Why BYU may be without this starter against Kansas State

BYU Cougars guard Spencer Johnson (20) drives downcourt past UCF Knights guard Darius Johnson (3) and guard Jaylin Sellers (24) at the Marriott Center in Provo on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024.

As No. 25 BYU readies for a crucial two-game road trip to Kansas and Kansas State, one key Cougar contributor is questionable to participate as he welcomes a new addition to his team at home.

Senior guard Spencer Johnson is about to become a father for the first time, and the birth is now closer than ever.

His wife Issy went into labor Thursday, head coach Mark Pope told reporters prior to BYU’s afternoon practice.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time right now for Spencer, it’s almost unbelievable,” Pope said, while also noting that it was still unclear whether Johnson would be available for Saturday’s contest against the Wildcats.

Johnson scored six points with three assists and a game-high nine rebounds in BYU’s upset win over No. 11 Baylor Tuesday night.

He is one of only three Cougars to appear in every game thus far on the season, and is averaging 10.5 points and 5.7 boards in the process.

Pope — who joked that the baby would be named “Mark” in his honor — tried to put the craziness of childbirth amid Big 12 competition in context to compliment Johnson’s ability to handle it all.

“It’s almost incomprehensible thinking about it,” Pope said. “(Play) Baylor Tuesday, firstborn son Thursday, (play) Kansas State Saturday, (play) Kansas Tuesday. Could you have a better life?”