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Observations From BYU’s NCAA Tournament Open Practice

Mar 20, 2024, 3:53 PM

OMAHA, Neb. – On Wednesday, BYU basketball completed its one open practice of the NCAA Tournament at the CHI Health Center.

Most of the fans that were in attendance appeared to be part of the travel party with the team. It was another reminder that there wouldn’t be near the large gathering of BYU faithful as there would have been in Salt Lake City.

Regardless, BYU went through some basic layup lines and drills in the 40-minute practice as they put the final touches on prep for the Duquesne Dukes.

The open practice occurred after BYU’s closed session at the Creighton basketball facility earlier on Wednesday morning.

Some observations from the open practice session in Omaha.

–Aly Khalifa participated in the open practice. The starting center for BYU is recovering from an ankle injury that sidelined him in the second half against Texas Tech at the Big 12 Tournament.

–One of the backups to Khalifa at the center position did not participate in the practice at the CHI Health Center. That was third-string big man Atiki Ally Atiki.

Atiki appeared to be limping and was in street clothes during the 40-minute practice.

The third-year big man has played this season through a broken thumb injury that will require surgery after the season concludes.

–At the midway point of the practice, BYU coach Mark Pope wanted the arena silent as his players attempted two rounds of free throw attempts.

The arena officials and workers silenced the music blaring through the speakers as BYU players attempted free throws in complete silence.

–Members of the BYU basketball team took photos of the center court logo that features the NCAA’s March Madness logo.

–BYU freshman Marcus Adams participating in practice. The first-year player was sporting a new shaved haircut.

(6) BYU vs. (11) 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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Observations From BYU’s NCAA Tournament Open Practice