BYU guard Craig Cusik hits game-winning buzzer-beater hours after learning father has cancer (Video)

Craig-CusikBYU guard Craig Cusik drained an emotional buzzer-beater on Tuesday night, but not only because it gave his team an important victory over Utah State. Just hours before the game, Cusik learned that his father had been diagnosed with cancer.

Cusik chose not to discuss his father’s condition after the game, but The Salt Lake Tribune reported that doctors found a cancerous tumor Tuesday afternoon, two days after Randy Cusik collapsed and needed to be taken to a hospital. Cusik did discuss the game-winning bucket, which came after teammate Matt Carlino front-rimmed his shot attempt.

“Hard to explain,” Cusik said. “As a player, you couldn’t dream it any better. I was just fortunate. Coach called a great play. I saw that when Matt shot it that there was a chance that it was going to be a little bit short. I ran where I thought it was going to come off, and I was fortunate.the ball came to me. It’s great that I made the shot, but I have to give credit to my teammates who pulled us through the rest of the way.”

The senior finished with four points in the 70-68 win. The shot was likely a much-needed boost for his entire family on what had to have been an incredibly difficult day. Here’s hoping Randy Cusik responds to treatment and makes a speedy recovery.

H/T The Dagger

Latest UCLA Transfer Matt Carlino Reportedly Chooses BYU

UCLA has lost several transfers recently, but the latest was one of the biggest surprises. Freshman guard Matt Carlino recently announced he was going to transfer, shocking coach Ben Howland because there were no signs of his unhappiness.

Carlino, who is a point guard but was likely to play shooting guard for the Bruins, left over a lack of playing time. He acted swiftly by reportedly choosing BYU less than two weeks after deciding to leave UCLA. For a brief period of time it appeared he would join former Bruins Chace Stanback and Mike Moser at UNLV, but that fell through.

Carlino joins Moser, Drew Gordon, and J’Mison Morgan as players to leave the program within the last year. Though that may reflect poorly upon the program, the reality is players come to school thinking they’re going to win the starting job or at least play significant minutes. When that doesn’t happen, they get discouraged and figure transferring somewhere they can play more minutes will be better for their career. Maybe Carlino will find an opportunity at BYU that he didn’t have at UCLA.

Pic via Scout

BYU Apologizes for Utah State Scoreboard Taunt After Game

BYU beat Utah State on Wednesday night 78-72 to go to 2-0 on the season. Cougars star player Jimmer Fredette had an off night shooting just 9-for-21 while Utah State was its typical sharp self going 7-for-11 on threes, but BYU still pulled off the win. They also managed to get in a taunt at the end of the game that didn’t go unnoticed. Check out this message that appeared on the Marriott Center scoreboard at the end of the game:

“Dear UT St. Enjoy the loss heart Your Big Brother BYU,” is what appeared on the scoreboard as YouTube user melonhead8397 shows us. How did it get there? From the apology issued by the athletic department:

“Athletics does not operate the scoreboard in the Marriott Center; instead, this is handled by the university’s IT department. In this incident, the usual person was not at work because of a family emergency. The student employee filling in took the liberty of putting up what he thought was a humorous message. This matter has been addressed with the student, who regrets his action.”

Yeah, that sounds like something a brazen freshman or sophomore would do. I can buy that. Thanks to Jay Drew for the link to the video and apology.