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Provo • BYU basketball coach Dave Rose had both bad news and good news after the Cougars practiced Thursday afternoon at the Marriott Center.
First, the good news: seniors Kyle Collinsworth (knee tendinitis) and Chase Fischer (quad contusion) have practiced the past few days since sitting out the exhibition opener against Arizona Christian last week and are expected to play on Saturday when BYU plays host to Alaska-Fairbanks in its second exhibition game.
The bad news: Four players expected to be major contributors this season did not practice Thursday and will likely miss the final exhibition game.
Forwards Kyle Davis (ankle) and Jamal Aytes (ankle) and center Corbin Kaufusi (pulled hamstring) are doubtful, while redshirt freshman Jordan Chatman (ankle) definitely won't play.
"Saturday, we will have quite a few guys not available," Rose said. "We are hoping to have them all available the following week" in the opener against Utah Valley University.
Rose said Kaufusi practiced some earlier in the week but is still really sore. Aytes' sprained ankle is not the one that was surgically repaired last year.
"But Kyle and Chase are back, so let's look for the good stuff," Rose said.
Counting the foot injury suffered by Nick Emery over the summer and walk-on returned missionary Alan Hamson's struggles to get back in playing shape, about half of Rose's roster has been beset by ailments or injuries the past month.
But the coach said this is pretty much par for the course, both at BYU and elsewhere.
"It seems like that is has been that way for awhile," Rose said. "It seems like this is normal."
Rose said he's talked to NBA scouts and other coaches and it seems like every team is missing a couple players at every practice they attend.
"It is a competitive, physical game, and guys prepare all year for it, and I think this is just part of it, something you have to manage," he said.
Fischer feels fine
Fischer took a knee to the thigh in the Cougar Tipoff a week ago, but said the diagnosed quad contusion is nearly gone and he's ready to roll.
"It is still a little sore," he said. "It gets really tired. But it is getting better."
Fischer, who made a WCC-high 103 3-pointers last season, watched from the bench sat week as the Cougars made 18 3-pointers against ACU.
"We got a lot of dudes who can put the ball in the hole," he said.
Exhibitions over closed scrimmages
A lot of schools have played closed scrimmages against other Division I schools this week and last, but Rose said he prefers to play two exhibition games instead of scrimmages.
"It seems like every year we have new, returning guys, and even our experienced guys are returning from somewhere, or something," he said. " I like that we get them under the lights, with a crowd, and get that feel to it. A lot of [coaches] like a secret scrimmage, that no one knows the outcome, and you can play whoever you want, whenever you want, and it is not evaluated at all. But I like to throw the guys into the deal and see how it turns out."
P At the Marriott Center, Provo
Alaska-Fairbanks at BYU, 7:30 p.m.