As you can read here, BYU basketball coach Dave Rose is out of the hospital after his most recent surgery for cancerous spots on his liver (instead of his pancreas, which was the case in June of 2009), and chomping at the bit to get back to work
Rose has already spent some time with his team since being released on Sept. 15, and hosted a high-profile recruit (Payton Dastrup of Mesa, Ariz.) last weekend when the football team was playing Utah.
The highlight of the ordeal, Rose said, was a visit at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in SLC from his entire team. He liked what he saw.
That's partly because the basketball team has a new strength and conditioning coach.
Bob Medina, who spent the last 15 years as the strength coach for the Portland Trailblazers, and six years before that with the Seattle Sonics, has been hired by BYU. Basketball's previous strength coach, Justin McClure, has gone full time with the football team.
"I am excited to add Bob Medina to our group," Rose said. "The guys look really good. They are in really great shape. Bob has done a terrific job with them the last month."
Rose also praised the way assistant coaches Mark Pope, Tim LaComb and Terry Nashif and operations director Cody Fueger have handled things while he's been having surgery and recovering.
"They do a tremendous job," he said.
While the focus of Rose's one-on-one interviews was designed to be about his surgery and recovery, we couldn't resist talking a little about basketball.
I asked him whether or not returned missionary Kyle Collinsworth's role with the team has been defined yet.
"Everybody is kinda curious to see what kind of role Kyle will have on this team," Rose said. "I think they will all be pleasantly surprised. Kyle has had a great offseason. He got home and has continued to improve, not only with his basketball skills, but getting himself in shape and focusing on certain parts of his game.
He played the backup point guard position for us his freshman year when Jimmer [Fredette] was playing quite a few minutes, so he didn't get a lot of opportunity there. Kyle is a real playmaker. When he has the ball in his hands, he can create a lot of good opportunities for his teammates.
And I think he can do that from a lot of different positions on the floor. How that works, and how he fits with our group this year, we are just going to have to see how that works out. One thing about our guys, is that they are all really focused and dialed in on their career, and their improvement individually, but the most important thing is the team, and the program, and I think these guys will do what is best for us as a team. That's what I expect from all of our players."
The Cougars will start practices on Oct. 7, and the Cougar Tipoff is Oct. 23. Exhibition games against Colorado College (Oct. 26) and Alaska-Anchorage (Nov. 2) will precede the opener, which is Nov. 8 at the Marriott Center against Weber State.
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