BYU Cougs in the news: Mika returning to Italy; Collinsworth has big rebounding night in Las Vegas

By: Jay Yeomans

Published: July 8, 2018

Eric Mika will be returning to Italy to play his second season of pro ball.

The former BYU big man will be back in the same league that he played in as a rookie, but he will be joining a much more accomplished team. Basket Brescia Leonessa announced on its website that Mika has been signed to a one-year deal to join the club.

While it wouldn’t be a change in competition during Italian League play for Mika, it will allow the former Lone Peak High School star to get his first taste of playing against some of the best teams in all of Europe as well.

Basket Brescia Leonessa is one of 24 teams that has qualified to play in EuroCup along with teams from Spain, France, Germany and Turkey among others. That would make for a much more challenging schedule with Cup games being played alongside the Italian League schedule.

It is definitely a positive move for Mika who is coming off a rookie campaign where he averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.1 assists in 28.4 minutes of work.

On the American front, it has been somewhat of a slow start in the Las Vegas Summer League for a pair of former Cougars who are trying to find a home for the upcoming season.

For Kyle Collinsworth, he had his best showing so far on Sunday as the Dallas Mavericks outlasted the Milwaukee Bucks.

The former Provo High star came off the bench for the Mavericks for the second straight game and showed off some the versatility that made him a special player at BYU. He finished the game with four points on 2 of 6 shooting from the floor, but did collect eight rebounds, handed out an assist (I actually counted at least a couple while watching the game), and registered a steal in 18 minutes a work.

Here is the highlight of a perfectly delivered baseball pass to Dennis Smith Jr. for an easy lay up.

Both of his buckets came in the paint including a dribble drive where he knocked down a floater over former Kansas star, Perry Ellis. Collinsworth’s other basket came when he hit the glass to follow-up his own miss early in the fourth quarter.

That pushes his averages through to games to 2.5 points on 25 percent shooting from the field with 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 15 minutes.

While those numbers don’t jump off the page, it is still quite remarkable that Collinsworth is even playing for the Mavericks at all after the team released him on Friday.

As for first-year pro, Elijah Bryant, minutes have been hard to come by in the first two contests with the Philadelphia 76ers’ summer league squad.

After a DNP on the first night, Bryant collected just 3:16 of garbage time late in Saturday night’s 96-79 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. During that short stretch, he grabbed a pair of rebounds and collected a steal, but did not attempt a shot.

The 76ers have Sunday off, but will be back on the floor on Monday when they take on the winless Washington Wizards.

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