MORAGA, Calif. — Terry Nashif is a lot more relaxed these days.
Nashif spent 11 years on BYU coach Dave Rose’s coaching staff before leaving last spring to pursue business opportunities.
Nashif was sitting courtside at McKeon Pavilion Thursday night in a different role, serving as an analyst on the radio broadcast of the BYU-Saint Mary’s game with the Voice of the Cougars, Greg Wrubell. Nashif occasionally fills in for Mark Durrant on the road to provide color commentary.
“It’s way less pressure. I had a way better day today. It’s great," Nashif said with a smile before tipoff. "Working with Greg is amazing. He’s a true professional. I’ve admired for years from a distance. To be able to work with him has been wonderful."
For Nashif, it's a chance to channel his basketball expertise in a different way.
“I would sit on the bench for years and think of the next play. Now I can tell people what I think and what I see. (Assistant) coach (Tim) LaComb didn’t want to hear what I had thought was going on in the game and there was no one to listen," he said. "Hopefully the listeners enjoy that. I really enjoy doing it. I really enjoy working with Greg. He makes it easy. It’s tough shoes to fill with Mark. He’s amazing. I listen to him when I’m not listening to game. It’s enjoyable to tell people what I think and see.”
Nashif, who was known for his ability to draw up crafty and successful inbound plays at BYU, is working full time for a supply chain company in Salt Lake City that provides shipping services.
“I’m crunching different numbers now but I love it,” he said. “I’m looking at some zones and some rates and dimensions. I really like it. Instead of optimizing how to score on the court, I optimize how to get packages to places quicker and cheaper.”
Does he miss coaching?
“I miss the guys, I miss the team. I miss the competition,” Nashif said. “My favorite part of coaching was the 40 minutes when it was your team against their team, your strategy against their strategy. I miss that. But I like doing this and being a part of things. Coach (Rose) has been great about keeping me connected. I talk to him quite a bit.”
For Nashif, it’s been fun to watch the team that he helped coach and recruit. He’s gratified to see how well the Cougars have played this season.
“This summer, I heard a lot about how bad we were going to be. Last summer, I heard about how we were going to the Final Four,” he said. “I knew that we were going to be way better than people thought this year. I knew we weren’t going to the Final Four last year. This is a good team. Coach has done a great job with some changes in style. I like how the guys buying in. It’s been great as a fan to watch.”
BRYANT PLAYING AT ELITE LEVEL: Going into Thursday’s game, there were only two players in the country shooting at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free- throw line and have the minimum number of attempts to be ranked by the NCAA in each category — Cougar guard Elijah Bryant (50 percent from the field, 43.9 percent from 3 and 90.2 percent from the charity stripe) and Wofford’s Fletcher Magee (52.1, 49.7 96.7).
LAND DOWN UNDER: Thursday’s game marked Saint Mary’s “Australia Day” celebration. Eighteen Australians have played for the Gaels under coach Randy Bennett.