2009-10 Opponent Preview: Idaho State

As the 2009-10 men’s basketball season approaches, BYUCougars.com continues to preview each of BYU's opponents. Today’s preview-Idaho State.

Game Preview

BYU and Idaho State will play for the 37th time and the fourth-straight season when they face off on Nov. 17 in Provo. The Cougars will be looking to extend their winning streak against the Bengals to six games. Including last season’s 85-65 victory in Pocatello, BYU has won 20 of 21 vs. Idaho State.

The Cougars are 14-2 at home and 6-0 in the Marriott Center vs. the Bengals. Dave Rose is 3-0 vs. Idaho State since becoming BYU’s head coach in 2005.

Season Outlook

Head coach Joe O’Brien enters his fourth season at the helm and is 38-55, including 13-19 in 2008-09. The Bengals were 9-7 in the Big Sky Conference, good enough for a fourth place finish. O’Brien has led his squad to the Big Sky Tournament in his three seasons and Idaho State’s 25 league wins under his direction are the most in a three-year period since 1976-78.

O’Brien returns an experienced squad with four starters and eight lettermen back. Senior guard Amorrow Morgan returns after leading the squad in scoring (13.6 ppg) and finishing second in assists (114) and steals (33). Idaho State returns six other seniors including starters Donnie Carson, Chron Tatum and 7-foot center Deividas Busma. The biggest lost from last season’s roster is guard Matt Stucki, who averaged 12.0 points and totaled 119 assists and 45 steals.

Player to Watch

http://isubengals.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/morgan_amorrow00.html " target="_blank">Ammorow Morgan, G, Sr., 6-5, 210

Morgan returns to lead the Bengals after earning first-team All-Big Sky honors in 2008-09, when he averaged 13.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He was third on the team with 33 steals and shot .454 from the floor and .352 from three. This will be his third season as a starter—he earned honorable mention all-conference honors in 2008 as a sophomore—and will be counted on to replace the scoring lost with the graduation of Matt Stucki (12.0 ppg).

Other Key Players

http://isubengals.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/carson_donnie00.html " target="_blank"> Donnie Carson, G

http://isubengals.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/tatum_chron00.html " target="_blank"> Chron Tatum, F

http://isubengals.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/busma_deividas00.html " target="_blank"> Deividas Busma, C

http://isubengals.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/monroe_demetrius00.html " target="_blank"> Demetrius Monroe, F/C

Game Implications

The Cougars are 61-3 at the Marriot Center under Dave Rose and have won their last 11 at home against Idaho State since 1939. Idaho State has improved steadily under O’Brien and will be looking to make a statement early in the season.

Bengals at a Glance

Head Coach Jim O’Brien
At Idaho State 4th year / 38-55
2008-09 Record 13-19 overall, 9-7 Big Sky
Home/Road/Neutral 11-4, 2-14, 0-1
Starters Ret/Lost 4/1
Lettermen Ret/Lost 8/4

2008-09 Team Stats

Points/Game 65.3
Points Allowed/Game 68.4
Field Goal % .461
Opponent FG % .429
Rebounds/Game 31.8
Assists/Game 12.6
Steals/Game 5.7
Blocks/Game 3.8

Returning Stat Leaders

Points/Game Ammorrow Morgan, 13.6
Rebounds/Game Demetrius Monroe, 5.3
Assists/Game Ammorrow Morgan, 3.7
Steals Donnie Carson, 36
Blocks Deividas Busma, 29
Three-pointers Austin Kilpatrick, 34