BYU’s ‘Heart & Soul’ Dalton Nixon Hopes To Be Back For WCC Tournament
PROVO, Utah – In the two games without injured Dalton Nixon, BYU basketball has struggled to play with the same flow and rhythm they had while Nixon was in the rotation. But Nixon could be back sooner than expected.
A senior forward who coach Mark Pope calls the “heart and soul” of this BYU team, Nixon is recovering from a high and inside ankle sprain that he suffered on a scary play under the basket against Loyola Marymount last week.
When Nixon suffered the injury, it looked as though it could be a season-ending injury. But Nixon was able to knock down a pair of free throws before walking on his own to the bench. Days after the injury during BYU’s game at San Diego, Nixon was on crutches. On Thursday night against Santa Clara, Nixon only needed a boot to get around.
Pope hasn’t set a timetable for long Nixon will be out, but he told CBS’ Jon Rothstein that Nixon “hopes to be back” by the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.
A return to the WCC Tournament would set Nixon’s return around 15 to 17 days from now. If BYU secures the No. 2 seed in the WCC Tournament, which is where they are at right now, they’ll have a three-round bye and play their first game in the Semifinal round on March 9th. Slip to the No. 3 seed and BYU will open in the Quarterfinals on Saturday, March 7th. Locking down the two spot becomes even more important now for BYU so they can give their injured teammate two more days to recover.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.