BYU Basketball Availability Report Entering Bellarmine Game
Dec 21, 2023, 9:26 PM | Updated: Dec 22, 2023, 1:25 pm
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
PROVO, Utah – Who’s in and who’s out for BYU basketball against Bellarmine on Friday, December 22nd (7 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+, KSL NewsRadio)?
BYU head coach Mark Pope was asked about the availability of players before Thursday’s practice.
Dawson Baker practiced on Thursday, expected to play against Bellarmine
“I think we’ll have some of Dawson Baker, although I don’t know his foot responded great to the game last week,” said Mark Pope.
UC Irvine transfer Dawson Baker made his debut as a BYU Cougar last week in the win over Georgia State. He played nine minutes and made an impact in those minutes, scoring six points, one steal, and dishing out one assist.
Baker participated in practice on Thursday and showed well in the second unit.
Hours after practice, Mark Pope said on his coaches show (Thursday, 9 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio), “We’re expecting to have access to his talents tomorrow.”
Jaxson Robinson didn’t practice
BYU’s leading scorer, Jaxson Robinson, did not practice on Thursday. The senior forward suffered a mild ankle sprain last week against Georgia State.
“I’m hoping we’ll have Jax, but he hasn’t practiced yet,” said Pope to reporters.
It’s been a busy week for Robinson as he completed a week of 16 credit hours with four final exams.
Robinson is averaging 18 points per game this season as BYU’s sixth man off the bench. If he cannot go against Bellarmine on Friday, Richie Saunders will be one of the first players taking the floor in the second unit along with Baker.
In his sophomore season, Saunders has made jumps in all statistical categories from last year. Saunders is averaging 10.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game.
Marcus Adams Jr. is expected to make his BYU Basketball debut
Then many are wondering if Friday night will be the debut of heralded freshman Marcus Adams Jr. The 6-foot-8 heralded freshman forward, who landed at BYU after stops at Kansas and Gonzaga, is eligible to play after a temporary restraining order granted two-time transfers to be eligible immediately.
So, is Adams good to go?
Pope told reporters before practice that he “was pretty sick” on Wednesday dealing with the flu. But the good news is Adams was a full participant in practice on Thursday, and the expectation is that he will make his BYU debut against Bellarmine.
“We’ll get him a couple of minutes tomorrow and see how it goes,” said Pope on the Coaches Show.
Adams ranked as the No. 51 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting rankings by 247Sports coming out of Narbonne High School in California. He scored 28 points per game on the wing during his final year of prep hoops.
“He’s going to play his first game halfway through his freshman year, which should be his senior year in high school,” said Pope. “He’s so young, but he’s super excited.”
Fousseyni Traore latest
BYU starting five Fousseyni Traore has been out with a hamstring injury since the first half of the NC State game on November 24. Pope provided an update on BYU’s junior big man.
“Fouss has been working out two-a-days right now. … Fouss is unbelievable, so he’s had great workouts every morning this week. He’s going twice a day,” Pope said on the Coaches Show. “We’ll get him on the court, probably not tomorrow, but he’ll be on the court next week. So we’re super excited about that.”
Getting Traore back would be a significant boost to BYU before they begin Big 12 play on January 6 against Cincinnati in Provo.
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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.
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