Men's Basketball Blog | December 2011

Game Day: Weber State

Dec 07, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 3:31 pm | Permalink

The Cougars take on Weber State tonight at 7 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and KSL Newsradio.

This is one game you won’t want to miss as Weber State is bringing in one of its most talented teams in the past decade to the Marriott Center — a place the Wildcats have never won. BYU is 18-0 against Weber State in Provo. Weber State fans likely see this as their year as they boast the nation’s leading scorer in Damian Lillard, a 6-foot-3 guard that averages 28.2 points and has led the Wildcats to a 5-1 start. Anything about Lillard remind you of anyone?

Last season Weber State had to deal with Jimmer Fredette (the nation’s leading scoring and National Player of the Year) two games after losing Lillard to a foot injury. Wildcat coach Randy Rahe would not doubt have liked that matchup better with his star guard in the lineup.

Tonight’s game will be an interesting battle of strengths. Weber State relies on its starting guards Lillard and Scott Bamforth, who combined average 43.5 points per game and have made 38 3-pointers. Together they’re shooting 45.2 percent from three.

BYU’s offense starts with its post play with forward Noah Hartsock averaging 16.9 points per game and forward Brandon Davies adding 11.5 points per contest. Charles Abouo scores inside and out and averages 12.1 points.

Both teams are playing very well. Weber State is coming off a double-overtime win against San Jose State in which Lilard posted 41 points. The Wildcats also defeated Utah State at home and their only loss was at Saint Mary’s. BYU is coming off a 79-65 victory over Oregon at EnergySolutions Arena and put together one of its best offensive games of the season early last week in an 87-52 win over Northern Arizona.

If you can, come see the game live in the Marriott Center. If you can’t, make sure to  tune in for what should be a great in-state battle.

BYU Basketball with Head Coach Dave Rose on KSL - 12/6/11

Dec 07, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 10:41 am | Updated: December 7, 2011 11:11 am | Permalink

'BYU Basketball with Head Coach Dave Rose' made its season debut on KSL Newsradio on Tuesday, Dec. 6. With a few exceptions, the show will be broadcast live every Tuesday at 7 p.m. MST from Legends Grille through the end of the regular season.

On the debut show, Rose and Greg Wrubell discussed last week's wins over Northern Arizona and Oregon, the development of the team, Jimmer Fredette getting ready to begin his NBA career and the upcoming week of games. Team captain Brock Zylstra joined Wrubell and Rose and Rose also answered questions from the fans.

Click here to listen to the show.

Noah Hartsock reminds me of...

Dec 05, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 11:11 pm | Updated: December 6, 2011 7:52 am | Permalink

I’m going to start a sentence and I want you to finish it with the name of a BYU basketball player.

Noah Hartsock’s career path reminds me of …

Who did you come up with? If you said Keena Young, you read my mind.

Now we’re not comparing their style of play. While both could hit the mid-range jumper and were crafty inside players, the idea here is to compare their careers and the roles they played beginning with their sophomore seasons to when they emerged as leaders their senior years. Their freshman years are left out since Young transferred to BYU as a sophomore.

Sophomore Year

As sophomores, neither Young nor Hartsock were big-time scorers but both played key roles. Both were fifth on the team in scoring and both players led their respective teams in rebounding.

Stats Season Starts Min/G Ppg Rpg
Young 2004-05 15 22.2 7.3 5.6
Hartsock 2009-10 30 24.4 6.5 5.1

Junior Year

Young’s junior year marked Dave Rose’s first year as head coach. Young was third in scoring and second in rebounding while helping the Cougars improve from nine wins the year prior to 20 wins in 2005-06. Hartsock’s junior year saw BYU win a program-best 32 games and earn a trip to the Sweet 16. He was fourth on the team in scoring and second in rebounding. Their scoring and rebounding rankings were similar and both were a part of important seasons in BYU’s history — Young as a member of Rose’s first season and Hartsock a member of BYU’s first Sweet 16 run in 30 years.

Stats Season Starts Min/G Ppg Rpg
Young 2005-06 14 23.4 10.3 5.8
Hartsock 2010-11 36 29.7 8.6 5.9

Senior Year

This to me is where it gets interesting. While it would have been logical to expect both players to play a bigger role as seniors, neither player was the leading returning scorer on his respective team. But Young took his game to a new level while Hartsock is in the middle of a great senior campaign.

Young was the second leading-returning scorer behind Trent Plaisted, who was coming off a freshman All-America campaign. Many thought Plaisted would be the star but Young was dominant, leading the team in scoring and rebounding while shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 80.3 percent from the free throw. Young was named MWC Player of the Year and led BYU to 25 wins and the MWC regular season title.

Eight games in, Hartsock is demonstrating consistency, leadership and productivity all fueled by a great competitive nature and will to win. While there was no question his point totals would see an increase with the departure of Jimmer and Jackson, he has taken his game to a new level, nearly doubling his scoring average while his minutes have only gone up 2.4 per game. He’s also second on the team in rebounding and shooting 57.8 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from three and 81.3 percent from the free throw line.

Stats Season Starts Min/G Ppg Rpg
Young 2006-07 34 28.9 17.4 6.6
Hartsock 2011-12 8 32.1 16.9 6.3

One other parallel that I notice is the patience displayed by both players. Like most Division I athletes, Young and Hartsock were big-time high school athletes whose roles changed drastically when they got to college. Both went to work, helped their teams by filling a role and improved their games. When the opportunity presented itself to step into a bigger role to help their teams, both were ready to accept the challenge.

BYU vs. Oregon on KSL

Dec 03, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 11:16 pm | Permalink

Use the links below to listen to Mark Durrant and Russell Larson call the Oregon game on KSL.

Pregame Show

1st Half

Halftime Show

2nd Half

Cougars at ESA

Dec 03, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 10:52 pm | Permalink

With Saturday’s 79-65 win over Oregon, the Cougars are now 7-2 at EnergySolutions Arena in regular season games. BYU went 3-2 in what was then the Delta Center in the WAC Tournament in 1993 and 1994.

The first game (2003) was perhaps the most memorable as the Cougars defeated an Oklahoma State team that advanced to the 2004 NCAA Final Four. Rafael Araujo had a dominant performance as he posted a monster double-double with 32 points and 17 rebounds.

Last season Jimmer Fredette gave Cougar fans a performance to remember, scoring 33 points in an 87-65 win over Arizona, one of his many 30-point games on his way to leading the nation in scoring and capturing national player of the year honors.

Noah Hartsock added a memorable performance to BYU’s history at EnergySolutions Arena. Against Oregon, the senior forward from Bartlesville, Okla., scored a career-best 23 points to go with 12 rebounds, two assists and four blocks.

Year Opponent Score Result
2003 Oklahoma State 76-71 W
2004 Washington State 46-49 L
2005 Lamar 97-74 W
2007 Michigan State 61-68 L
2008 Utah State 68-63 W
2009 San Francisco 69-43 W
2010 Hawaii 78-57 W
2010 Arizona 87-65 W
2011 Oregon 79-65 W