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Blue roundup: ESPN.com previews BYU basketball team

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26 2012 10:47 a.m. MDT

BYU basketball player Tyler Haws recently returned from an LDS mission and poses in Provo Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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ESPN.com's Andy Katz previews the upcoming BYU basketball season, reporting the Cougars have a sense of urgency heading into their second season as members of the West Coast Conference.

"BYU's decision to leave the Mountain West Conference, go independent in football, and join the West Coast Conference in all other sports for the 2011-12 season was supposed to hurt the Cougars' basketball program because it would effectively end BYU's rivalries with UNLV, San Diego State and New Mexico," Katz writes. "Well, San Diego State is leaving the Mountain West for the Big West. And BYU can still schedule non-conference games with UNLV and New Mexico. Losing those matchups from the schedule didn't seem to hurt BYU much. The Cougars were still challenged plenty during their first season in the WCC, finishing third behind Saint Mary's and Gonzaga. And BYU still built a profile that was respectable enough to secure an NCAA tournament at-large bid. The Cougars recovered from a 25-point hole against Iona to win 78-72 in the First Four before losing by 20 to No. 3 seed Marquette in the second round."

He also talks about sophomore forward Tyler Haws, who missed two seasons while serving a Mormon mission, averaged 11.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 2009-10 while playing alongside Jimmer Fredette.

Aaron Taylor of Blood Runs Blue fame has created a new sports webcomic that pretty much sums up BYU's football season so far.

And former BYU recruit, and current Notre Dame star, Manti Teo graces the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated. The Cougars and Fighting Irish meet in November.

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