Archive for the ‘BYU’ Category

The time for NBA mock drafts is now and they’re in full swing after the draft order was set following Tuesday night’s draft lottery. While the consensus is that the Celtics will take Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick, how most prognosticators see what the Jazz will do with their two first-round selections is all over the board.

Andrew Lynch of Fox Sports has the Jazz taking Michigan sophomore power forward, D.J. Wilson with the No. 24 pick, saying, “The Jazz would love to take (French center Jonathan) Jeanne as a Gobert backup if he’s still on the board here. If not, though, they’ll likely settle for a young power forward with range and raw defensive skills to take Derrick Favors’ place down the line, should he become a salary cap casualty.”

He went with a guard for the Jazz at No. 30 in former Lone Peak standout, Frank Jackson, saying, “Jackson played high school ball just south of Salt Lake City, and the Jazz could use another point guard prospect if they’re not sure Dante Exum is the long-term answer anymore.

“He’s an explosive athlete and a fairly decent defender already, which would make him a great fit in Utah.”

USA Today’s Adi Joseph had the Jazz taking the European route with their first selection in the former of Latvian small forward Rodions Kurucs. Speaking of Kurucs, Joseph wrote, “Predicting which team likes which international player is always a challenge, but everyone seems intrigued by Kurucs. He has a smooth game and good size, and as a 19-year-old, he would make an ideal draft-and-stash fit to bring over in two years, when his deal with Barcelona ends.”

Joseph also has the Jazz taking a guard at No. 30, going with Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans. “The biggest gap between Evans and the point guards in the top 10 is size; he measured to be under 6-foot at the combine, wrote Joseph. “But he’s a brilliant natural playmaker with enough speed and strength to be a factor on pick-and-rolls. The Jazz may need a point guard, and Evans is a potential steal.”

Reid Forgrave of CBS Sports had the Jazz using both of their first-round picks on big men with Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan at No. 24 and Kentucky freshman Bam Adebayo at No. 30.

Looking at Swanigan, Forgrave wrote, “This is a guy who is one of the hardest workers I’ve been around in college basketball, both off the court and on. He understands what his primary role will be in the NBA: As a rebounder who outworks his opponents. No, he doesn’t fit into the nice pretty box of what we think of as NBA power forwards. But he’s such a high-character guy with so much tangible and intangible basketball talent that he’ll absolutely become a positive presence on a winning basketball team.”

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Mike Huguenin of Gridiron Now ranked the 15 best quarterbacks SEC teams will face in 2017 non-conference games and BYU’s Tanner Mangum made the list at No. 8.

Speaking of Mangum, who will face two SEC opponents in LSU and Mississippi State, Huguenin wrote, “Mangum (6-3, 223) started 12 games as a true freshman in 2015 because of an injury to Taysom Hill and started once last season after another injury to Hill; last season’s lone start was a Poinsettia Bowl win over Wyoming. Unlike Hill, who was a dangerous runner, Mangum is a dropback passer with OK mobility. He had five 300-yard games as a true freshman, and while BYU lost its top three receivers, the passing attack should be fine because of Mangum’s presence.”

Hayward, Ingles ranked top 5 available small forwards

Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report ranked the top available free agents at the small forward position and both Joe Ingles and Gordon Hayward landed in the top 5.

Hughes had Ingles at No. 5 saying, “A flat-out elite three-point shooter (44.1 percent in 2016-17; 39.9 percent for his career), Ingles is more than a specialist. Put the ball in his hands, and he can make plays off the dribble and in the pick-and-roll. Look past his plodding pace and lack of bounce, and you’ll see a defender who, somehow, can stay in front of point guards and wings.”

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Hal Bent of Patriots Insider did a post-draft depth chart analysis for New England, and he had plenty to say about former BYU Cougars Kyle Van Noy and Harvey Langi.

Speaking of Van Noy and Shea McClellin, Bent wrote, “McClellin and Van Noy are both versatile and a full offseason and training camp should help integrate both into the defense.”

After mentioning some other candidates at linebacker, Bent looked at Langi, saying, “Langi was tied to the Patriots throughout the draft process and has the best chance of any of the undrafted free agents to make the roster. He is great against the run and also capable dropping into coverage. At BYU, he was versatile and played inside, outside and nickel linebacker as well as defensive end.”

While breaking down the secondary, two former Utes Eric Rowe and Jason Thompson were also discussed. Bent mentioned Rowe as a “likely outside cornerbacks heading into 2017,” and said, “a full offseason and training camp will help Rowe assimilate to the defensive scheme.”

As for Thompson, Bent wrote, ” (Damarius) Travis and Thompson are the most likely to compete for the strong safety position with good size. Thompson was a former college quarterback and athletic.”

Gobert and Ian Clark reflect on their playing days in Utah

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