BYU Shakes Up Starting Lineup For K-State Game
Feb 10, 2024, 7:32 PM
(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
PROVO, Utah – No. 21 BYU basketball is making some changes for Saturday night’s game against Kansas State.
The changes coincide with the return of center Aly Khalifa. Khalifa has been dealing with the flu and knee pain, causing him to miss the past two games.
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) February 11, 2024
He’s back for tonight against Kansas State, who is fresh off an upset win over Kansas.
The return of Khalifa puts him back into the starting lineup, according to a pregame conversation Greg Wrubell had with BYU head coach Mark Pope.
Aly Khalifa, Trevin Knell returning to the starting lineup for BYU basketball
What’s notable about Khalifa returning to the starting five is that it sends Fousseyni Traore into the second unit.
In Khalifa’s absence, Traore has been a star for BYU the past two games. At West Virginia last Saturday, Traore was one point shy of tying a career-high in scoring. He finished with 24 points against the Mountaineers.
In the loss to Oklahoma last Tuesday, Traore had a game-high in scoring with 21 points.
Along with Traore going to the bench is NBA draft hopeful Jaxson Robinson.
Mark Pope has decided to start Trevin Knell.
In our pregame conversation, BYU head coach Mark Pope says Aly Khalifa will be back in the starting lineup tonight v. K-State; Trevin Knell returns to the opening group with Jaxson Robinson going back to his reserve role.
Starters v. K-State:
— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) February 11, 2024
The starting five of Dallin Hall, Spencer Johnson, Trevin Knell, Noah Waterman, and Aly Khalifa is 7-3 this season. You have to go back to January 13 for their last start together.
Both Robinson coming off the bench and Knell in the starting five had produced some of their best performances this season in those respective roles.
At one point during nonconference action, Robinson was averaging 18 points per game off the bench.
BYU hosts Kansas State in Big 12 action
BYU basketball hosts Kansas State in the Marriott Center on Saturday night for the first time since 1971. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. (MT) on ESPN2 and KSL NewsRadio.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s’ coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.
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