College Sports - The Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/cat/CollegeSports Stories from The Salt Lake Tribune &copy; 2014 The Associated Press, The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our privacy policy: http://www.sltrib.com/pages/privacy. en-us webmaster@sltrib.com (Webmaster) Utah gymnastics: Utes ready for the final push http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57831859-89/season-utes-utah-final.html.csp Birmingham, Ala. • A big smile spread across Mary Beth Lofgren’s face when asked what this season has been like for Utah’s gymnastics team. “It has been crazy,” she said. “With the exception of the Stanford meet, we’ve been building with every meet and we just want to keep that going.” They only need to make one final push. Finally, the fifth-ranked Utes are at the culmination of all their hard work as the NCAA Championships begin Friday in Birmingham, Ala. Shortly after they finished ninth last... Birmingham, Ala. • A big smile spread across Mary Beth Lofgren’s face when asked what this season has been like for Utah’s gymnastics team. “It has been crazy,” she said. “With the exception of the Stanford meet, we’ve been building with every meet and we just want to keep that going.” They only need to make one final push. Finally, the fifth-ranked Utes are at the culmination of all their hard work as the NCAA Championships begin Friday in Birmingham, Ala. Shortly after they finished ninth last... <img src="http://mngislctrib.112.2O7.net/b/ss/mngislctrib/1/H.17--NS/0?&pageName=RSS" height="1" width="1" border="0" alt=""/> 57831859@www.sltrib.com Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:49:48 MDT Utah football: Fanaika reestablishing his career at Utah http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57827084-89/fanaika-utah-poutasi-defensive.html.csp He doesn’t hold back: The trash talk spews forth from his mouth like venom. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive end inches in front of Jeremiah Poutasi and tells him his quarterback will end up face down in the turf. After the snap, he’ll do his best to fulfill his threat and muscle into the pocket. The big left tackle is thankful that at the end of every two-hour practice, that the scourge in a black jersey dials back the gusto and ferocity, morphing into a friend who will pat him on the back. Po... He doesn’t hold back: The trash talk spews forth from his mouth like venom. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive end inches in front of Jeremiah Poutasi and tells him his quarterback will end up face down in the turf. After the snap, he’ll do his best to fulfill his threat and muscle into the pocket. The big left tackle is thankful that at the end of every two-hour practice, that the scourge in a black jersey dials back the gusto and ferocity, morphing into a friend who will pat him on the back. Po... 57827084@www.sltrib.com Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:58:01 MDT Utah basketball signs top junior college power forward Chris Reyes http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57829818-89/reyes-junior-utah-basketball.html.csp He signed with Saint Mary’s out of high school. He took a detour to Citrus Junior College, and became one of the best JUCO power forwards in the country. Now, Chris Reyes is back playing Division I basketball. The 6-foot-7 rising junior officially signed with Utah on Wednesday morning, becoming a Ute when he faxed over his letter of intent. With his signature, Reyes becomes the fourth member of Larry Krystkowiak’s recruiting class. “I’m really excited to join Utah,” Reyes said. “It’s an excellen... He signed with Saint Mary’s out of high school. He took a detour to Citrus Junior College, and became one of the best JUCO power forwards in the country. Now, Chris Reyes is back playing Division I basketball. The 6-foot-7 rising junior officially signed with Utah on Wednesday morning, becoming a Ute when he faxed over his letter of intent. With his signature, Reyes becomes the fourth member of Larry Krystkowiak’s recruiting class. “I’m really excited to join Utah,” Reyes said. “It’s an excellen... 57829818@www.sltrib.com Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:42:02 MDT Southern Utah basketball team signs junior college recruit Jeff Nibo http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/57828618-77/nibo-college-jeff-calif.html.csp Cedar City • Southern Utah has signed 6-foot-5 wing Jeff Nibo of Chaffey (Calif.) College to a national letter-of-intent, coach Nick Robinson announced Wednesday. Nibo, who is from Inglewood, Calif., averaged 11.8 points and 4.3 rebounds last season. “We are excited to welcome Jeff as the newest member of the Thunderbirds,” Robinson said. “He comes from a great family … and brings needed experience to our program.” Nibo spent one season at Mt. San Antonio College before transferring to Chaffey. ... Cedar City • Southern Utah has signed 6-foot-5 wing Jeff Nibo of Chaffey (Calif.) College to a national letter-of-intent, coach Nick Robinson announced Wednesday. Nibo, who is from Inglewood, Calif., averaged 11.8 points and 4.3 rebounds last season. “We are excited to welcome Jeff as the newest member of the Thunderbirds,” Robinson said. “He comes from a great family … and brings needed experience to our program.” Nibo spent one season at Mt. San Antonio College before transferring to Chaffey. ... 57828618@www.sltrib.com Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:42:01 MDT Utah State basketball team signs Arizona prep prospect Elston Jones http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/57828653-77/guard-jones-elston-state.html.csp Logan • Utah State announced Wednesday the signing of 6-foot-9 center Elston Jones from Millennium High School in Goodyear, Ariz. Jones played only seven games as a senior because of injuries, but he averaged 14 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots during his four-year prep career. “We are very excited about Elston joining our program,” Aggie coach Stew Morrill said in a statement released by the school. “We are getting a quality young man from a great family who has all the tools to be su... Logan • Utah State announced Wednesday the signing of 6-foot-9 center Elston Jones from Millennium High School in Goodyear, Ariz. Jones played only seven games as a senior because of injuries, but he averaged 14 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots during his four-year prep career. “We are very excited about Elston joining our program,” Aggie coach Stew Morrill said in a statement released by the school. “We are getting a quality young man from a great family who has all the tools to be su... 57828653@www.sltrib.com Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:42:01 MDT BYU football: Cougar defense has lots of holes to fill in 2014 http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/57827786-88/camp-defensive-junior-2014.html.csp Provo • If quarterback Taysom Hill stays healthy, BYU’s offense in 2014 will undoubtedly be better than it was in 2013. The Cougars have to replace prolific pass-catcher Cody Hoffman and all-around playmaker JD Falslev, but not much else, in their quest to be more effective in the red zone and move the ball against the better teams on their schedule. What about the defense? Coach Bronco Mendenhall said that side of the ball will be fine in 2014 and up to the standard he has installed since takin... Provo • If quarterback Taysom Hill stays healthy, BYU’s offense in 2014 will undoubtedly be better than it was in 2013. The Cougars have to replace prolific pass-catcher Cody Hoffman and all-around playmaker JD Falslev, but not much else, in their quest to be more effective in the red zone and move the ball against the better teams on their schedule. What about the defense? Coach Bronco Mendenhall said that side of the ball will be fine in 2014 and up to the standard he has installed since takin... 57827786@www.sltrib.com Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:10:18 MDT Ute Tribe, U. of U. reach new agreement over name http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57820211-89/tribe-ute-utah-university.html.csp Fort Duchesne • The University of Utah will continue to use the Ute name with the all-important support of Ute Indian Tribe leaders. On Tuesday, the school agreed to a five-year agreement that centers on efforts to help reservation youths. The new memorandum of understanding was signed by U. President David Pershing and Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee chairman Gordon Howell shortly before noon Tuesday in Fort Duchesne. The U. agreed to fund scholarships not only for American Indian students... Fort Duchesne • The University of Utah will continue to use the Ute name with the all-important support of Ute Indian Tribe leaders. On Tuesday, the school agreed to a five-year agreement that centers on efforts to help reservation youths. The new memorandum of understanding was signed by U. President David Pershing and Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee chairman Gordon Howell shortly before noon Tuesday in Fort Duchesne. The U. agreed to fund scholarships not only for American Indian students... 57820211@www.sltrib.com Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:06:20 MDT Utah gymnastics: Hostile arenas better than quiet ones for gymnasts http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57826823-89/championships-alabama-fans-utah.html.csp During the recent media teleconference for the gymnastics coaches whose teams are participating in the NCAA Championships, Alabama coach Sarah Patterson made sure to go out of her way to welcome teams to Alabama, noting it was the fifth time her state had hosted the nationals. “I couldn’t be prouder,” she said. Nor, probably, more excited about the chances of winning another national title since the Tide will be competing in a familiar setting. Alabama won the SEC title in the same building a fe... During the recent media teleconference for the gymnastics coaches whose teams are participating in the NCAA Championships, Alabama coach Sarah Patterson made sure to go out of her way to welcome teams to Alabama, noting it was the fifth time her state had hosted the nationals. “I couldn’t be prouder,” she said. Nor, probably, more excited about the chances of winning another national title since the Tide will be competing in a familiar setting. Alabama won the SEC title in the same building a fe... 57826823@www.sltrib.com Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:39:24 MDT BYU decathlon champ Chase Dalton might be Cougs’ best athlete http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/57822549-88/dalton-decathlon-byu-season.html.csp Provo • The best all-around athlete at Brigham Young University this year might not be probable NFL early-round draft pick Kyle Van Noy, record-setting receiver Cody Hoffman, versatile quarterback Taysom Hill or even two-sport star Jennifer Hamson. It could be a lanky, easygoing, über-confident senior most BYU fans know nothing about by the name of Chase Dalton. Actually, Dalton is one of the best college athletes in the entire country. The 25-year-old returned missionary from Tigard, Ore., prov... Provo • The best all-around athlete at Brigham Young University this year might not be probable NFL early-round draft pick Kyle Van Noy, record-setting receiver Cody Hoffman, versatile quarterback Taysom Hill or even two-sport star Jennifer Hamson. It could be a lanky, easygoing, über-confident senior most BYU fans know nothing about by the name of Chase Dalton. Actually, Dalton is one of the best college athletes in the entire country. The 25-year-old returned missionary from Tigard, Ore., prov... 57822549@www.sltrib.com Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:47:39 MDT Utah football: Offensive line getting attuned to new coach http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57824346-89/harding-coach-offensive-whittingham.html.csp Jim Harding may be one of the new coaches on the block up at Utah, but close to the end of spring, it would be hard to tell that he just stepped aboard a few months ago. His offensive linemen know what he wants. They know what drills he runs, and if they don’t do them right, they anticipate his loud bark across the field. In film meetings, they’ve started using Harding’s terminology to acknowledge the mistakes they make. “I think that kind of shows you’re starting to hit home,” he said. A longti... Jim Harding may be one of the new coaches on the block up at Utah, but close to the end of spring, it would be hard to tell that he just stepped aboard a few months ago. His offensive linemen know what he wants. They know what drills he runs, and if they don’t do them right, they anticipate his loud bark across the field. In film meetings, they’ve started using Harding’s terminology to acknowledge the mistakes they make. “I think that kind of shows you’re starting to hit home,” he said. A longti... 57824346@www.sltrib.com Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:16:30 MDT Monson: How big a deal is BYU, Utah and Utah State football, really? http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/57822172-77/utah-state-football-game.html.csp You think Utah, BYU, or Utah State is ready for the big time? You think Utah is a football state, where the college game is large and every other sport is petite-sized? You think football is king here, along the lines of the game’s other regal regions, and deserves to be mentioned with them on an annual basis? Au contraire, my friends. It’s not even close. We’re not even close. How do we know, beyond the sorry facts that the Utes have won five Pac-12 games and lost something like 50 over the pa... You think Utah, BYU, or Utah State is ready for the big time? You think Utah is a football state, where the college game is large and every other sport is petite-sized? You think football is king here, along the lines of the game’s other regal regions, and deserves to be mentioned with them on an annual basis? Au contraire, my friends. It’s not even close. We’re not even close. How do we know, beyond the sorry facts that the Utes have won five Pac-12 games and lost something like 50 over the pa... 57822172@www.sltrib.com Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:24:35 MDT State colleges: UC Santa Barbara baseball team beats BYU, 9-5 http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/57819001-77/barbara-byu-hits-santa.html.csp UC Santa Barbara outfielder Joey Epperson went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles as the host Gauchos beat BYU 9-5 in a nonconference baseball game in Santa Barbara, Calif. Gaucho pitcher Andrew Vasquez, a 6-foot-6 left-hander, earned the win by holding the Cougars to one run on four hits over six innings, with five strikeouts. The Cougars (14-24) scored three runs in the ninth inning off a bases-loaded triple by Eric Urry down the right-field line. Dillon Robinson singled in Urry to narrow the mar... UC Santa Barbara outfielder Joey Epperson went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles as the host Gauchos beat BYU 9-5 in a nonconference baseball game in Santa Barbara, Calif. Gaucho pitcher Andrew Vasquez, a 6-foot-6 left-hander, earned the win by holding the Cougars to one run on four hits over six innings, with five strikeouts. The Cougars (14-24) scored three runs in the ninth inning off a bases-loaded triple by Eric Urry down the right-field line. Dillon Robinson singled in Urry to narrow the mar... 57819001@www.sltrib.com Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:47:02 MDT WNBA: Utah’s Michelle Plouffe drafted by Seattle Storm in second round http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57819385-89/plouffe-utah-didn-season.html.csp Michelle Plouffe didn’t even see the moment her basketball life changed. It’s true, ESPN broadcast the WNBA Draft on Monday night. But the network conducted so many live interviews that Plouffe never noticed her name quietly scrolling across the television screen while holding a selection party with her friends and teammates. “I think I saw it the second time around,” Plouffe said. “I was surprised because I didn’t realize it. I waited until it came back around. Then we all started to celebrate.... Michelle Plouffe didn’t even see the moment her basketball life changed. It’s true, ESPN broadcast the WNBA Draft on Monday night. But the network conducted so many live interviews that Plouffe never noticed her name quietly scrolling across the television screen while holding a selection party with her friends and teammates. “I think I saw it the second time around,” Plouffe said. “I was surprised because I didn’t realize it. I waited until it came back around. Then we all started to celebrate.... 57819385@www.sltrib.com Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:39:59 MDT Utah Basketball: Krystkowiak will greet deep, versatile class http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57818095-89/class-utah-utes-krystkowiak.html.csp When coach Larry Krystkowiak accepted the Utah basketball job in 2011, he also accepted the fact that his rebuilding process was going to take time. Then he lured in Jordan Loveridge and Delon Wright in back-to-back recruiting classes. Suddenly the process sped up, as well as expectations. The Utes went from six wins in that first year to 15 in 2013. Then they won 21 games this past season, nine in the rugged Pac-12, and advanced to the NIT. Now, the process seems virtually complete. Wright and ... When coach Larry Krystkowiak accepted the Utah basketball job in 2011, he also accepted the fact that his rebuilding process was going to take time. Then he lured in Jordan Loveridge and Delon Wright in back-to-back recruiting classes. Suddenly the process sped up, as well as expectations. The Utes went from six wins in that first year to 15 in 2013. Then they won 21 games this past season, nine in the rugged Pac-12, and advanced to the NIT. Now, the process seems virtually complete. Wright and ... 57818095@www.sltrib.com Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:31:44 MDT Basketball: Weber State’s Berry head to Portsmouth Invitational http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/57819096-77/berry-portsmouth-state-weber.html.csp Ogden • Weber State’s Davion Berry has been invited to participate in this week’s Portsmouth Invitational, one of the NBA’s important pre-draft tournaments. Berry is the only player from Utah who will participate at Portsmouth. He will be joined by two others players from the Big Sky Conference, North Dakota’s Troy Huff and Montana’s Kareem Jamar. Berry, a 6-foot-4 guard from Oakland, Calif., averaged 19.2 points per game last season. He was the Big Sky’s regular season and postseason tournament... Ogden • Weber State’s Davion Berry has been invited to participate in this week’s Portsmouth Invitational, one of the NBA’s important pre-draft tournaments. Berry is the only player from Utah who will participate at Portsmouth. He will be joined by two others players from the Big Sky Conference, North Dakota’s Troy Huff and Montana’s Kareem Jamar. Berry, a 6-foot-4 guard from Oakland, Calif., averaged 19.2 points per game last season. He was the Big Sky’s regular season and postseason tournament... 57819096@www.sltrib.com Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:56:02 MDT Utah women’s basketball: Michelle Plouffe waits for call from WNBA http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57810066-89/plouffe-utah-basketball-draft.html.csp Professional basketball was not much of a goal for Michelle Plouffe as she was growing up. There’s no doubt she loved the game. She put in as much time working on her craft as anyone, including late-night sessions at the gym, with hard work in the weight room as well. But the WNBA was a pipe dream to her. She watched her favorite players on television and all. But being raised in Canada, all she could see is what was directly in front of her. A college basketball career in Utah. “I honestly didn... Professional basketball was not much of a goal for Michelle Plouffe as she was growing up. There’s no doubt she loved the game. She put in as much time working on her craft as anyone, including late-night sessions at the gym, with hard work in the weight room as well. But the WNBA was a pipe dream to her. She watched her favorite players on television and all. But being raised in Canada, all she could see is what was directly in front of her. A college basketball career in Utah. “I honestly didn... 57810066@www.sltrib.com Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:07:47 MDT Utah State football: Coaches make handoff to players (video) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/57811949-77/players-state-utah-coaches.html.csp Logan • For the Utah State football team, counting off the months won’t do. The year, like games, is divided into quarters. Saturday’s spring game at Romney Stadium marks halftime in the long march to the season. What Aggie coaches dub the “third quarter,” the offseason conditioning before the fall, is about to begin. And unlike much of the year, this stretch will require the players to be on their own for most of it. “We put it on the players in May, June and July,” coach Matt Wells said. “I th... Logan • For the Utah State football team, counting off the months won’t do. The year, like games, is divided into quarters. Saturday’s spring game at Romney Stadium marks halftime in the long march to the season. What Aggie coaches dub the “third quarter,” the offseason conditioning before the fall, is about to begin. And unlike much of the year, this stretch will require the players to be on their own for most of it. “We put it on the players in May, June and July,” coach Matt Wells said. “I th... 57811949@www.sltrib.com Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:06:36 MDT BYU’s Hamson could be drafted by WNBA, but won’t play for a year http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/57808450-88/hamson-volleyball-team-wnba.html.csp Provo • Two-sport star Jennifer Hamson was told recently by BYU’s compliance officers that she could play professional basketball this summer for a WNBA team and still retain her last year of college eligibility this fall with the volleyball team. That made the decision a little more difficult, the 6-foot-7 senior acknowledged last week, but it didn’t alter the course she planned out for herself months ago, or the commitment she made to BYU women’s volleyball coach Shawn Olm­stead. Hamson conf... Provo • Two-sport star Jennifer Hamson was told recently by BYU’s compliance officers that she could play professional basketball this summer for a WNBA team and still retain her last year of college eligibility this fall with the volleyball team. That made the decision a little more difficult, the 6-foot-7 senior acknowledged last week, but it didn’t alter the course she planned out for herself months ago, or the commitment she made to BYU women’s volleyball coach Shawn Olm­stead. Hamson conf... 57808450@www.sltrib.com Sun, 13 Apr 2014 23:32:01 MDT Utah State football: Aggies’ spring game is full of competition (VIDEO) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/57811925-77/game-spring-iframe-embed.html.csp Logan • Almost as soon as the tipped pass bounced into his hands, Devin Centers was in stride. To the 40, to the 30, to the 20 — nothing was about to stop him from taking his interception all the way. Well, just one thing: Craig Harrison’s red jersey as it popped in his path. Not eager to stiffarm a quarterback in a spring scrimmage, Centers tried to cut back. He was tackled two yards short of the goal line, and the sophomore safety was left laughing at himself at what might have been. “ It’s OK... Logan • Almost as soon as the tipped pass bounced into his hands, Devin Centers was in stride. To the 40, to the 30, to the 20 — nothing was about to stop him from taking his interception all the way. Well, just one thing: Craig Harrison’s red jersey as it popped in his path. Not eager to stiffarm a quarterback in a spring scrimmage, Centers tried to cut back. He was tackled two yards short of the goal line, and the sophomore safety was left laughing at himself at what might have been. “ It’s OK... 57811925@www.sltrib.com Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:47:58 MDT State colleges: USC baseball team beats Utah in series finale http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/57811831-77/utah-trojans-utes-6-2.html.csp The University of Southern California baseball team hammered Utah 13-2 on Sunday in Los Angeles, giving the Trojans a 2-1 win over the Utes in their Pac-12 series. The Trojans (17-17, 6-9) pounded out 19 hits, including nine against Utah starter Tanner Banks (2-6). Banks took the loss, giving up four runs in four innings. USC broke open a 2-1 game with a six-run fifth inning. Konnor Armijo led the Utes (11-21, 2-12) at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a double. Men’s tennis USC 4, Ut... The University of Southern California baseball team hammered Utah 13-2 on Sunday in Los Angeles, giving the Trojans a 2-1 win over the Utes in their Pac-12 series. The Trojans (17-17, 6-9) pounded out 19 hits, including nine against Utah starter Tanner Banks (2-6). Banks took the loss, giving up four runs in four innings. USC broke open a 2-1 game with a six-run fifth inning. Konnor Armijo led the Utes (11-21, 2-12) at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a double. Men’s tennis USC 4, Ut... 57811831@www.sltrib.com Sun, 13 Apr 2014 19:14:01 MDT