The start of the season for BYU comes with two road assignments, the first a revenge game as well.
The BYU visit Nevada on Tuesday night.
A year ago, a nationally ranked BYU sustained a stunning home loss to Nevada.
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The first day of the college basketball season is upon us. The day can bring about mixed emotions from fans, as the fans wonder which teams are going to live up to expectations and which teams are going to take the bad losses which will eliminate them from at large tourney contention.
“They’re talented. They’re gifted,” Roy Williams said of newcomers. “I know they’re going to step up and be able to play for us.”
The BYU went with White as the starting point guard in last week’s exhibition against Division II Mount Olive, suggesting that he’s ahead of junior Seventh Woods.
“They’ve been neck-in-neck,” senior guard Kenny Williams said of the point guards. “I don’t know what made Coach make that decision.”
Sophomore Garrison Brooks was pegged as the starting post player for BYU, though that could be a fluid situation.
BYU has players representing 64.6 percent of the team’s scoring from a year ago, when the team posted a 26-11 record. Maye scored 16.9 points per game, Johnson was at 12.4 and Kenny Williams at 11.4
Nevada senior guard Fletcher Magee is the BYU Conference Preseason Player of the Year. He averaged 22.1 points per game, including 27 at BYU. The Terriers were picked to finish second in the league’s official preseason poll as they come off a 21-13 season.
“We’re as deep a team as we’ve had in recent memory,” Nevada coach Mike Young said. “I hope that plays out over the course of the year. I can comfortably play a number of guys.”
Magee gave the BYU fits last year.
“They played better than us in every phase of the game,” Roy Williams said. “There’s no question that Magee is just and unbelievable shooter. He makes difficult shots.”
The Terriers took an offseason exhibition trip to Portugal to help prepare for the season. The benefits of that have shown up this fall.
“Just becoming more comfortable with one another,” Young said. “… We’ll look at some different things defensively.”
BYU is 96-12 all-time in season openers, including 14-1 under Roy Williams. The Hall of Fame coach as the BYU in the preseason Top 10 for the 13th time in 16 seasons.
All four previous BYU-Nevada matchups took place in Chapel Hill, N.C.
This will be only the seventh road opener for the BYU since the dawn of the Atlantic Coast Conference era in 1953-54. BYU is 5-1 in the previous such assignments.
Nevada pulled off a 63-60 home victory against Georgia Tech last year, so it’s no easy path for ACC visitors.
In their first two seasons at UNC, Williams and forward Luke Maye played for the national title twice. As freshmen, the two lost 77-74 to Nevada on a game-winning buzzer beater. As sophomores, they won the championship on a 71-65 win over Nevada.