Top-ranked BYU volleyball opens conference play with sweep of Pacific
BYU's Roni Jomes-Perry high fives teammates against Pacific in Provo on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. BYU won 3-0.

Former Cougar basketball stars thrived this past week on the international scene, or as Jay Yeomans of JMoneySports said, “it was a very good week for many of the former Cougars playing basketball around the world.”

Yeomans took a close look at multiple Cougar alums who play professionally overseas, including Jimmer Fredette, Elijah Bryant and Tyler Haws, as well as Eric Mika, Frank Bartley and Brandon Davies.

None had a better week than Jimmer.

The guard put up excellent numbers, per the usual, in the Shanghai Sharks’ (11-4) 114-107 victory over Qingdao. Fredette finished with team-high 34 points on 11-for-23 shooting from the field, including 6-for-12 from 3-point land and 6-for-7 from the foul line. He added eight assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals in 45 minutes of action.

Not to be left behind was Bryant. The guard recorded his first double-double this season in Hapoel Mall Hayam Eilat’s 77-71 win over Ironi Nahariya.

Additionally, Haws and Mika both played integral roles in their respective teams’ victories over the weekend, as did Davies.

Yeomans also looked at performances by Kyle Collinsworth, Matt Carlino, Damarcus Harrison and Jonathan Tavernari.

Winners and Losers from Week 13

Every week this season CBSSports’ Ben Kercheval has detailed who he considers the winners and losers of each respective weekend of college football. The Cougars have rarely made the list this year, for good or ill, but their collapse against rival Utah Saturday night earned them an ignominious spot of Kercheval’s list.

BYU was one of three teams singled out in the section "Other excruciating rivalry losses,” along with the Arizona Wildcats, who blew a 19-point fourth-quarter lead to archrival Arizona State, and the Virginia Cavaliers, whose overtime futility extended their losing streak to Virginia Tech to 15 consecutive years.

Of the Cougars Kercheval noted, “speaking of more horrific rivalry losses, BYU, once up 27-7 over Utah in the third quarter, allowed the Utes to climb all the way back with 28 answered points over the final 16 minutes of the game to lose 35-27. The Cougars have been on the wrong side of some close calls this season — losses to Boise State, Cal and Northern Illinois came by a combined nine points — but this one twists the knife the hardest and the deepest.”

Kercheval turned to USA Today’s Dan Wolken for further commentary on BYU’s heartbreaking defeat.

Other links

What the numbers tell us about who has Mountain West supremacy, BYU included (Nevada SportsNet)

BYU is guaranteed to be placed in a bowl game by ESPN (247Sports)

The Rivalry remains feisty but the gap between Utah and BYU keeps getting bigger (Forbes)

And finally…

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BYU volleyball head coach Heather Olmstead spoke about the Cougars on ESPN after they were awarded the No. 4 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Among other things, Olmstead talked about the tradition of excellence that exists at BYU, the strong leadership of this year’s senior class and their determination to succeed.

“We have a good core group of senior leadership leading this team that have been in the tournament and they are really determined this year and they have done that,” Olmstead said. “I think we have a good tradition here, a lot of wins at BYU… We are just trying to carry on that tradition of good volleyball.”