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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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BYU's Carlino talks about SI's UCLA article, and Rose gives a Hartsock update

BYU's Matt Carlino read "a little bit" of the Sports Illustrated article -- which will hit newsstands next week but can be accessed online now -- on Wednesday, but said after the Cougars' practiced at the Marriott Center that he didn't have too much to say about it.

"I read the quotes, mostly," Carlino said.

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As noted in a previous blog, the article notes that one of the primary reasons Carlino left UCLA for BYU was that he was a target of physical and mental abuse by then-teammate Reeves Nelson.

I asked Carlino if he wanted to comment on the segment of the article that pertained to him.

"Not really," he said. "I mean, some of it, I don't know if it was true or not. But some of it was. But I am not really going to comment about it."

Is the stuff about Nelson's treatment of Carlino true, I asked.

"Obviously, you could see some of the stuff that had happened there. But no, that was not the main reason [why he left]. That was just the stuff that was going on there at the time," Carlino said. "I don't really want to comment on it any more [than that]. But I did read some of it. A rare article that I will read."

You mean the freshman doesn't read newspaper articles?

"I will hear about them, but I won't read them, actually," he said.

Carlino has been fairly consistent since he arrived in Provo more than a year ago about not wanting to go into specifics regarding why he left. He's merely said it "wasn't a good fit" for him at UCLA, and left it at that. He again took the high road on Wednesday, as you can see.

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Noah Hartsock did not practice on Wednesday, and probably won't practice on Thursday either, coach Dave Rose said after the workout.

Asked about Hartsock's status for Friday's 9 p.m. MST game against the winner of Thursday night's Pepperdine-San Diego game, Rose said:

"We will know Friday. We will know Friday gametime. He has improved every day, but he is not in a position to practice yet, so we will see. And we probably won't practice him. If he is ready to go on Friday, we will know at gametime. If not, then we will hope for Saturday, if we are still playing Saturday."

Hartsock was at practice, riding the stationary bike and putting up some shots at one end of the floor while the team scrimmaged at the other.

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I didn't get a chance to talk to freshman Damarcus Harrison after practice tonight because I was tied up with other interviews. But there are indications that Harrison is close to deciding whether or not he will go on a church mission when the season concludes.

I asked Rose about it after practice.

"We have had some good discussions about that," Rose said. "Right now, I think you will probably want to talk to Damarcus about that. I think he feels really comfortable with the direction he is going to go in. And our coaching staff feels comfortable with that, too."

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Before talking about the UCLA expose' in Sports Illustrated, Carlino said practices haven't been going all that well this week.

"Honestly, it didn't go as well as expected [Wednesday]," he said. "It is tough to prepare when you could be preparing for two teams, because of personnel and stuff like that. I dunno, it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, but it was all right, tomorrow will be another day."

Carlino said the Cougars have been going hard, but are obviously not the same without Hartsock on the floor.

"It's just not as crisp as we want it to be. I mean, I think partially it is because Noah has been out. He's usually a leader out there. But it should be going fine by the time we get to Vegas tonight.

I think everyone is just real focused on playing in the game. Sometimes, when you don't know your opponent, it is tough to lock in."

Carlino said he's over the knee injury suffered almost two weeks ago at San Francisco.

"My knee is good. I mean, this week having to prepare for the tournament, I think has been good for our team. We are just really excited to start the postseason and excited to get after it."



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