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Mark Pope Provides Injury Update On BYU Center Aly Khalifa Before NCAA Tournament

Mar 18, 2024, 11:42 AM | Updated: 2:46 pm

PROVO, Utah – The status of BYU basketball center Aly Khalifa is one to monitor entering the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Last week, during BYU’s loss to Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals, Khalifa suffered a right ankle injury.

“I just rolled my ankle, turned around, and it was my right ankle. So it’s pretty swollen,” Khalifa told KSL Sports after the loss to Texas Tech on March 14. “Me and the trainers talked about it, and we decided not to play because I was limping. So it was hurting.”

The rolled ankle caused Khalifa to miss the entire second half against the Red Raiders.

BYU coach Mark Pope expects to have a “full roster” against Duquesne

Now BYU turns the page to Thursday in the Big Dance as they prepare for the Duquesne Dukes out of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

BYU coach Mark Pope updated Khalifa’s status on Monday during an interview on BYUtv’s “BYU Sports Nation” with Jarom Jordan. Before the team travels to Omaha on Tuesday, Khalifa is expected to play against the Dukes.

“[Aly] ‘s doing great, and he’s feeling better,” Pope told BYUtv on Monday. “Aly is a work in progress health-wise, like every single guy on our team and every team in college basketball right now. These guys have been through the wars. So everybody’s got aches and pains, but we expect to put a full roster on the floor and go battle together.”

Aly Khalifa has started 25 games for BYU basketball this season

Khalifa is averaging 5.9 assists, 4.1 assists, and 3.8 rebounds this season. The 6-foot-11 big man from Alexandria, Egypt, has started in 25 games this season for BYU and has earned the nickname of “The Egyptian Magician” for his ability to pass the ball as a frontcourt player.

During the NCAA Tournament, Khalifa will continue fasting during Ramadan through April 9.

“There’s no question if my religion asked me to do something … I’m going to do this 100%. I will pray every day,” Khalifa said last week. “I’m going to do everything I can to be a good person and religiously, obviously. That’s myself. This is my personality. It means a lot to me.”

BYU vs. Duquesne

2024 NCAA Tournament – First Round

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Arena: CHI Health Center

Tip-Off: 10:40 a.m. (MT)/11:40 a.m. (CT)

TV: TruTV

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM in Utah)

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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Mark Pope Provides Injury Update On BYU Center Aly Khalifa Before NCAA Tournament