PROVO -- BYU plays its final exhibition basketball game Wednesday when it hosts the Dominican Republic National Team at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center.
"These exhibition games give our players, especially the new guys learning our system, a chance to compete and get more game experience," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "We hope to see improvement as we continue to prepare for the start of the regular season."
The Cougars are coming off an 89-84 exhibition victory over the EA Sports Southwest All-Stars on Nov. 5. Junior forward Mark Bigelow led the Cougars with 23 points while newcomer point guard Kevin Woodberry added 16 and senior guard Travis Hansen 15.
Cleveland is expected to play a large rotation Wednesday as players like junior forwards Jake Shoff and Bart Jepsen, who have been limited by injuries, could get some playing time. Likely starters include Hansen, Bigelow, Woodberry, sophomore forward/center Jared Jensen and junior center Rafael Araujo.
Wednesday's game in the Marriott Center will be the Dominican Republic's third game of its five-game tour of the United States. Coached by Jose Dominguez, the Dominican Republic (0-2) opened with a 73-56 loss at Northern Iowa on Saturday before an 82-63 defeat at Southwest State (Marshall, Minn.) on Sunday. They finish their schedule at San Francisco on Friday and at Tulsa on Sunday.
BYU has a 19-5 overall exhibition record against foreign touring teams. Last year BYU defeated a professional club team from England, the London Leopards, 90-70.Â
The Cougars will use Wednesday's exhibition to prepare for the regular season opener on Nov. 22 at the University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. BYU will play Toledo Nov. 22, and Kansas State Nov. 23, before facing Michigan, Virginia Tech or St. Bonaventure in the tournament's final round on Nov. 25. The Cougars open their regular season home schedule against Rice on Dec. 30 in the Marriott Center.