SALT LAKE CITY — Utah athletics director Chris Hill doesn’t foresee any interruption in the basketball series with BYU — even though Cougars coach Dave Rose recently said that talks about extending the rivalry beyond the current agreement have “kind of stalled.”
Hill explained that the two athletic programs have talked on several occasions and “we’re fine.”
Besides Saturday’s game in the Huntsman Center, the Utes and Cougars are also scheduled to meet Dec. 10, 2014 at the Marriott Center in Provo.
“They’ve been very cooperative. We know we’re going to play every year,” said Hill, who added that he and BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe have also discussed the possibility of having a tournament at EnergySolutions Arena.
Hill noted that BYU helped move a game in 2014 to ensure that the rivals could play — creating a comfortable situation.
The same, however, cannot be said of Utah State. Hill noted that communication and an ability to get basketball games together with the Aggies has been uncomfortable.
“There’s great communication there (with BYU),” Hill said. “The Utah State thing, which I think is important to know, that’s just been more difficult.”
As for in-state foes like Weber State and Southern Utah, Hill is hopeful to establish one-way games in the future — although maybe not every year.
TIRED GUY: Sophomore Jordan Loveridge joked that he was “sleepy tired” before Wednesday’s practice. The forward logged 40 minutes of action in Tuesday’s 74-66 victory over Idaho State.
“My body’s fine but I could use a nap,” said Loveridge, who scored a game-high 27 points as the Utes improved to 8-1 on the season.
WRIGHT ON: Junior college transfer Delon Wright continues to impress in his first season with the Utes. The guard has scored in double figures in all nine games and averaged 19 points, 9.5 assists, 8.5 rebounds and three steals over contests against Boise State and Fresno State.
“Delon’s a really nice player and provides a lot of talent on the floor (with) his passing ability and his ability to score,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, who noted that Wright regularly flirts with getting triple-doubles. “He’s a heckuva basketball player and we’re fortunate to have him in our program.”
Wright is shooting 72.2 percent from the field.
KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Junior center Dallin Bachynski came off the bench Tuesday to score seven points, grab four rebounds and block two shots in the pivotal second half of Utah’s win against the Bengals. Although the 7-footer had an MRI for swelling in his knee earlier in the week, he showed up for the shoot around on game day ready to go.
“I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on,” Krystkowiak said. “But he gave us a great lift last night.”