Nick Emery became a national name on Wednesday when he hit Utah’s Brandon Taylor in the head late in BYU’s loss to Utah. To those familiar with the Utah high school basketball circuit, Emery is a big name whose BYU career has been years in the making.
Emery, the younger brother of former BYU guard Jackson Emery, committed to the Cougars in 2011 when he was just a sophomore. Emery, a Mormon, spent the last two years in Germany on his mission as well as dealing with health problems involving bad circulation in his arms. (One of his teammates at Lone Peak, T.J. Haws – younger brother of BYU’s all-time scoring leader, Tyler Haws – is currently on a mission and will likely join BYU next year.)
Emery’s time at Lone Peak was notable for a few reasons. Emery scored 1,953 points and helped his school win three state championships. It also appears that he had some issues controlling his temper on the court. Shortly after he committed the flagrant foul in the Utah game, this picture hit Twitter.
The game was marked by physical play with American Fork proving to maintain a lot of its composure while Lone Peak — particularly star Nick Emery — was found pressing and out of sorts during key stretches, particularly as the third quarter came to a close.
With 6.4 seconds remaining in the third quarter and American Fork up 42-34, Emery was thrown out of the game following a hard foul and subsequent shove to Caveman guard Austin Waddoups. Emery’s frustration was likely a culmination of a cold-shooting quarter that saw him go scoreless.
The next season, in December 2012, some commenters on a game write-up discussed a flagrant foul that was not mentioned in the recap. One person claimed that Emery had “frustration” problems in three out of four games they’d seen him play that season.
Of course, that’s little more than message board chatter. However, those wouldn’t be his last incidents that season.
From a January 2013 game:
Then in February 2013:
Based on all that, this appears to be a bit of a pattern from Emery. He had a rare opportunity to grow up a bit because of two-plus years between important basketball games, but this is how he was introduced to the country. (Keep in mind he’s actually a year older than current But Teenagers Do Dumb Things! poster boy, Jahlil Okafor)
Of course, these are all just the words of some people on the Internet. Even in last night’s incident, some people want to paint Taylor as the aggressor. If nothing else, Emery seems to have trouble keeping his composure on the court. Rest assured, if there is another incident, it won’t be left out of the game recap.