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Brigham Young Cougars

1. My Left Foot. BYU lost to UNLV for the second straight year in the Mountain West championship game, but one has to wonder if things would have been different had the Cougars' 6-foot-11 Vuk Ivanovic still been on the roster. Ivanovic, a native of Serbia and Montenegro, broke his foot during practice in January. But one wonders why he just didn't heal himself, being that he's a genetics and biotechnology major. Also, the senior lists his hobbies as Formula 1 Racing, chess, ping-pong and playing the piano; you know, the typical stuff.

2. On Any Given Sunday. As far as the NCAA is concerned, BYU is rather high maintenance. They refuse to let their athletic teams play on Sunday; which would have been a conflict in the NCAA basketball tournament in 2003, had the Cougars reached the Elite Eight. Fortunately, they never made it. Also, the university gets special dispensation from the NCAA due to their athletes' service on LDS missions (typically two years), which do not count against the maximum four years of college eligibility. As a result, BYU players tend to be older than average, and many are already married with families.


3. Black Power! Sophomore guard Jonathan Tavernari got his start playing basketball from his mom, who is a basketball coach in Brazil ... 6-foot-11 sophomore center Chris Miles, who recently returned from an LDS mission, was recruited out of high school by Texas Tech. But for some reason he thought he might be uncomfortable playing for Bobby Knight ... according to his bio, junior guard Lamont Morgan Jr. "is active in the Black Student Union." Who knew? ... senior guard Ben Murdock served his LDS mission in Honolulu, Hawai'i. Who do you have to know to get that gig? — Rick Chandler

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