PROVO — When asked about Nick Emery Tuesday, BYU coach Dave Rose was eager to address the situation with the junior guard.
Speaking publicly for the first time since news broke last Friday about the NCAA investigating Emery for possibly receiving improper benefits, Rose discussed how hard it’s been to see Emery go through some difficult trials.
“I’d love to talk about Nick,” Rose said. “We’re anxiously awaiting to see where it goes from here. I can say this — I don’t know if I can or not, but I will — that the process of what Nick’s been through in the spring, the summer and now the fall has been pretty tough to watch from a coach’s point of view. I think of the conversations and the time we’ve spent together, that I’m really proud of our team and how they’ve supported Nick through a pretty difficult time. Hopefully, we can get some closure. But our guys have got their arms around him and helping him through each day.
"Some days are tougher than others. As a coach, I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve seen these guys really embrace this kid and hopefully we get him back to where we know he can be, helping this team.”
Rose said that Emery will play in exhibition games as the investigation continues. The Cougars host Westminster College in exhibition game Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“That’s the process for now, then we’ll see what happens from here,” Rose said.
Emery has been dealing with a number of off-the-court issues for months.
“It’s been a distraction. It’s been tough on Nick,” Rose said. “I’m not just talking about what came out last week. I’m talking about a very challenging spring and summer for any student, especially his age.”
BYU’s TRIP TO THE PIT: The Cougars are coming off a 79-73 charity exhibition victory over New Mexico last Friday night at The Pit.
Yoeli Childs scored 17 points, pulled down 19 rebounds and had four blocks. TJ Haws (14 points), Elijah Bryant (13) and Luke Worthington (12) also scored in double figures for BYU.
Haws also had six assists and seven rebounds and Bryant had eight boards.
“Anytime you take your team on the road for the first time, it’s always kind of interesting,” Rose said. “This had a whole different feel to it. It’s an exhibition game but it didn’t feel much like an exhibition game in the second half. It felt like a mid-December game, a mid-January game. The Pit wasn’t full but it was loud.”
Rose was glad his team could be involved in a good cause as the proceeds from the game went to the Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund.
“We raised quite a bit of money,” Rose said. “I’m glad the NCAA allowed us to do it.”
THE DEVASHRAYEE CONNECTION: Westminster, a Division II team, is coached by Norm Parrish. The Griffins return senior Dayon Goodman, who averaged a team-high 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds last season.
Another member of Westminster’s roster is Travis Devashrayee, who is the husband of BYU women’s basketball star Cassie Broadhead Devashrayee. Devashrayee is the Griffins’ second-leading returning scorer, averaging 8.2 points while shooting 60.0 percent from 3-point range a year ago.