Las Vegas • BYU guard Anson Winder was right. He does have a lot of friends and family here in his hometown of Las Vegas.
Winder, who prepped at nearby Bishop Gorman Catholic High School, got his eighth straight start at the two-guard position on Friday night as the Cougars took on San Diego in a West Coast Conference quarterfinal game at Orleans Arena.
At Gorman, Winder played for coach Grant Rice, the brother of former BYU assistant coach Dave Rice, who is now the head coach at UNLV.
Winder entered Friday's game averaging 4.5 points and 1.8 assists per game.
The redshirt freshman averaged 17 points and seven rebounds a game as a senior at Gorman and helped his team to a 30-2 record.
Before Friday's game, the No. 3 seed (which was BYU) was 9-0 in its quarterfinal-game appearances since the West Coast Conference began using this double-bye format for its conference tournament 10 years ago. However, the No. 3 seed is just 1-8 in WCC tournament semifinal games against the No. 2 seed.
ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi updated his NCAA Tournament projections on Friday morning and still had BYU making the big dance for the sixth straight year. Lunardi has BYU as a No. 12 seed, playing fifth-seeded Notre Dame in Portland, Ore.
If the Cougars were to win that game, they would possibly have a rematch with No. 4 seed Wisconsin, Lunardi says. The Badgers beat BYU 73-56 on Nov. 26.
Having missed last week's regular-season finale against Portland with assorted left leg injuries (knee, ankle, calf), Noah Hartsock participated in the shootaround Friday morning and was cleared to play in Friday night's game by BYU trainers.
Hartsock didn't start Brock Zylstra scored seven quick points in his place at the power forward position but entered the game with 15:02 remaining in the first half and promptly hit a short jumper.