Journey into the unknown

Dec 28, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton on December 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Updated: December 28, 2011 6:03 pm

With the nonconference season nearly complete (a visit to Virginia Tech on Jan. 25 is the Cougars’ final nonconference game), BYU basketball will open conference play on Thursday at Saint Mary's at 8 p.m. PST on ESPN. While conference play is a normal part of every team’s season, it will be anything but normal for BYU as the Cougars are in their first season as members of the West Coast Conference.

The Cougars had grown accustomed to playing schools such as Wyoming, Air Force, Utah, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, TCU and Colorado State twice a year while members of the Mountain West Conference. And BYU was rather comfortable in that league, posting a conference record of 126-54 (.700) from 1999 to 2011, winning six regular season titles and finishing second or better in all but three seasons.

BYU in the MWC
Season W L Place
1999-00 7 7 6th
2000-01 10 4 T1st
2001-02 7 7 T4th
2002-03 11 3 T1st
2003-04 10 4 2nd
2004-05 3 11 T7th
2005-06 12 4 T2nd
2006-07 13 3 1st
2007-08 14 2 1st
2008-09 12 4 T1st
2009-10 13 3 2nd
2010-11 14 2 T1st
Total 126 54  

Now the Cougars will get to know conference foes such as Saint Mary’s, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Gonzaga, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara. While BYU is new to the league, not everything will be foreign. Dave Rose-coached teams have played six of the eight new conference foes and have gone 9-1 with the only loss coming in Rose’s debut as a Division I head coach. As an assistant on Steve Cleveland’s staff, Rose coached against San Diego and Santa Clara to give him experience against every program in the league.

BYU vs. the WCC
Opponent All-time (Rose vs.)
Gonzaga 1-1 (1-0)
Loyola Marymount 2-1 (1-1)
Pepperdine 4-4 (2-0)
Portland 5-0 (3-0)
St. Mary’s 8-2 (1-0)
San Diego 2-0 (0-0)
San Francisco 5-5 (1-0)
Santa Clara 15-5 (0-0)
Total 42-18 (9-1)