Kyle Collinsworth Cleared to Play in Exhibition Saturday


The BYU Cougars official athletic website posted a release on Thursday stating that guard Kyle Collinsworth has been cleared by team doctors to play in this Saturday’s exhibition against Seattle Pacific. This will mark the first live game action for Collinsworth since he tore the ACL in his right knee during the championship game of the WCC Tournament back in March.

Collinsworth was an absolute force for the Cougars last season before his injury. He was named All-WCC after leading the Cougars in rebounds and assists and finishing second in points and steals. The WCC expects him to be healthy and back to being an elite guard as evident by him being named Preseason All-WCC this season.

Collinsworth tore his ACL on March 11th and has been recovering since his surgery on March 18th. He went into surgery just two days before BYU opened play in the NCAA Tournament against Oregon. The Cougars fell 87-68 to the Ducks, and they certainly missed having Collinsworth in the lineup. Anson Winder played the bulk of Collinsworth’s minutes in the loss, and his numbers across the board paled in comparison to Collinsworth.

The news of Collinsworth being healthy was expected, but it’s still a very exciting announcement for a team that will desperately need his production this year. Matt Carlino transferred after last season, so Collinsworth will be expected to slide into the other guard position opposite Tyler Haws and form a lethal backcourt. It’s even more important considering how shallow the Cougars are in the frontcourt with Eric Mika on his Mormon mission trip and Jamal Aytes expected to miss most if not all of the season due to ankle surgery.

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Haws needs help, and he needs someone who can run the offense and allow him to focus on putting up scoring numbers that should be among the best in the nation. Essentially, how Collinsworth does could decide the season for BYU. If he plays well, it will take pressure off Haws and the weak frontcourt. If he doesn’t the whole team could struggle.

Of course the talent is there, so the real question is how his ACL will hold up. Head Coach Dave Rose has already said his minutes will be monitored during the exhibition Saturday, and it’s likely that will continuing into the regular season. The Cougars don’t want a repeat of last year where they are without Collinsworth for their biggest games, so his health will be a priority.