PROVO -- Seven conference champions, including Pac-10 champion Stanford, and 12 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year highlight BYU's 2001-02 men's basketball schedule.
The Cougars will face Stanford, who advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last year with a 31-3 record, in game one of the annual Las Vegas Showdown at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Dec. 22. Host UNLV will play Texas in the other game.
"We look forward to what should be a very challenging schedule this coming season," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "Seven teams won or shared their league titles and in Stanford we play one of the best teams in the country. We are happy to continue a relationship with teams like Arizona State, San Francisco and UC Santa Barbara while also adding new opponents like Creighton, who went 24-8 last year, and Pepperdine, who finished 22-9. Of course, our instate and conference games are all going to be very competitive."
BYU's 13 nonconference opponents earned a combined 234-156 (.600) record last year for an average record of 18-12. Instate rivals Utah State, Utah, Southern Utah and Weber State combined for an 87-38 record, winning nearly 70 percent of their games and earning two NCAA and one NIT berth. Overall, BYU will play nine teams who qualified for a postseason tournament last year (five NCAA, four NIT).
Including two exhibition contests, BYU has 29 games on its 2001-2002 schedule, including 17 in the Marriott Center. The MWC tournament will be played in Las Vegas, Mar. 7-9, at the Thomas & Mack Center.
After the annual Varsity Preview (Nov. 3) and exhibition contests with the California All-Stars (Nov. 6) and Worldwide (Nov. 10), BYU opens its regular season on the road against the University of San Diego of the West Coast Conference on Nov. 17. The Cougars then host Arizona State of the Pac-10 in Provo on Nov. 24 before finishing the month on the road with a Nov. 28 meeting at UC Santa Barbara, who finished fourth in the Big West last year.
The Cougars play six of eight games at home during December. The two road games are at Big West champion Utah State on Dec. 1 and against Stanford in Las Vegas on Dec. 22. Home dates include Weber State of the Big Sky (Dec. 5), Missouri Valley champion Creighton (Dec. 8), Ft. Lewis of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (Dec. 12), Idaho (Dec. 15) and conference champion Cal State Northridge (Dec. 27) of the Big Sky and Mid-Continent champion Southern Utah (Dec. 29).
BYU completes its nonconference schedule against two West Coast Conference teams, hosting the University of San Francisco on Jan. 2 and playing at Pepperdine on Jan 5. BYU lost at fifth-place San Francisco last year while Pepperdine placed second in the WCC behind NCAA qualifier Gonzaga. The Waves, who enter their first year under former NBA player and coach Paul Westphal, earned a 22-9 record last season, including an NIT win in Laramie over MWC tri-champion Wyoming.
The Cougars tip-off the MWC season at home against UNLV (Jan. 10) and San Diego State (Jan. 12). Additional home dates in conference play include Colorado State (Jan. 31), Wyoming (Feb. 2), Air Force (Feb. 14), New Mexico (Feb. 16) and Utah (Feb. 23).
After playing two Saturday-Monday home series this past season, BYU will not play a Monday night home game in 2001-02. BYU's conference home games are exclusively Thursday-Saturday with three Saturday-Monday combinations scheduled on the road.
"Our Mountain West schedule will be tough, especially with Wyoming and Utah returning virtually their entire teams from last year," Cleveland said. "New Mexico finished strong last year and will be very good as always and San Diego State is going to be a force to be reckoned with after adding some very talented players to an already much improved team. Every game in conference play will be a battle."
Game times and the Mountain West television schedule on ESPN, ESPN Regional (ERT) and ABC will be released at a later date. Additional television games produced by SportsWest Productions are also yet to be determined. Last year BYU appeared on five ESPN or ERT regular season broadcasts and 12 SportsWest telecasts. SportsWest games are televised in Salt Lake City on KSL-TV, while ERT games are televised in Salt Lake City on KJZZ-TV.
2001-2002 BYU Men's Basketball Schedule
November Opponent Location
Nov. 3 Varsity Preview Provo, Utah
Nov. 6 California All-Stars (exb.) Provo, Utah
Nov. 10 Worldwide (exb.) Provo, Utah
Nov. 17 at University of San Diego San Diego
Nov. 24 Arizona State Provo, Utah
Nov. 28 at UC Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, Calif.
Dec. 1 at Utah State Logan, Utah
Dec. 5 Weber State Provo, Utah
Dec. 8 Creighton Provo, Utah
Dec. 12 Ft. Lewis Provo, Utah
Dec. 15 University of Idaho Provo, Utah
Dec. 22 vs. Stanford Las Vegas
Dec. 27 Cal State Northridge Provo, Utah
Dec. 29 Southern Utah Provo, Utah
Jan. 2 University of San Francisco Provo, Utah
Jan. 5 at Pepperdine Malibu, Calif.
Jan. 10 UNLV Provo, Utah
Jan. 12 San Diego State Provo, Utah
Jan. 19 at New Mexico Albuquerque, N. M.
Jan. 21 at Air Force Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jan. 28 at Utah Salt Lake City
Jan. 31 Colorado State Provo, Utah
Feb. 2 Wyoming Provo, Utah
Feb. 9 at UNLV Las Vegas
Feb. 11 at San Diego State San Diego
Feb. 14 Air Force Provo, Utah
Feb. 16 New Mexico Provo, Utah
Feb. 23 Utah Provo, Utah
Feb. 28 at Wyoming Laramie, Wyo.
Mar. 2 at Colorado State Fort Collins, Colo.
Mar. 7-9 at MWC Tournament Las Vegas