BYU Athletics Blog

Cougars vs. Top-10 Competition

Dec 13, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 4:28 pm | Updated: December 14, 2011 11:09 am | Permalink

Saturday’s matchup with Baylor is an opportunity for BYU to prove it belongs in the top-25 discussion. The Bears will come to the Marriott Center ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll and No. 7 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Baylor is 7-0 with a Wednesday home tilt against 3-6 Bethune-Cookman.

Welcoming a top-10 opponent to the Marriott Center is nothing new for BYU. This will mark the fourth-straight season the Cougars have hosted a top-10 team at home. In addition, BYU has played at least one game against a top-10 team each season since 2006-07.

Most of the games against Top-10 foes have been very entertaining and competitive. And last season, Dave Rose and company broke through for two huge wins against San Diego State. While Jimmer and Jackson are gone, Noah Hartsock, Brandon Davies and Charles Abouo all played key roles in those games. The Cougars have plenty of experience and will have a rocking Marriott Center crowd backing them as they take on the Bears.

BYU vs. the Top-10 Since 2006
Date H/A/N Opponent Result
11/15/06 A No. 5 UCLA L, 69-82
11/23/07 N No. 6 Louisville W, 78-76
11/24/07 N No. 1 North Carolina L, 63-73
12/8/07 N No. 9 Michigan State L, 61-68
1/3/09 H No. 6 Wake Forest L, 87-94
2/27/10 H No. 10 New Mexico L, 81-83
3/20/10 N No. 7 Kansas State L, 72-84
1/26/11 H No. 4 San Diego State W, 71-58
2/26/11 A No. 6 San Diego State W, 80-67
3/12/11 N No. 7 San Diego State L, 54-72

Road Warriors

Dec 12, 2011 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 4:42 pm | Permalink

With the bowl season upon us and some down time between games, here are some interesting thoughts to ponder in relation to BYU's performances away from LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2011.

It is always tough to play on the road. Tens of thousands of the opposing team's fans waiting to make noise and root against you is never easy. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall has always emphasized playing well at home, but equally important has been performing on the road as well. This year, BYU has been very good on the road in many statistical categories, while playing at home clearly has its advantages.

In a few categories, the Cougars actually have better numbers on the road than at home, but usually this isn't the case. This year's team is similar to many programs with the numbers dropping off when they head out on the road. However, in several categories, even though BYU's actual statistics get worse on the road its national ranking increases. This shows that while many teams typically have a drop off when playing on the road, the Cougars don't drop off as much and play pretty well on the road when compared to other teams across the nation.

BYU Home vs. Road Statistics
Statistic At Home Home Ranking On Road/Neutral Road Ranking
Points Scored/Gm 32.9 47 27.4 39
Points Allowed/Gm 18.2 32 23.2 23
Total Yards/Gm 428.0 43 386.8 41
Passing Yards/Gm 246.9 55 242.4 44
Rushing Yards/Gm 181.1 48 144.4 58
Total Yards Allowed/Gm 336.0 46 288.8 4
Pass Yards Allowed/Gm 196.3 43 200.4 27
Rushing Yards Allowed/Gm 139.7 46 88.4 4

BYU vs Utah on KSL

Dec 12, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 10:10 am | Permalink

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

Pregame Show

1st Half

Halftime Show

2nd Half

Postgame

BYU vs. Utah: A New Era

Dec 09, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 4:39 pm | Permalink

BYU will take on Utah in the Deseret Duel tomorrow at 12 p.m. MST. The Cougars and Utes have face each other in basketball every year since the 1908-09 season with the exception of the war-shortened 1943-44 season.

While the fact that tomorrow’s game is important for in-state bragging rights and points in the Deseret Duel, some things have changed. For starters, this marks the first time since 1917-18 that the schools will be playing each other as members of different conferences. Utah is now in the Pac 12 and BYU in the West Coast Conference.

Saturday’s game will also be the first December meeting between the schools in the history of the series. In fact, every BYU and Utah matchup has taken place in January, February and March. There has never been a men’s basketball game between the institutions in any other month.

One other change is that the Cougars and Utes have battled at least twice in every season since the 1920-21 season. This season and the 1919-20 are the only full seasons since 1907-08 that BYU and Utah will only play once.

All that being said, there is a lot on the line on Saturday as the Cougars look to continue a three-game winning streak during which they’ve played their best basketball of the season. Utah is looking to shake a 1-7 start and garner some momentum before they begin Pac 12 play next month.

If you’re a BYU fan and live in the area, get some tickets and help make the Cougars feel comfortable in the Huntsman Center.

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/