BYU basketball coaches received some bad news on Wednesday night when SLCC basketball star Sai Tummala, whom they were heavily recruiting, said he will sign with his hometown school, Arizona State. Tummala had BYU and Arizona State in his final four or five schools, along with Nebraska and Miami of Ohio. "Committed to be an Arizona State Sun Devil! I am extremely blessed to have this opportunity," Tummala noted on his Twitter account Thursday morning.This is a big weekend for BYU sports, with the men's rugby team taking on Cal on Saturday at South Field in Provo for the national championship, and the men's volleyball team playing in the Final Four beginning tonight against Penn State in Los Angeles. If the Cougars win tonight, they will take on the winner of the earlier Loyola-Chicago vs. UC Irvine game for the national championship on Saturday. Here's my recap of the magical 2012-13 season the men's volleyball team has had, with a look ahead to the Final Four. The match will not be televised, but live-streaming is available at NCAA.com. ESPNU will televise Saturday's championship match. Earlier this week, BYU coach Chris McGown, in just his second season, was named the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Coach of the Year. His father, Carl McGown, won the award in 1999 and 2001 and Tom Peterson won co-coach honors in 2003. Wednesday night, Chris McGown was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) 2013 Division I-II National Coach of the Year. Oddly, to some, the AVCA named Long Beach State's Taylor Crabb the Men's National Player of the Year. That after a player in Crabb's league, BYU's Taylor Sander, was named the MPSF Player of the Year. Doesn't seem right. Sander can obviously get some retribution for the snub by playing well in the Final Four. Crabb's season is over. On Wednesday, McGown and a couple BYU players Sander and senior setter Ryan Boyce appeared at a news conference at Pauley Pavilion. Here are some of their comments about the national championship tournament:BYU Head Coach Chris McGownOpening Statement"We are excited to be here. We are proud of the efforts that the boys have put in over the course of the season. They have had some tremendous moments. They have worked really hard. They have done a nice job as a team to get us to this point. We are thrilled to be part of the competition. We recognize that there are a lot of really, really talented players and coaches that are involved in the final four and we look forward to a weekend of competition."
On what the team needs to do to win on Thursday:
"It's interesting to try and get a sense of a team that you haven't looked at much during the year with Penn State obviously not playing in our conference. We feel like we have a good handle on most of the other programs that we play a lot. We've tried to get a feel for how they are going to play. More than anything I think that we talk about – in all of these moments and all of these matches – that we haven't needed to be somebody we're not. We just want to be who we are and play within ourselves and continue to play good quality volleyball. So we've talked to our guys a lot about coming to play as hard as we can, to stay focused mentally, to do the little things and to just keep playing the game that we've played. We don't need to be special necessarily, we just need to be who we are and we think we can compete by doing that."