Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU's Eric Mika talks with members of the media Tuesday October 8, 2013.
BYU basketball: Eric Mika back practicing, should play Thursday vs. USF
College basketball » Cougars big man has missed two games with hip injury.
First Published Jan 14 2014 06:57 pm • Last Updated Jan 15 2014 10:20 am

Provo • About to head out on their second four-game road swing of the basketball season, the Cougars got some good news at practices on Monday and Tuesday.

Freshman center Eric Mika, who missed last week’s wins over Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount with a hip contusion and various other ailments after suffering a hard fall against San Diego, is expected to play on Thursday night at San Francisco (7 p.m., ESPNU).

At a glance

BYU at San Francisco

Thursday, 7 p.m.


Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"Well, Eric is feeling better," coach Dave Rose said after practice on Tuesday. "He practiced a little bit yesterday, and today was at it full time. So unless he has a setback tonight, we anticipate him having a good practice tomorrow and playing on Thursday."

The Cougars (3-2, 11-7) will need Mika, Rose said, because San Francisco (4-2, 11-7) is playing as well as any team in the league, despite a big loss at Saint Mary’s on Saturday.

"Eric is a big part of our offensive and defensive game plan," Rose said. "I do think that having another body will really be good. I believe the combination of Josh [Sharp] and Nate [Austin] was really good for us in playing those minutes, and [getting] a couple wins. It should help the confidence of the team, but we need Eric. … The most important thing is that he’s healthy."

Sagarin’s say

The Cougars moved up a few spots in the nationally respected Sagarin Ratings after their weekend wins over Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount and are now at No. 43, tied with Dayton and just behind Oklahoma.

BYU has played the 16th-most difficult schedule in the country, but is set to move more into its WCC schedule, which is supposedly easier than its nonconference schedule.

Utah has moved up to No. 71, according to Jeff Sagarin, but still has had one of the weakest schedules in the country, 330th. Utah State’s Sagarin rating is No. 80.

story continues below
story continues below

Bracket bits

The West Coast Conference is shaping up to be a one- or two-bid league for the NCAA Tournament this spring, unless BYU gets hot the next two months. The Cougars are among the "First Four Out" in ESPN college basketball expert Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology update, while Saint Mary’s is among the "Last Four In."

Gonzaga is the only sure bet at this point. The Zags are a No. 5 seed right now, according to Lunardi, despite Saturday’s surprising loss at Portland.


Saturday’s 30-for-38 performance from the free-throw line (78.9 percent) marked the Cougars’ best outing from the charity stripe this season. The Cougars have improved their free-throw percentage in each of the last six games after shooting 54.8 percent against Utah. … Tyler Haws earned West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors on Monday for the first time this season after scoring 66 points in wins over Pepperdine and LMU. … San Francisco is the worst free-throw shooting team in the WCC, at 64 percent, but the second-best field-goal percentage team in the league, at 48.5 percent.


Twitter: @drewjay

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

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.