PROVO — Anson Winder saw just one minute of playing time in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, but he couldn't be more grateful for it. Prior to the season, the BYU sophomore guard suffered a serious ankle injury that left it questionable if he'd be able to play at all this year.
After spending a couple of weeks in a walking boot, Winder tested out his ankle a little over a week ago to see how it responded. Fortunately for Winder, and for the team, it responded well and he avoided potential season-ending surgery.
"It was a brutal time for me thinking I might have to miss another year again because of injury, but fortunately my ankle responded well to the rest and I'm playing" Winder said. "I'm not back to where I need to be yet, but I can definitely feel it getting better every day."
Coach Dave Rose has been impressed with Winder's progression since coming out of his boot and anticipates him helping the team with his versatility. Winder played both the point and wing spots last year, but it's not entirely clear where he'll see the most minutes this season.
"We'll see (where he plays most), but he was really versatile for us last year," Rose said. "Right now you project things and how they're going to turn out, but they don't always turn out that way. It's good to have Anson back to give us another option."
MAUI IN NOVEMBER: Late November is a great time to take a trip to Maui, and the Cougar basketball team will do just that in 2014. It was announced on Tuesday that BYU will take part in the EA Sports Maui Invitational and compete against top teams from around the country.
"The 2014 field promises to be a great one. With accomplished programs in Arizona, Missouri, Purdue and Pittsburgh and emerging teams including BYU and San Diego State, the 2014 tournament will feature fierce competition," said tournament chairman Dave Odom. "This is one of the deepest and most balanced fields we've ever had."
TAKING ON UTSA: The Cougars return home after a weekend trip to New York to take on the University of Texas at San Antonio tonight. The Roadrunners are 3-1 on the year with wins over Holy Cross, Old Dominion and USC.
"It's a veteran team that starts three seniors and two juniors," Rose said. "They're on a roll — they've won three in a row, so we'll have to play well, and we'll see what we can do."
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @BrandonCGurney