Mekeli Wesley high fives some fans
In his third year, BYU Head Basketball Coach Steve Cleveland and his staff have made significant strides in rebuilding a program that finished 1-25 before their arrival. The following notes include some of the major accomplishments and milestones of this past season and how the Cougars have improved over the last three years under Cleveland's direction.
Ã² Top 20 Recruiting Class
Ã² No. 2 recruiting class among schools west of the Mississippi
Ã² Top players in Utah committed to BYU
Ã² Top LDS student-athletes committed to BYU
2. ON THE COURT
Ã² First 20-win season in five years (and most wins since same 1994-95 season).
Ã² With 22-11 record in 1999-2000, only seven other BYU teams have ever recorded more wins (1929-30, 23-7; 1950-51, 28-9; 1979-80, 24-5; 1980-81, 25-7; 1987-88, 26-6; 1991-92, 25-7; 1992-93, 25-9).
Ã² Three year improvement under Coach Cleveland.
- 9-21 first year (4-10 home record)
- 12-16 second year (9-5 home record)
- 22-11 third year (14-2 home record)
Ã² BYU's 14-2 home record is the best mark in the Marriott Center since the 1994-95 team went 14-0. Only two BYU teams have recorded more than 14 home wins in a season (1989-90, 15-0 and 1987-88, 16-2).
Ã² 2000 Conference tournament finalist (first time in six years)
Ã² Defeated every team in the conference this season (conference record improvement -- 4-10 first year; 6-8 second year; 7-7 third year)
Ã² BYU was one of three conference schools to achieve 20 wins.
Ã² The Cougars posted their highest win total on the road since 1994-95 with six victories this season.
Ã² Toughest schedule among MWC schools and rated No. 44 nationally.
Ã² Top RPI rating in Mountain West Conference (Ranked 45th and 46th)
Ã² Season schedule included six conference champions (seven including NIT foe Bowling Green)
Ã² BYU played 10 teams that qualified for post-season tournaments, recording a 9-7 record (NCAA teams, 5-4 record) - Arizona (0-1), Utah State (1-0), South Carolina State (1-0), UNLV (2-1), Utah (1-2); NIT teams (4-3 record) - Arizona State (1-0), New Mexico (1-2), Bowling Green (1-0), Southern Illinois (1-0), Notre Dame (0-1).
Terrell Lyday (BYU Photo)
Ã² NIT invitation -- first post-season bid in five years
Ã² Hosted first and second rounds of NIT, advanced to NIT quarterfinals.
Ã² First post-season tournament victory since 1994 NIT win over Arizona State.
Ã² Most post-season tournament wins since 1986 when BYU also went 2-1 in the NIT.
Ã² Won multiple post-season tournament games for only the fifth time in school history (1950-51, 3-0 NIT;1965-66, 3-0 NIT; 1980-81, 3-1 NCAA; 1985-86, 2-1 NIT; 1999-2000, 2-1 NIT).
Ã² Improved attendance. (10,794 at home compared to 9,809 in second year and 8,430 in first year).
Ã² Attendance at home conference games improved significantly over previous year, growing to 13,464 from 11,562 last year.
Ã² NIT's top two attendance marks (16,949 vs. Southern Illinois and 10,010 vs. Bowling Green).
Ã² The Marriott Center Magic is back. The excitement of home crowd was among the most electrifying ever at BYU's final home game vs. Southern Illinois. The students remained after the game while calling for the team to come out of the locker room.
Ã² BYU had the eighth largest single game attendance in Division I this season with 22,580 on Jan. 15 vs. Utah.
6. IN-STATE RIVALS
Ã² BYU defeated all four in-state schools in 1999-2000.
Ã² First time ever BYU has defeated Utah, Utah State, Weber State and Southern Utah all in the same season.
Ã² BYU recorded first win over Utah in since 1994-95 season.
7. PLAYER AWARDS
Ã² In the past three seasons, BYU has had four players named to the conference newcomer team and has had three players named to an all-conference team.
- Ron Selleaze (WAC Newcomer of the Year, newcomer team, 2nd team all-conference, 1997-98)
- Mekeli Wesley (WAC newcomer team, 1997-98; 2nd team all-conference, 1999-2000 )
- Mark Bigelow (WAC freshman of the year, newcomer team, 2nd team all-conference, 1998-99)
- Terrell Lyday (MWC Newcomer of the Year, All-Tournament Team 1999-2000)
Ã² Terrell Lyday was named a MWC player of the week this year and was selected to the MWC All-Tournament Team.
Ã² Mekeli Wesley was named a MWC player of the week this year and was named to the District 13 All-Star Team, second team. He was one of a combined 10 players selected to the first and second teams that included players from the MWC, WAC and Big Sky.
8. 100% GRADUATION RATE
Ã² Spring 2000: 6 for 6
9. OTHER 1999-2000 NOTABLES
Ã² After coming on strong at the end of each of Coach Steve Cleveland's first two seasons, BYU again finished strong this year winning six of its last eight games, including two MWC tournament wins and two NIT victories. Among the wins was BYU's first win over rival Utah since 1995. In Cleveland's first year, BYU completed a rare sweep of New Mexico and UTEP on the road to earn a WAC tournament berth and last year the Cougars had a blowout win over UTEP before blowing out TCU in an upset first-round win at the WAC tournament.
Ã² BYU played 33 games this year - the most it has played since playing 34 in 1992-93 (25-9). Only five BYU teams have ever played more than 33 games in a season. Including its European Tour and exhibition games, BYU played 40 games this year from August to March.
Ã² Mekeli Wesley, who now has 1,171 career points, moved into 19th place on BYU's career scoring list, recently passing Doug Howard (1,143 points, 1968-70), Elwood Romney (1,150 points, 1930-33), and Kari Limo (1,156 points, 1967-69). He needs 25 points to surpass Eldon Brinley (1,195 points, 1930-33).
Ã² Wesley became only the 32nd player in BYU history to reach 1,000 points and only the eighth to do so as a junior (even though he missed part of sophomore season). Danny Ainge (1978-81) tops the career list at 2,467 points. Other players to reach 1,000 points before the end of their junior years were Ainge, Michael Smith, Devin Durrant, Russell Larson, Fred and Ken Roberts and Jeff Chatman.
Ã²Mekeli Wesley had the highest scoring conference game this year with 34 points vs. Wyoming.
Ã²Terrell Lyday tied Anthony Blakes for the most steals in a conference game with six at UNLV (BYU also tied conference team best with 13 steals at UNLV).
Ã² Terrell Lyday (35, 30) and Mekeli Wesley (34) had three of the 11 30-plus point games by Mountain West Conference players this season.
Ã² BYU's defense was a large part of the Cougars success. BYU led the MWC in field goal percentage defense, three-point field goal percentage defense and steals. Individually, Terrell Lyday led the league in steals.
Ã² Lyday was fourth in scoring in the MWC, and Wesley was sixth. They were fifth and sixth respectively in free throw percentage. Wesley finished 10th in rebounding. Matt Montague was third in assist/turnover ratio.
Ã² BYU had two five-game win streaks this season and did not lose more than two in a row at any point.
Ã² Lyday set a new BYU record by hitting at least one 3-pointer in 21 consecutive games this season. The streak was halted after an 0-for-4 day vs New Mexico at home.
Ã² BYU swept MWC No. 1 seed UNLV in the regular season.
Ã² BYU had three 20-plus margin of victories in conference play this season, the most since 1991-92.
Ã² Mekeli Wesley and Terrell Lyday each scored in double figures in all but three games this season. Lyday had a string of 21 straight games in double digits and Wesley 18 consecutive. Mekeli Wesley and Terrell Lyday were a major scoring force for BYU all season. Wesley and Lyday have accounted for 48.2 percent of the Cougars' total points and 51.6 percent of their conference points.
Ã² Terrell Lyday scored a team-best 35 points vs. Utah State, Silester Rivers, Terrell Lyday and Eric Nielsen each had a team-high 11 rebounds in a game, Matt Montague had a team-best 10 assists and Lyday a team-high six steals.
Ã² Lyday led the team in scoring with a 17.1 average, followed by Wesley at 16.8. Vranes added 8.0.
Ã² Wesley had a team-leading 5.8 rebounds, followed by Rivers at 4.5, Eric Nielsen and Michael Vranes at 4.1 and Lyday at 4.0.
Ã² BYU shot 46.1 percent from the floor, 37.3 on threes, and 69.6 from the line while scoring 70.5 points per game. BYU allowed 63.8 points and 39.7 FG% and 29.6 3FG%.