Cougars in the pros: Elijah Bryant impresses in NBA debut
Elijah Bryant made his NBA regular-season debut three years removed from BYU and the NFL schedule release provided intriguing games for Cougar fans.
Bryant posted 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting, six rebounds and three assists in his NBA regular-season debut for the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, May 16.
He played 32 minutes off the bench and was a team-high +11 in the plus/minus category.
Bryant’s 16 points were the most scored by a former Cougar in the NBA since Brandon Davies scored 20 points for the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2014.
His appearance marked the first by a former BYU player in the current NBA season. He also set the record for most time between his final BYU game and NBA debut when his perseverance finally paid off after 1,160 days.
The Bucks head into the NBA playoffs as the three seed in the Eastern Conference and will face the Miami Heat in the first round.
With the release of the NFL schedule, there are many intriguing matchups featuring former Cougars. These are some games to keep an eye on:
Week 1: New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (Sep. 12, 2021)
In what is anticipated to be Zach Wilson’s regular-season debut, he will face off against the quarterback he replaced on the Jets: Sam Darnold.
Wilson will have the immediate opportunity to prove to the Jets that they made the right decision picking him second overall to replace Darnold.
Wilson will also face off against the man who protected his blindside at BYU for three years: recent Panthers draft pick and offensive lineman Brady Christensen.
Week 14: New Orleans Saints at New York Jets (Dec. 12, 2021)
This matchup could feature two former BYU quarterbacks starting in the same game if all goes right for Wilson and Saints quarterback Taysom Hill.
If Wilson and Hill start it would mark the first time former Cougar quarterbacks start in the same game since Steve Young and Ty Detmer faced off back in 1997 when Young’s 49ers beat Detmer’s Eagles.