Looking for opponents: How BYU basketball is rebuilding its nonconference schedule

BYU Cougars guard Cameron Pearson (15) celebrates a 3-point shot as BYU and Weber State play an NCAA basketball game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. BYU won 91-61.

BYU Cougars guard Cameron Pearson (15) celebrates a 3-point shot as BYU and Weber State play an NCAA basketball game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. BYU won 91-61. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The Cougars are seeking to play in a multiteam event while trying to reschedule games with Pac-12 opponents Utah, Oregon and Arizona State.

PROVO — During the summer, and even into the season, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe has dealt with revamping the football schedule due to the pandemic.

Something similar is going on with Cougars basketball, as well as every other hoops program around the country, as official practices are set to begin Oct. 14.

“This is a very important time right now for college basketball,” Holmoe said.

The NCAA announced Sept. 16 that the start of the 2020-21 college basketball season would be pushed back to Nov. 25. That means several games on BYU’s schedule were wiped out, including the Junkanoo Jam, a multiteam event in the Bahamas.

“It’s kind of been topsy-turvy, just like in football,” Holmoe said.

Associate athletic director Brian Santiago is going “24/7 on basketball,” Holmoe added. “On a scale of one to 10, that’s a 9½ right now. … What we did in football is going on in basketball right now.”

“It’s all hands on deck at this point. It’s been a real team effort. The past few weeks we have devoted a considerable amount of time to communicating with the best multiteam events, the teams we had on the schedule and the changes that need to be made with those teams.” — BYU assistant coach Nick Robinson

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Assistant coach Nick Robinson, who oversees scheduling, is working with Santiago, head coach Mark Pope and director of basketball operations Bobby Horodyski to rebuild the schedule.

“It’s all hands on deck at this point. It’s been a real team effort. The past few weeks we have devoted a considerable amount of time to communicating with the best multiteam events, the teams we had on the schedule and the changes that need to be made with those teams,” Robinson said. “That process has been pretty relentless and consistent for the past three weeks and will be until we get everything finalized.

“For example, the past two days, we’ve met as a staff in the morning before practice and after our workouts for about 30 to 45 minutes with phone calls in between in order to find the best solutions for our team heading into this year.”

Robinson said BYU saw seven of its 15 scheduled nonconference games drop off the schedule due to COVID-19.

“Our priority over the past three weeks has been to try to get into the best multiteam event possible so we could maximize the number of games that are now allowed, which is 27, or 11 nonconference games for us,” he said.

From the outset, the goal, Robinson said, has been “to provide the best and toughest schedule for this particular team. We …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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