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Provo • Returned missionary and combo guard Kyle Collinsworth has already gone on record saying the 2013-14 BYU basketball team will be the most athletic in school history, citing heralded freshman Eric Mika's immediate impact and the quickness of new players such as Skyler Halford, himself, and Frank Bartley IV.
The sophomore who started in 27 games for the BYU team that won a school-record 32 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 in 2010-11 also said it is a "different kind of team," for a reason that's familiar to BYU fans but an oddity for most followers of college basketball.
"There is only one married guy on the team," Collinsworth explained. "So we are a younger team, and we have a lot of fun together. Our chemistry is really good, so far."
Usually, about half the players on BYU's roster are married. This year, junior Josh Sharp is the only one.
The Cougars have been practicing for a week and a half, having started on Oct. 7, and coach Dave Rose says so far the workouts have been spotty.
"You can tell it is a very young [team], because we have a great practice, and the next practice, maybe, the effort is good but our execution is not very good. So this will be interesting, the next couple of weeks."
Guard Matt Carlino missed practice Wednesday due to illness, but he's the only player currently out. Freshman Luke Worthington sprained his ankle in the first practice last week, but has returned and played well.
"We've got some guys that are kinda nicked up, but they are all playing through it, which is good," Rose said.
There will be a new face on the BYU bench this season, but one perhaps familiar to Utah Jazz fans. Bob Medina, a longtime trainer in the NBA for the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle SuperSonics, has joined the Cougars' training staff.
"He has been terrific," Rose said. "I think sometimes you feel like you've just kind of maybe got away with something. Being able to get Bob after 21 years in the NBA, just the experience he brings to our players, and just the immediate credibility he has with our players [has been great]," Rose said.
Former player Noah Hartsock practiced with the team on Wednesday and will be added to the staff as a student-assistant coach, Rose said. Hartsock has played professionally overseas (Belgium) since leaving BYU after the 2011-12 season, but has decided to pursue a career in coaching.