PROVO -- BYU takes on its second straight in-state opponent Saturday when the Utah State Aggies come to Provo for a 4 p.m. start in the Marriott Center. The game will be televised on KSL-TV, channel 5, as one of 12 Cougar games being produced by SportsWest Productions this season. Tom Kirkland and Craig Hislop will call the Cougar games this year. The game is one of three home 4 p.m. starts for the Cougars this season. The game can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant calling the action.
BYU will travel to Hawaii as one of eight teams to play in next week's Yahoo! Sports Invitational hosted by BYU-Hawaii in Laie. BYU opens with Boise State Thursday and will also play games on Friday and Saturday. Friday BYU will play either Iowa State or Troy State. Other teams in the invitational include USC, Mississippi and Southern Illinois. The games are being televised on KSL-TV.
Game 8 Fast Facts
Brigham Young University Cougars (5-2) -- Provo, Utah
Utah State University (6-1) -- Logan, Utah
Date: Saturday, Dec. 16, 2000
Site: Provo, Utah
Arena:Marriott Center (22,700)
Time: 4 p.m. MST
BYU leads series, 131-85
Last Meeting: BYU 82, USU 73 in Logan (Jan. 8, 2000)
BYU, Steve Cleveland (48-50 in fourth year; same overall)
USU, Stew Morrill (49-20 in third year; 267-158 in 15th year overall)
SportsWest -- KSL-TV (4 p.m.)
Play-by-Play -- Tom Kirkland
Game Analyst -- Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time -- 6:30 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play -- Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst -- Mark Durrant
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 42 Nathan Cooper 6-6 210 Sr. 6.0 5.0
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Jr. 7.6 4.4
F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 240 Sr. 14.7 6.3
G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 195 Sr. 15.3 2.1
G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Jr. 5.6 3.0
USU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 5 Shawn Daniels 6-6 260 Sr. 13.6 6.4
F 22 Curtis Bobb 6-5 210 Sr. 8.4 4.3
C 14 Dimitri Jorssen 7-0 245 Sr. 9.0 3.4
G 10 Bernard Rock 5-10 155 Sr. 10.6 3.6
G 31 Tony Brown 6-3 195 Jr. 11.9 2.7
Scouting Utah State
Utah State returns four starters and eight lettermen from last year's 28-6 team that won the Big West Conference with a perfect 16-0 league mark and earned a berth in the 2000 NCAA Tournament. The Aggies are picked to win the Big West title again this season and are off to a 6-1 preseason record, their best start since going 7-1 in 1984-85. The Aggies opened the season with at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, wins over Santa Clara (76-67) and South Florida (69-66) before suffering its only loss of the year to date, an 80-76 overtime setback to Austin Peay State. Utah State has won four straight since the loss. The Aggies defeated Colorado-Colorado Springs (68-61) at home, Idaho State (59-55) on the road before beating Utah (58-57) and Montana Tech (79-29) last week in Logan The Aggies thumping of Montana Tech (Butte) was USU's most lopsided win in the past four years. Utah State shot 59.3 percent from the field for the game. Senior center Dimitri Jorssen scored a game-high 14 points, while fellow senior Bernard Rock had 12 points. Shawn Daniels added eight points and eight rebounds. Utah State is 1-0 on the road this year with the win at Idaho State on Nov. 29 and has won its last 10 road games dating back to last season's loss at Weber State on Dec. 21, 1999. The 10 straight road wins is a Utah State record. The Aggies have won 22 of its last 23 regular season games since losing to BYU last year in Logan, where the Aggies have won 24 of their last 25 games. Daniels leads the Aggies with a 13.6 points per game average while Tony Brown adds 11.9 and Rock 10.6. Daniels is the team's top rebounder at 6.4 boards per game. The Aggies are shooting very well in their first seven contests, making 50.6 percent of their overall attempts and nearly 40 percent (.398) of their three-pointers. They haven't been as hot from the line, shooting 63.2 percent as a team. Utah State is averaging 69.3 points while giving up exactly 10 points less per game to its opponents who have averaged 59.3.
Utah State is BYU's oldest rival. This will be the 217th meeting between the two teams with the Cougars holding a 131-85 all-time advantage in the series. BYU has an 11 game winning streak against the Aggies in Provo dating back to the last time BYU lost to Utah State in Provo on Dec. 10, 1985 (88-76). BYU is 77-31 all-time in Provo and 54-54 in Logan. Overall, the Cougars have won the last two meetings between the two teams and four of the last five. The last BYU loss to Utah State was Nov. 29, 1997 in Logan ( 72-69).
BYU defeated Utah State 82-73 in Logan last year on Jan. 8, 2000. Terrell Lyday had the first of back-to-back 30-plus point road games with a career-best 35-point effort to lead the Cougars to the road win. The loss was the only home loss suffered by the Aggies last season. In addition to Lyday, Cougar Silester Rivers had 15 points and Mekeli Wesley added 11. BYU shot 50 percent from the floor for the game while Utah State shot 39.4 percent. BYU took a 40-28 lead at the half. Tony Brown led the Aggies with 18 points and eight assists. Three other Aggies scored in double figures: Dimitri Jorssen, 14; Shawn Daniels, 10; and Troy Rolle 11. Rolle also had 11 rebounds while Daniels pulled down nine boards. Bernard Rock had nine points and five assists. The Aggies went on to win 16 straight games in the regular season last year after its loss to BYU.
USU Quick Facts:
Location: Logan, UT
Colors: Navy Blue and White
Home Arena: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270)
Conference: Big West
Athletic Director: Rance Pugmire
Head Coach: Stew Morrill
Alma Mater: Gonzaga (1974)
Best time to call: Contact SID
Office Phone: (435) 797-2060
Overall Record (Years): 267-158 (15th year)
Record at School (Years): 49-20 (3rd year)
Assistant Coaches: Randy Rahe, Don Verlin, Mark Arce
Overall Record: 28-6
Conf. Record/Finish: 16-0 / 1st
Final Ranking/Post Season Finish: Lost to UConn in first round of NCAA Tournament
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 8/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
Returning Starters (last year's stats)
Bernard Rock, 5-10, 155, Sr., G (10.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
Tony Brown, 6-3, 195, Jr., G (11.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
Shawn Daniels, 6-6, 260, Sr., F (12.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg)
Dimitri Jorssen, 7-0, 245, Sr., C (8.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
Basketball Contact: Doug Hoffman
Office: (435) 797-3714
Home: (435) 787-1638
Fax: (435) 797-2615
Athletic Web Site: www.utahstateaggies.com
11/17-19 at Top of the World Classic
vs. Santa Clara 76-67 W
vs. South Florida 69-66 W
vs. Austin Peay State 76-80 (OT) L
11/25 Colorado-Colo. Springs 68-61 W
11/29 at Idaho State 59-55 W
12/6 Utah 58-57 W
12/9 Montana State 79-29 W
12/16 at BYU
12/20 at UC Riverside
12/23 Weber State
12/29-30 Gossner Foods Classic
1/4 at Cal Poly
1/6 at Idaho
1/11 Long Beach State
1/16 UC Riverside
1/20 Boise State
1/25 at Pacific
1/31 at UC Irvine
2/2 at CS Fullerton
2/8 UC Irvine
2/10 CS Fullerton
2/15 at UC Santa Barbara
2/17 at Long Beach State
2/24 at Boise State
3/1 UC Santa Barbara
3/3 Cal Poly
3/8-10 Big West Tournament
BYU TEAM NOTES
BYU Holds on vs. Southern Utah
Despite scoring just three field goals in the entire second half, BYU turned up the defensive effort--recording three blocked shots in the final two minutes of play--to preserve a 58-52 victory over Southern Utah Thursday at the Marriott Center. On offense, the Cougars were unable to get into any kind of rhythm against the pressure of Southern Utah's matchup zone. BYU was just 10-31 shooting on the night, tying an all-time low for field goals made set back in 1982 in a pre-shot clock loss to Wyoming in the Marriott Center, 27-25. The Cougars struggled from the three point line as well, shooting just 25 percent (3-12) for the game. Terrell Lyday led all scorers with a season-high 24 points, including 12-16 free throws. Eric Nielsen contributed a season high 15, going 7-8 from the line. But to make up for their offensive struggles, BYU managed to make 46 trips to the foul line, falling just one attempt short of a Marriott Center record. The Cougars converted 35 free throws, including 25-34 in the second half, to keep themselves in the game. The two teams were whistled for 49 fouls, and three players fouled out of the game. SUU lost backup center Chris Wallin with seven and a half minutes to play, and starting center John Wheeler, who was plagued with foul trouble the entire game, left with 5:15 to go in the game. Still, BYU was unable to take advantage of the size difference. After taking a five-point lead into the locker room at halftime, BYU opened the margin up to as much as 12 points late in the second half. But Southern Utah hung around, and went on a 9-0 run to close to within three, 52-49, with just 3:12 left in the game. But BYU blocked three consecutive shots in a 40-second span, and converted five of eight free throws in the final minute of play to hold on for the win.
Less than 10
BYU's six-point win over SUU Thursday was the Cougars' first game, a win or a loss, this year in which the final outcome was decided by less than 10 points.
BYU equaled an all-time Cougar record for fewest field goals in a game with only 10 Thursday vs. SUU. The Cougars last had only 10 field goals vs. Wyoming in a 1982 pre-shot clock slow down game in which the BYU lost 27-25.
Thursday only three BYU players made a field goal with Lyday connecting five times, Nielsen four times and Hansen once.
Cougar Defense Key in Win over Rice
Giving what head coach Steve Cleveland called his team's best defensive effort of the season, BYU defeated Rice Saturday at the Compaq Center in Houston, 59-49. BYU took a 33-29 lead into the break. The Cougars increased the lead to 10 points at 39-29 with the 17:58 remaining when Wesley hit his second three-point bomb of the game, but the Owls slowly fought back into the game. Owl forward Shawn Tyndell brought Rice within three points at 39-36 after a power dunk in traffic that had him crashing down on BYU's Nathan Cooper. Rice was able to pull even with BYU at 47-47 with six minutes left after a Wilks field goal. After scoring four straight points to go up 51-47, BYU had another possession but turned the ball over with the shot clock expiring. The Owls could not take advantage, however, as BYU's defense also forced a shot clock violation on Rice's end of the court. Wesley made several strong defensive plays in the final minute to help ensure the Cougar win. After missing the front end of a one-and-one at the line, Wesley raced to the other end to block a Rice layup attempt. He blocked another attempted Owl lay-in with eight ticks left on the game clock. A Lyday spinning layup in traffic in the final minute gave BYU some comfort as they stretched the final margin to 10 points at 59-49. BYU shot 47.8 percent for the game while holding Rice to 30.6 percent shooting. Wesley led BYU with a game-high 21 points on 8-11 shooting, including 2-2 from behind the three-point arc. Lyday and Cooper added 10 points apiece and Travis Hansen eight for BYU while Wilks led three Owls in double figures with a team-best 18 points. Tyndell contributed 13 and Erik Cooper 10 in the loss.
Whiting, Knight to Make BYU Debuts
Transfer players Trent Whiting (Utah) and Nate Knight (Kentucky) will make their Cougar debuts Saturday vs. Utah State in the Marriott Center. Both players had to sit out the first seven games of the year while waiting to become eligible after transferring other division I schools during last season. Whiting has been considered to be one of the top Cougar performers in practice and should make an immediate impact. Knight has been slowed by a back injury that kept him out of practice but he has been able to participate the last two weeks and should also make a solid contribution. Neither player has played in a game for more than a year since transferring last fall so it remains uncertain how significant a role they will play in their BYU debut Saturday.
The Cougars have a three-game winning streak, their longest of the season. They also have a nine-game home winning streak dating back to last year when the Cougars won their final five contests in the Marriott Center. BYU is 4-0 at home this season. The last loss at home was to New Mexico (78-74) on Feb. 17, 2000.
Defending their Turf
BYU has not allowed an opponent to shoot better than 42 percent this year in the Marriott Center while holding two teams under to nearly a 30 percent accuracy rate. The Cougars held Elon College to 36.7 percent in the season opener. UC Santa Barbara then shot 29.4 percent, followed by Florida International at 41.9 percent and Southern Utah at 31.6 percent. Overall, BYU's four opponents combine for a 34.6 field goal percentage. BYU also has 20 blocks to only 3 by its opponents in the Marriott Center.
For those Scoring at Home
The Cougars have found scoring at home comes easier than away from the Marriott Center. BYU averages 75.8 points at home and 60.3 on the road. The Cougars are shooting 52.3 percent from the floor at home, including 42.1 percent from the three-point arc. Away from home, BYU has made only 36.5 percent of its field goals and 20.4 percent of its three-point attempts.
Cleveland nears 100th Game and .500 Winning Percentage
BYU will play its 99th game under Steve Cleveland Saturday vs. USU. With BYU's 5-2 record this year, Cleveland is approaching a .500 record with a 48-50 mark in his fourth year. Cleveland guided BYU to a 22-11 record last year and has helped the Cougars improve each season since taking over a BYU program that went 1-25 before his arrival.
Last year Terrell Lyday had a career-best 35 points in Logan vs. Utah State to carry the Cougars to the road win. This year he has suffered through a shooting slump (currently making 33.3 percent of his shots, including 29.8 percent on 47 three-point attempts) but he had his best all-around game of the young season Thursday vs. Southern Utah. He went 5-10 from the floor, 2-6 on threes, and got to the line 16 times, making 12, for a season-high 24 points. He also pulled down a season-best four rebounds vs. the Thunderbirds. At home, Lyday has played well, shooting 45.5 percent, including a very solid 43.5 percent on three-pointers, while averaging a team-best 17.5 points per game. Lyday has gone 11-22 in his last two games at the Marriott Center. He has also provided leadership in a defensive role. In BYU's last two wins he guarded Rice's top scorer Mike Wilks and Thursday held SUU's top gun Jeff Monaco to nine points on 2-9 shooting.
Highs and Lows
Lyday and Eric Nielsen had season highs of 24 and 15 points, respectively, Thursday vs. SUU while Mekeli Wesley had only his third game ever without a field goal, going 0-2 from the floor while scoring a season-low 5 points. Though not very involved offensively, Wesley had a team-best 9 boards and came up big when it counted with several key rebounds and two timely blocked shots in the game's final minutes.
BYU's record when . . .
BYU leads at half 5-0
Opponent leads at half 0-2
Score tied at half 0-0
BYU leads with 5 minutes left 5-0
Opponent leads with 5 min. left 0-2
BYU leads with 1 minute left 5-0
Opponent leads with 1 min. left 0-2
Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0
Game goes into overtime 0-0
BYU out rebounds opponent 2-0
Opponent out rebounds BYU 2-2
BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 1-0
BYU shoots 50 % or better 2-0
Opponent shoots 50 % or better 0-2
BYU out shoots opponent 5-0
Opponent out shoots BYU 0-2
Cleveland vs. In-state Schools
G W L Pct.
Southern Utah 2 2 0 1.000
Utah State 3 2 1 .667
Weber State 3 2 1 .667
Utah 8 1 7 .143
TOTAL 16 7 9 .438
BYU Starting Lineup (Record)
Montague, Lyday, Cooper, Nielsen, Wesley (5-1)
Montague, Lyday, Cooper, Wesley, Dawes (0-1)
Wesley Named MWC Player of the Week
BYU senior forward Mekeli Wesley is the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week after leading the Cougars (4-2) to a pair of victories this past week. Wesley, a Provo, Utah (Provo HS) product, averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the field in two games. In the 78-50 victory over Florida International, he shot 50 percent (7-for-14) from the field and shared game-high scoring honors with 16 points. Wesley also grabbed four rebounds and had two steals vs. the Golden Panthers. On Saturday, he went 8-for-11 from the floor, including 2-for-2 from 3-point range, and led the Cougars with 21 points in the 59-49 win at Rice. Wesley also pulled down four rebounds and had two blocks. This is Wesley's first MWC player of the week honor of this season and the second of his career.
BYU Signs Two Players in the Fall
BYU Head Basketball Coach Steve Cleveland announced Nov. 16 that two players have committed to join the Cougar program beginning next season. Cleveland has received NCAA Letters-of-Intent from all-state forward/center Jared Jensen and former all-state point guard Shawn Opunui, who had previously committed to the Cougars before departing on an LDS Church mission. A 6-foot-9, 240-pound center from Plain City, Utah, Jensen is entering his senior season at Fremont High School where he scored 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds per game as a junior. Jensen earned Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News All-State honors and Ogden Standard Examiner All-Area recognition last season while being named Team MVP of the Silver Wolves. A 4.0 student who plans to major in engineering, Jensen is a talented offensive post player who has started at Fremont High since mid-way through his freshman season. Opunui, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound point guard, previously announced his intent to play at BYU during his senior season at Orem High School. After returning from a mission, Opunui has signed to join the Cougars for the 2001-02 season. Widely regarded as the best high school point guard in Utah while at Orem High, the all-state guard scored 21.7 points per game for the Tigers while dishing out more than six assists per contest. A strong offensive player and solid defender, Opunui shot nearly 91 percent from the free throw line, third best in state history, and 40 percent on three-point attempts. His 401 assists put him on the state's top-10 all-time list.
Injuries Play Role as Three Players Plan to Redshirt the 2000-01 Season
BYU Head Basketball Coach Steve Cleveland announced Nov. 17 that three players on this year's team - Garner Meads, Jesse Pinegar and Bart Jepsen - plan to redshirt during the 2000-01 season. Meads and Pinegar are both freshmen members of last year's top-20 recruiting class while Jepsen is a sophomore who returned from an LDS Church mission this summer. All three players have experienced injuries that have factored into the decision to redshirt. Meads, a McDonald's High School All-American forward, has had multiple injuries impede his ability to practice. A knee surgery limited his basketball until late summer and a lung injury sustained in only the team's fifth practice has kept the 6-foot-8 forward from any physical activity for the past month. "After meeting with Garner and his family we have determined it is in his best interest to redshirt this season," Cleveland said. "He has not been able to condition because of his lung injury and has also missed nearly all of our practices. He plans to leave on his mission in February, which means he will not enroll in school for the Winter semester." Pinegar, who was a high school teammate of Meads' at Salt Lake City's Brighton High School, suffered a stress fracture in his left foot last week and has a sesmoid (inflamed bone) problem on his right foot. While he will be able to condition and lift weights, the 6-foot-9 forward will not be able to jump and practice for 4-6 weeks. A 6-foot-9 forward, Jepsen has planned on redshirting this year since returning from his mission this summer. While serving his two-year mission, he sustained a broken leg.
BYU PLAYER NOTES
Mekeli Wesley (14.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
Last Game: Season-low 5 points, team-best 9 rebounds, 2 blocks in 31 minutes vs. SUU.
Â• Wesley did not make a field goal for the third time in his career Thursday, taking only two shots vs. SUU's zone. Of the three outings, Thursday's game was the only time BYU won when Wesley did not connect from the floor and it was also the most minutes (31) he has played in a game without making a field goal. Ironically, the two previous times he did not make a field goal he also failed on only two attempts. He was 0-2 vs. Colorado State with no rebounds while playing 11 minutes in a 55-44 loss on Jan. 17, 1998 during his freshman season. In his second game back as a sophomore, he went 0-2 in 11 minutes, going 3-4 from the line in an 82-75 loss at UC Irvine on Dec. 22, 1998.
Â• Before Thursday's game, he shot 50 percent or better in the two previous games after making an effort to not rush his shot. Shooting 34.9 percent entering last week, he improved his success rate to 44.1 percent going 8-11 vs. Rice and 7-14 vs. Florida International and was named MWC Player of the Week Monday.
Â• Wesley has scored in double figures in six of BYU's seven games and has been the Cougars' top scorer or shared the honor in five of the seven games, including both games last week when he average 18.5 points per game. Last year he had double figures in 30 of 33 games and led the Cougar in scoring in 17 games.
Â• Wesley made 5-6 free throws Thursday to improve his percentage to 78.8 (41-52). He made a string of 17 straight free throws over three games (UCSB, USF, ASU). His string included a perfect 12-12 night at USF. With his team-highs of 41 free throws made and 52 attempts this year he has moved into eighth place all-time at BYU with 371 made free throws and ninth place with 481 attempts. He needs only four more attempts to move past Kersimir Cosic (484) and 11 more makes to surpass Cosic (381), who only played three seasons from 19 71-73.
Â• He has had an offensive rebound in each of the last six games and has a team-best 14 offensive boards.
WESLEY CAPSULE: A preseason All-Mountain West Conference selection, Wesley enters his senior year as the only player on the roster to have played in each of head coach Steve Cleveland's three previous seasons ... a three-year starter, he has developed into one of the top players in the Mountain West Conference with good scoring ability from both the post and the perimeter ... he earned second-team All-MWC honors as a junior and was on the WAC Newcomer Team as a freshman ... he has bulked up between his junior and senior seasons and is in the best shape of his career ... he missed part of his sophomore season while attending Salt Lake Community College for a semester and struggled to regain his freshman form ... a team captain, he returned to lead BYU in rebounding and was nine points shy of Lyday in scoring last year ... he will again be asked to provide leadership as a primary scorer and rebounder.
2000-01 BIO: Wesley had a season-low 5 points, team-best 9 rebounds and two timely blocks in the closing moments in 31 total minutes vs. SUU ... season-high 21 points with 4 rebounds, 2 blocks in 34 minutes vs. Rice ... 16 points, 4 rebounds, season-high 3 assists in 31 minutes vs. FIU ... team-high 11 points, 7 rebounds in 30 minutes at ASU ... a season-high 20 points and 5 rebounds, 2 assists in 32 minutes vs. USF ... recorded career highs of 12 rebounds and five blocks against UCSB while recording his fifth career double double (first of season) with 11 points ... had a team-high 19 points, 3 rebounds in 21 minutes vs. Elon College, making all five of his field goals.
Terrell Lyday (15.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg)
Last Game: 24 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks in 39 minutes vs. SUU.
Â• Lyday had season highs of 24 points and 4 blocks Thursday along with a career-best 2 blocks (he has had one block 14 times).
Â• He has made a three in each of BYU's seven games this year. He has made multiple threes in five of the seven games, including 2-6 vs. SUU. Last year he made a two or more treys in 20 of 33 games and set a BYU record with a trey in the first 21 games of the season.
Â• Lyday has been in a shooting slump on the road (22.4 FG%, 16.7 3FG%) but shot better at home. In the Marriott Center he is making 45.5 percent of his field goals, including 43.5 (10-23) percent of his threes. He has shot 50 percent on field goals in each of BYU's last two home games.
Â• After grabbing only 5 rebounds in the first four games, Lyday has grabbed 10 in the last three contests, including a season-best 4 Thursday vs. SUU. Last year he averaged 4.0 rebounds per game.
LYDAY CAPSULE: Lyday enters his senior season after exciting Cougar fans with a strong first season upon transferring from Fresno City College ... a preseason All-Mountain West Conference selection, he is a MWC Player of the Year candidate and considered the top guard in the league ... he was named MWC Newcomer of the Year last year ... athletic with a smooth jumper, he is a scorer who can finish inside or consistently knock down shots from the outside ... quick with good hands, he is an outstanding defender who led the MWC in steals last year ... he will be a go-to player for the Cougars in his final season.
2000-01 BIO: Lyday had season highs of 24 points, 4 rebounds, career-high 2 blocks in 39 minutes vs. SUU ... 10 points, 3 rebounds in 37 minutes vs. Rice at the Compaq Center ... 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists in 31 minutes vs. FIU ... 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists in 38 minutes at ASU ... 16 points, no rebounds, 1 assist in 39 minutes at USF ... team-high 21 points, no rebounds, 1 assist in 30 minutes vs. UCSB ... 9 points, 3 rebounds in 23 minutes vs. Elon College ... sat out the last exhibition with a muscle strain in his lower leg and played just over half vs. Elon.
Nathan Cooper (6.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg)
Last Game: Did not score, 1 rebound, 1 steal in season-low 18 minutes vs. SUU.
Â• After having at least four points and four rebounds in each of BYU's first six games, Cooper did not score and had only one rebound vs. SUU.
Â• He only took one shot vs. the SUU zone Thursday. He made 3-4 shots vs. Rice and overall this year is shooting 59.1 percent from the floor (13-22) and is 3-6 on threes. After being last year's top Cougar (.778) from the free throw line, he is shooting 65 percent (13-20) from the line this year. He has never averaged less than 74 percent (as a freshman) from the line over the course of a season.
Â• He is second on the team in rebounding with an average of 5.0 per game.
COOPER CAPSULE: Cooper returns for his senior season as one of the team captains ... he is a versatile player who has a solid outside shot and a willingness to mix it up inside ... he has been considered the heart of the team because of his tough, scrappy nature and competitive desire ... he was the team's top free throw shooter last year... tendonitis in his knee limited his off-season play ... he has been a solid contributor in each of his first three seasons, both as a starter and off the bench.
2000-01 BIO: Cooper did not score, taking only one shot, with 1 rebound, 1 steal in season-low 18 minutes vs. SUU ... 10 points, 4 rebounds, season-high 4 assists in 29 minutes vs. Rice ... had 7 points, 7 rebounds in 21 minutes vs. FIU ... had 5 points, 5 re bounds in 19 minutes at ASU ... had 4 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists in 31 minutes at USF ... had 6 points, 6 rebounds vs. UCSB in 28 minutes ... had 10 points and 7 rebounds in 20 minutes vs. Elon College, going 3-3 from the floor, including 1-1 on threes, and hit 3-4 free throws.
Eric Nielsen (7.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
Last Game: Season-high 15 points with 4 rebounds in 35 minutes vs. SUU.
Â• Nielsen has been more aggressive offensively in the last two games averaging six attempts (7-12 shooting) compared to the first five games when he averaged just over three attempts per game (3.2) while still shooting a strong 11-16 (.688). He was 4-7 from the floor Thursday and 7-8 from the line.
Â• He is shooting a team-best 64.3 percent from the floor. Last year he had the eighth best season field goal percentage in BYU history at 57.8. He currently ranks fifth all-time at BYU in career field goal percentage among starters having made 55.3 percent (173-313) in his two-plus seasons.
NIELSEN CAPSULE: Nielsen came on strong at the end of last season and is expected to be a major contributor during his junior season ... a two-year starter, he played on the 1-25 1996-97 team and, after returning from an LDS Church mission, on last year's 22-11 NIT quarterfinalist squad ... an intelligent player with a good mid-range jumper, he returns for his junior year physically much stronger and has improved his shooting.
2000-01 BIO: Nielsen had a season-high 15 points with 4 rebounds in 35 minutes vs. SUU ... 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist in 19 minutes vs. Rice ... 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists in season-high 32 minutes vs. FIU ... season highs of nine points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes at ASU ... 4 points, 2 rebounds in 8 minutes at USF, fouling out ... 3 points, 2 rebounds in 12 foul-trouble limited minutes vs. UCSB ... 8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists in 25 minutes vs. Elon College ... 3 assists vs. Elon College matched his season high of last season.
Matt Montague (5.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.7 apg)
Last Game: 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, career-high 5 steals in 34 minutes vs. SUU.
Â• He scored all his points at the line going 4-6 Thursday. He is a combined 0-7 from the floor in the last two games and was 0-3 Thursday, includign 0-2 on threes.
Â• He made his first eight shots of the year, including 5-5 on threes, then made 5 of his next 8 shots, 1-2 on threes, and now is 0 for his last 7 attempts. He is still shooting a strong 56.5 percent overall from the floor and is 6-10 on treys attempts, doubling the number of treys he made all of last year (3-12).
Â• He played the full 40 minutes for the first time this year vs. Houston Saturday. It is the fourth time he has played 40 minutes during his career at BYU.
Â• He was a perfect 9-9, including 4-4 on threes, in the Marriott Center this year before Thursday's 0-3 night.
Â• He has had 12 assists and 11 turnovers in his last four games after having 21 assists and only 5 turnovers in BYU's first three games.
MONTAGUE CAPSULE: Montague enters his junior season as the top assist maker on the Cougar roster ... he led the team in assists last year while starting 19 of 33 games ... prior to serving his LDS Church mission, he led the 1996-97 Cougars in assists while starting every game ... a hard-nosed competitor, he sees the floor well and is a great transition passer ... he was slowed some by an achilles injury last year and wasn't able to participate in preseason conditioning fully because of a flair up of the injury.
2000-01 BIO: Montague was 0-3 from the floor with 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, career-high 5 steals in 34 minutes vs. SUU ... shot 0-4 and did not score with 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals in 40 minutes vs. Rice ... 8 points, 3 rebounds, season-low 2 assists vs. FIU ... did not score and had 3 rebounds, 3 assists in 28 minutes at ASU ... made his first eight shots of the year over three games, including 5-5 on threes ... had a season-high 12 points with 2 rebounds, 6 assists in 34 minutes at USF ... 9 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists in 33 minutes vs. UCSB ... 6 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists in team-high 30 minutes vs. Elon College, going 2-2 from the floor, both three pointers, marking the first time he has made two treys in a game during his career at BYU ... also had 8 assist and no turnovers and with game-best 3 steals.
Travis Hansen (5.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
Last Game: 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist equaling season-high 22 minutes vs. SUU.
Â• He has has played more than 20 minutes (22) in each of the last two games after playing less than 20 in the first five games.
Â• Despite going 1-6 from the floor, he was one of only three Cougars to make a field goal vs. SUU. He was 5-6 from the line.
Â• He had shot 50 percent or better in the two previous games. He went 2-3 vs. SUU and 2-4 vs. FIU.
Â• He has scored 8 points four times this year but is yet to reach double figures. He has equaled his season high of eight points in three of the last four games, including the last two.
HANSEN CAPSULE: Hansen enters his first season at BYU and should make an immediate impact ... he enrolled this fall after sitting out a redshirt season last year upon return from his LDS Church mission ... he played at Utah Valley State College as a freshman ... he is one of the most athletic players on the team ... he is a scorer who has nice range from outside and can slash to the basket effectively ... his explosive athleticism will be highlighted in BYU's motion offense and should improve the Cougars' team rebounding.
2000-01 BIO: Hansen had identical 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 22 minutes lines vs. SUU and Rice ... 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists in 18 minutes vs. FIU ... had 8 points, 2 rebounds in 17 minutes at ASU .... he did not score and had 3 rebounds, 1 assist in 11 minutes at USF ... had 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist in 18 minutes vs. UCSB ... had 4 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists in 11 minutes vs. Elon College ... After missing the final exhibition game with a groin injury, he only played limited minutes vs. Elon.
Daniel Bobik (4.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg)
Last Game: No points, 1 rebound, 1 assists, 1 steal in 9 minutes vs. SUU.
Â• He has not scored in the last two gams after getting on the scoreboard in the first five games. He has taken only one shot in each of the last two games, both missed threes, in limited play.
Â• He has played a combined 14 minutes in the last two games after playing a season-high 20 minutes vs. FIU.
BOBIK CAPSULE: Bobik has enrolled at BYU for his freshman season after returning from an LDS Church mission to the Dominican Republic ... he was one of the first recruits to sign with BYU under Steve Cleveland ... he is an excellent shooter and good passer with good court awareness who could play either guard position ... he has worked with a personal trainer since returning from his two-year mission to prepare for the season.
2000-01 BIO: Bobik was 0-1 (a trey attempt) with 1 rebound, 1 assists, 1 steal in 9 minutes vs. SUU ... 0-1 (trey attempt) with 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal in season-low 5 minutes v. Rice ... 9 points, 3 rebounds, season-high 3 assists in 20 minutes vs. FIU ... 3 points, 3 rebounds in 16 minutes at ASU ... 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists in 12 minutes at USF ... 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist in 9 minutes vs. UCSB ... 16 points, 1 rebound, 1 assists in 19 minutes in his college debut vs. Elon College and was 5-10 from the floor and 4-4 from the line. He had three more field goal attempts than the next closest Cougar (Terrell Lyday with 7) ... started against EA Sports (Exhibition) in place of injured Terrell Lyday and had 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists ... had 17 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists off the bench vs. Team Reebok.
Jacob Chrisman (5.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg)
Last Game: Did not score or grab a rebound in season-low 5 minutes vs. SUU.
Â• He did not score for the first time this year Thursday and did not grab a rebound for the second straight game largely due to limited play.
Â• He has played 13 combined minutes the last two games, including a season-low 5 minutes Thursday vs. SUU. He is averaging 13.4 minutes per game on the year.
Â• He has made 14-24 (.583) field goals this year.
CHRISMAN CAPSULE: Chrisman could be a significant contributor in his freshman season ... he is extremely mobile and a strong rebounder ... he is an athletic low post player who can score in multiple ways ... he has developed a nice perimeter game ... a hard worker, he has a knack for the game and finds a way to make plays both on offense and defense ... a slasher-type player who has a nice shooting touch ... he will be primarily a three but could also play some four for the Cougars.
2000-01 BIO: Chrisman did not score or grab a rebound in season-low 5 minutes vs. SUU ... had 2 points and no rebounds in 8 minutes vs. Rice ... 7 points, 4 rebounds in 11 minutes vs. FIU ... 5 points, 3 rebounds in 12 minutes at ASU ... 7 points, 4 rebounds in 15 minutes at USF ... 4 points, 1 block, 1 steal in 23 minutes vs. UCSB ... 15 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 1 assist in 20 minutes in his college debut vs. Elon College.
Derek Dawes (2.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
Last Game: 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block in 7 minutes vs. SUU.
Â• He did not attempt a field goal but was 2-2 at the line Thursday vs. SUU.
Â• He has only taken two shots in the last four games in which he has played but is 5-9 on the year from the field.
Â• After not playing vs. FIU, he gave a nice contribution vs. Rice despite playing only six minutes. After making a block he came down the court and knocked down a long jumper on his only attempt. He also grabbed three boards.
Â• Despite a limited role he has been an effective rebounder. He averages 3.2 rebounds in 7.3 minutes per game.
DAWES CAPSULE: Dawes enters his first year of college basketball as one of the most sought-after centers in the West ... he is an active player who runs the floor well and is a good free throw shooter ... he could see significant time as a freshman ... he has outstanding shot blocking ability with great timing and good athleticism and size.
2000-01 BIO: Dawes had 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block in 7 minutes vs. SUU ... 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block in 6 minutes vs. Rice in Houston ... did not play vs. FIU ... started at ASU and did not score with 2 blocks, 1 rebound in 6 minutes ... 1 point, 1 rebound in 6 minutes at USF ... 3 points, 4 rebounds in 7 minutes vs. UCSB ... 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block in 12 minutes vs. Elon College in his college debut.
Dan Howard (2.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg)
Last Game: Did not play (injury).
Â• He had played in the previous three games before injuring his knee at practice the day before the Rice game.
Â• Trainer Steve Pincock says he could possibly play Saturday if needed.
Â• He is 3-4 from both the floor and 2-2 from the line this year.
HOWARD CAPSULE: Howard played four games last year but redshirted after having knee surgery ... he has not had any significant game experience since last playing for his high school team in 1996 ... a hard worker, he has a knack for the ball and could be a factor in his freshman year with his size inside.
2000-01 BIO: Howard did not play vs. Rice or SUU because of an minor knee injury ... 2 points in 4 minutes vs. FIU ... had 2 rebounds in 2 minutes at ASU ... fouled out with 4 points, no rebounds, 1 block after playing a season-high 12 minutes at USF with Eric Nielsen in foul trouble and USF putting a 7-footer on the court ... did not play vs. UCSB ... had 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 block in 5 minutes vs. Elon College.
Ty Shippen (1.3 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.3 apg)
Last Game: Did not play.
Â• He has not played in the last three games.
Â• After averaging 5 minutes in BYU's first two home wins, he has played only one minute since (at ASU).
SHIPPEN CAPSULE: Shippen joins the Cougars after transferring from Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho ... he is a gifted shooter and can play either guard position ... he is married to the former Kaly Gillette, who plays on the BYU women's basketball team ... he is the younger brother of BYU women's basketball coach Trent Shippen ... he served an LDS Church mission to North Carolina.
2000-01 BIO: Shippen did not play vs. FIU, Rice or SUU ... had 1 assist in 1 minute at ASU ... he did not play at USF ... played only two minutes with one turnover vs. UCSB ... had 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists in 8 minutes vs. Elon College.
Jordan Archibald (1.0 ppg, 1.0 apg)
Last Game: Did not play.
Â• He has only played six minutes this year, all in the season opener vs. Elon College.
ARCHIBALD CAPSULE: Archibald redshirted last year and returns for his freshman season ... he has good size and is a good shooter ... he suffered a broken hand during the off-season and his preseason skill development and conditioning opportunities were further limited due to a fall groin pull.
2000-01 BIO: Archibald had 1 point, 1 assist in 6 minutes vs. Elon College.
Transfers Eligible Saturday vs. USU
KNIGHT CAPSULE: Knight transferred to BYU from Kentucky ... he becomes eligible to play his senior season on Dec. 16 vs. Utah State because of transfer rules ... he previously played at Utah Valley State College and Oregon State ... he is a hard-nosed player who can create problems for opponents with his ability to run the floor and post up ... he is primarily a power forward but could also play at center ... provides experience and depth to Cougar front line ... his brother Shane played for BYU and brother Travis currently plays in the NBA after a college career at Connecticut.
WHITING CAPSULE: Whiting enters his first year at BYU after transferring from Utah last year ... he will not be eligible to compete until Dec. 16th against Utah State because of transfer rules ... he only played five games at Utah last year because of injury ... a NJCAA All-American at Snow College, he can play either guard position ... expected to be a key contributor, he is a gifted outside shooter with excellent range and a conditioned athlete with a strong vertical leap.
Vranes out for the Year
Two-year starting guard Michael Vranes will miss the entire season after a foot injury required to fall surgeries. Vranes played both the point and wing for the Cougars and was the third leading scorer last season and the team's best defender on the perimeter.