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NCAA reinstates BYU’s Nick Emery

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Nick Emery is rejoining BYU after sitting out last season.

The Cougar guard has been reinstated by the NCAA, but will sit out the first nine games of the season as part of the NCAA’s ruling, BYU announced Thursday night.

The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 13.1 points while shooting 41.5 percent from the floor and 37.1 percent from 3-point as a sophomore. The NCAA and BYU began an investigation last year to determine if a booster “paid for travel to concerts and an amusement park .. and gave him use of a new car,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Shortly after that investigation became public, Emery withdrew from school.

“I have decided to withdraw from BYU today,” Emery said in a statement last November. “Unfortunately, I am mentally not where I need to be in order to perform in basketball and in school this year. As it has been made known, I went through a divorce this year and it has been really difficult for me.

“I have confidence that I will come back stronger and better. I have every intention on coming back to BYU and representing Cougar nation on the basketball floor. I thank everyone for their love and support, especially my teammates, coaches and the BYU administration that have been an incredible support system. Go Cougs!”

Emery’s return, even if it is delayed by nine games, is significant for the Cougars in that it not only adds veteran talent back to the roster, but it helps fill the void created by Elijah Bryant’s decision to turn pro this offseason after leading BYU with 18.2 points per game.

BYU went 24-11 last season and was ousted in the first round of the NIT.

BYU adds commit for 2019

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BYU added a commitment from a high school senior this week, but the Cougars won’t be seeing him on campus until 2019.

Kolby Lee, a 6-foot-9 forward from Idaho, pledged to BYU on Monday evening, but won’t suit up until after serving a two-year mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints, according to the Deseret News.

“I had a great feeling about BYU, and I prayed about it,” Lee told the paper. “I just feel like it’s the right fit for me. It just seems right. It feels right.”

Lee chose BYU over offers from  Utah State, Boise State and UC Davis. He was rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and three by Scout.

His decision to forego immediately joining BYU certainly isn’t a new wrinkle for the Cougars, who routinely see their players either delay their initial eligibility or pause it mid-career while serving on missions.

Rose’s transfer to BYU becomes official

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His commitment came more than a month ago, but L.J. Rose’s transfer to BYU became official Tuesday.

The former Houston guard was officially announced as an immediately-eligible graduate transfer by BYU on Tuesday. He’ll bring much needed help to a Cougars backcourt that lost Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer to graduation and Jordan Chatman and Jack Toolson to transfers.

“L.J. will add great experience and talent to our guard line,” BYU coach Dave Rose said in a statement released by BYU. “We’re excited about the leadership he will bring on the court and in the locker room. He will make us a deeper and more versatile team.”

As a junior, L.J. Rose averaged 9.8 points and 5.3 assists, but a foot injury limited him to just two games last season and allowed him to receive a medical redshirt and the opportunity to be a graduate transfer for his final collegiate season. He’ll be a big part of BYU’s attempt to build on last year’s 26-11 season as a former top-100 recruit, who began his career at Baylor, on a team in need of an infusion of talent after absorbing the losses from last year’s roster.

His father, Lynden, Sr., was a teammate of BYU coach Dave Rose at Houston during the program’s Phi Slama Jama era.

Beehive Classic features Utah, BYU, Utah State, Weber State

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The University of Utah, BYU, Utah State and Weber State will play in a December basketball tournament called the Beehive Classic starting this season and running through 2019. The event will be held at the home of the Utah Jazz.

Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment, the ownership branch of the Jazz and Vivint Smart Home Arena, announced the tournament Thursday.

It will feature one night of two games each year with every team playing the other two over the span of three years.

BYU will play Weber State and Utah State faces Utah on Dec. 9, 2017. On Dec. 8, 2018, it’s Utah State vs. Weber State followed by Utah vs. BYU. On Dec. 14, 2019, it’s Weber State vs. Utah and BYU vs. Utah State.

Houston transfer headed to BYU

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BYU bolstered its suddenly thin backcourt Wednesday night.

The Cougars received a commitment from Houston graduate transfer L.J. Rose, according to reports.

Rose averaged 9.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a junior in 2014-15 before a foot injury limited him to limited him to just two games last season. His addition in Provo is certainly welcome after the Cougars lost Jordan Chatman last week to a transfer, which followed guard Jake Toolson also transferring.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Rose, who began his career at Baylor before transferring to Houston, will certainly give the Cougars another option in the backcourt as they look to build on last year’s 26-11 campaign after the graduation of guards Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer. The defections of Chatman and Toolson severely limited coach Dave Rose’s depth in the backcourt, but adding a graduate transfer of Rose’s caliber – he was once a top-100 recruit – is simply a major move considering June is already nearly half over.

West Coast Conference reprimands BYU’s Nick Emery

Associated Press
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Less than 24 hours after BYU guard Nick Emery was ejected from the Cougars’ 83-75 loss to rival Utah for striking Brandon Taylor underneath the basket, the West Coast Conference issued a public reprimand.

With Emery’s ejection, which was for a flagrant 2 “fighting” foul, comes a mandatory one-game suspension meaning that he will miss the Cougars’ game against Weber State this weekend. The WCC did not announce any further punishment for Emery, which means that he will only miss the one game.

Emery apologized to Taylor, the Utah program and both fan bases for his actions in the press release.

“I apologize to Brandon Taylor for the incident that happened in the game last night,” Emery said. “He’s a great competitor and I got caught up in the intensity of the game and let my emotions get the best of me. I also want to apologize to Coach Krystkowiak, his team, the fans of both schools, and my teammates and coaches.

“I regret what happened and will definitely learn from this experience. I’ll continue to play with passion to help our team but will do better in representing myself, the team and BYU.”

With Emery out of the rotation BYU will have a spot in its starting lineup to fill, with sophomore guard Jake Toolson being the most likely option. Toolson scored six points Wednesday night, shooting 3-for-5 from the field in 24 minutes of action.