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Would Mark Pope ever consider coaching at his alma mater Kentucky?

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Mark Pope yells at his team during the second half of an NCAA basketball game in the Beehive Classic at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. BYU defeated Utah State 68-64 in regulation.
BYU Cougars head coach Mark Pope yells at his team during the second half of a game in the Beehive Classic at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. BYU defeated Utah State 68-64 in regulation.
Colter Peterson, Deseret News

BYU head men’s basketball coach Mark Pope has been widely talked about around the country this week after he led his team to victory over then-No. 2 Gonzaga last weekend.

On Thursday, Jon Hale of the Courier Journal in Kentucky wrote a piece in which a number of Pope’s teammates from his playing days at the University of Kentucky were quoted. A number of them shared surprise by the fact Pope ended up in coaching because he was a high-level academic, but none are surprised by the success he is having.

That led to Hale posing the question of whether Pope might one day end up coaching back at his alma mater.

“Pope has yet to coach in a NCAA Tournament game — something he will almost certainly do for the first time next month — and has a long way to go to prove he could recruit at the high-major level, let alone a blue blood program like Kentucky,” Hale wrote. “But Pope’s unusual path to BYU suggests it would be unwise to bet against a further rise up the coaching ranks one day.”

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And finally ...

The Utah Jazz’s four-game losing streak was a subject of discussion Thursday on ESPN’s “The Jump,” as host Rachel Nichols, writer Zach Lowe and former NBA head coach David Fizdale (who coached Mike Conley for a time in Memphis) talked about what the Jazz need to do to get out of their funk.