Jackson Emery has become BYU's flesh and blood fusion chamber.
The former Lone Peak star and Deseret News Mr. Basketball is so energetic in practices and games, those in charge of his body and playing time choose to become witnesses rather than tinker with his nuclear makeup and what he brings to the 7-1 Cougars.
Emery's vivacity and passion not only lights a fire in his teammates, but his zeal for converting even small plays into a bloody war game has taken its toll physically.
For Emery, BYU games are Red Cross stops. Just in the last week, he's suffered a sprained ankle on the same foot twice within five days, taken an elbow from USU forward Tai Wesley that bruised his cheek and eye orbit, got a mild concussion and then he got clotheslined in Monday's practice against a practice player — an injury serious enough to make him leave the floor.
And that's just in a week.
"You don't see the chipmunk side of me any more," Emery said of his face after the USU collision and a few days healing on Tuesday.
With Emery, BYU trainer Rob Ramos has become like the man in the corner ropes of a prize fighter boxing ring, ready with butterfly bandages, stitch kits, blood coagulants, tape and a brass spittoon.
Still, Emery keeps going. Ramos keeps cleaning up blood and packing ice on Emery's bruises.
In Tuesday's win over Arizona State, Emery's flurry of 3-point shots kept a BYU win on track.
His hustle to make plays was contagious. After suffering a second sprain on his ankle, he returned at 90 percent and blocked a shot and buried a trey at the three-minute mark when ASU made a last-gasp run.
"If you try and tell a kid to go 80 percent and he comes off screens 120 percent, what do you do?" asked Ramos.
"He's so aggressive and you can't stop him from being aggressive because that's what makes him so good," said Rose.
"I've never seen a player get hurt as often as he does and keep playing," said Ramos. "I've seen guys who have got injured and sit out a day or days or a week or two, but he's one of those who has had the most injuries and might miss a few practices but hasn't missed a game yet."
A year ago at Tulsa, Jackson hit the floor so hard going for a rebound, he suffered a concussion and gashed open his elbow, which required five stitches in the deep tissue underneath and half a dozen on the surface of his skin to close it.
Emery, it seems, appears to have a penchant for physical sacrifice.
"It's just the way he's wired," said Ramos. "A nicer guy you'll never meet. He'll probably never fight anybody, but on a court he won't back down."
Emery's play, of course, draws fouls. He doesn't mind whistles over actual contact, but the butterfly-eyelash ones really frustrate him. And he's been in foul trouble a lot this year.
"It's frustrating. You try to play physical but not make contact, be aggressive but play smart," said Emery.
Another former Lone Peak star, freshman Tyler Haws, says Emery's full-out effort is something he's admired his entire life and he wants to emulate it.
"The one thing I like about Jackson is he's a competitor," said Haws, himself a former Utah Mr. Basketball.
"He's always there to compete and he's going to fight you the whole game, the whole 40 minutes. His energy is so good for our team, we just feed off his energy, all the little hustle plays I've watched since high school. It's something I've tried to pick up on."
Rose called Emery "a gamer" and, after a collision in Energy Solutions Arena last Saturday, he wondered if his star junior would get back up.
"He plays hard, he plays at a really intense pace. I don't know if he's a hundred percent yet, but he's really good at anticipating, running through passes, getting rebounds and getting fast breaks started."
A month into the season, Emery is averaging 13.1 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. He's shooting 53 percent from beyond the 3-point line and has a team-high 20 steals.
But he probably leads the conference in ice packs to playing minute ratio.
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