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Morning links: Jazz move up power rankings; bowls ranked; former BYU WR appreciates gift

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder signals to his players in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn.
Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder signals to his players in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn.
Karen Pulfer Focht, Associated Press

The Utah Jazz having been playing well of late and the national media has taken notice.

In John Schuhmann's latest NBA.com Power Rankings, the Jazz moved up to the No. 6 spot.

Of the Jazz's play recently, he wrote, "The Jazz still aren't whole — they got Derrick Favors, but not George Hill back last week — but have won 11 of their last 13 games, ranking in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency over that stretch, even though they're not getting much from starting point guard Dante Exum."

Marc Stein's ESPN NBA Power Rankings also have the Jazz at the No. 6 spot.

After talking about Utah's schedule strength to this point, Stein wrote, "Another valid question: Did we get it wrong in our Defensive Player of the First Trimester assessment by picking Golden State's Draymond Green over Rudy Gobert? Memphis' Marc Gasol is another strong contender, frankly, given the Grizzlies' rise to the top of the defensive efficiency standings, but Tim MacMahon makes a compelling case for Gobert's work as rim protector/shot-changer, as well as his recent run against elite centers."

Former Cougar receiver Jordan Leslie receives Christmas package from BYU

Former BYU receiver Jordan Leslie shared a tweet to show his appreciation for a Christmas package he received from Chad Lewis and BYU football.

Along with the photo, Leslie wrote, "That's why you all are the best."

Cougars and Utes make position battles to watch top 20 list

Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports ranked the top 20 position battles to watch in the December bowl games, and the Utes and Cougars both made the list.

The matchup of the BYU linebackers Fred Warner and Butch Pau'u vs. Wyoming running back Brian Hill made the list at No. 15.

Of the matchup, Fischer wrote, "This position battle would probably be a little higher on the list if Pau’u was going to be 100 percent healthy for the bowl game but he’s been banged up over the latter half of the season."

The battle between the Utah secondary and Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow came in at No. 20.

After talking about Lagow, Fischer wrote, "He's already thrown 16 interceptions this year and will have a tough task not adding to that number against the ball hawks of the Utah secondary."