Davies practices on improving ankle, should be ready for Thursday's BYU-LMU game
BYU's basketball team had a hard, intense practice on Wednesday afternoon, and star senior forward Brandon Davies was out there the whole time, running, rebounding and doing all that was asked of him. That's good news for the Cougars, who watched Davies hobble off the court with about 12 minutes remaining in the 97-71 win over Virginia Tech with a high ankle sprain. "It is making progress. It feels 100 times better than it did. We are finally getting the swelling out of it. It is a day-by-day thing, but it is feeling a lot better," Davies told us after practice, his foot in a plastic garbage can filled with ice and water. Davies said Wednesday marked his first full practice, and that he fully intends to play on Thursday night as the Cougars play host to Loyola Marymount at the Marriott Center (7 p.m., BYUtv). "Today I was able to go full time, which is a good sign, without hardly any pain. Just keep progressing and we are going to be good," he said. "If it keeps getting better every day, as it has been, each day there is a lot of progress I have been making. So tomorrow I hope it feels even better and so I will be able to go." Coach Dave Rose said Davies looked OK in practice, but acknowledged there were some worrisome moments immediately after Saturday's game. "He practiced today, and it has progressively felt better each day, and hopefully it feels good tomorrow. He didn't do a lot yesterday, but he made strides. He practiced pretty good today, so hopefully it feels good tomorrow and we can count on him," Rose said. Davies said he just "came down funny" on the ankle against the Hokies. "I think I got bumped a little bit in the air," he said. "It was a basketball play, and it happens all the time. I just kind of rolled it over. Didn't feel a pop or anything, so it was just one of those freaky type situations." Wednesday, Bronson Kaufusi practiced again with the basketball team and is gradually looking more and more like a basketball player and less like a football player, according to a couple of teammates. Kaufusi could be in uniform on Thursday night if the jersey that has been ordered for him arrives in time. It is not clear yet whether he will appear in a game or not. Probably not, unless the Cougars get out to a big lead. His father, defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi, watched the practice from a couple rows up along with Ralph Haws, Tyler Haws' grandfather. I'll have more comments on Thursday's game in this space tomorrow, but Davies said revenge is definitely on the Cougars' minds after LMU beat them at the Marriott Center last year. "This is our biggest game of the year, right here. It is our first conference game; we got to start it off right. I am pushing myself, and the coaches are pushing me to do everything I can to get back out there," Davies said. "Definitely [a revenge game]. We are fired up for it. They came into our place and got us, and that hit us deep. You are going to see some fire in us tomorrow." Rose said the Lions (7-6) are similar to last year's team that won easily in Provo. "They are very athletic. They rebound the ball well, and it is a really good three-point shooting team. They got four guys that shoot over 40 percent from the three-point line. But defensively is where they really impress me. They are a really physical team that gives great help. It is hard to get an easy basket against them. They make you earn your points," Rose said.