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BYU’s Matt Haarms Will Be Game-Time Decision For New Orleans

BYU forward/center Matt Haarms talks with head coach Mark Pope during practice. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball tipped off the 2020-21 season without one of its top players in Purdue transfer Matt Haarms.

Haarms was out in the Cougars season-opening victory over Westminster due to an ankle injury. Will he miss BYU’s first matchup against a Division I opponent in New Orleans on Thanksgiving night?

“He’s literally kind of hour-by-hour,” said BYU coach Mark Pope. “I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a chance tonight [for him to play]. We decided to forego that, and we got him a good workout today. It seems like this evening in the postgame; he’s still feeling good. There’s not a lot of soreness. We’ll reevaluate in the morning when he wakes up, and make it a game-time decision tomorrow.”

In his three seasons at Purdue, Haarms appeared in 102 games and started in 40 for the Boilermakers. The 7-foot-3 forward/center picked BYU over the likes of Kentucky and Texas Tech.

“He’s going to be such an incredibly valuable part of this team. We’re probably a little bit hypercautious, but it should be soon, I hope,” Pope said.

BYU Basketball personnel notes

Along with Matt Haarms, BYU was without walk-on Townsend Tripple who was in a sling. He suffered an injury weeks ago in practice.

Utah Valley transfer Wyatt Lowell played opening night, scoring five points and pulling down three rebounds in limited minutes. An impressive accomplishment for Lowell, who had suffered a torn labrum in July.

“I was so shocked, I’ll be honest with you,” Pope said on Lowell being able to play on opening night. “You’ve got to give so much credit to everybody from Dr. Mortensen, who did the surgery, to of course Rob Ramos and Eric Schork. He’s four months and three days from his surgery, and he actually played live in a game and felt great. Obviously, A lot of credit goes to Wyatt also. He’s worked incredibly hard.”

Pope also gave credit to Nick Robinson for getting Lowell ready for live play. Coach Robinson took it upon himself to have Lowell ready to play on the court.

BYU hosts New Orleans on Thanksgiving night at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The game can be seen on BYUtv and heard on KSL NewsRadio.

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 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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