SAN DIEGO — Among the BYU fans in attendance at Jenny Craig Pavilion Thursday night was former Cougar defensive lineman Bronson Kaufusi.

Kaufusi came to the BYU-San Diego game to cheer on his younger brother, Corbin, a Cougar forward.

“Here to see Corbin,” Bronson said with his broad smile.

Bronson Kaufusi is preparing for the upcoming National Football League draft in Irvine and drove down for the game.

“It’s just an hour away,” Bronson said.

Bronson Kaufusi, who finished his career with 26.5 sacks, recently participated in the Senior Bowl. He has captured the attention of numerous NFL teams and is projected by some draft experts as a mid-round pick.

Of course, Kaufusi is no stranger to Jenny Craig Pavilion — he played basketball for the Cougars for one season when he was a freshman. BYU lost that night 74-68.

ROAD-TRIPPIN’: While BYU forward Nate Austin loves playing at home, he also relishes playing away from the Marriott Center.

“I love road trips because it’s really us against the other team, the other fans, the other arena. It’s kind of fun,” Austin said. “When you’re successful, it’s enjoyable. There’s a lot more bonding time, a lot more time to be together. I think road trips, where we’re successful, are some of the memories you take with you when you’re done here.”

NO MORE DEE: For four years, San Diego guard Johnny Dee frequently tormented the Cougars with his sharpshooting.

But Dee finished his eligibility last year and it was a little strange for the Cougars to take on a Dee-less Torero team.

“I’m sure guys like (teammates Chase Fischer and Kyle Collinsworth) are excited not to have to chase him around,” Austin said earlier this week. “They’re a very different team (without Dee), but they’re well-coached. They’re a good team.”

DOUBLE-HEADER: In a scheduling quirk as a result of BYU playing in the Diamond Head Classic in late December when the rest of the West Coast Conference opened league play, the Cougars and Toreros met for the first time this season Thursday.

Then the two teams will travel to Provo Friday to square off against at the Marriott Center.

BYU coach Dave Rose said the two schools looked at several options to avoid the back-to-back meetings, but settled on this solution.

“They weren’t that excited about doing it and we weren’t that excited about doing it,” Rose said. “But it was really pretty difficult to find a place to squeeze it in.”

COLLINSWORTH CLIMBING: Collinsworth tied Jeff Chatman for third place on BYU's games started list with 122. Tyler Haws is No. 1 with 137 starts and Randy Reid is No. 2 at 123.

EMAIL: jeffc@deseretnews.com