SALT LAKE CITY — The BYU-Utah rivalry could use more moments like what happened Wednesday afternoon at the Utah Jazz’s practice facility.
Utah guard Brandon Taylor and BYU guard Chase Fischer competed on the basketball court, were all smiles afterwards and respectfully spoke of each other following their pre-draft workout for the Jazz.
“Brandon’s a good dude,” Fischer said. “He works hard. He’s a good player. I think we both have a mutual respect for each other. We didn’t even talk about (the rivalry). We’re cool.”
With a huge grin, Taylor admitted it was “a little fun, especially (because of) BYU” when asked about working out with familiar players, including Fischer and Washington first-round prospect Dejounte Murray.
“Those guys are good, even the freshman from Washington, Murray. He has a bright future,” Taylor said. “And Chase is one hell of a shooter, and he showed that today.”
Though it’s likely Taylor and Fischer will have to go the Europe or D-League route to earn a basketball paycheck, Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin believes they both have next-level skills.
Perrin admitted the two local players will have some inherent challenges because of their size (Fischer, a shooting guard, is 6-3, and Taylor, a point guard, is 5-10), but he likes their ability to put the ball in the hoop.
“They both can shoot the ball. They both know how to score,” Perrin said. “Chase shot it pretty well today. I think Brandon struggled a little bit with the 3s, but they both know how to score the ball.”
Fischer, an All-WCC first-teamer, averaged 18.2 points and shot 36.7 percent from 3-point range for the Cougars, who advanced to the NIT championship this past spring.
The BYU sharpshooter, who had the ninth-most 3s in the NCAA last season, said he came into the workout with some “swagger.”
“I wanted to show I can go hard, I have pace, I have a little bit more to my game than just shooting,” Fischer said. “I competed in one-on-one, played hard on D. I wanted to make shots, show I could do that.
Taylor, a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honoree, averaged 9.7 points and 3.9 assists while hitting 33.5 percent of his deep shots for the Utes, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“I think I did solid,” he said. “I think I held my own out there. … Just being me.”
Taylor laughed when asked if there were any of “the fireworks” with this BYU guy in Wednesday’s workout similar to what happened in the last BYU-Utah game when he was hit by Cougar freshman Nick Emery.
“At least it (last year’s incident) didn’t involve him,” Taylor said, chuckling. “It was good. It was cool. It’s a part of the game. It’s a part of the game of basketball.”
Fischer said there wasn’t a hint of rivalry smack talk between the two ballers.
“No, no, no,” Fischer said. “I’m done. I’m out of that scene right now. … We didn’t even talk about it. We’re cool.”
JAZZ NOTES: Utah began its fourth-annual free agent mini-camp on Wednesday morning. Notable participants include Tyrell Corbin, the former West High standout, Utah Mr. Basketball and son of ex-Jazz coach Ty Corbin; Utah State product Preston Medlin; and Julian Mavunga, who is Gordon Hayward’s best friend from Brownsburg, Indiana. The 30 free agents will continue their camp Thursday. … Michigan guard Caris Levert observed Wednesday’s workout and was interviewed by Jazz brass. The 6-7 guard couldn’t participate, however, because he’s rehabbing from foot surgery in March. … Perrin on Murray, a possible first-rounder who worked out solo for the Jazz on Wednesday: “(He) probably shot it better than I thought he would, picked up a lot of the drills quickly. He looked real good today.” ... Wednesday's workout also included Oakland guard Max Hooper, who didn't attempt one single shot inside the 3-point arc as a senior (117-257 beyond the arc) and took only 11 2-pointers in his collegiate career.