PROVO — Fresh off a 90-52 dismantling of Air Force Wednesday night, and while preparing for a big home game against arch-rival Utah on Saturday, BYU players and coaches were saddened by the news that broke earlier Thursday — that longtime Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was resigning.
Guard Jimmer Fredette, projected to be a first-round NBA draft pick next June, said Sloan's resignation was a topic of conversation in the locker room before practice.
"I was really surprised. I had no idea. I had no indication he was going to do that," Fredette said of the news. "I'm kind of curious to see what direction Jazz basketball goes now."
Fredette said he admires Sloan, though he has never met the former Jazz coach. Fredette added that he would like to meet Sloan someday.
BYU coach Dave Rose met Sloan years ago in St. George, when the Jazz held their mini-camps there. At that time, Rose was the head coach at Dixie College.
Asked about his reaction to Sloan's resignation, Rose said, "I'm actually sad. I have enjoyed watching his teams over the years. It doesn't matter who he has got, they always seem to play the same way.
"He has obviously decided it is time. I just hope he feels good about what he's done, because he has been great for the Jazz, the state of Utah and the city of Salt Lake. I, for one, am sad to see him go."
INJURY UPDATE: Guard Kyle Collinsworth (concussion) and center James Anderson (shoulder) participated in Thursday's practice, though they were held out of most contact drills.
Both players traveled to Colorado Springs for the Air Force game, but they did not play.
As for their availability for Saturday, Rose said it will be a game-time decision.
Meanwhile, Fredette, who banged his knee on the knee of an Air Force player on Wednesday, said his knee is sore, but that he'll be fine.
ROGERS THE REBOUNDER: BYU sophomore Stephen Rogers scored 11 points against the Falcons, hitting 4-of-5 shots from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point territory. Rogers also grabbed five rebounds.
Last season at Mesa Community College, Rogers averaged 21.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game en route to earning JUCO All-America honors.
As for his role with the Cougars, Rogers said, "It just kind of depends on what's needed from me at the time and what team I'm a part of. Last year at Mesa, I had more of a scoring role. This year, with Jimmer and Jackson (Emery) and the guys who score so well, I do what I can."
Cougars, Utes on the air
Utah (10-14, 3-7) atNo. 7 BYU (23-2, 9-1)
Saturday, 4 p.m.
TV: The mtn.
Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM