Morning links: BYU’s toughest football games ranked; top 50 NBA draft prospects

Mitch Harper ranked the toughest games on the 2017 BYU football schedule for Athlon Sports, with notable games against LSU, Utah and Wisconsin filling out the top three spots.

Speaking of the matchup with Big 10 power Wisconsin, who he had at No. 3, he wrote, “The Badgers are the defending Cotton Bowl champs and their only losses a year ago came against Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in the Big Ten Championship Game. BYU has always wanted to schedule more teams from the Big Ten, so to get a Wisconsin team that might be in the top 10 when it arrives in Provo is a big feather in the Cougars’ independence cap.”

He then broke down the rivalry game with Utah, which he ranked No. 2, saying, “BYU has lost six in a row in this nasty rivalry that dates back to 1922. Last season, BYU opted to go for two down only one in the final seconds of regulation before Taysom Hill was ultimately stuffed at the line of scrimmage. This game always lives up to the hype, but the Cougars can’t settle for moral victories, they have to win if they want to try and establish themselves as the premier program in the Beehive State once again.”

Kuzma, Jackson, Swanigan ranked in top 50 draft prospects

Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report released his 2017 NBA Draft Big Board, and three players with local ties made the 50-man list, including Kyle Kuzma, Frank Jackson and Caleb Swanigan.

While none of the three are ranked in the top 30, Wasserman has Kuzma at No. 32, saying, “Kuzma’s performance at the combine has scouts rethinking their previous evaluations. Some still question his toughness, but his potential offensive versatility as a passer and shooter is too enticing.”

Wasserman has Jackson six spots later, at No. 38, saying, “Strong and athletic with quick hands, Jackson will try to make it as a point-guard defender, shooter and secondary ball-handler.”

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