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BYU’s Gideon George Returns To Practice After Dealing With Illness

Dec 7, 2021, 11:48 PM
BYU Basketball - Gideon George...
BYU basketball forward Gideon George. (Photo courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Photo courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball is gearing up for another big week that starts with in-state rival Utah State.

The game against the Aggies will be an opportunity for No. 24 BYU to trot out its retooled lineup. With center Richard Harward still for an undisclosed period, plus the season-ending injury to Gavin Baxter, BYU’s frontcourt is thin right now.

A big boost to that frontcourt is the return of forward Gideon George. George was out for both games last week due to an illness. BYU coach Mark Pope provided an update on his senior forward after practice on Tuesday.

“He practiced a little bit yesterday and he practiced the full practice today, and he lost about 12 pounds over the course of the week,” said Pope. “But he looked good in practice. It’s going to take time for his body and mind to get right, but he’s on the recovery trail.”

The media can observe BYU’s practice on Tuesdays during the season. George was on the court competing in all drills during the media observation portion.

George is listed at 210-pounds on BYU’s official roster. A weight loss of 12 pounds would put him under 200 pounds, at 198.

Regardless of Geroge’s weight, his impact on the floor is valuable to a BYU team in desperate need of size. This season, George has started in six games, primarily playing the small forward spot for the 7-1 Cougars.

“He is such an impact on the defensive end of the ball, he’s really gifted offensively being able to get in the lane, and his post moves that he has, being able to shoot from the perimeter,” said BYU guard Alex Barcello about George’s impact on the team. “But he brings so much on the defensive side of the ball. Just having an eye for the ball when it goes up, crashing the boards, and being able to guard one of their best offensive players. So we’re happy [to have him back].”

Last week, an illness was going through the BYU program, but George was the only one that wasn’t available to play.

George averages 5.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 34.3% from the field.

No. 24 BYU vs. Utah State

Tip: 7 p.m. (MT)

TV: BYUtv

Location: Marriott Center

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.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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