Mike Littlewood on BYUSN 3.25.20

day-to-day play-by-play. And Spencer Linton lined up with Jordan Leslie. The first guest of the day, joining us on deseret first credit union Skype, and coach, it’s great to have you on the show.>>Great to be here.>>Spencer: Coach, given the circumstances, I for one think that crying should be allowed a little bit in baseball because what we’re going through is really rough.>>If you were in the meeting with us that day, you would have had some fears. It was surreal. And nobody knew what to do, and nobody could find the words and it was like everybody was staring at one another. We got through if, and it was tough, especially for lefter and Valdez, our seniors, who literally thought that their college careers were over. So you talk when a little bit of a break, the ruling helped and we’ll talk about that.>>Jarom: You were waiting to play a home game, and the first wcc game, Spencer is waiting to call the game. And the process of figuring that out, what was it like, realizing we’re not playing the game. And then the next day, they canceled the season.>>Well, it was interesting, and I got a call from Brian Santiago, my direct boss at 11:30, 12:00, saying we’re going to play, but it’s probably going to be with out any fans, no family, no scouts, and nobody in the stands, and I thought at least we’re able to play the game. And then a couple of hours later, it looks like we’re going to cancel the weekend and see what’s going on, and in the meantime, I was sitting in my office like I amount right now, watching TV, and then on the bottom line it says that the scc postpones their baseball season for three weeks, and it’s kind of the gold standard in baseball. And then the mountain west and th wac did it, and I felt like we were next, and then Brian talked to me at 3:30, and we were done. So in the matter of three hours, it was over, and it was just crazy.>>Spencer: It’s pretty wild how fast those dominoes fell. You brought up three guys that looked like they were going to be playing their last year, and then guys like Ben Weiss, and Valdez and lesser, how will that impact your program next season?>>Well, it’s going to be a positive for us, and no doubt about it, a positive for them. I talked to Ben Weiss, and he’s an awesome kid. He is going to graduate. And all three of them will graduate on time. And whether they delay and take a couple of classes or go to the degree, it’s yet to be determined. If this were to happen, to answer your question, it’s going to be a positive for us because we have only two roster spots that we have to jam up. Last year, we had nine seniors with 16 freshmen and a new guy coming in. We plan two or three years ahead. We have 22 kids, 6 of them have committed to us, and those are sophomores right now. That would have backed things up. But for us, it’s going to be really smooth, if we can get lesser and Valdez to come back. Back?>>Jarom: Are we increasing your scholarship amount? Are there the minutes suggested for how many people can you share that with? You can figure that out. And then there’s this, Mike. Missionaries coming home that may have finished their service at 21 months or being reassigned. And a lot of that stuff, and how is the missionary situation affecting BYU basketball?>>Yeah, it will, and I won’t name names but we have had a couple of missionaries come back in just the last couple of weeks as you mentioned, and I have had to tell them that we plan on two years, and if you are on scholarship, it has to be delayed, there’s no other way we can do it. But we have dealt with missionaries changing their minds, and some of them get cents home early for various reasons, so our scholarships are planned out three, four years in advance. So it’s not something we’re — that’s unique to us. We deal with that.>>Jarom: We were talking before the break that certainly, built into BYU athletics is the fact that a lot of young men and some young women go on missions, and that can be a disadvantage athletically, but it can be an advantage with maturation when they come back, and how do you use that to your advantage?>>The one thing you want on any team is to be able to go into a tough venue, say Oklahoma state or Arizona state, and not have your guys be intimidated. And as tough as these guys are mentally, and as good of athletes, that happens sometimes, it just happens. You guys have been around athletics just as much as me. And if you go into somewhere and you’re intimidated in any way, shape or form, you’re not going to win, you look at Justin, who spent two years in Samo a. He’s not going to be intimidate bid some guy in the third row yelling at him. And that filters down, so the young guys see how the older guys are reacting, and I think that being able to perform under pressure and keeping a calm head, and perspective on why we’re here, social, academic and athletics, it just makes for a great culture, really.>>Spencer: Like little, BYU baseball coach with us on BYU sports nation, and when you’re moving with the moving parts, how do you communicate with your guys?>>Three years, I call it pronto, and we use the video as far as just scouting video, just how communicate. So we can vm through pronto, and that’s yesterday, I got the grade report. And — I know that, and so yesterday, I just reached out to eight guys and talked to them and reached out to a couple of extra guys just to see how they’re doing, and talked with Mckay Barney and talked about how great they’re doing and he and Shawn had gotten a hit. And letting them know that we’re still alive out here and doing well. And it’s an opportunity to reach them on a different level. Four or five days, the best practices we have had the entire year, because all of their defenses were dropped and we could relax, and we could have nice calm conversations at the batting cage with out them saying I have to do this for the lineup. The week after it was canceled, it was a blessing and it helped their mental state and ours as well.>>Developing nicely, who were you hoping to see more of that you weren’t able to see?>>Well, I think our infielders, we started with four freshmen. Colton is going to go on a mission, and they were all short stops. Brock Watson, a short. And Andrew pint ar, and some of those guys were going to be in there every single day, and I was really excited to see their growth and development. But on the pitching side, Neilson, one of the greats the big 12 teams, and they won their championship last year, I think he would have made people’s jaws drop, and Robinson, Spencer, which were talking about it a lot. We call him Robbie. And really, it’s robe son, but really, I think that all of those freshman, in the first 16 games, it’s unheard of and they all want to compete. It’s going to be really exciting to coach the future.>>Spencer: Mike Littlewood with us on BYU sports nation, clarifying, and we talked about how young your team was, and you got enough real game experience to grow adequately before the season came to a halt.>>We saw 30% of the girls that we were going to be able to see, to be in league play, not that the non-conference games don’t matter, because they truly do. But it’s a different feel with the conference games, and the pressure that goes along with that. And you must win, and it’s really exciting to see if these young kids can go in there and win the league. I was looking forward to seeing those guys compete. Because I know the talent is there. Rarely do you win with young players, it takes seniors to be able to win at a high-level. So I was anxious and super excited to see how they would develop. Certainly the summer league will continue, and it’s unique for us to be able to go out and play 60 games and get 200 at-bats, and 50 at-bats, and 6 or 8 starts, and see how they can progress that way.>>Spencer: Coach, it’s great to catch up with you. Hopefully we’ll see you in here soon, and we wish you good health and time with your family.>>President trump is right, I’ll be there the day after Easter, right?

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