Spokane, Wash. • Gonzaga students dressed up as the pope, King Arthur and a power ranger, among other characters, on Saturday night at McCarthey Athletic Center.
But no one dressed up like a Mormon missionary to mock the faith that owns and operates Brigham Young University, after officials and student leaders at the Jesuit institution asked students to refrain from the usual practice of wearing white shirts, ties and bicycle helmets earlier in the week.
The signs were more timid than usual, too.
“BYU doesn’t eat Tide pods,” was one of the few that even referenced Gonzaga’s opponent.
“Coach [Dave] Rose eats cereal with a fork,” said another.
Waiting for Wade
Former Davis High star Jesse Wade, the returned missionary from Kaysville on GU’s roster, did not play in the first half. Wade’s presence is one of the reasons school officials asked for the ban on missionary attire. Gonzaga didn’t make the Utahn available to the Utah media leading up to the game.
Coincidentally, Wade and BYU’s TJ Haws served in the same mission in Lyon, France.
“I didn’t really know Jesse Wade a whole bunch before my mission,” Haws said Tuesday. “We talked a little bit. But I was around him a lot when he first got to the mission, and it was good to talk about things, and talk about how the mission goes.”
Haws said Wade “was a great missionary” who worked hard and learned to speak French really well.
“He is a great basketball player as well,” Haws said.
Wade is averaging just 1.7 points and 0.4 rebounds. He had a career-high nine points against Howard on Nov. 14. Rose said “it was a numbers thing” when asked why the Cougars didn’t recruit Wade harder than they did.
BYU forward Yoeli Childs picked up the first technical foul of his career in the 76-69 loss to LMU on Thursday, and was upset with himself after the game.
“I mean, that’s unacceptable on my end,” he said. “I can’t be getting a technical. Who knows, maybe we hit some shots and come back and win that game. So, that’s unacceptable. Plays are going to happen when one team is physical and when a guy plays the way their big dude plays, and it is going to happen, you are going to get elbowed in the face, you are going to get punched, you are going to get hit, and you just gotta play through it. I let my team down by reacting that way, and I just gotta learn from it. My guys got my back, and I gotta be better than that.”
For the first time since the 67-66 loss at Pacific a month ago, BYU started Luke Worthington, Jahshire Hardnett, Elijah Bryant, Yoeli Childs and TJ Haws. Sophomore Zac Seljaas, who was inserted into the starting lineup to give it some offensive punch, came off the bench. Officials in Saturday’s game were Verne Harris, Kevin Brill and Glen Mayberry. … Former University of Utah basketball star Phil Cullen is now a scout for the San Antonio Spurs and was in attendance at the game.