Nick’s feeling better, but he won’t play this week for sure. It’s part of the plan. We’re still trying to figure out information from the NCAA. —BYU head coach Dave Rose
PROVO — It’s a busy week for BYU basketball with an exhibition game Wednesday night and the 2016-17 season-opener Saturday night against Mississippi Valley State.
Junior guard Nick Emery won’t be playing in either of those games as the NCAA continues to conduct an investigation looking into the possibility of Emery receiving improper benefits.
Rose said the school is waiting to receive word from the NCAA before putting Emery on the court. He can't play in regular-season games while the investigation is pending.
Because the Cougars are preparing for the season-opener, coach Dave Rose figures there’s no reason to play Emery Wednesday.
“The exhibition games we knew he can play in. This week, I wanted to get ready for our Saturday game,” Rose said. “There’s no reason to play a guy that’s not going to play (Saturday), in my opinion. That’s where we are.”
Emery played only four minutes in BYU’s last exhibition game against Westminster last Wednesday due to an illness.
“Nick’s feeling better, but he won’t play this week for sure. It’s part of the plan,” said Rose. “We’re still trying to figure out information from the NCAA. He won’t be available (Wednesday or Saturday).”
The Cougars face Colorado College, a Division III school, Wednesday (7 p.m., MST, BYUtv).
Rose added that he doesn’t know of a timetable related to hearing back from the NCAA regarding Emery.
“They haven’t told me, but they’re not communicating with me,” Rose said. “I’m just waiting to hear from our (NCAA) compliance people and our administration.”
Meanwhile, the Cougars will also be without forward Braiden Shaw, who is dealing with a sprain ankle, for this week’s games.
FINDING AN IDENTITY: With the season-opener rapidly approaching, this team’s identity is still being developed.
“It’s still working its way through,” Rose said. “This is an important game for a lot of the guys that have played some minutes and haven’t played as well as they want to or are capable of. It’s important for the guys who haven’t played a lot of minutes to get some minutes and respond to it. Hopefully, that will happen.”
This exhibition game is different from the previous ones this season, Rose said.
“When you have a game on Saturday, the process of preparation with this exhibition game has been a lot more what they do and how they do it and how we respond and guard it," Rose said. "The first two have been more about us. I’m excited to see how our team responds to this type of game.”
ABOUT COLORADO COLLEGE: Colorado College, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, competes in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The Tigers are led by John Hatch (17.5 points per game), Eric Houska (17.1), Chris Martin (10.0), CooXooEii Black (9.6) and Ryan Young (7.1).
Colorado College posted an 11-14 record overall and 10-4 in conference play last season. The Tigers beat UCCS in their first exhibition game, 73-71. Houska scored a game-high 26 points in that contest.