BYU basketball • Junior nears return from knee surgery.
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Provo • Doctors said BYU wing Stephen Rogers would be out 2-4 weeks after he had surgery on a torn meniscus on Dec. 15. It appears they got it just about right.
Three weeks after having the knee surgery, Rogers probably will make his return to action when the Cougars travel to Los Angeles to take on Loyola Marymount on Thursday (7 p.m. MST, BYUtv). Officially, the 6-foot-8 junior from Mesa, Ariz., is listed as a "game-time decision" for the West Coast Conference encounter at Gersten Pavilion.
After practicing Tuesday, Rogers said the knee is close to 100 percent, "but my lungs are a different story. … I am just trying to get the lungs back."
Rogers was averaging 9.9 points and 2.2 rebounds per game before suffering the injury two days before the Cougars lost to No. 6 Baylor, 86-83.
"He felt good coming into practice today, which is the best sign, because soreness is what you worry about," coach Dave Rose said. "We will see how he feels tomorrow, but you can tell he's still kind of favoring it. He's not in any pain; maybe it is more of a mental thing. He got in practice and made some shots, and I think that encourages everybody that we will get him back soon."
Rose said the other big guy who has been watching from the sidelines, 6-9 forward Chris Collinsworth, is still quite a ways away from returning. Collinsworth had exploratory surgery on his right knee on Dec. 13.
"The knee actually looks a lot better, and he's walking on it without crutches, and without a lot of pain," Rose said. "So he is progressing, but it is quite slow."
Assists are up
The Cougars are the 16th-highest-scoring team in Division I college basketball, averaging 80.3 points per game. They are 17th in scoring margin, 16.2 ppg.
But their highest national ranking is in assists. The Cougars are recording 18.6 assists per game, the fifth-best average in the country.
Rose said that's a high number because making the extra pass is stressed at BYU, and because the Cougars are shooting the ball well once they get those passes. They are shooting 48.9 percent from the field and are the 19th-best shooting team in the country.
Freshman center Nate Austin missed practice Tuesday with the flu. … After becoming the first BYU basketball player in more than 35 years to score more than 20 points and grab more than 20 rebounds in the same game, junior center Brandon Davies was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. Davies averaged 21 points and 14 rebounds a game last week in wins over Cal State San Marcos and San Diego and a loss at St. Mary's. … The Cougars are a No. 9 seed in ESPN basketball analyst Joe Lunardi's latest Bracketology projections for the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga is a No. 5 seed and St. Mary's is a No. 7. The Cougars' RPI is 62, according to CBSsports.com's latest figures, while the NCAA's official RPI has BYU at 66.
BYU at Loyola Marymount
P Thursday, 7 p.m.
TV • BYUtv