2009-10 Opponent Preview: Bradley

As BYU men’s basketball prepares for the 2009-10 season, BYUCougars.com will take an in-depth look at each of the Cougars’ opponents. First up, Bradley.

Game Preview

BYU and Bradley will open the 2009-10 season in a matchup at the Marriott Center, the fist game of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge. The game will be the fourth meeting between the teams and the first since 1977. The Cougars lost the first game at Bradley in 1954 before winning at home in 1974 and on the road in 1977.

The game will be a matchup of two teams that have won at least 20 games in each of the last four seasons. BYU has won at least a share of the MWC and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament the last three seasons and Bradley has been to the postseason the past four seasons, including the NCAA Tournament in 2006, the NIT in 2007, the College Basketball Invitational in 2008 and the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in 2009.

Season Outlook

Head coach Jim Les has led the Braves to four consecutive 20-win seasons and four-straight postseason berths. Last season Bradley reached the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament where it lost to Old Dominion.

Les returns five of its top six scorers from a year ago, including guards Sam Maniscalco and Dodie Dunson, both double-digit scorers in 2008-09. Four players return that logged 25-plus minutes per game and started at least 19 games last season. Bradley was 21-15 overall last season including 14-4 at home and 5-9 on the road.

Player to Watch

http://www.bradleybraves.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=19333&SPID=1498&DB_O... " target="_blank">Sam Maniscalco, G, Jr., 6-0, 185

Maniscalco was one of the primary ball-handlers on the team last season and was second on the team in scoring (12.6 ppg), assists (3.1 apg), steals (41), free throw makes (107) and three-point percentage (.345). He led the team in made threes (71) and free throw percentage (.836). With the loss of leading scorer Theron Wilson, Mansicalco will be looked to for more scoring in 2009-10.

Other Key Players

Dodie Dunson, G

Chris Roberts, G

Eddren McCain, G

Sam Singh, F/C

Andrew Warren, G

Game Implications

The Cougars are 61-3 at the Marriot Center under Dave Rose and have won their last three home openers. A win over a quality Missouri Valley Conference team would be a great way to start the season.

Braves at a Glance

Head Coach Jim Les
At Bradley 8th year / 126-105
2008-09 Record 21-15 overall, 10-8 MWC
Home/Road/Neutral 14-4, 5-9, 2-2
Starters Ret/Lost 4/2
Lettermen Ret/Lost 10/4

2008-09 Team Stats

Points/Game 67.1
Points Allowed/Game 66.3
Field Goal % .440
Opponent FG % .433
Rebounds/Game 32.2
Assists/Game 12.6
Steals/Game 10.8
Blocks/Game 3.5

Returning Stat Leaders

Points/Game Sam Maniscalco, 12.6
Rebounds/Game Chris Roberts, 4.2
Assists/Game Eddren McCain, 3.1
Steals Sam Maniscalco, 41
Blocks Chris Roberts, 23
Three-pointers Sam Maniscalco, 71

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