BYU Athletics Blog

February Baseball Blog

Feb 23, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 11:18 am | Updated: February 24, 2015 5:04 pm | Permalink

MORNINGSIDE:  Oklahoma’s baseball public address announcer also teaches at the Institute of Religion and arranged for the Cougars to participate at a Morningside this Friday, but those plans were scrubbed for BYU's baseball team when the Oklahoma series was moved to Las Vegas due to inclement weather.

PILOT FATHER: Outfielder Eric Urry’s father, John, was an extra proud captain (pilot) on last week’s US Air flight the Cougars flew to Phoenix. Eric flew one other time when his father was piloting the plane he was on, that was with his mother to New York. On the Phoenix flight, Captain Urry welcomed passengers over the microphone and then said he wanted to give a special shout out to the BYU baseball team of which his son is a member.

FORMER PLAYERS WATCHING NEBRASKA SERIES: From the Coach Tuckett era: Steve Hart (1968-69). From the Coach Pullins era: Brent Brown (1985-91). From the Coach Law/Littlewood era: Chris Howard (2010-14).

PLAYERS' PARENTS AT ARIZONA: Here’s a partial sighting of players' parents who watched sons play in the BYU-Nebraska series at Peoria in the 70-degree weather:  Barker’s, Buffo’s, Cenatiempo’s, Corless’, Kinser’s, Larson’s, Nielsen’s, Marshall’s, Padgett’s, Reber’s, Robinson’s, Rogers’, Rucker’s, Starr’s and Urry’s.

BLACK & WHITE: The Cougars wore their Anthracite charcoal-colored uniforms in the final game against Nebraska. Some fans worried the uniforms might have been too hot in the Arizona sun, but coach Mike Littlewood says the new uniforms are actually quite comfortable.  Littlewood says fans might see the team wear the anthracite uniforms on either Thursday or Friday nights, borrowing the look from UC Irvine a couple years ago or TCU last year.  Look for the Cougars to also wear a throwback cream-colored uniform on Thursday home games and some midweek home games.

PAST PLAYERS/COACHES: Here’s a list of some former Cougar players and coaches who were in attendance at last month’s second annual First Pitch Fundraiser with Jeff Kent: Tim Anderson, Michel Bergeron, Jeff Bills, Ryan Chambers, Casey Cloward, Jonathan Cluff *, Tyler Dabo, David Decker, Tom Fife, Dane and Seth Iorg, Dave Jensen *, Kory Knell *, Adam *, Vance and Vernon Law, Mike Littlewood, Blair Lucas, Adam Miller, Bobby Noel, James Platt, Ben Saylor *, Bryce Searle, Brandon Taylor *, Glen Tuckett, Wade Vest, Ranger Wiens *, Brock Whitney *, and Randy Wilstead. The players marked with an asterisk* received the Cameron Tuckett Award that evening, too.

MORE ON FIRST PITCH:  Former Cougar David Decker (1997-98), owner of CMS, in Orem near Walmart, out-bid others at the First Pitch Dinner to make the Arizona trip with BYU's team. Decker brought along his son Camden (named after Camden Yard, close to where they lived in Maryland), who served as the ball boy for the Cougars during the Nebraska series.

NICKNAMES:  Among the nicknames tossed around the team is “Chief” for Hayden Nielsen and “Junior” not James, to distinguish Jeff Barker from younger brother James. Pac Man is Paxton Larson. Pancake is for Cole Wilstead and Jimmy is for James Lengal.

NOT THE BADGE, BUT THE STORE: Maverik Buffo does not use the letter ‘C’ in spelling his first name, unlike the badge of the lawman, but like the convenience store. However, Buffo’s father Steve confessed when Maverik was a toddler, the family wrote their names in a newly poured cement slab. Because Maverik was too young, his father wrote his name in the cement, spelling it with a ‘C.’ Steve Buffo is the owner of Buffo’s Pest Control that has offices in Provo, Salt Lake City and St. George. When Maverik isn’t playing summer baseball, he occasionally works for his father to earn extra cash.

ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED: Five players on the team are now engaged, preparing to join the list of eight teammates who are married. The engaged players are Kolton Mahoney, Hayden Nielsen, Dallen Reber and Eric Urry.

LANGUAGES & ETHNICITY ON TEAM: Spanish (Gates, Padgett, Reber, Urry and Whitney), Portuguese (Huxford, Isom and Chauncey), Tagalog (Marshall), Cebuano and Ilocano (Wilstead) are the languages. James and Jeff Barker are half Japanese. Brian Hsu is part Chinese and part Korean. Maverik Buffo is three-quarter Italian and his grandfather lived in Italy. Michael Springer is half Chinese, his mother speaks six languages and his father served a mission to Japan.

ANOTHER AMBIDEXTROUS GUY: Joining Brandon Kinser in the ambidextrous category is teammate Cole Wilstead who bats left,  throws left,  writes right and dunks with either hand. Wilstead said his  brother Cody, who signed as a QB with BYU and now has a mission call to Neuquén, Argentina this April, “never will dunk on me, I’d foul him first.” Cole said his father Randy, a former pro and Cougar All-American, would take the ball out of Cole’s right hand as a toddler and put it in Cole’s left hand. Cole took yoga classes at UNLV before transferring to BYU to improve his ability to stretch as a first baseman.

SHAGGING FOR FUNGOS: Don’t be surprised if you see a girl catching balls tossed in after coaches hit fungos in warmups for the team.  The young lady is Heather Black, one of the team’s trainers, who used to be a pitcher for Southern Utah’s softball team.

TRANSFERRED: Trace Hansen is playing at West Texas A&M in Canyon, and JC Snyder is playing at Angelo State in San Angelo, Texas.

Alani Fua posts strong times at NFL Combine

Feb 23, 2015 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 10:30 am | Updated: February 23, 2015 12:59 pm | Permalink

Former BYU outside linebacker Alani Fua completed his workouts Sunday at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. Fua took advantage of his opportunity at the Combine with some strong performances.

The NFL Combine ends today at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with the defensive backs finishing their multi-day scrutiny by NFL executives, coaches, scouts and doctors from all 32 NFL teams.
 

Fua, a 6-foot-5, 238-pound native of San Fernando Valley, California, registered top-4 times among linebackers in three different on-field workouts to show his quickness and agility. 

He completed the three-cone drill in 6.83 seconds for the No. 3 time among linebakers and the No. 10 overall time recorded at the Combine of all position groups except the defensive backs, who will be conducting that workout later today. 

Fua tied for fourth among linebackers in the 20-yard shuttle with a 4.15 time and placed No. 4 in the 60-yard shuttle with time of 11.54.

In his other workouts, Fua had a vertical leap at 34.5 inches (tie 17th), a 4.73 time in the 40-yard dash (18th), a 118.0-inch broad jump (19th) and 18 repetitions in the bench press (30th).

Fua also underwent position-specific drills and interviews with NFL teams as they assess top professional prospects in advance of the 2015 NFL Draft (April 30-May 2) and free agent signings in May. 

Fans can go to NFL.com/combine to view results, including breakdowns by positions, and read more about Fua. More than 300 NFL prospects participated in this year's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis from Feb. 17-23.
 
Scouts and representatives from NFL teams will come to Provo in March to work out Fua and other top NFL prospects from BYU at the annual BYU Pro Day, which takes place on March 27. 
 

Cougars defeat Toreros 75-62

Feb 19, 2015 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 10:13 pm | Updated: February 19, 2015 10:15 pm | Permalink

The Cougars began the second half on an 11-2 run building a 44-30 lead. Tyler Haws hit two corner 3-pointers during the run, while Anson Winder also made a 3-pointer along with a driving layup.

Haws extended BYU’s lead to 17 when he drove left making a bank shot while getting fouled. Haws’ three-point play put the Cougars up 54-37 with 11:23 left.

The Toreros fought back cutting the lead to 10 with 5 minutes left at 63-53, but a mid-range jumper followed by another three-point play by Haws put the Cougars up 68-53.

San Diego again made a run trailing 71-62 with just over two minutes to play, but Haws and Kyle Collinsworth scored the game’s final four points in the final minute to secure the victory, 75-62.

Haws led all scorers with 28 points that included a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line. Kyle Collinsworth recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. 

BYU leads 33-28 over San Diego at the half

Feb 19, 2015 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 8:57 pm | Updated: February 19, 2015 8:58 pm | Permalink

BYU started slow with Anson Winder scoring the Cougars’ first points at the 13:07 mark of the half. San Diego had built a 7-0 lead before Winder’s driving layup.

Four straight points from Ryan Andrus as part of an 8-1 run gave the Cougars its first lead of the game with 9:10 left in the half, 12-11. The Cougars and Toreros exchanged buckets the remainder of the half until BYU closed the half on a 7-2 run to lead 33-28 at the break.

Kyle Collinsworth and Tyler Haws carried the Cougars throughout the half combining for 18 points. BYU made 13 of 14 free throws. San Diego only shot four free throws making three.

Cougars cruise past Pacific

Feb 14, 2015 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 9:08 pm | Permalink

BYU men's basketball had four players score in double figures in the 84-59 win over Pacific.

Kyle Collinsworth sparked BYU early in the second half, scoring the first four points for the team in the first minute of action. A putback bucket by Collinsworth made it 40-36 with 17:53 remaining in the game.

After two scoreless minutes for the Cougars, a corner three from Chase Fischer extended their lead to 43-38. Pacific went on a 6-0 run to storm back and take the 50-49 lead with a 3-pointer, but BYU answered back with a 14-0 run, which included six points from Skyler Halford. A trey from Fischer with 8:30 left capped off the run and gave the Cougars the 63-50 advantage.

Corbin Kaufusi scored two buckets in a row to make it 70-57, holding the Tigers at bay with 5:04 left. Collinsworth dished it to Kaufusi for the dunk with 1:47 remaining to give BYU the 79-59 lead. A 3-pointer from Josh Sharp would make the final score 84-59.

Tyler Haws led all scorers with 20 points. Collinsworth was one assist away from a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Halford had 18 points and dished out four assists. Fischer had 16 points, including four treys.

Cougars up 33-30 against Pacific

Feb 14, 2015 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 7:54 pm | Permalink

Chase Fischer got things started for the Cougars, scoring the team’s first points on a 3-pointer. Pacific took the lead early in the first half, but a jump shot in the key by Kyle Collinsworth got BYU within one point, 7-8, with 16:07 left. The Cougars took the lead after Josh Sharp grabbed the offensive board and kicked it out to Skyler Halford, who nailed a three.

Both teams were scoreless for two and a half minutes until Tyler Haws powered through the defense to hit a close-range jump shot with 12:56 remaining in the half to push the lead to 12-8. The Cougars went up 23-18 after a 7-0 run, but the Tigers answered back with a 6-0 run to retake the lead.

After trading the lead back and forth, a deep three from Fischer took back the 30-28 lead with 2:25 left in the half. Free throws from Fischer and Collinsworth down the stretch held the halftime lead to 33-30.

Fischer leads BYU in scoring at the half with 10 points, including going 4 of 4 from the charity stripe. Haws has nine points and Collinsworth has five points, five rebounds and four assists.

BYU beats Saint Mary's 82-60

Feb 12, 2015 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 9:10 pm | Permalink

BYU shot 50 percent and went 9 of 19 from three en route to an 82-60 win over St. Mary's.

Four CougarsKyle Collinsworth, Skyler Halford, Tyler Haws and Chase Fischerscored at least 14 points in the win.

BYU outrebounded Saint Mary's 37-26 and recorded seven blocks, led by Corbin Kaufusi's career-high four blocks.

A three-point play by Tyler Haws increased BYU's lead to a then game-high 23 points four minutes into the second half. The Cougars led 54-31 as Haws broke into double-digits for the 14th-straight time.

Halford scored on a driving layup in traffic and made good on two free-throw attempts to break into double digits and give BYU a 62-37 lead with 12 minutes on the clock. Halford joined Collinsworth, Fischer and Haws as the fourth scorer in double digits for the Cougars.

Frank Bartley IV knocked down a three as BYU took its first 30-point lead, a 75-45 advantage with six minutes left in the game. BYU coasted from that point and secured the 82-60 victory.

BYU leads St. Mary's 42-30 at halftime

Feb 12, 2015 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 7:55 pm | Updated: February 12, 2015 9:10 pm | Permalink

Kyle Collinsworth scored 14 points and Chase Fischer added 12 as BYU outscored Saint Mary's 42-30 in the first half.

The Cougars shot 53 percent in the first half and went 6 of 10 from three.

BYU jumped out to an 11-4 lead behind two 3-pointers from Tyler Haws, a 3-pointer from Fischer and a baseline jumper from Collinsworth. The Cougars extended their lead when another Fischer three and two transition lay-ins from Skyler Halford put BYU up 18-8.

Collinsworth helped BYU extend its lead to 12 halfway through the first half, scoring 10 of the Cougars' first 26 points as BYU led 26-14. A pair of free throws from Josh Sharp, another three from Fischer and a dunk by Collinworth gave the Cougars a 33-14 advantage with six minutes left in the half.

St. Mary's chipped away at BYU's lead over the last six minutes of the half as the Cougars took a 42-30 lead into the locker room.

ICYMI: #BYUNSD15

Feb 09, 2015 - Posted by McKay Perry at 4:44 pm | Updated: February 9, 2015 5:22 pm | Permalink

BYU defeats Santa Clara 78-57

Jan 31, 2015 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 9:03 pm | Permalink

In a night where Tyler Haws made it to second place on the all-time scoring list, BYU made 14 threes in the 78-57 win over Santa Clara.

Haws got the second half started off with a jump shot to extend the lead to 37-31. The Cougars made eight 3-pointers on their next eight scoring possessions to go up 61-38 with 11:24 remaining in the game, the last coming from Chase Fischer. The 18-2 run had three treys from Skyler Halford and two from Anson Winder.

Another three from Fischer pushed BYU’s lead to 69-44 with 7:22 left. He ended the game with 18 points coming off the bench, including five 3-pointers.

The Cougars closed out the game, never letting the lead slip away. Josh Sharp made a baseline three at the shot clock buzzer to push the lead to 78-55 with 1:17 remaining.

Haws led all scorers with 21 points. He was 7 of 7 from the charity stripe. Winder and Halford both had 13 points. Halford dished out a game-high seven assists.