Energy high as Rose hits the road again

August, 5, 2009
The calendar keeps turning, day by day, now month by month, allowing BYU coach Dave Rose to check the pages that he's still here -- feeling better each day, and as far as he knows, cancer-free.

Thursday marks the two-month anniversary of the worst day of his life, the day he thought his life was over, when he had surgery to remove his spleen and part of his pancreas after a cancerous tumor was discovered due to internal bleeding.

The diagnosis -- pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor -- sounds fatal, but Rose was told he has a rare form that is treatable. His next scan to ensure the cancer was taken out with the surgery is Sept. 18.

Two weeks ago, Rose was cleared to go on the road for the final six days of the evaluation/recruiting period. He went back to Las Vegas for four days -- the city where he was originally diagnosed -- and to Los Angeles for two.

"I feel great,'' Rose said. "It's hard to believe it.''

While most college coaches lamented the end of the July period, when play tends to be ragged, Rose couldn't get enough of sitting in a gym watching hoops. The alternative was unthinkable.

"I was just so excited to be out,'' Rose said. "The first part of the recruiting period I was just calling and monitoring. I was at home resting and that was good."

Rose said he is more aware of his body, meaning he has to stay true to a strict daily exercise regimen. He said he's conscious of his weight, and as a result of being more conscious of his health, he has even more energy.

"My energy level is noticeably higher than it was three months ago. I don't miss my spleen," Rose said in jest. "My passion and enthusiasm for the season is higher than it's ever been."

Rose said his sleeping habits have improved because he's not idle. He's been running around so much the past few weeks that when he has to go to sleep, he does.

But that doesn't mask his anxiety over his next scan.

"I'm nervous about what's going to happen and how it will work out,'' Rose said. "But it's a miracle that it's two months from the surgery. We're not that far away. It just happened. This is all amazing.''

• There is some non-news to update:

Colorado coach Jeff Bzdelik still hasn't heard from Minnesota about being the top assistant for the Timberwolves' next coach. If he does get the call, according to multiple sources, then he's likely gone and assistant Steve McClain would be the top choice to replace him.

Meanwhile, Connecticut officials say there is no update on incoming freshman Ater Majok's eligibility. Majok is part of a wider investigation into the Huskies' relationship with former agent/manager Josh Nochimson. Nochimson was also involved with one-time UConn player/student Nate Miles.

• Butler left Tuesday for a 10-day trip to Italy. Head coach Brad Stevens said from that country Wednesday that he gave Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack the week off after they returned from winning the gold medal at the Under-19 FIBA World Championships in New Zealand. The Bulldogs are a favorite in the Horizon League and are a threat for a deep March run.

Butler's schedule is challenging, with a game against Minnesota in the first round of the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. (likely UCLA is next if the Bruins get past Portland); home games against Ohio State, Xavier, Davidson and a BracketBuster to be determined; road games at Northwestern, UAB, Ball State and Evansville; and a neutral-site game against Georgetown (my sleeper to possibly win the Big East) for the Jimmy V Classic in New York on Dec. 8.

• The NIT Season Tip-Off is about two weeks away from announcing its bracket. The headline teams are Duke, Connecticut, LSU and Arizona State. I would be shocked if Duke and Connecticut are not on opposite sides of the bracket, setting up a potential showdown for the title at Madison Square Garden.

• The Coaches vs. Cancer Classic is also close to putting its bracket together for the Big Apple, with the possibility that North Carolina could play Cal in one semifinal and Syracuse face Ohio State in the other. Getting the Cuse in a final in New York would be advantageous for attendance purposes. The CBE Classic will also be announced soon, with the semifinals in Kansas City likely pitting Texas against Iowa and Pitt against Wichita State.

Andy Katz | email

ESPN Senior Writer




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