BYU basketball to play in two NBA arenas in 2016-17

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The BYU basketball team will play the USC Trojans on Dec. 3 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported the matchup on April 4.

The Cougars also have 2016-17 out of conference games with Colorado, Weber State, Utah State and Illinois. The game with the Fighting Illini will be in the United Center, the home of the Chicago Bulls.

USC narrowly lost to Providence 70-69 in the first round of the NCAA tournament this year. The Trojans went 21-13, following back-to-back 20-loss seasons.

Kyle Collinsworth dribbles past a Utah State player Dec. 9, 2015. BYU will face Utah State in a non-conference game next year. (Natalie Bothwell)

Along with USC, Colorado and Weber State also lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Buffaloes fell 74-67 to Connecticut, while the Wildcats lost 71-53 to Xavier.

BYU may be playing big names next season, but the Cougars have a huge flux of talent coming back.

Returning players Corbin Kaufusi, Kyle Davis and Nick Emery are expected to be big contributors. Eljiah Bryant will be an active member of the team, after sitting out the 2015-2016 year due to transfer rules. Bryant averaged 14.2 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Elon Phoenix before coming to Provo.

The Cougars welcome back Eric Mika, and true freshmen TJ Haws and Payton Dastrup from LDS missions. Mika, Haws and Emery played together at Lone Peak High School.

Bingham High School product Yoeli Childs will also join the Cougars for the 2016-2017 season. Childs was named to the Salt Lake Tribune’s 5A First Team and was the Deseret News’ 5A MVP. Washington prep standout Steven Beo will also join the team as a preferred walk-on.

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