Audio courtesy 1320 KFAN
Three Deseret News reporters appeared on the "Wasatch Whip Around" hosted by Gunther and Graham on 1320 KFAN AM to talk all things Utes, Cougars and Jazz. Here are some of the highlights from those interviews:
Dirk Facer on expanding the Huntsman Center and Rice-Eccles Stadium
Utes beat writer Dirk Facer talked about some of the facility renovations scheduled to begin at the University of Utah.
"It sounds like just about anything that involves sports is going to undergo some sort of upgrade in the next couple years."
Facer said that the basketball facilities will be the first major renovation to take place.
"It sounds like the Huntsman Center is going to undergo some renovations, there is going to be some draping and other things to make it more of a multi-use facility."
Facer said that the scheduled renovations are expected to be completed by 2015.
"Chris Hill told me that if they can get everything of these major things done by 2015, they'll be in pretty good shape to basically just enhance the things they have and add a few things here and there and continually upgrade, but life in the Pac-12 is vastly different than in the Mountain West."
Although some of the money will come from Pac-12 revenue, a lot of the renovations will be paid for by the university.
"They definitely have to raise cash, the Pac-12 money does not pay completely for the facilities," Facer said. "Basically the cost of doing business (in the Pac-12) across the board is higher, so it's not just facilities, it's everything."
While the basketball facilities will see a major facelift, Facer said that nothing is imminent for Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"There are plans to renovate the south end of the stadium, but there is nothing imminent on that," Facer said. "It's all going to come down to funding, once the funding is raised for some Rice-Eccles Stadium expansion, that'll happen."
Jeff Call on Jacob Hannemann leaving for MLB and BYU basketball's new recruits
BYU beat writer Jeff Call talked about the possibility of football recruit Jacob Hannemann possibly leaving school to pursue a baseball career.
"The way things are going right now from all indications (Jacob Hannemann) is going to be a pretty high round draft pick in the major league first year player draft, which is coming up the first week of June," Call said. "He does have a decision to make, and he's kind of weighing his options and things but, from indications talking to him, it sounds like if he gets a good deal, a good financial deal, that he's going to accept it and start playing baseball."
Call said that while BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall has expressed support for Hannemann should he choose baseball, indications are that the team wants him for football.
"Bronco's approach is he said he would support Jacob no matter what he wants to do," Call said. "One of the interesting things I thought was that he did not participate at all in spring practices, but when the spring practice depth chart came out about a week after it was over, he was listed number two."
Call also commented on BYU basketball recruits Chase Fischer and Frank Bartley.
"I think it shows that BYU is looking outside of their normal recruiting areas and kind of looking beyond just the LDS kids. Both Fischer and Bartley are non-LDS but they love the campus."
Although the new recruits will be welcome additions, Call said that one thing BYU lacks is size.
"They definitely need to get another big body in there to shore up that front court," said Call "I think that's where the focus is for that one remaining scholarship."
Matt Petersen on what the Jazz are doing ahead of the NBA draft
Deseretnews.com sports Web editor Matt Petersen gave some insight on the direction the Jazz are heading prior to the NBA draft. Petersen said that the Jazz are primarily interested in point guards, but the team could surprise by drafting a player at a different position.
"What's nice about the Jazz is that they are going to work out a lot of point guards, but they don't necessarily have to take one," Petersen said. "They are in a luxury position in the draft where they can pick the best available player, and in all likelihood he will fill a need they have."
Petersen said that re-signings and free agency will largely dictate the direction the Jazz will go come draft day.
"You've go so many free agents on this team, potentially eight, so we know they need a point guard, if nothing to back up Mo Williams if he comes back, we know they need outside shooting," Petersen said. "If Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap both leave, then they are going to need some bigs behind Kanter and Favors in the front court, so they really can't go wrong."