BYU Athletics Blog

2014 Spring Prospectus

Apr 18, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 1:19 pm | Updated: April 21, 2014 5:32 pm | Permalink

BYU football released its spring prospectus which recaps spring and previews the 2014 season. The Cougars wrapped up their spring practices April 4.

"Spring was really good, we learned quite a bit," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Our completion percentage and third down percentage were very high through the entire spring. The ability to protect the quarterback is improving. Obedient, hard-working and hungry are the three words I would use (to describe the personality of the team)."

Last year, Robert Anae and the BYU staff morphed the offense to a fast-paced system that produced the No. 14 total offense in the nation and the 10th-best rushing offense, including two 1,000-yard rushers in QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams. One of the nation's top talents, Hill is poised to have a strong junior season leading the Cougars' up-tempo attack.

The fast-paced system took time to develop but could be firing on all cylinders come August with a year's worth of experience for the returning offensive corps. Hill and Williams are among eight returning starters, including the entire backfield and offensive line. The offense needs to replace starters at receiver and tight end.

The Cougars have to replace their all-time leading receiver Cody Hoffman but boast a talented corps of candidates. In addition to those returning, transfers Nick Kurtz, Jordan Leslie, Devon Blackmon and Keanu Nelson will make for strong competition.

Four BYU players from 2013 participated at the NFL combine this February -— only three college programs had more defensive players invited. Among those players are the BYU current-era single-season leading tackler in Uani 'Unga and one of the most versatile defensive players in Cougar history in Kyle Van Noy

Although the Cougars need to replace those high-caliber players, head coach Bronco Mendenhall has a proven record of keeping up a nationally ranked defense, no matter who suits up on Saturdays. His teams especially excel at keeping opponents out of the end zone, averaging a No. 20 scoring-defense ranking over the past eight seasons. Seniors Craig Bills (safety) and Alani Fua (linebacker) lead a group of six returning starters from last year and a seventh, corner back Jordan Johnson, who missed last season due to injury. With the 12th-ranked yards-per-play defense in 2013, Mendenhall should keep the Cougars in the national conversation as a dominant defense.

Click here to see the full prospectus.

Hatch named finalist for Off the Block/Springbak Blocker of the Year

Apr 16, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 11:19 am | Updated: April 16, 2014 11:39 am | Permalink

BYU middle blocker Michael Hatch was named one of three finalists for Off the Block/Springbak National Blocker of the Year on BYU Sports Nation Wednesday. The winner of the award will be announced Tuesday.

Hatch leads the No. 4 Cougars with 1.34 blocks per set, good for No. 4 nationally. 

The voting committee for this award was comprised of more than 20 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.

For the complete release, visit offtheblockblog.com.

BYU signee competes in European Championship qualifying

Apr 10, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 11:45 am | Updated: April 10, 2014 12:41 pm | Permalink

BYU signee Nadia Gomes played with the Portugal U19 team in the Elite Round of UEFA European Championship qualifying this week. Gomes scored a goal for Portugal in three games playing a total of 180 minutes. Portugal failed to advance to the European Championships later this summer after finishing third behind Spain and Switzerland in its group.

On Thursday against Belarus, Gomes took three shots, two on goal, before being subbed in the 61st minute. Portugal won 10-0 thanks to an early red card on Belarus.

Against Switzerland, Gomes came on as a sub in the 54th minute and netted Portugal's first goal of the elite round in the 81st minute. She added another shot in the second minute of stoppage time, but couldn't equalize as Portugal fell 2-1.

In the opening game of group play, Gomes started and played the full 90 minutes against Spain, but couldn't help put Portugal on the scoreboard in a 2-0 loss.

Portugal advanced to the Elite Round of qualifying after finishing second in its group last September. Gomes played in all three games then and scored a goal.

Gomes played for 2013 UHSAA State champion Brighton High School and was named 5A MVP by the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune. She plays her club soccer for Murray Max SC.

Watch BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood talk about Gomes and the rest of the 2014 class in this video and read the signing day bios here

Cougars and Broncos to be featured in Friday night matchup

Apr 10, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 11:01 am | Updated: April 10, 2014 11:21 am | Permalink

PROVO, Utah (April 10, 2014) — Brigham Young University, ESPN and the Mountain West Conference today announced the 2014 football game between BYU and Boise State will be played on Friday, Oct. 24 to a national television audience on ESPN or ESPN2. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.

The Cougars will close out the month of October in the nationally featured matchup with the Broncos in Boise, Idaho. The contest at Bronco Stadium was originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 25.

BYU achieved a 37-20 victory over Boise State in Provo last year to earn its first win in the series, which the Broncos lead 3-1 dating back to the inaugural matchup in 2003. BYU has dropped two close contests to BSU in its previous visits to Bronco Stadium, falling 7-6 in 2012 and 28-27 in 2004.

To date, four games on BYU's 2014 schedule will be nationally televised on ESPN or ESPN2. Information regarding remaining broadcast plans and game times will be released once determined.

Read more about BYU's 2014 schedule

April Baseball Blog

Apr 01, 2014 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 12:06 pm | Updated: April 7, 2014 11:56 am | Permalink

PRO BASEBALL ASSIGNMENTS:  Adam Law has been assigned to the High A league at Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.  (Quakes). The Midwest League has several former Cougars: Adam Miller has been assigned in South Bend, Ind. (Silver Hawks), Jaycob Brugman has also been assigned to Beloit, Wisc. (Snappers) and Jacob Hannemann will be playing for the Kane County Cougars , a Class A minor league team in Geneva, Ill. Coach Littlewood’s son Marcus has been assigned to play again in Clinton, Iowa (LumberKings) in the Midwest League, too. Matt Carson is in the Indians’ Class AAA team in Columbus, Ohio. We are awaiting word on the assignment for Steve Parker.

ROYAL BLUES: BYU broke out its royal blue uniforms last month in a 20-3 victory over Utah. The Cougars wore the traditional old school colors against San Diego in Provo, against USF at AT&T Ballpark last month in San Francisco and on the first day of this month against Utah Valley. Remaining dates when you can see the Cougars wear their royal blue uniforms are April 19 vs. Loyola Marymount, May 3 vs. Gonzaga, May 6 vs. Utah and May 10 vs. Santa Clara.

FIRESIDES: The Cougars held another fireside last month after game one at Saint Mary's. The fireside scheduled for April 13 following the Pepperdine series has been cancelled due to logistical problems. The team has held firesides in Glendale, Ariz., in February and a morningside in Louisiana prior to a game at Nicholls State last month.

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS: Not only does Chris Howard graduate this month; a couple days after those ceremonies he celebrates his birthday. Others celebrating birthdays this month include Dallen Reber and redshirt pitcher Michael Rucker.

MORE ON MAHONEY NO-HITTER:  Nicholls coach Seth Thibodeaux said: “He took the fight to us, and we didn't fight a whole lot back. (Mahoney) pitched his tail off and handled the fastball. He's their No. 1 for a reason, and he set the tempo for those guys all night.”

BYU coach Mike Littlewood said he knew Mahoney had this type of game in him.  “He's been good every outing. He spotted up his fastball and threw his curve ball and slider for strikes. It was great to see him locate his pitches and help set the tone for us in this series.” 

“It (arm) felt really good tonight,” Mahoney said. “All my pitchers were working. I was able to throw my fastball wherever I wanted to and what helped me out was they swung at a lot of first pitches, which held my pitch count down.” 

HIGH PRAISE FOR LUND: Freshman outfielder Brennon Lund caught the eye of Fresno State coach Mike Batesole last month. In the Fresno Bee newspaper it read: “right fielder Jordan Luplow -- who extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a first-inning single -- cut the ball off on its first hop, planted his left foot, turned and threw a laser to second baseman Jesse Medrano, who followed suit with a rocket home to Ward for another tag at home to end the game.

"It's not just a play at the plate -- that kid is a special runner," said Bulldogs coach Mike Batesole, referring to Lund legging out a double in the third on what appeared to be a routine outfield single.

"I was picturing in my mind what was going to happen if they hit a double. I was watching him (Lund) the whole way and he was burning it up. Read more here:

WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE: Former pitchers Fred Caviglia (1967-68) and Jim Englehardt (1966-67) joined teammates/players Jeff Bills (1972-75) Dr. Tom Fife (1962-67), Guy Hale (1963-65), Bob Martin (1964-66), Gary Pullins  (1967-68), and former coach Glen Tuckett last month at BYU’s games in San Francisco.

Among the sites the former Cougar players and coaches took in was a visit to the home of Doug McWilliams, a major league photographer from 1969 through 1995.  Tuckett enjoyed seeing McWilliams’ memorabilia on the Pacific Coast League where he played before joining the Cougars.

FORMER COUGAR RETURNS: Kansas transfer Scott Tittrington, a former BYU pitcher (1996-97) was a sportswriter for the Provo Daily Herald. Tittrington has returned to the Herald to oversee local news.

VANCE LAW ON UTAH TV: Former Cougar coach/player Vance Law will take short breaks from his assignment with the Chicago White Sox organization to serve as color analyst with Steve Klauke for Salt Lake Buzz games televised on KJZZ 14.  The dates of those Buzz telecasts are Saturdays, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 19, and Wednesday, August 20.

Apply to be on the 2014-15 ROC board

Mar 27, 2014 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 4:42 pm | Permalink

BYU's student section, The ROC, is creating a board for the 2014-15 season and is looking for a few energetic and creative students to get involved.

The ROC is an official club on campus with ties to BYUSA and the BYU Athletic Department. Currently led by student employees of BYU Athletic Marketing, the ROC is shifting to volunteer student leaders, giving everyone on campus a chance to have a voice in the affairs of the student section.

The ROC board will handle everything ROC-related: gameday atmosphere, advertising, planning trips to road games, the ROC app, cheers, student involvement and more.

The goal of the ROC is to give the Cougars a great homefield/court advantage at all home events while upholding the standards of BYU. The board will play an important role in progressing the mission of the ROC and helping BYU have one of the best student sections in the country.

If you're interested in applying to be on the ROC board, CLICK HERE to fill out an application.

Digital Review: Postseason

Mar 26, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 10:48 am | Updated: March 26, 2014 3:00 pm | Permalink

Relive the BYU men's basketball run to the WCC Championship game and the first round of the NCAA tournament against Oregon with the season's final collection of videos from around the web. If you're looking for something that happened during the regular season, check the other digital reviews throughout the year:

February

January

October, November and December

Highlights

Cougars exit NCAA tournament with loss to Ducks

Cougars talk Oregon and tournament

Newcomers talk first NCAA tourney experience

Coach Rose talks tourney bid

Players react to NCAA bid

BYU vs. Gonzaga WCC Final Highlights

BYU vs. San Francisco WCC Semifinals Highlights

BYU vs. LMU Highlights WCC Quarterfinals Highlights

BYU vs. LMU BYUtv Highlights

Expect Amazing

WCC Player of the Year and WCC Honorees


BYUtv

Tyler Haws on Making the NCAA Tournament

Blaine Fowler on BYU's Tourney Bid

Dave Rose on BYU's Tourney Bid

Tournament Selection Reaction Dave Rose

Tournament Selection Reaction Anson Winder and Eric Mika

Tournament Selection Reaction Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino

Danny Ainge on BYU Basketball

ESPN

Tourney Preview: BYU Cougars

3-point Shot

KSL

BYU couldn't overcome loss of Collinsworth

BYU falls to Oregon in NCAA tournament

BYU prepared for Oregon rematch

BYU's journey through the tourney without Kyle Collinsworth

BYU's Reaction to Selection Sunday

2014 WCC Tournament run


TheW.tv

BYU vs. Oregon Preview

WCC Championship Press Conference

WCC This Week: Tyler Haws

BYU faces Oregon –- again

Mar 17, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 12:05 pm | Updated: March 17, 2014 4:34 pm | Permalink

In program history, BYU has faced a team in the postseason after playing them in the regular season seven times come Thursday. Six have been non-conference opponents, while Fresno State was the only conference opponent BYU has faced in either the NIT or NCAA tournament.

In only two of those rematches has there been a different outcome in the postseason. In 1993-94, 20 years ago this week, BYU defeated Arizona State 74-67 after having lost to the Sun Devils in the first game of the year 106-95. The game was played at the Marriott Center in the first round of the NIT and BYU had to go on the road for the second round. The Cougars advanced to play another rematch with conference foe Fresno State. BYU won two of the three earlier meetings against the Bulldogs, including a WAC tournament semifinal victory, but fell 68-66 after having a look at a jumper with 5.4 seconds left to tie the game.

Thursday's game against Oregon will be only the third rematch not played on one of the team's home court. BYU lost to Kentucky twice in 1983-84 in Lexington and then in Birmingham, Ala., in the NCAA tournament. The Cougars also lost last season to Baylor in New York in the NIT semifinals after falling in Waco, Texas, earlier that season.

 

Postseason Rematches

2013-14 at Oregon L 100-96; Oregon (NCAA) in Milwaukee Thursday at 1:15 p.m. MDT

Tyler Haws scored 32 points and four other Cougars scored in double figures. Matt Carlino recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, but BYU lost in overtime after leading by seven points with 2:21 left in regulation. The Cougars only shot 61 percent from the free throw line.

 

2012-13 at Baylor L 79-64; Baylor (NIT) L 76-70 in New York

The Cougars lost to Baylor 79-64 in Waco, Texas, despite Brandon Davies' 26 points and 17 rebounds. BYU trailed by nine at the half, but shot only 35.5 percent from the field in the second half.

In the NIT Semifinals at Madison Square Garden, Tyler Haws scored 25 points, Matt Carlino added 19 and Brandon Davies scored 13 and grabbed 11 rebounds. BYU trailed by two at half but shot 38 percent from the field in the second half.

 

1993-94 at Arizona State L 106-95; Arizona State (NIT) W 74-67

In the first game of the season, the Cougars were outscored by 21 points in the first half and were only able to cut the lead in half in the second. Shane Knight led the Cougars with 19 points and six rebounds, while Russell Larson recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Sun Devils had two players score 20 points or more.

At the Marriott Center in the first round of the NIT, Larson scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Kenneth Roberts and Robbie Reid also scored in double digits. The Cougars shot 49 percent from the field, while Arizona State only shot 38 percent from the field.

 

1993-94 Fresno State W 73-65; at Fresno State L 73-68; Fresno State (WAC) W 87-72 in Salt Lake; at Fresno State (NIT) L 68-66

After alternating wins and losses through the conference season and tournament, BYU had a shot to tie with 5.4 seconds left but a baseline jumper went long.

 

1983-84 at Kentucky L 93-59; Kentucky (NCAA) L 93-68 in Birmingham, Ala.

Devin Durrant scored 33 points in the first meeting of the season in Lexington.

Durrant added 28 points in the NCAA rematch and the Cougars cut the margin to 25 from the original 34-point loss.

 

1970-71 Utah State W 111-83; Utah State (NCAA) W 91-82 in Logan

Steve Kelly and Kresimir Cosic recorded double-doubles and Bernie Fryer scored 27 to win a blowout at the Marriott Center in December.

In the NCAA First Round, Cosic scored 30 and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Fryer added 25 points. BYU led by five at the half and won by nine in Logan.

 

1968-69 at New Mexico State L 83-65; New Mexico State (NCAA) L 74-62

In the regular season meeting, the Aggies led by 17 at the half and didn't look back, winning by 18.

The Cougars returned to Las Cruces for a first round matchup in the NCAA tournament. BYU only trailed by four at the half, but didn't capitalize in the second to lose by 12.

Cougars set multiple conference tournament records

Mar 14, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 11:42 am | Updated: March 16, 2014 12:26 am | Permalink

In BYU's run to the West Coast Conference championship game, the Cougars set several conference records and several Cougars set BYU conference tournament records.

As a team, the Cougars set the WCC record for team rebounds in a single tournament with 129. BYU topped former record holder Loyola Marymount by one rebound. The Lions grabbed 128 boards in 1989.

Tyler Haws set the WCC record for individual free throws made with 29. Haws was 29 of 30 from the charity stripe over the three games. Through the semifinals, Gonzaga's Sam Dower Jr. set the record with 23 free throws. In the final, Dower went 0 of 3 and Haws was 11 of 11 to set a new record and stretch his personal streak to 26 straight free throws made.

Several BYU players set conference tournament individual game records. Kyle Collinsworth's 16 rebounds against LMU broke Rafael Araujo's previous record of 14 for most rebounds in a conference tournament game. Anson Winder set the BYU record for steals in a conference tournament game with six. The old record belonged to Jackson Emery who had five steals in 2011.

The Cougars rewrote a lot of the game free throw records. Winder hit 8 of 8 from the free throw line against LMU, which was tied for fourth most free throws made without a miss. Haws didn't wait to push Winder down to sixth by Tuesday night. Against San Francisco, Haws set the record for most free throws made without a miss in a game with 14. Against Gonzaga, Haws hit 11 of 11, which is now the third most in a conference tournament game.

Haws' 14 of 14 night at the free throw line against San Francisco is also the second most free throws made in a conference tournament game and is tied for the third most free throws attempted in a conference tournament game.

The Cougars haven't won a conference tournament since 2001 and BYU hadn't played three games in a tournament since 2011 when the Cougars beat TCU and New Mexico before losing to San Diego State. Collinsworth has played in six conference tournament games in his two seasons and now owns the career conference tournament record for rebounds with 58. He has three more than former record holder Lee Cummard and is second in rebounds per game with 9.7 rebounds per game behind Araujo's 11.3 rebounds per game. Collinsworth also moved into a tie for fourth in career steals with nine. He was passed by Winder, who is now third with 11 steals in conference tournament games.

Matt Carlino is now sixth in career conference tournament assists with 19 and is also second in turnovers.

Haws moved up on the scoring and free throw record lists in his conference tournament career. He is three points out of 10th in career scoring and is fourth in scoring average at 19.6 points per game.

Haws is now second in free throws made with 40 and is fifth in free throws attempted with 42. He is also first in free throw percentage at 95.2 percent.

Mika's record-setting freshman season

Freshman center Eric Mika has broken into the top 10 in 18 different freshman season records. He is already the most prolific freshman offensive rebounder in BYU history, but is also tied for the most offensive rebounds in a season at 91 with Rafael Araujo. He's top 10 in these freshman season categories:

Points 374 8th
Scoring Average 11.7 9th
Field Goals Made 137 6th
Field Goal Attempts 259 10th
Field Goal Percentage .529 7th
Free Throws Made 100 8th
Free Throw Attempts 164 5th
Rebounds 204 3rd
Rebounding Average 6.4 6th
Offensive Rebounds 91 1st
Blocks 24 6th
Blocks Average .75 7th
Personal Fouls 103 7th
Games Started 28 8th
Double Figure Scoring Games 23 4th
Double-Doubles 5 4th
20-Point Games 2 10th
10-Rebound Games 6 4th

Haws named to All-High Major First Team

Mar 14, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 11:21 am | Updated: March 28, 2014 6:06 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah - BYU's junior guard Tyler Haws was named to the CollegeSportsMadness.com All-High Major First Team.

Haws has also received West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors and was named to the USBWA All-District VIII team, WCC All-Tournament Team and the All-WCC Team. Haws averages 23.4 points per game along with 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steal per game. Haws is currently sixth in the nation in scoring and led the WCC in scoring during the regular season.

Haws helped the Cougars to a 23-11 overall record and a 13-5 conference record. BYU finished second in the WCC in both the regular season and conference tournament. BYU will find out its NCAA tournament fate on Sunday at 4 p.m. MDT on CBS.

Santa Clara's Jared Brownridge was named All-High Major Freshman of the Year, while Saint Mary's Brad Waldow and Gonzaga's Sam Dower were both named to the All-High Major Fourth Team.