BYU Faces Wyoming in Saturday Afternoon Game

Coming off its loss at Colorado State Thursday, BYU, 16-8 overall and 5-6 in the Mountain West Conference, travels to Laramie to face Wyoming, 16-10 and 6-5, Saturday at 4 p.m. The game is a SportsWest Production that will be televised live on KSL, channel 5, in Salt Lake City with Tom Kirkland and Tony Ingle at the mike. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant calling the action. BYU is now in sixth place in the conference at 5-6 while the Cowboys are tied for fourth with Colorado State at 6-5.

Up Next

BYU returns home for its final two conference games. The Cougars host Air Force Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and San Diego State Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center.

Last Time Out

BYU lost 68-54 at Colorado State Thursday as the Rams shot 58.5 percent from the floor and 53 percent on three-pointers -- the best shooting percentages by a BYU opponent all season. BYU made only seven first-half field goals, a season low, but trailed by only 11 at 33-22 at the half. The Cougars out scored the Rams 18-9 to open the second half to cut the Rams' lead to four at 44-40 on two Terrell Lyday free throws with 11:44 remaining. But Colorado State went on a 10-0 run and never looked back. BYU had trouble finding shots all night, equaling its season low with 16 field goals and setting a new low with only six assists. No Cougar had more than one assist. The Cougars had stretches of 8:18 and 4:14 in the first half without a field goal and 3:28 and 11:11 in the second half for a total of 27:01 minutes without making a bucket in the 40-minute game. Lyday led BYU with 20 points and four rebounds while Mekeli Wesley added 11 points, Michael Vranes nine and Marc Roberts a career-best six. Colorado State had three players score in double figures with Aki Palmer leading the way with 16. He was a deadly 5-6 on three-point attempts. Ceedric Goodwyn added 15 and a game-high six rebounds while Ron Grady scored 12 for CSUa. BYU shot 38 percent from the floor, including 28.6 percent on threes.

Game Quick Facts

BYU (16-8, 5-6) at Wyoming (16-10, 6-5)

Saturday, Feb. 26 • Arena-Auditorium (15,028) • Laramie, Wyo. • 4 p.m. Mountain

Broadcast Plans:


Network: Cougar Sports Network

Station: KSL Newsradio 1160 AM

Air Time: 3:30 p.m. Mountain

Play-by-play: Greg Wrubell

Commentary: Mark Durrant


Network: SportsWest Productions

Local Station: KSL, channel 5

Air Time: 4 p.m. Mountain

Play-by-play: Tom Kirkland

Commentary: Tony Ingle

BYU's Probable Starters:

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG

F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-8 210 So. 5.3 3.9

F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 230 Jr. 17.9 6.1

G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 190 Jr. 17.4 3.9

G 13 Michael Vranes 6-3 190 So. 8.0 4.3

G 5 Marc Roberts 6-2 190 Fr. 1.1 0.4

Wyoming's Probable Starters:

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG

F 00 LeDarion Jones 6-7 232 Sr. 13.4 5.2

F 44 Marcus Bailey 6-5 185 Fr. 7.4 3.3

C 22 Josh Davis 6-8 230 So. 14.0 8.5 1.5

G 5 Anthony Blakes 6-2 188 Sr. 13.8 6.1

G 10 Chris McMillian 5-10 175 So. 9.5 3.1

BYU Coach: Steve Cleveland

Record at BYU: 37-45 (3rd year)

Overall Div. I record: Same

Wyoming Coach: Steve McClain

Record at Wyoming: 34-20 (2nd year)

Overall Div. I record: same

Series Record: 84-64 BYU

Game Time: 4:07 p.m. Mountain

Scouting Wyoming

Wyoming is 16-10 overall and 5-5 in Mountain West Conference play. The Cowboys are 10-1 at home (5-7 on the road) this year with its lone loss coming against Colorado State (77-71). Wyoming has home conference wins over New Mexico (88-83), San Diego State (93-87), UNLV (109-98) and Air Force (61-51). Wyoming has a three-game winning streak with wins at New Mexico (99-93), at San Diego State (71-57) and its home win over Air Force Monday. The Cowboys have also have a three-game home winning streak. Wyoming's non-conference losses include Indiana (99-80), Oregon State (83-77) and Wichita State (80-71). Wyoming has three players averaging double figures, led by center Josh Davis at 14.0, Anthony Blakes at 13.8 and LaDarion Jones at 13.4. Chris McMillian adds 9.5 points for the Cowboys. In addition to leading the team in scoring, Davis averages a team-best 8.5 rebounds per game and has recorded 10 double-doubles this season (tops in the MWC along with UNLV's Kambala). Wyoming lost one of its key inside players earlier this year when Ugo Udezue (6-8 F/C) went down with an injury after five games. He is out for the entire season.In the national statistics released Feb. 14, Wyoming is sixth in the nation in scoring and is tied with UNLV in that category in conference play at 82.7 points per game. Wyoming put up an MWC-high for points in a half with 64 vs. Hawai`i Pacific on Nov. 26, during a 110-65 victory. The Cowboys also scored 63 points in a half vs. UNLV and are the only MWC team to score more than 60 points in a half this year. Wyoming's Brett McFall is among the nation's best three-point shooters (11th in the Feb. 14 rankings), making 48 percent of his threes for a team-high 49 treys on the year. He scores 8.2 points in nearly 18 minutes off the bench. Wyoming shoots 43.5 percent from the floor as a team, including 35.1 percent on threes. The Cowboys connect on 70 percent of their free throws. Wyoming is a good rebounding team, pulling down 41.1 boards while allowing 38.9. On the offensive glass, Wyoming averaging 14.8 offensive rebounds per game compared to BYU's 9.1.

Series Notes

This will be the 149th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 84-64. BYU won the first meeting this year in Provo, 87-78. The Cougars and Cowboys did not play last year, being in different WAC divisions. BYU has won seven of the last 11 games dating back to the 1993-94 season but Wyoming has won three of the last five. Wyoming won the last two games in Laramie, defeating BYU 77-54 in 1998 and 89-61 in 1997. BYU's last win in Laramie was an 81-71 win in 1996 when Todd Christensen and Nathan Cooper were pre-mission freshmen. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 2-1 against Wyoming. He had a 60-41 win in Provo and a 77-54 loss at Wyoming in his first season. After Utah (227 games) and Utah State (216 games), BYU has faced Wyoming the third-most times in school history (148 games dating back to 1919).

Last Meeting

Led by Mekeli Wesley's career-high 34-points, BYU improved to 13-3 with an 87-78 win over Wyoming at the Marriott Center. Scoring a season-best 16 first-half points, Wesley carried the Cougars to a slim 38-37 halftime advantage. He continued his strong play in the final 20 minutes, adding 18 second-half points to surpass his previous scoring high of 31 points set twice during his freshman season. Wesley not only led the Cougars in scoring but also had team highs of eight rebounds and four assists. Terrell Lyday added 22 points, 17 in the second half, while hitting 2-4 three pointers to tie a school record of 16 straight games with a made three-pointer. Andy Toolson also made a three in 16 straight game in 1990. LaDarion Jones led Wyoming with 26 points. Wyoming shot 42.6 percent for the game while the Cougars made 49 percent of their attempts.

BYU Team Notes

BYU's record when . . .

BYU leads at half 14-1

Opponent leads at half 1-7

Score tied at half 1-0

BYU leads with 5 minutes left 15-1

Opponent leads with 5 min. left 0-7

BYU leads with 1 minute left 15-0

Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-8

Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0

Game goes into overtime 1-0

BYU out rebounds opponent 11-0

Opponent out rebounds BYU 5-8

BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 0-0

BYU shoots 50 % or better 10-0

Opponent shoots 50 % or better 0-4

BYU out shoots opponent 15-1

Opponent out shoots BYU 1-7

More BYU's Record When ...

BYU is 2-1 in games decided by two points or less; 0-2 in 3-5-point games; 4-2 in 6-9-point games; and 10-3 in double-digit margins. Mekeli Wesley has either shared or been BYU's top scorer in 13 games this season and the Cougars are 8-5 in those games. He has also been BYU's top rebounder in 12 games. BYU is 8-4 in those games. BYU is 4-4 in the games when Mekeli Wesley was both the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Terrell Lyday has shared or led BYU in scoring in 10 games and BYU is 6-4 in those contests. Silester Rivers has been BYU's best rebounder in five games and the Cougars are 4-1. When the Cougars get good scoring efforts from its supporting cast, they have been hard to beat. BYU is 8-0 when Michael Vranes has scored in double figures and 7-0 when Christensen scores in double digits. They are 6-1 (all but at UNM) when Rivers reaches double figures, 4-1 (all but at AFA) when Eric Nielsen had double digits and 4-2 when Cooper (except UNM and at Utah) has scored 10 or more.

Wesley Moves Up Scoring Ladder

Mekeli Wesley became the 32nd BYU player to score 1,000 career points Thursday vs. UNM. After scoring 22 vs. UNLV Saturday, he passed Dave Eastis (1,015 points from 1959-61) into 31st place on the career scoring list and his 11 points at CSU gave him 1,038 points to move into 30th place past Bernie Fryer, who score 1,031 (1971-72). Wesley needs 14 points to pass Scott Runia, 1,051 (1977-80). The most recent BYU basketball players to reach 1,000 career points were Ken Roberts (1,652 points) and Randy Reid (1,073 points) who both ended their BYU careers in 1996. Danny Ainge (1978-81) tops the career list at 2,467 points. Despite missing part of his sophomore season, Mekeli is only the eighth BYU player to reach 1,000 points as a junior. He joins Ainge, Michael Smith, Devin Durrant, Russell Larson, Fred and Ken Roberts and Jeff Chatman as the only BYU players to have scored more that 1,000 points by the end of their junior years.

Two-Man Game

Mekeli Wesley and Terrell Lyday have score 48.6 percent of BYU's overall points -- the biggest percentage any two players have scored of a Mountain West Conference team's total points. Wesley and Lyday combined for 57.4 percent of BYU's points Thursday (31 of 54). BYU is not alone, however, when it comes to having two dominant scorers. Including BYU, five of the eight MWC schools' top two scorers account for over 40 percent of their teams' points entering this week's games. Air Force's Jarvis Croff and Tyron Wright are second with 45.9 percent of the Falcons points while UNM is third with 42.0 percent of its points collected by Lamont Long and Damion Walker. Colorado State gets 41.3 percent of its scoring from the tandem of Ceedric Goodwyn and John Sivesind and UNLV gets 41.4 percent from Kaspars Kambala and Trevor Diggs.

Scoring Support Brings BYU Victories

Todd Christensen was one off his season high with 15 points vs. UNLV Saturday while Michael Vranes added 12. BYU had five Cougars score double figures for the first time since the second game of the season. BYU now boasts a perfect 8-0 record when Michael Vranes has scored in double figures and a 7-0 mark when Christensen scores in double digits.

Win Column

With a 16-8 record, BYU has its most wins in a season since the 1994-95 season. BYU's last winning season was in 1995-96 season when the Cougars finished 15-13. BYU can still finish with 20-win regular season wins this year if they can win their next four games. BYU's last season with 20 wins was in 1994-95 when the Cougars finished the regular season 22-8. They finished 22-10 after a WAC Tournament and a first-round NCAA Tournament defeat.

Win/Loss Barometer

In six conference losses, the Cougars have shot 40 percent from the floor in three games, 41 percent in two and 38 percent Thursday at CSU. In BYU's five conference wins, the Cougars have shot 48, 49, 50, 52 and 54 percent from the floor. In its most recent win, BYU shot 52 percent from the floor against UNLV, including 6-12 on threes. The Cougars are 10-0 when they shoot 50 percent or better. Overall, the Cougars are 15-1 when they out shoot the opposition and 1-7 when they don't.


BYU dropped its last game at CSU and now has a two-game road losing streak. BYU has had one other two-game road losing streak this season (at AFA and at UNM). The loss at AFA ended a four-game road winning streak, which was the longest road win streak since 1992-93, when the Cougars won six straight road games. BYU ended an overall two-game losing skid (its second of the season) last Saturday with a home win over UNLV. Last year BYU had two three-game losing streaks and one four-game skid. The Cougars have had two five-game winning streaks this year and a seven-game home winning streak.

Assist vs. Turnover Trends

BYU had a season-low six assists at CSU and committed 16 turnovers, breaking a string of three straight games with more assists than turnovers. BYU surpassed 20 assists in a game for the fourth time this year (all wins) with 21 assists vs. UNLV. It was the first time the Cougars have done so in conference play and the first time in the last 15 games. The other 20-plus assist games came at Denver (21), vs. Texas Southern (20) and vs. South Carolina State (23). In conference play, BYU has had more assists than turnovers in four of 11 games. On the year, BYU averages 14.6 assists and 14.4 turnovers. The Cougars have a + 1.1 turnover margin. (Last year BYU averaged 17.3 turnovers per game to only 12.8 assists). In conference play, BYU averages 12.9 assists and 14.9 turnovers in 11 games. BYU has had 12 games this year where it has had more assists than turnovers, one game when assists equaled turnovers and 11 games when it has had more turnovers than assists.

Lyday's BYU-Record Consecutive Game Three-Point Streak Ends at 21

Lyday had his BYU record streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer halted at 21 vs. New Mexico when he went 0-4 from behind the arc. He was 2-7 on threes at CSU (the 14th time he has made two or more in a game) and 2-3 vs. UNLV. On the year, he has made a three in 23 of BYU's 24 games. He is only 8-34 in the last seven games on three-point attempts. The prior consecutive games record was 16 set by Andy Toolson in 1990. Lyday has made 40 percent of his three-point attempts and a team-best 49 treys.

Three-Point Range

After having its eighth game with a 50 percent or better three-point percentage Saturday vs. UNLV, BYU shot only 29 percent (4-14) Thursday at CSU. The Cougars are 7-1 when they shoot 50 percent or better on three-point attempts (lost at S.Alabama despite hitting season high 61.5 percent on threes). Since entering its first game with CSU when BYU was third in the nation in three-point shooting at 42 percent, BYU has gone 35-119(.294) on threes in the last eight games to fall to 37.9 percent on the year. BYU has a 3-5 record in those games. In the last eight games, Terrell Lyday has gone 11-39 (.282) on threes, Michael Vranes 5-20 (.250), Mekeli Wesley 3-15 (.200), and Nathan Cooper 3-11 (.273). Todd Christensen, who has gone 10-24 (.417) in last eight games, is now the only Cougar (used to be four) to still shoot above 40 percent on the year from behind the line (.452).

Two of a Kind

Entering this week's games, Mekeli Wesley and Utah's Alex Jensen are the only players in the Mountain West who are in the top 10 in the league in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and free throw percentage.

Numbers on the Road

BYU is 6-6 on the road this year, having tripled its road wins last year (2-10). BYU has lost its last two and four of its last five road games. Two road losses at AFA and UNM ended a four-game road winning streak. BYU is scoring 68.1 points in away games and allowing 67.7. BYU is shooting .432, including .384 on threes, and .713 from the line. BYU is being out rebounded 32.7-36.1. Terrell Lyday leads the Cougar scoring effort on the road with a 18.5 average, including a career-high 35 at Utah State and 30 at UNLV. Mekeli Wesley averaged 16.0 points and a team-best 5.7 boards. Christensen and Vranes average 6.8 points.

Numbers at Home

BYU is 10-2 at home this year, surpassing its home win total of last year (9-5). The losses were to Utah (56-49) and vs. UNM (78-74). The Cougars are averaging 76.4 points per game at home (13.3-point margin of victory). The Cougars are making 49.6 percent of its shots, including 37.3 percent of its three-point attempts, in the Marriott Center. They are pulling down 35.7 rebounds per game to their opponents 33.8. Wesley is scoring a team-best 19.2 points, followed by Terrell Lyday at 16.5, Michael Vranes 9.3, Silester Rivers at 7.7 and Nathan Cooper at 7.2.


BYU's defense has been a large part of the Cougars success this year. Only four teams have shot 50 percent or better against BYU but three have been in the last four outings. CSU shot opponent best 58.5 percent Thursday; UNM 51; and Utah 56 percent (UNLV nearly hit the mark at 48 percent) Arizona is the other team at 54 percent. In BYU's four other losses, S. Alabama shot .490, UNM .452, Utah .429 and AFA .392. The Cougars rank first in the MWC in both field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense. The Cougars have held opponents below a 40 percent shooting in 13 games. BYU is 12-1 in those games (exception - Air Force). BYU holds opponents to 65.4 points. Individually BYU has had outstanding defensive efforts, including Terrell Lyday helping hold Eddie House of Arizona State to a 0-16 night -- the only time House has gone without a field goal in his career.

On the Boards

BYU is pulling down 34.2 rebounds per game and its opponents 34.9. Despite being undersized, BYU had not had a negative rebounding margin all year until the last four games. The Cougars are 11-0 when they have out rebounded their opponents and 5-8 in games were the opposition totalled more boards. Mekeli Wesley leads BYU with 5.9 rebounds per game, including a team-best 109 defensive boards. Silester Rivers has a team-high 35 offensive rebounds (Wesley has 33 and Nielsen 31). BYU has been out boarded in eight of its 11 MWC games (Utah, UNM, AFA, Wyo, Utah, UNM, UNLV, CSU).


After scoring 83 vs. UNLV last Saturday, BYU has scored more than 80 points in a six games. However, BYU only scored 54 points, its second lowest output of the year, at CSU Thursday. BYU averages 72.2 points. BYU has shot better than 50 percent in 10 games (all wins). With the CSU loss, the Cougars have now shot below 40 percent four times -- 38.1 at CSU, 36.5 percent in a loss at No.4 Arizona, a season-low 29.6 in a win at UCSB and 29.6 percent at AFA. The Cougars are shooting 46.3 percent (37.9 on threes and 71.1 percent from the line. BYU is 10-0 when it shots 50 percent or better and 15-1 when it out shoots its opponent (except AFA). Two regular players are shooting better than 50 percent. Silester Rivers is making a team-best 56.8 percent and Eric Nielsen 56.6 percent. Mekeli Wesley makes 48.8 percent while Todd Christensen (47.6) and Terrell Lyday (45.5) have the best percentages from the back court. Cooper makes a team-best 81.5 percent from the line.

BYU Starting Lineups

UCR Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

SUU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Ariz. Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Den. Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

ASU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

TSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

WSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

SCSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

USA Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

FIU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

UCSB Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

UCI Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

USU Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

UNLV Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Utah Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

Wyo Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

CSU Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

AFA Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

UNM Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

SDSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Utah Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

UNM Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

UNLV Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

CSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Starting Lineup Record (total)

Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley 10-5 (15)

Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley 2-1 (3)

Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley 4-1 (5)

Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley 0-1 (1)

BYU Player Notes

Mekeli Wesley

Wesley is BYU's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 17.6 ppg and 5.9 rpg. He averages 16.8 and 5.5 in MWC games. He has been BYU's top scorer in 13 games this season and has scored in double figures in 22 of BYU's 24 games, including the last 14 straight. He has 10 games with 20 or more points and one game with more than 30. He was 2-9 for 11 pts and only 2 rbs at CSU Thursday. Despite playing on a sprained ankle last week, he scored a team-high 22 vs. UNLV along with a career-best 6 assists. He also had 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. He had 16 points in 30 minutes vs. UNM. When he scored his 11th point at UNM he became the 32nd BYU player to reach 1,000 career points and only the eighth to do so as a junior. He tied Terrell Lyday with a game-high 14 points at Utah and had a team-best 6 rebounds. He hit two treys to help BYU take an early 18-9 lead. He recorded game highs with 15 points and nine rebounds to lead BYU to a 72-50 road win at San Diego State Thursday. After two bad shooting nights at AFA and UNM, Wesley responded by hitting 6-11 shots, including 1-2 three-pointers, to help the Cougars break its first two-game losing skid of the season. He added two steals and a block and assist in 25 minutes against the Aztecs. He went 3-12 from the floor at UNM (10 points, 7 rebounds) and scored a team-high 12 points (4-10 shooting) at Air Force and only had two rebounds, matching his season low (2 vs. SUU). He had 13 points in 21 minutes vs. CSU and scored a career- and conference-play high 34 points vs. Wyoming (he scored 31 points twice as a freshman) and had team highs of 8 rebounds and 4 assists. He had game highs of 21 points and 7 rebounds against Utah. He scored 17 points and had 4 rebounds at UNLV Monday. He scored 11 points and had a team highs with 8 rebounds and 3 assists at Utah State. He scored 18 points and pulled down 6 boards against UC Irvine. He had 6 rebounds and scored a game-high 24 points, 16 in the second half, at UCSB. He had 8 points, 7 rebounds at FIU. He had a game-high 20 points at South Alabama. He averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds to earn MWC Player of the Week honors (Dec. 7-11) and was named the Cougar Classic MVP for the second time in his career (also as freshman). He recorded his first double-double of the year (fourth of career) with 24 points, 10 rebounds in win over Texas Southern. He scored a season-hi

Terrell Lyday

Lyday averages 17.5 points, second on the team, and team-high 33 minutes. Lyday is averaging 18.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in MWC games. He has scored in double figures in 22 of BYU's 24 games, including the last 13 straight games. He made a three-pointer in a BYU record 21 straight games this season before his streak came to an end vs. UNM when he went 0-4. (the previous record was 16 games by Andy Toolson in 1990). Lyday has made a three in 23 of 24 games overall. He is only 8-34 (.235) on threes in last seven games and BYU has gone 2-5 in those games.He has made a team-high 49 threes (39.8 percent). He has excelled as a defender. He helped hold Arizona State's high scoring Eddie House to a 5 points on 0-16 shooting, the only time House has not scored a field goal in his career. House has the top two scoring games in the nation this year (61 and 46). Lyday scored a game-high 20 vs. CSU along with team-high 4 rbs. He scored 17 and had career-best 5 assists vs. UNLV and scored a game-high 29, his third-best effort of the year, vs. UNM in 34 minutes. He had 14 points and 4 assists at Utah. He was only 4-11 from the floor, 1-4 on treys and 5-8 form the line. He had 12 points and 5 rebounds at SDSU. He scored 17 first-half points at UNM and 21 in the game. Playing on a sprained ankle, he was 4-11 (11 pts) vs. AFA. He had game-high 15 vs. CSU and scored 22 points vs. Wyoming. He had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists vs. Utah. Lyday made 5-10 threes, scored 30 points and had a career-high 11 rebounds and tied a career-best with 6 steals at UNLV. It was his first double-double of the year. He was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week (Jan. 3-8) after averaged 28.5 points and shooting better than 60 percent from the floor and on threes in two BYU wins. He carried BYU to a win at Utah State with a career-high 35 points, including six three-pointers, and scored a game-high 22 points to lead a BYU comeback win over UC Irvine. He had career-best 6 steals at UCSB, despite an off night scoring (2-11 for 8 points and held scoreless in the first half for the first time this year). He scored 26 points at FIU and had 15 points against South Alabama, where he was a perfect 4-4 on three-point attempts. He joined Wesley on the Cougar Classic All-Tournament team Dec. 10-11. He scored 18 points against Arizona and had 17 vs. ASU.

Silester Rivers

Rivers averages 6.7 points (4th on team) and 4.3 rebounds (2nd on team). He has a team-high 35 offensive boards and is shooting a team-best 56.8 percent (FG). He has scored in double figures seven times this year and has led the team in rebounds four times (6 vs. UC Riverside, 9 at Denver, 11 at FIU, 9 at UNM). He did not take a shot and had 3 rebounds in seven minutes at CSU Thursday. Despite fouling out, he gave BYU 21 solid minutes while banging Kaspars Kambala of UNLV Saturday. Rivers was 2-3 for 4 pts and had 3 rebounds. He started vs. UNM but got in quick foul trouble and only played 5 minutes without scoring (0-1) while grabbing four rebounds. He has been troubled by sore knees. He played 20 minutes at Utah and did not take a shot while grabbing two rebounds and committing three fouls. He fouled out with 15 minutes remaining at SDSU (3 pts, 2 rbs). He played well with 12 pts, team-high 9 boards at UNM in 29 minutes off the bench (only 6-12 from the line). He played only eight minutes at AFA but had 7 pts, 2 rbs, 2 assts. He scored 9 points vs. CSU and 8 points vs. Wyoming. He started his third game of the year vs. Utah and had 5 points, 4 rebounds while guarding the much larger Ute post players. Rivers had 3 points (3-4 FTs) and 5 rebounds at UNLV. He had a strong outing at Utah State, scoring 15 points (some nice post moves), 7 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Rivers came off the bench against UC Irvine after starting the two previous games. Despite being weakened by the flu, he contributed 5 points and 6 rebounds in 11 minutes. He started his second straight game against UCSB but was 0-2 with 4 rebounds in 17 minutes. He played a season-high 31 minutes in his first start at Florida International and had double-double 10 points and season-high 11 rebounds. He scored 8 points in 12 minutes at South Alabama. He scored game- and season-high 17 points against South Carolina State. He had 10 points versus Arizona State and 14 points in back-to-back games to open the year against UC Riverside and Southern Utah. gh 26 points in back-to-back games this year versus Denver and ASU.

Michael Vranes

Vranes is third on the team in rebounding (4.2 rpg), and scoring (8.1 ppg), and second with 2.7 assists per game. He has made a trey in 14 games. He has scored in double figures in eight games (all BYU wins). He has only reach double figures in three of the last 12 games. He had 9 pts, 3 rbs, 4 steals at CSU and scored 12 points and had team-high 7 rbs along with 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block vs. UNLV. He had 7 pts and game-high 6 assts vs. UNM but no rebounds for the first time all year. He had 7 pts, 1 rbd at Utah and had 12 points at SDSU after recording only three total points in the two previous games. At UNM, he went 1-6 shooting (3 pts, 2 rbs, 2 assts). Fighting the flu, he went 0-3 and did not score for the first time in his career at Air Force. He had a team-high 7 rebounds vs. CSU and 11 pts. He had 8 pts, 5 rbs , 3 assts vs. Wyoming. He had 4 pts, 4 rbs, 3 assts vs. Utah. He had 9 pts, 4 rbs at UNLV and 9 pts, 5 rbs, 2 assts at Utah State. He had 11 pts, 5 rbs, 5 assts against UC Irvine. Vranes matched a career high with a team-best 9 rebounds at UCSB and had a team-high 3 assists despite 3 points on 1-9 shooting. He scored 8 of his 12 points in overtime at FIU. He totalled 10 pts, 6 rbs and a season-high 7 assists vs. South Carolina State. He had a season-high 15 pts along with 5 rbs vs. Weber State.

Todd Christensen

Regarded as the best shooter on the team, Christensen shoots 47.6 percent from the floor and 45.2 percent from behind the arc. He averages 6.1 ppg in 18 minutes. He plays both guard spots. Beginning with Utah State, he started six straight games before coming off the bench at UNM. He had 3 pts in 19 minutes at CSU. He was one off his season high vs. UNLV, scoring 15 pts (3-4 on treys). He took a season-high 10 shots and made 5 to equal his season best for field goals made. He 2 pts in 16 minutes vs. UNM. He scored 7 pts at Utah and totaled 11 pts at SDSU, including a 3-4 night from long range. He hit two treys for 6 pts at AFA. He did not score (0-3 -- all treys), 3 assts vs. CSU. He had 7 pts, 3 assts vs. Wyoming. He did not score, taking only one shot, vs. Utah. At UNLV, he had 8 pts, including a clutch three-pointer to put the Cougars up four late in the game. At Utah State he scored 7 early pts to help BYU shot 57 percent in the first half. Christensen scored 13 pts, including a four-point play at UCSB. Against UCSB and FIU he was 9-16 (.562) from the floor, 6-11 (.545) on treys, and 3-3 from the line while averaging 13.5 ppg. He scored all of his 14 pts in the first half at FIU (4-5 treys in 11 minutes). He had 3 assts at S. Alabama in 12 minutes. He had a season-high 16 pts, including 5-8 threes, vs. South Carolina State (10 at Denver).

Matt Montague

The only true point guard on the BYU roster, he has team-leading 94 assists (3.9 apg, 2.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg). After starting the first 12 games, he came off the bench for the next six before returning to the starting lineup in the last six. He had 2 rbs, 1 assist in 12 minutes at CSU Thursday. He had 2 pts, 3 rbs, 4 assts (no turnovers) vs. UNLV in 15 minutes. He had 2 pts, 1 asst (4 turnovers) vs. UNM in 18 minutes. He made his third trey of the year at Utah and scored 5 points with 3 assists in 18 minutes. He had 2 rebounds and 2 assists but did not score at SDSU. He had 4 pts, 6 assts at UNM in 36 minutes. He took season-high seven shots and scored season-best 9 points at AFA (6 assts). He had 5 assists, 5 boards and 2 points vs. CSU and had 7 points vs. Wyoming. He played a season-low seven minutes vs. Utah (1 assist, 3 TO, 1 rebound). He scored 6 points, 7 assists at UNLV. At Utah State he played 25 minutes off the bench and had 4 points, 2 assists. He was limited to 10 minutes (achilles) against UC Irvine and did not record an assist for the first time this year. Montague made three clutch free throws down the stretch at UCSB. He had 2 pts, 4 rbs , 8 assts in team- and personal career-high 41 minutes at FIU. He shared team-high 5 rebounds with Wesley at South Alabama (4 assts). He had 5 points vs. South Carolina State and made his second three-pointer of the year. After receiving stitches to repair a cut above his eye against ASU, Montague returned and led BYU on a 14-1 run. He dished out a season-high 9 assists vs. Weber State and helped hold Wildcat guard Eddie Gill to 2-14 shooting.

Eric Nielsen

A returned LDS missionary to Russia, Nielsen is averaging 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds. He has started in 20 of 24 games. After scoring 10 and 12 points in first two games, he went 14 straight outings without reaching double digits until scoring 10 points in back-to-back games ( vs. CSU and at AFA). He had 5 pts, 2 rbs in 20 minutes at CSU Saturday. He had 11 pts in 22 minutes vs. UNLV Saturday and had only one foul after having fouled out of the previous three games. He had 7 pts, 4 rbs in 24 minutes vs. UNM. He had 4 pts, 2 rbs at Utah. He had 9 pts, 4 rbs and a team-high 3 assists at SDSU. He was 4-6 for 8 points, 5 boards at UNM and had a career-best 9 boards (4-5, 10 pts) at AFA. He had 6 rebounds, 3 steals vs. CSU. He didn't score for the second time this year vs. Wyoming. He fouled out, playing 14 minutes, scoring 2 points on one attempt and had 1 rebound vs. Utah. In foul trouble, he played only 10 minutes at UNLV (2 pts, 4 rebounds). At Utah State he was held scoreless and had 4 rebounds. He had 4 points, 3 rebounds and a season-high 3 assists vs. UC Irvine. At UCSB, he equaled a then career-best 7 rebounds. He was married to BYU All-American volleyball player Anna-Lena Smith Dec. 30 in Mesa, Ariz. He had 8 points at South Alabama and at Denver. He scored a season-high 12 points versus SUU and had 10 against UC Riverside.

Nathan Cooper

He is coming off the bench this year after starting 23 of BYU's 28 games last year. He is averaging 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19.4 minutes. He has made a team-best 81.5 percent from the line (44-54). He has six double-figures scoring games and has made a trey in six games. He did not score in 16 minutes at CSU, picking up four fouls. He only played seven minutes vs. UNLV and was 0-1 with 2 turnovers. He had team-best 6 rbs along with 7 pts, 2 assts vs. UNM in 27 minutes. He hit 3-4 treys and scored 11 pts along with 5 rbs at Utah. He had 6 pts, 3 rbs at SDSU. He broke out of a slump with 11 straight BYU pts, 9 in 1:40, and 5 rbs in 12 minutes at UNM. He did not score for first time this year and had 1 rebound at AFA. He had 4 pts, 5 rbs and 2 assts vs. CSU after scoring 1 point vs. Wyoming. He had 5 pts, 3 rbs vs. Utah. He was forced to play the 4 position at UNLV with foul trouble to Eric Nielsen and Silester Rivers. He played 22 minutes (2 pts, 1 rbd). He played 15 minutes at Utah State, scoring 1 point and adding 2 rbs, 2 assts. He and Michael Vranes received the coaches game ball for their effort against UC Irvine (Cooper had 14 pts, 4 rbs in a season-high 31 minutes). He scored BYU's first basket at UCSB five minutes into the contest and sparked an 8-0 run with a steal, forcing a turnover and handing out an assist. He finished with 3 pts, 3 rbs. He had 5 pts, 6 rbs effort at FIU. He set a career high with 7 assts at USA. He scored a season- and team-high 15 pts vs. Weber State.

Marc Roberts

Marc Roberts, a true freshman out of Provo's Timpview High School, has seen action in eight of the last nine games (except at Utah). He was 2-2 from the floor and 2-2 from the line for a career-best 6 pts in seven minutes at CSU. On the year, he has averaged 3.9 minutes in 15 games. He has scored 17 points on the year and is 5-8 from the floor and 7-8 from the line.

David Nielsen

A redshirt freshman from Brighton High School in Salt Lake City, Nielsen has played in five of the last eight games (except both UNM and UNLV). He had two rbs in seven minutes at CSU. He scoring 4 points at SDSU, making both his shots. He scored a career-best 6 points vs. Texas Southern. He has played in 10 games this year and averages 3.8 minutes in those games and 1.4 points.

John Allen

A walkon freshman, Allen played a season-high 11 minutes vs. UNM with four pts, 3 rbs. He was 1-2 from the floor, including 1-1 on threes (his first). He has played in nine games this year, and averages 1.1 points and rebounds in 4.7 minutes.

Comparing Statistics BYU WYO


Points per game .72.2 82.7

Scoring margin + 6.9 + 4.8


Field goals .463 .435

3-pointers .379 .351

Free throws .711 .703


Rebounds per game 34.2 41.1

Rebounding margin - 0.8 + 2.2


Assists per game 14.6 15.8


Turnovers per game 14.4 14.8

Turnover margin + 1.1 + 1.6


Blocks per game 2.2 3.3


Steals per game 7.9 8.0