Provo • Troubled BYU basketball guard Nick Emery won’t play in Wednesday’s exhibition game against Colorado College or Saturday’s season opener against Mississippi Valley State as the school waits on a ruling from the NCAA regarding the junior’s eligibility, coach Dave Rose said Tuesday.
Emery is the focus of a school investigation regarding whether he accepted improper benefits from a BYU booster, The Salt Lake Tribune reported last month. BYU officials have acknowledged that they investigated the allegations first made last spring and have turned their findings over to the NCAA and are awaiting a decision from college basketball’s governing body.
Emery played in only four minutes of last week’s exhibition game against Westminster College, and Rose said after the game that the guard was not feeling well. He practiced on Tuesday, rotating between the first and second teams.
“Nick is feeling better, yeah, but Nick won’t play this week, for sure,” Rose said after practice Tuesday. “It is kind of part of the plan and we are still trying to figure out information from the NCAA. He won’t be available.”
Asked whether it is safe to say that Emery won’t play this season until he is cleared by the NCAA, or receives a punishment, Rose nodded his head affirmatively.
“That’s how I understand it,” he said.
Emery averaged 13.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last season and was slated to be a starter for the third straight season this year.
“The exhibition games, we knew that he could play [without the NCAA’s blessing],” Rose said. “Then this week, I didn’t want to [play him]. I wanted to get ready for our Saturday game. There is no reason to play a guy that is not going to play, in my opinion. So, that’s where we are.”
Rose said he hasn’t been told when the NCAA will deliver a decision.
“But they are not communicating with me. I am just waiting to hear from our compliance people and the administration,” he said.
Third exhibition game Wednesday night
Wednesday’s 7 p.m. exhibition game at the Marriott Center against Colorado College, an NCAA Division III school in Colorado Springs, Colo., is the Cougars’ third non-counting contest. BYU’s season opener is Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Delta Devils.
Rose said he scheduled the games close together to simulate the regular-season schedule, which generally calls for a midweek game followed by a weekend game the first couple of weeks.
“It is an important game for a lot of the guys that played some minutes, and really didn’t play as well as they wanted to, or are capable of, to get comfortable doing that,” Rose said. “So hopefully that will happen. We will see.”
The visiting Tigers are a veteran squad that returns its top five scorers from last season, including John Hatch, who averaged 17.7 points per game in 2016-17. Colorado College defeated Colorado-Colorado Springs 73-71 last week.
“It is a good team. They run good stuff. I am excited to see how our guys actually respond to this type of game,” Rose said.
Another big man out
Rose said 6-foot-9 junior Braiden Shaw sprained his ankle in practice last Saturday and won’t play this week. Shaw scored two points and grabbed a rebound in eight minutes against Westminster. The Cougars are already playing without 6-11 forward Ryan Andrus, who sustained a knee injury before preseason training camp began and is probably out another three weeks, or more.
Sophomore wing Zac Seljaas scored six points on 2-for-3 3-point shooting against the Griffins and “has been on a constant upward plane” since returning from a church mission to Iowa with shoulder issues, Rose said.
“He looks bigger to me,” Rose said. “He grew maybe a half an inch, is all. But he just looks bigger and more established, ready to be a Division I factor. He was a good player as a freshman, really shot the ball well. But he’s got a chance to really not only help this team, but individually have a great college career.”