BYU ballers take the court


By Ryan Waite

BYU basketball fans can see the new team at the annual Cougar Tipoff on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center.

The event is free to the public and will feature a full-length Blue and White scrimmage, a team autograph session and prizes and giveaways.

This year’s roster features 18 athletes, including nine incoming freshmen.

“We’re coming in this year with a new team, new players, but we’re excited with what we have,” team co-captain Noah Hartsock said.

Fellow team captain Charles Abouo said these early scrimmages and exhibitions help develop the newer players.

“We have a lot of new guys and a lot of young players,” he said. “They’re definitely going to be looking toward some of us that have been here for a while for help, so the early part of the season will be big for us.”

In last year’s Cougar Tipoff, Jimmer Fredette led the White team with 26 points and helped the team to a 62-56 victory over the Blue team.

With Fredette graduated, Wednesday’s scrimmage will be fan’s first chance to see who will lead the team in 2011-12.

The players, who have not faced full competition since their summer tournaments in Greece, are ready to get on the court once again.

“I’m ready. It’s been a long summer and we had a great time in Greece,” said junior forward Stephen Rogers. “Now I’m ready to get in there and help this team get as far as we can.”

In Greece, the team saw steady improvement from returners Brock Zylstra and Nick Martineau, as well as a quick impact from newcomer Demarcus Harrison.

As the team gets set to hit the court again, head coach Dave Rose is optimistic about the emergence of his players.

“That’s the exciting part of college coaching is the fact that players leave, your seniors leave,” he said. “Then you have players in your program that get opportunities and it’s fun to see which guys take advantage of those opportunities.”

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