"To come back from an injury; that's hard, especially a meniscus. Elijah's been positive and to see him play well lately has been a joy to us and he'll continue to get better from here. —BYU guard Nick Emery
PROVO — It's midway through the season and BYU's already young and improving basketball team is having to undergo yet another adjustment. But that adjustment is a good thing and should provide a lot of dividends, moving forward, according to coaches and players.
The adjustments surround sophomore guard Elijah Bryant, who finally appears healthy, or at least close to it, after battling an injury since the outset of the season. The 6-foot-5 transfer from Elon College logged a team-high 33 minutes in Thursday's 85-75 win over San Francisco, scoring 14 points while pulling down five rebounds and dishing out three assists.
While his integration within the Cougar lineup seemed relatively seamless on Thursday, BYU coach Dave Rose acknowledged its an adjustment his players will have to overcome.
"That is a part of this group that we have to address and that we have to adjust to because he is changing specific roles (of others) that have been developed over the last 10 games," Rose said, stating that it's "the mental adjustments, probably more than the physical adjustments there out on the floor," that are the biggest hurdle for his players.
As for those players adjusting, they're all pleased to have the talented wing player back into the rotation.
"Elijah's impressive," said BYU guard Nick Emery. "To come back from an injury — that's hard, especially a meniscus. Elijah's been positive and to see him play well lately has been a joy to us and he'll continue to get better from here."
What Bryant adds to the lineup is a good-sized swingman that can use his size effectively when driving to the hoop while being a threat from the outside.
"All of our guys understand that Elijah's talent and skill level can really help us win games," Rose said. "And hopefully we can all adjust to what's next."
ROSE OKAY: BYU starting guard L.J. Rose went down with an apparent ankle injury in the first half but returned in the second to help finish off the win.
"He felt kind of a pop in his ankle and it scared him, more than anything," Dave Rose said of the issue. "But he retaped it and was fine, and hopefully he'll be good tomorrow."3 comments on this story
Rose has battled issues with his feet since arriving at BYU, according to Dave Rose, stating that, "You can understand that the way it felt kind of scared him."
L.J. Rose finished the game with two points, five assists and five rebounds.
ROTATION TIGHTENED: Six players on BYU's team registered double-digit minutes during Thursday's win, with five players logging just over 30 minutes and L.J. Rose played 24 minutes. The next highest minute total came from guard Steven Beo, who played just four off the bench.