BYU Athletics Blog

Cusick, Cougars Ready to Take on Utes

Dec 09, 2011 - Posted by Taylor Wilson at 4:11 pm | Updated: December 9, 2011 4:43 pm | Permalink

Following a big win over Weber State, the BYU men’s basketball team will head north to Salt Lake City to face off against the rival Utah Utes, their third game against an in-state opponent this season.

“I think you just get excited about an emotional rivalry game even if the two teams aren’t in the same conference,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “The preparation for this game feels pretty similar to previous years and we are excited to go up and play.”

As a former member of the Utah basketball program, junior guard Craig Cusick will bring extra emotion into the game. Cusick is coming off a season best game in which he dished out a career-best eight assists vs. Weber State.

“I think going back to your old school to play against some of your old buddies and coaches really gives you an added energy,” Cusick said. “I had a great opportunity and a great time at Utah but I am here now and am very excited for Saturday’s game.”

Although Cusick will be returning to his former school, he will not see many familiar faces on the court. There have been several changes in the Utah program since Cusick transferred, but he is familiar with at least one member of his former team.

“David Foster was my roommate when I was at Utah,” Cusick said. “Unfortunately, I think he is injured right now, so he won’t get to play. But I will still go into this game with a little extra emotion and will be ready to play.”

BYU will face the Utes Saturday at the Huntsman Center, with tipoff scheduled for 12 p.m. MST. The tipoff is the earliest of the season for the Cougars, who will be looking for their fourth-straight win. 

BYU vs. Weber State on KSL

Dec 08, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 12:25 am | Permalink

Use the links below to listen to Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant call the Weber State game on KSL.

Pregame Show

1st Half

Halftime Show

2nd Half

Postgame

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.

Day Seven From Laie

Dec 04, 2011 - Posted by Norma Collett at 9:20 pm | Permalink

Day Seven – North Shore Oahu (Saturday, Dec. 3)

Saturday was the championship game of the Hukilau Invitational on the campus of BYU-Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii. Already having defeated Arizona and host BYUH, the Cougars faced Syracuse in the final “kalakaua” (battle) of the tournament.

Led by sophomore guard Kim Parker, who had 22 points, five rebounds and six assists, the Cougars cruised to an 83-59 victory over the Orange. For the fourth time in the past four seasons, BYU is the “mea lanakila” (champion) of the Hukilau Invitational. In four years the Cougars have yet to loose a game at the Cannon Activities Center.

After the tournament, coach Jeff Judkins summed up the week by saying, “I’m very proud of our team, especially how we played against two very tough teams in Arizona and Syracuse. We played hard, executed our game plan and I thought Kim Parker had a great week.”

In three games Parker scored a team high 64 points, had 15 assist, 14 rebounds and 5 steals.

After the game, Parker said, “I just like to shoot in this building. We had a great week here in Hawaii.”

The Cougars, who have now won six-straight games to improve to 7-2 on the season, return home Saturday night and get ready to play Southern Utah in Provo on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7:00 pm MT. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and BYU Radio. For additional information go to http://byutv.org/schedule or http://www.byuradio.org/schedule/fullday/

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

 

Day Six from Hawaii

Dec 03, 2011 - Posted by Norma Collett at 3:45 pm | Permalink

Day Six – North Shore Oahu (Friday, Dec. 2)

Friday was an off day for BYU as the Cougars prepare to take on Syracuse in the final game of the Hukilau Invitational on Saturday. Syracuse had its six-game winning streak snapped in an 80-74 loss to Arizona on Friday. The loss was the Orange’s (6-1) first of the season, while Arizona improved to (6-1).

Meanwhile, the Cougs began the day with a practice at BYU-Hawaii before heading to the leeward side of Oahu to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial. One of the more popular attractions in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor included a number of exhibits, displays and memorials, honoring the 1,177 victims of the Japanese attack on the United States on Dec. 7, 1941, as well as those who served our country in World War II. It was a time for everyone to reflect on the blessings of freedom we enjoy in America.

Later, the group headed to the famous International Market Place in Honolulu for some shopping, followed by dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, always a team favorite.

Day Five from Laie, Hawaii

Dec 03, 2011 - Posted by Norma Collett at 3:37 pm | Permalink

Day Five – Game Day (Thursday, Dec. 1)

Day five in Hawaii began with a shoot-around at BYU-Hawaii as the Cougars prepared for a big game with Pac 12 foe Arizona. After a traditional island-style lunch from Hukilau Café and some rest, BYU returned to the Cannon Activities Center for game two of the Hukilau Invitational. Led by sophomore Kim Parker‘s career-high 25 points, the Cougars downed the Wildcats 82-73.

The crowd was pretty much all BYU as a bus load of BYU faithful in Hawaii for the football game on Saturday, came to support the women's team.

With the win coach Jeff Judkins is now 12-7 against Pac 12 teams and BYU improved to 6-2 on the season.

Other notables for the Cougars included a double-double from Kristen Riley (15 points, 12 rebounds) and double digit scoring from Jennifer Hamson (12) and Haley Steed (10). Parker, Steed and Riley all had six assists as well. With the loss Arizona falls to 5-1 on the year. The Wildcats were athletic and very quick especially at the guard position, but the Cougars countered with physical play led by Hamson who finished with four blocks and seven rebounds.

The Cougars look to continue their undefeated history in the Hukilau Invitational as they take on Syracuse Saturday in the finals. The game is set to tipoff at 1 p.m. HST.

To celebrate the big win many of the coaches and the student-athletes attended the dinner and night show at the Polinesian Cultral Center on Thursday evening.