to Portland that was postponed resulting from COVID-19 however by no means rescheduled.

So the Cougars, who entered the week 19-9 total (7-6 WCC) with two residence video games remaining earlier than the WCC Event, have themselves a chance to get an additional recreation in an effort to perhaps bolster their NCAA Event résumé. And that’s precisely what the staff is attempting to do.

“These conversations have gone in earnest for the final three or 4 days,” coach Mark Pope mentioned Tuesday. “We’re actually aggressively actively pursuing potential alternatives. A lot must come collectively to make it occur, however that’s one thing we’re speaking about.”

Pope mentioned he has reached out to “about 20 totally different groups” to see when and the place a recreation can happen. Some groups, he mentioned, can play subsequent Tuesday, whereas many can play Wednesday. As a way to make the sport a Quad 1 affair within the NCAA NET rankings, BYU would probably must play on the street.

A part of the analysis course of hinges on when the Cougars begin WCC Event play. Because the fifth-place staff within the convention, they’d play Friday, March 4, if the event began at this time. Their seeding might change relying on how the weekend’s convention video games play out.

It will be a tough turnaround if, for instance, BYU performed a staff on the street on the east coast on a Wednesday after which needed to fly to Las Vegas to play 48 hours later. Pope mentioned he thinks a choice of whether or not to play an additional recreation will most likely be made after this weekend.

“All of that’s in limbo proper now,” Pope mentioned. “We’re simply attempting to judge and see.”

Senior guard Te’Jon Lucas didn’t categorical a desire both means when requested if he needs to play an additional recreation to raised BYU’s NCAA Event probabilities. However he indicated that he and the Cougars will probably be prepared it doesn’t matter what.

“I belief coach,” Lucas mentioned. “I’m fairly positive we’re going to do what’s greatest for us on the finish of the day. Numerous the video games that we performed early on are holding fairly strong weight for us to be nonetheless in rivalry to make the event.

“If the sport goes to assist us, I’m fairly positive the coaches will attempt to get one. But when it’s not going to do something for us, I’m fairly positive we gained’t play one other one. I’ll depart that as much as the coaches and allow them to determine that stuff out, and I’ll simply be able to play.”

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