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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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Carlino has keyed Cougars' resurgence

I'm tempted to turn this into a woe-is-me travel blog, seeing as how I've been sitting at the Salt Lake City International Airport for most of the day. Two flights to Spokane have been canceled, and now my best hope is to get a seat on the 5 p.m. flight that will get me there an hour or so before tipoff.

For the first time in my life, I'm actually happy about a late tipoff (9 p.m. MST).

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Referee Mike Reed can relate. The Pac-12/WCC/Mountain West referee is scheduled to work the BYU-Gonzaga game, and has been here all day as well. He just got a seat on the 3:15 flight, so he should be fine.

For BYU fans, whether he is really "fine" tonight will probably depend on the outcome of the game.

To advance tonight's game, I wrote about the resurgence of BYU point guard Matt Carlino. Check that out here.

Regarding Carlino's improved play the last 10 or so games, senior center Brandon Davies said: "That's what good players do. They always find a way to fight through adversity. That's part of the game. Whether you have one bad game, or a couple bad games, you gotta find a way to help your team win. And Matt is really good at making sure he gives us his all."

Davies said it was a "group effort" to get behind Carlino and support him after he was benched earlier this season.

"We know what he's capable of. It takes a group effort to keep everybody positive, even the guys behind the scenes, the guys who only practice and don't necessarily play as much pitch in, too," Davies said. " It is all part of being a team and making sure everyone stays positive and making sure everyone has one goal in mind."

Want to learn more about a player you are profiling? Go to his best friend on the team.

Carlino's best friend, and roommate the past year or so, is Anson Winder.

Winder said Carlino is a "playful guy" away from the court and a hoot to be around.

"Pulling pranks, making fun of guys, making fun of himself. He's always got us laughing. ... You get him in that right element, he will be a clown," Winder said.

Anson said Carlino was especially funny early in the season after he shaved off all is hair.

"Hee kind of played off people who would make jokes about him, orr he would see himself in photos and start cracking jokes on himself. Now that his hair is back, it is not as much of a joke. We just look at old pictures and laugh at that. So I think that is probably a funny moment I remember," Winder said.

Carlino is a huge New York Yankees fan, and claims that "Seinfeld" is his all-time favorite TV show.

But Winder said right now he's been watching something else a lot.

"He might hate me for saying this, but I feel like he's been [watching] the Bachelor a lot lately. He's probably going to beat me up for saying it, but the Bachelor is his go-to [show] right now," Winder said.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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