Here’s BYU’s path at the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas

Brigham Younger Cougars guard Spencer Johnson (20) reaches out to attempt to foul Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Joel Ayayi (11) as BYU and Gonzaga play within the finals of the West Coast Convention event on the Orleans Area in Las Vegas on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Gonzaga received 88-78. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

PROVO — Convention play is within the books, not less than within the West Coast Convention. Subsequent cease: Las Vegas.

So the place did BYU land?

The Cougars drew a No. 5 seed and can tip off the event Friday on the Orleans Area in Las Vegas towards the winner of Loyola Marymount and Pacific. It is the lowest seed BYU has drawn in its decade within the convention after the Cougars completed with a 21-9 report that features a 9-6 mark in league play.

Gonzaga earned the No. 1 seed after ending with a 13-1 report, its solely loss coming Saturday at Saint Mary’s within the closing sport of the common season and one in every of seven groups within the prime 9 nationally to lose over the weekend. The Gaels will take the No. 2 seed, with each advancing on to Monday’s event semifinals.

“We get to go play Friday, and that is not an area we have occupied, possibly ever,” BYU coach Mark Pope stated after Saturday’s regular-season house finale towards Pepperdine. “However proper now for us, we have simply needed to discover a method to win a sport. That is been our place for the final month.

“I do like our pattern, I like our momentum, and I assumed our defensive effort — particularly within the backcourt — has been terrific.

The Cougars had been “actively, aggressively” looking for a make-up nonconference sport — one that will’ve been a Quad 1 sport, possible on the highway — previous to the top of the common season. However Sunday’s draw, giving BYU a possible Quad 1 quarterfinal towards San Francisco on Saturday, might need cooled these talks. BYU would possible must schedule the sport by Sunday evening with a purpose to make it occur, Pope advised reporters final week.

For the second yr in a row, the WCC partnered with Ken Pomeroy to develop a mannequin of adjusted profitable share based mostly on the uneven variety of video games performed throughout the convention. That mannequin left Santa Clara with the No. 3 seed after ending 10-5, a half sport forward of San Francisco with an adjusted profitable share of .673 to USF’s .655.

BYU completed fifth at .595, adopted by Portland at .429. San Diego, LMU, Pacific and Pepperdine spherical out the sector.

BYU guard Shaylee Gonzales (2) drives between San Francisco guard Abby Rathbun (55) and San Francisco guard Amalie Langer (5) on her way into the paint as BYU and San Francisco play in semifinal West Coast Conference tournament basketball action at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, March 8, 2021.
BYU guard Shaylee Gonzales (2) drives between San Francisco guard Abby Rathbun (55) and San Francisco guard Amalie Langer (5) on her method into the paint as BYU and San Francisco play in semifinal West Coast Convention event basketball motion on the Orleans Area in Las Vegas, March 8, 2021. (Picture: Scott G Winterton, Deseret Information)

On the ladies’s facet, BYU stormed to the WCC regular-season title with a 15-1 report in league play and simply out-distancing second-place Gonzaga in adjusted profitable share, .921 to .870. The Cougars will advance on to Monday’s semifinals, the place they may face the winner of fourth-seeded Portland’s quarterfinal towards Saint Mary’s, Pepperdine or LMU.

It is the primary regular-season title because the 2015-16 season for head coach Jeff Judkins and BYU, who’ve received simply two regular-season crowns since becoming a member of the convention in 2011.

“That is huge for our program to have the ability to win this convention,” Judkins stated after wrapping up the regular-season title Saturday. “Gonzaga’s received it so a few years, and it is good for us to have the ability to go win it.

“We actually need to win that event, go into the NCAA Match with a excessive, and begin enjoying our greatest basketball.”

All video games by means of the lads’s quarterfinals and girls’s finals will probably be on the WCC Community and BYUtv. Tuesday’s ladies’s closing will air on ESPNU, with the lads’s closing scheduled for 7 p.m. MST on ESPN.

Here is an entire take a look at each tournaments:

Thursday, March 3

  • Girls’s Sport 1: No.8 Pepperdine vs. No. 9 LMU, 1 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)
  • Girls’s Sport 2: No. 7 Santa Clara vs. No. 10 Pacific, 3 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)
  • Males’s Sport 1: No. 8 LMU vs. No. 9 Pacific, 7 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)
  • Males’s Sport 2: No. 7 San Diego vs. No. 10 Pepperdine, 9 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)

Friday, March 4

  • Girls’s Sport 3: No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. Sport 1 winner, 1 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)
  • Girls’s Sport 4: No. 6 San Diego vs. Sport 2 winner, 3 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)
  • Males’s Sport 3: No. 5 BYU vs. Sport 1 winner, 7 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)
  • Males’s Sport 4: No. 6 Portland vs. Sport 2 winner, 9 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)

Saturday, March 5

  • Girls’s Sport 5: No. 4 Portland vs. Sport 3 winner, 2:30 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)
  • Girls’s Sport 6: No. 3 San Francisco vs. Sport 4 winner, 4:30 p.m. MST (BYUtv/WCC Community)
  • Males’s Sport 5: No. 4 San Francisco vs. Sport 3 winner, 8:30 p.m. MST (ESPN2)
  • Males’s Sport 6: No. 3 Santa Clara vs. Sport 4 winner (ESPN2)

Monday, March 7

  • Girls’s Sport 7: No. 1 BYU vs. Sport 5 winner, 1 p.m. MST (BYUtv)
  • Girls’s Sport 8: No. 2 Gonzaga vs. Sport 6 winner, 3 p.m. MST (BYUtv)
  • Males’s Sport 7: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. Sport 5 winner, 7 p.m. MST (ESPN)
  • Males’s Sport 8: No. 2 Saint Mary’s vs. Sport 6 winner, 9:30 p.m. MST (ESPN2)

Tuesday, March 8

  • Girls’s championship, 2 p.m. MST (ESPNU)
  • Males’s championship, 7 p.m MST (ESPN)

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BYU DB Keenan Ellis is medically retiring from football. Here’s why and what’s next

BYU cornerback Keenan Ellis talks to media throughout BYU soccer media day on the BYU Broadcasting Constructing in Provo on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 5-6 minutes

PROVO — BYU defensive again Keenan Ellis by no means imagined the place his soccer profession would finish, that late summer time night time in Las Vegas within the Cougars’ 2021 season opener in opposition to Arizona.

However after the 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback went down with a scary neck harm and a concussion in opposition to the Wildcats that finally value him the rest of the season, there wasn’t an entire lot of thought given towards soccer, both. Ellis struggled in his restoration, by no means returning to BYU’s squad in a enjoying capability, although he did spend time across the workforce that he’d grown to like by the remainder of the 10-3 season.

By Friday morning, Ellis had acquired a medical redshirt from the NCAA, promising that the few snaps he took in Sin Metropolis would not depend in opposition to his eligibility as a result of medical hardship. However the San Diego native opted for a special path, after consulting with a handful of docs and BYU’s medical workforce in what he thought was a routine check-up to observe any post-concussion signs.

Ellis will medically retire from soccer, efficient instantly. He is already set to graduate in April with a level in sociology and plans to pursue a legislation diploma after taking the LSAT in June.

However the finish of his soccer profession — a sport he is performed since he was 5 years outdated — was a intestine punch.

“Listening to that information was a nightmare. There was no method; I used to be speechless,” Ellis mentioned. “However I’ve come to phrases with it; you’ll be able to solely management what you’ll be able to management. There isn’t any use attempting to battle the uncontrollable.

“As a nook, I realized to regulate what I can management. So I knew God has a brand new path for me, and I’ve simply obtained to belief it.”

Regardless of the tough information, Ellis is grateful for his time at BYU. Whereas learning for the LSAT, he is already been accepted again to this system as a pupil assistant till he earns his diploma — and presumably thereafter, if he’s accepted to legislation college at BYU.

“It is unlucky, as a result of he was far more than a soccer participant. He is such a tough employee,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake instructed “The trail that he took when he obtained right here as a freshman to get comfy with the place, but additionally study the sport, the method, the basics and grasp it. He was set to have an unbelievable yr. I firmly imagine that if he had performed out the 2021 season, he may need entered the draft early.

“To have somebody that’s compelled to retire for medical causes with a lot potential in soccer is one factor. However the development and progress that I’ve seen him from him as an individual is wonderful. The soccer half is unlucky, however it simply takes one choice away from him.”

After redshirting as a real freshman out of Bonita Vista Excessive College in 2017, Ellis earned fast enjoying time the following yr, enjoying in all 12 video games with one begin in 2018. He began six of eight video games throughout the COVID-19 impacted season in 2020 and was set to be a full-time starter a yr later earlier than the harm took its toll.

He finishes his BYU profession with 22 tackles and 5 cross breakups whereas incomes the nickname “Ellis Island” by his teammates for his lockdown nook abilities. And whereas Oregon State switch Kaleb Hayes did an admirable job filling in — he made 12 cross breakups to guide the workforce and rank 14th nationally en path to Impartial Defensive Again of the Yr honors by the Professional Soccer Community — in aid of Ellis, arguably the most important loss to the BYU protection in 2021, together with main tackler Keenan Pili.

“It was wonderful to see that. I knew that dude was spectacular, and seeing him ball out was nice,” Ellis mentioned of Hayes, who’s listed as returning to BYU for his senior season two days earlier than opening spring practices in Provo. “He was all the time so constructive, all the time smiling, and I beloved his vitality and his play, all the pieces about him.”

BYU teammates check on Brigham Young defensive back Keenan Ellis (2) after a "scary" injury during the Vegas Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.
BYU teammates examine on Brigham Younger defensive again Keenan Ellis (2) after a “scary” harm throughout the Vegas Kickoff Basic in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (Picture: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret Information)

Ellis’ teammates obtained to showcase the newfound depth at cornerback — considered one of which Ellis himself spoke extensively previous to the season — and that, to some extent, made stepping away from the sport a bit bit simpler. He now needs to educate them up, for nevertheless lengthy he can, a brand new group that features household pal and fellow San Diego native Nathaniel Gillis, who signed with BYU as a part of the 2022 recruiting class.

“Being across the guys is the perfect a part of soccer,” Ellis mentioned. “You make so many nice bonds, and I do know there are youthful guys arising; Nate Gillis and I have been shut associates, and I positively wish to assist convey him on and present him what I went by.”

And but, it is solely a part of the fifth-year participant’s journey, which is able to proceed by the spring practices as one thing of a gamers’ guide and mentor, Sitake mentioned.

“He can conquer so many issues in life proper now that I do not know what he’ll do, however he’ll be nice at it,” his coach added. “Soccer will not be considered one of them, however he can nonetheless coach soccer, he can go to legislation college, he can get into enterprise; there are such a lot of issues that he can do. And we’ll nonetheless want him across the workforce as a mentor.

“He is carried out rather a lot for our program already, and I would like him round our workforce as a lot as he needs to be. He’ll be closely concerned with coach Gilford and coach Lamb; these are his guys. And I am actually happy with him.”


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Food inequality haunts SLC’s west side. Here’s how residents are working to change that.

On the nook of North Temple and Redwood Highway, Lisia Satini counts at the very least 9 fast-food eating places.

“We’re busy, working class, and typically we don’t have time to be cooking,” she stated. “And once we’re on the lookout for meals, and all we have now are fast-food choices, it’s irritating.”

Though Satini can also level to 3 grocery shops in her Fairpark and Rose Park space, making wholesome meals selections can nonetheless be a battle.

The issue isn’t nearly not having sufficient close by grocers. Meals inequity as a substitute is a multidimensional situation in west Salt Lake Metropolis.

It’s evident each time Satini travels east to search out extra inexpensive wholesome meals choices. It additionally haunts her when she will be able to’t get culturally applicable meals in her personal neighborhood, or when the shops don’t provide recent and wholesome selections.

She now could be a part of Meals Fairness Advisors, a Salt Lake Metropolis program devoted to assuaging these variations.

The group organizes conferences with metropolis residents from various backgrounds to assemble enter about boundaries to meals entry. The objective is to provide a brand new meals evaluation to replace the final one town printed in 2013. These advisers additionally assist draft suggestions for town to contemplate.

Now this system is proposing a Meals Fairness Decision that “will acknowledge the necessity for adjustments in land use planning, zoning, environmental and housing coverage, water administration, transportation, parks and open area, financial improvement,” reads a 2021 report. It’s anticipated to be mentioned by the Metropolis Council within the coming months.

Of their preliminary draft, the advisers referred to as for a decision to proceed to make meals fairness a precedence, updating town’s current meals evaluation and pursuing extra management alternatives for various residents.

The starvation hole

In areas equivalent to Glendale and a few ZIP codes that Utah’s capital shares with neighboring South Salt Lake, 29% to 33% of adults fear about having sufficient cash to purchase meals, in line with 2015-2020 knowledge from the Utah Division of Well being.

Throughout the valley, in an east-bench space, that share is round 14%, lower than half of what’s discovered amongst lower-income communities and communities of shade.

Information from the U.S. Division of Agriculture additionally exhibits gaps in grocery store entry. West-siders within the Ballpark, Fairpark, Glendale, Jordan Meadows, Poplar Grove and Rose Park neighborhoods have a tougher time attending to grocery shops.

Meals Fairness Advisors gathered 13 residents to assist put this knowledge into context by explaining what challenges they see of their neighborhoods, points they could have with already current meals applications, and what they contemplate to be culturally applicable meals. Baltimore, Pittsburgh and New Haven, Connecticut, run related initiatives.

[Read more: There are 410,000 Utahns who are hungry. Here’s how you can help.]

The pilot program has wrapped up, and a brand new cohort is anticipated to begin this yr. Town is accepting functions to take part and hopes to host the brand new group’s first assembly in April.

“The west aspect of Salt Lake,” stated Brian Emerson, Salt Lake Metropolis’s meals and fairness program supervisor, “undoubtedly over time, there’s been underrepresentation for certain, and underinvestment and outright institutional racism.”

Whereas the areas of grocery shops have a direct influence on meals accessibility, Emerson stated, the meals fairness drawback has many extra layers.

Different obstacles embody low incomes, lack of entry to assist just like the Supplemental Vitamin Help Program (SNAP), the rising price of housing and different fundamentals, and transportation shortcomings.

“Revenue is the figuring out issue,” he stated. “However the meals that is likely to be obtainable in a neighborhood, it’s simply not proper for the neighborhood.”

That was Satini’s case.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lisia Satini, one of many advisers of Salt Lake Metropolis program to struggle meals inequity, stands close to North Temple and Redwood Highway, on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022.

As a Pacific Islander, she had parts lacking in her food plan. She then was capable of finding taro leaves and inexperienced bananas in her space grocery store — a small victory, after citing the shortage of various meals to a grocer in one of many city-organized conferences.

“Accessibility is big,” she stated, “particularly for underserved communities.”

Doable options

The advisers mentioned the potential for making a meals or money voucher for these with restricted entry to SNAP and different help, giving residents extra monetary sources.

Town hasn’t made any commitments round this concept, Emerson stated, however there have been inner talks and research about how related applications have labored in different cities.

The voucher may very well be just like the Salt Laker Card, a COVID-19 aid program that offered $500 money playing cards to individuals who didn’t obtain stimulus checks due to their immigration standing or different limitations. It was a partnership between town and neighborhood organizations.

“This isn’t one thing we’re fairly but actively trying into,” Emerson stated. “However we have been intrigued by that concept.”

One other potential answer would permit residents to take issues into their very own arms, actually, by rising their very own meals. The plan requires teaming up with Wasatch Group Gardens to make neighborhood gardens obtainable on city-owned land.

The west aspect already has such a backyard close to the 9-Line, Emerson stated. One other is deliberate in Rose Park, and town could revive Glendale’s Cannon Greens Group Backyard, which shut down as a consequence of soil contamination, at any time when it’s secure to take action.

This proposed initiative excites Eugene Simpson, one other program adviser. Driving across the metropolis, he can image new neighborhood gardens or greenhouses rising.

“There are new residences within the metropolis,” he stated. “When you put in greenhouses and also you let the individuals who reside within the residences know preserve the vegetation, they might even have recent greens.”

Simpson, who lives in South Salt Lake however owns a barbershop in Rose Park, moved to Utah from Belize in 1996 and jumped on the probability to take part in this system as quickly as he heard about it. He already plans to be a part of the second cohort.

“Meals was arduous to come back by. I used to be getting one slice of bread a day with somewhat little bit of peanut butter,” Simpson stated about his start line as an immigrant. “I don’t need anyone to undergo what I went by means of.”

Alixel Cabrera is a Report for America corps member and writes concerning the standing of communities on the west aspect of the Salt Lake Valley for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps hold her writing tales like this one; please contemplate making a tax-deductible present of any quantity at present by clicking right here.