PROVO — In answering a question about the predicament his No. 3-ranked BYU basketball team currently finds itself in, coach Dave Rose drew upon a baseball analogy.
"What you do is you move on. This is life. You're always expecting a fastball, and sometimes you get a curve," he said. "You've got to figure out how to hit it."
Rose and the Cougars are facing their biggest adversity of the year, just as the regular season is heading for its close on Saturday against Wyoming.
On Tuesday, starting forward Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team for the remainder of the season due to an honor code violation. On Wednesday, without Davies, BYU lost badly at home to New Mexico, 82-64.
Still, with a win on Saturday, the Cougars can claim at least a share of the Mountain West Conference championship.
After an emotional defeat, and an emotional few days, Rose did not hold practice Thursday. Instead, the Cougars held a team meeting that night.
"I met with a couple of players individually," the coach said. "When we talked about some of the things that our team needs to do, we felt that today there were a lot of things off the court we could take care of that would benefit us going down the stretch here."
Players were not made available to the media Thursday.
Several Cougars are dealing with injuries, Rose said, adding that is his biggest concern going into the game against the Cowboys.
"We need to heal," Rose said.
Asked about the emotional impact of Davies' absence on his players, Rose said, "The ones who are really close would have the heaviest hearts. We all love Brandon. He's a great teammate and he's been great for our team. ... Each player was dealing with (Davies' suspension) individually. Now we just need to re-group and refine a few things, and get out there Saturday."26 comments on this story
Rose reiterated that he believes Davies will some day return to play basketball at BYU. "Brandon's heart is in the right place," he said.
ANOTHER NEW LINEUP?: Rose indicated that it's likely he'll put a new starting five on the floor Saturday.
Against New Mexico, center James Anderson received his first career start, in place of Davies. Anderson played 11 minutes, made 2-of-3 shots, scored four points, grabbed one rebound and blocked four shots.
"We learned a lot about our team (Wednesday) night and that will benefit us in the Saturday game," Rose said.