Provo • Hoping to set a tone defensively early in the game, BYU coach Dave Rose shuffled his starting lineup on Thursday night against Gonzaga.
Rose started Anson Winder instead of Skyler Halford at the shooting guard spot, and Josh Sharp instead of Eric Mika inside.
It was Rose’s first starting lineup change in 13 games that wasn’t made due to injury.
After the Cougars’ loss at Pepperdine on Dec. 30, Rose decided to replace Matt Carlino with Halford in the starting lineup.
Asked about his lineup on Wednesday, Rose hinted that there was a "possibility" that he would make a few adjustments.
Kyle Collinsworth was just as surprised as everyone else that he was able to play in Thursday night’s BYU-Gonzaga basketball game.
The BYU sophomore fell hard to the floor in the first half of BYU’s win over Saint Mary’s last week, and suffered a deep bone bruise. He returned to the game before the half was even over, but his right knee was very sore the next day.
"I heard a pop, so I thought I tore it, or that something extremely bad happened," Collinsworth said. "I just hit the floor so hard that it caused a deep bone bruise. I went back and I heard it snap. I thought maybe that was it for the season."
Collinsworth didn’t practice full-tilt until Wednesday, but said after the workout that he felt a lot better.
"It feels good," he said. "Good enough to play. That’s all that counts."
Talking about it
After BYU’s 60-57 win Saturday over Saint Mary’s, ESPN cameras caught freshman forward Mika giving the choke sign to Saint Mary’s students who had been on his case the entire game.
Rose was asked Wednesday about the gesture.
"Yeah, we’ve had quite a long conversation. It is disappointing, and I think he understands that his reaction to some harassing fans was not appropriate," Rose said.
The coach was also asked why it is important for players to ignore the crowd and not respond to cat-calls, insults and the like.
"In this situation, the game was over. It is a little bit different, but it is still the same issue. You want to represent your school and your team the best you can," Rose said. "I think probably the best way to learn from these situations is experience — the more times you are in those type of environments, and the more times you feel it and hear it and experience it, the more it becomes common and you can not react to it. Hopefully that’s what happens here with Eric."
A couple of BYU players received their LDS Church mission calls earlier this week. Mika and freshman Graham Pingree, a walk-on, will serve in Rome, Italy.Next Page >
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