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Morning links: Utah Jazz on the rise; is BYU Sunday play a problem?; Ansah the top Lion

SHARE Morning links: Utah Jazz on the rise; is BYU Sunday play a problem?; Ansah the top Lion

The love for the Utah Jazz continues to roll in as Matt Moore of CBS Sports ranks the Jazz as one of his six teams on the rise.

Talking about the chances for the Jazz this upcoming season, he said, "Utah is very much the 'it' team in NBA media circles when it comes to expected jumps for next season, and for good reason. They added veterans George Hill (at a key position of point guard, a sore spot last season), Joe Johnson (to add both shooting and a small-ball lineup with Johnson at power forward) and hyper-versatile former-Spur Boris Diaw, giving them skill on top of athleticism."

He continued, "When Utah lost its defensive anchor in (Rudy) Gobert to injury last year, the offense exploded as coach Quin Snyder tried to pivot to keep them afloat. The result is a roster that showed it can adapt to whatever tactical approach it needs, provided it can stay healthy enough to hang."

Sunday play restrictions shouldn’t be an obstacle for BYU in Big 12 expansion

Scheduling around Sunday play has often been thrown out as a major concern when it comes to BYU's chances in the expansion ring. SB Nation's Alex Kirshner looked at why that can be easily solved.

He writes, "Because college football is played on Saturdays, BYU’s no-Sunday policy would be irrelevant in a football-only world. But if the Big 12 and BYU want to partner in sports beyond football, there’s no reason that can’t work in a way that accommodates BYU’s customs."

He then focused on some of the sports and how you can schedule around them: "When it comes to scheduling around a no-Sunday policy during the regular season, the sport that takes it the hardest might be softball."

He continues, "In that sport, the Cougars had 20 doubleheaders last season, totaling more than half their games. That’s a physical grind for BYU, but it’s a burden the Cougars have shouldered. No opponent got stuck with more than one doubleheader against them, so this is a lot tougher on the Cougars than it is on anyone else."

Former BYU lineman Ziggy Ansah ranked the best Lion

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press counted down the best 20 Detroit Lions for 2016 heading into training camp. At the top of his list is former BYU defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah.

"Why he’s No. 1: Ansah emerged as one of the best pass rushers in the National Football League last year in just his third season. He finished third in the league in sacks and fell a half sack shy of Robert Porcher’s team record. Everyone in the Lions organization says Ansah is still scratching the surface of his potential as a player, and while that may seem hard to believe at age 27, remember he’s played six years of organized football.

"Matthew Stafford may be more important to the Lions’ record this fall given the position he plays, but Ansah is one of the most impactful edge players in the league. He’s improved as a run defender every year, has natural athletic ability that’s difficult for blockers to contain and is tough enough to play through injury."

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.