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Brandon Davies receives meaningful advice

Brandon Davies understandably wasn't answering many calls and text messages last week, but one undeterred friend worked his sources and managed to track down the embattled BYU big man.

Davies, as it turned out, was holed up at a teammate's house. But it was his friend who could truly relate to the sophomore's suspension for the rest of the season due to a violation of the school's honor code.

In 1998, the same thing happened to another young BYU 6-foot-9 forward from Provo High named Mekeli Wesley.

"I sat down with him and hugged him," Wesley said. "We cried together.

"I went through the exact same thing. He's in a lot of pain. He feels like he let the whole team down, the whole school down, the whole BYU nation down. That's lot to deal with for a 19-year-old."

Wesley, who got to know Davies from playing on his summer league team, was kicked out of school for violating the school's honor code after starting throughout his freshman season.

What did Wesley do? His girlfriend -- now his wife -- was pregnant with their first son. Wesley said it was two other athletes facing honor code violations who blew the whistle.

"They [BYU] came to me and said, 'Is your girlfriend pregnant?' I said, 'Yes, she is, but we're getting married next month.' It didn't matter to them," said Wesley, who has been married for 13 years now.

"It seems silly now that that was the issue, but the honor code's not new. We all know it."

Wesley was barred from the campus and spent the fall semester at Salt Lake Community College before he could return to the team in December. He went on to lead BYU to the NCAA tournament in his senior season and was named the Mountain West Conference's player of the year.

Wesley grew close with Davies over the summer and said he sensed something was up with his friend shortly before the San Diego State game and was devastated when he heard the news afterward. This was far worse than when Wesley had gotten dismissed, as the team in 1997 had won only nine games. With Davies, the Cougars had a team that was a Final Four contender.

"I said, 'Look, I know right now you're thinking hour-to-hour, day-to-day. There's no way you're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, you see darkness. Trust me, it's going to be hard, but you have to be strong and in the end, people will respect you for overcoming your trial and adversity.'

"I didn't care to ask what was going on. I just told him my story."

Wesley also told Davies it was important for him to go out and continue to support the team on the bench. Davies did just that during Saturday's win against Wyoming, and the crowd roared after the game as he climbed a ladder in a shirt and tie to help cut down the net with the team having clinched a share of the conference title.

"The answer's not to hide yourself," said Wesley, who also attended the game. "You have to get out and live your life. He'll end up a better person for it.

"I could relate to him. I know what it feels like."