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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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Another injury thins BYU guard line

The Cougars wrapped up their Thursday practice at the Marriott Center an hour or so ago, and the BYU women are now warming up, getting ready for their big game against No. 21 Gonzaga. The Zags are warming up, too.

The Tribune's Marty Renzhofer will cover tonight's game, so I am heading home to watch the big St. Mary's-Gonzaga men's game from Spokane.

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Strangely, the three Cougars I talked to after practice today said they probably won't watch the game. Coach Dave Rose said he might not, either.

"I don't think I will watch it tonight," Rose adi. "But I will be interested in what the score is. When you look at it in the long scheme of things, whatever happens is your next challenge. And either challenge will be a difficult one. There are good things about St. Mary's winning. There are good things about Gonzaga winning. I don't control any of it. But we will start to control it tomorrow, depending on what the result is tonight."

BYU's opponent on Saturday, Pepperdine, is also in action tonight. The Waves are playing at Portland.

The biggest news after practice was that junior shooting guard Brock Zylstra did not practice. He is still nursing that sprained ankle suffered a few weeks ago, and re-aggravated against Portland on Saturday.

I asked Rose if Zylstra is questionable for Saturday.

"Yeah, that's what they told me today, which is [that he is] questionable. But we are probably all questionable. I don't really know what that means," Rose said. " Sometimes they tell me it is day-to-day, but they don't think he will practice tomorrow, so that's why I guess why it is probably questionable."

Anson Winder took Zylstra's place in the starting lineup two games ago (vs. Gonzaga) and will again be the starting two-guard. Damarcus Harrison will likely get more playing time off the bench.

"I just think that everybody will get a chance," Rose said. "That is probably what will happen. The guys who kinda match up the best and seem to be playing the best will get the most minutes."

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Got a chance to talk to Damarcus Harrison for a while after practice tonight. More on that interview later. But Harrison surprised me, a bit, when he said he's thinking about going on a church mission. I was surprised because a year ago, when Harrison signed with BYU, he had said a mission wasn't in his plans.

"I am really just thinking about church and everything. I am thinking about a mission, maybe. There's just a lot on my mind.

But that's what normally everyone here wants to do, is go out and teach the gospel, and about the church. So there's a lot on my mind," he said, noting that right now it is 50-50.

Harrison said he hasn't talked to BYU's coaches about his possible change of heart, but believes they will support whatever he chooses to do.

"It really wasn't in my plans, because I wasn't really thinking about it too much. But there's a lot to think about it, in this atmosphere, when you are going to church and everything. It is just something to look at, and decide what kind of person I can be."

Harrison said his brother, D.J., has a year left on his mission in Chicago. Damarcus said D.J. will attend BYU when he finishes and wants to either try out or walk on to the basketball team. D.J. is a point guard who played some junior college ball before his mission.



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