Eye on the Y is The Salt Lake Tribune’s weekly newsletter on BYU athletics. Subscribe here.
Provo • The men’s Basketball season started Tuesday with a win over Cal State Fullerton and, man, did everyone see Alex Barcello’s performance?
Coming from Tucson, Ariz., I was already familiar with Barcello, who previously played for Arizona. I sat in the McKale Center and watched him from the stands a few times last season when my schedule permitted, but there was something different about watching him play in a BYU jersey. There was something different in the way he played.
There was more passion and explosiveness out of him. When he blocked a Titan shot — a play that helped get the Cougars momentum started — he screamed out to the crowd. Photos of that moment have been shared online. And it was that moment that it hit me — he will thrive more BYU than he would have at Arizona.
I may be jumping the gun, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Barcello over the next two seasons.
It’s a busy weekend. BYU hosts San Diego State at 2 p.m. in the Marriott Center, then everybody can walk over to LaVell Edwards Stadium for the Cougars-Liberty football game at 5:30 p.m.
For fans hoping to hit up the double feature, here’s a suggestion: Arrive early and park in one place that’s best to walk to both venues. As the basketball game will come to an end and football gears up for kickoff, there will be more traffic around the university than usual.
But don’t let that deter you.
Both games should be lively, as the Cougars and Aztecs rekindle an old Mountain West/WAC rivalry in the Marriott Center, and the BYU football team tries run its winning streak to three games and get over .500 for the season.
Also, when will you have another opportunity to hit up games for both teams in one day? If you’re one of the few that aren’t into football (no judgement here), consider taking a break after the basketball game and then making your way over to South Field to cheer on the soccer team. The women will be celebrating senior night when they take on Loyola Marymount in the regular-season finale at 8 p.m.
Either way, Saturday is shaping up to be a pretty good day in Provo.
More BYU coverage
BYU’s victory in Logan puts the Cougars just two wins away from bowl eligibility with four games remaining in the regular season.
Zach Wilson, Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney are all listed as possible starters for Saturday’s game against Liberty.
Men’s hoops opened their season with a strong performance from transfer Alex Barcello and a 76-58 win over Cal State Fullerton.
The BYU women’s basketball team hopes to get back to the NCAA Tournament, even without last year’s leading scorer Shaylee Gonzales.
Linebacker Payton Wilgar always wanted to come to BYU, where his dad played for the Cougars in the 1970s, but now he’s making a name for himself.
KSL’s Sean Walker featured Blake Freeland, who got his first career start at right tackle last Saturday against Utah State.
Darnell Dickson of the Daily Herald spoke to BYU volleyball freshman Whitney Bower, who forewent her senior year to join the Cougars.
BYU cornerback D’Angelo Mandell changed his name, game and attitude before coming back to Provo and is now succeeding, Jay Drew of the Deseret News wrote
• The men’s and women’s cross country teams are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, nationally after sweeping the team titles at the West Coast Conference Championship meet last Friday. Both teams had 1-2-3-5-7 finishes for a total of 18 points. Conner Mantz, who had won all three of his previous meets this season, took the individual meet title in the men’s 8k. Whittni Orton earned her second individual victory of the season with the women’s 6k title.
• The BYU soccer team had a strong first-half showing on its way to beating Gonzaga 3-0 in the penultimate regular-season match. The No. 4 Cougars will host Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 8 p.m. for senior night to close out the season. Elise Flake leads the offense with 17 goals and five assists.
• Peter Kuest won the Saint Mary’s Invitational after shooting a final-round 67 (-4) and leading the No. 4 BYU men’s golf team to a second-place finish. Kuest won the tournament by four strokes, with a total score of 202 (-11) over three rounds of play. The Cougars carded a total score of 276-278-278—832 (-20), five strokes behind first-place Colorado State.