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Provo • BYU basketball coach Dave Rose held his first official practice of the 2016-17 season on Monday afternoon, but two transfers who are expected to help the Cougars a lot were not on the Marriott Center court.
Sophomore guard Elijah Bryant, a transfer from Elon College who had to sit out last year due to NCAA transfer rules, recently had a medical procedure on a knee that has been giving him discomfort, and will be out "a couple of weeks," Rose said.
Bryant, who averaged 14.2 points and 4.2 rebounds his freshman year at Elon, should rejoin the team well before the Nov. 14 season opener against Princeton, Rose said.
"Some schools of thought were to kinda get through the year, but when we really came down to it, it was something we wanted to take care of now so he won't have any effects during the season," Rose said.
Senior guard L.J. Rose watched practice from the sidelines after a "pretty serious" ankle sprain a few weeks ago, Dave Rose said of the transfer from Houston who averaged 9.5 points and 5.4 assists as a sophomore and junior.
"We are kinda being careful with him, but he could be practicing in the next few days," Dave Rose said.
Another member of the team is also banged up assistant coach Terry Nashif.
After going through all eight weeks of summer conditioning, the 35-year-old Nashif broke his foot a couple weeks after that while playing church basketball. He's got a boot on his foot, and is coaching from a scooter right now.
Opening the Annex
Technically, the new basketball practice being constructed east of the Marriott Center the Marriott Center Annex is not scheduled to open until Dec. 1. However, because the Homecoming Spectacular will take over the Marriott Center on Tuesday, the Cougars will start practicing in the Annex that same day.
Rose said the scoreboards are not up, but the floor is down, the hoops around the outside that hang from the ceilings are installed, and two basketball standards will be brought in Tuesday morning.
One of the main donors will take the first shot, and the Cougars will start practicing there at 2:30 p.m.
"That is something that has been really important to not only me, but to our program," Rose said. "This is something that will really help these players, not only for this year, but for all the years down the road."
Hartsock might come back
Rose said that Jakob Hartsock, a 6-foot-8 forward who played in 24 games last year and started in two, is still enrolled at BYU and could possibly rejoin the program next spring. Hartsock told The Salt Lake Tribune this summer that he left the program to concentrate on his schoolwork.
"We will have to wait and see how that goes," Rose said.
Davin Guinn's emergence
Junior forward Davin Guinn averaged just 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds last year, but improved considerably over the summer and is expected to make a bigger impact this season. And, the former walk-on who started his college basketball career at UC Riverside has been put on scholarship.
"He reminds me of one of those really tough kids that really helped us over the years Craig Cusick comes to mind," Rose said. "Davin is a very gifted athlete. He's extremely athletic and he's just determined. He works hard, trains hard, plays hard. He's close to a 4.0 student. He is a guy that our other guys can learn from, because he has worked his way into a really good spot. His body looks great, too. He has really worked hard over the summer."
Of the 15 players on the roster, guard Zach Frampton and center Corbin Kaufusi who is currently with the football team are the only ones not on scholarship. … Junior forward Jamal Aytes made some strong plays in practice on Tuesday and looks totally healthy after offseason ankle surgery, his third ankle surgery in two years. "The coaches and everybody say this is the best they have seen me in a few years, which is really awesome to hear again," Aytes said last week.