BYU Opens Season Tuesday against Elon College

PROVO -- The Cougars open their 2000-01 season Tuesday when they host the Elon College Phoenix at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. This will be the first meeting between the two teams. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant calling the action. The game is not being televised.

Up Next

BYU will stay at home to host UC Santa Barbara Saturday as part of a double-header with the BYU women's basketball team, who hosts UCLA in the early game at 3 p.m. The Cougars defeated the Gauchos last year in Santa Barbara 57-48.

Game 1 Fast Facts


BYU Cougars (0-0) -- Provo, Utah

Elon College Phoenix (0-1) -- Elon College, N.C.

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2000

Site: Provo, Utah

Arena: Marriott Center (22,700)

Time: 7:05 p.m. MST

Series: First Meeting


BYU, Steve Cleveland (43-48 in fourth year; same overall)

Elon, Mark Simons (75-119 in eighth year; overall, 170-221 in 15th season)

TV: None

Radio: 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.

F 42 Nathan Cooper 6-6 210 Sr.

F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Jr.

F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 240 Sr.

G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 195 Sr.

G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Jr.

Elon's Probable Starters: Pos. # Name Ht. Yr. PPG RPG

F 34 Chris Adams 6.6 So. 0.0 0.0

F 54 Larry McSwain 6-5 Sr. 2.0 4.0

G 42 David Hall 6-4 Jr. 8.0 2.0

G 3 Brendon Rowell 6-3 Jr. 9.0 2.0

G 14 Dennis Gaskins 6-1 Sr. 7.0 0.0

Series History

This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

Scouting Elon College

Elon College has a lot of young players on its roster with three seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and four freshman on the roster. Six letterwinners return from last year's 13-15 team that placed third in the Big South Conference with a 7-7 mark. Two starters return, guards Brendon Rowell (6-3, Jr. -- 14.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and Dennis Gaskins (6-1, Sr. -- 7.9 ppg, 2.7 apg). Elon College enters Tuesday's game with an 0-1 record after opening the season with a loss at Stetson Saturday, 75-46. The Phoenix shot 37.2 percent from the floor, including 31.3 percent on threes, and made 56.3 percent of their free throws. They were led by starting guard Brendon Rowell (6-3, Sr.) and reserve forward Matt Backs (6-6, Fr.) with nine points apiece. Backs added a team-best six rebounds along with fellow reserve forward Shamar Johnson (6-5, So.). Overall, the Phoenix were out rebounded 38-26. Eleven players saw action against Stetson. In exhibition play, Elon defeated the Lithuania Neptunas, 93-76, and Team Georgia Stars, 95-92. Rowell had 30 points vs. Lithuania and added another team-high 23 vs. Team Georgia Stars.

Elon College Facts:

General Info

Location: Elon College, N.C.

Founded: 1889

Enrollment: 4,000

Nickname: Phoenix

Colors: Maroon and Gold

Home Arena: KouryCenter (2,000)

Conference: Big South

Athletic Director: Dr. Alan White

Basketball Info

Head Coach: Mark Simons

Alma Mater: Aquinas College, 1972

Best time to contact: Weekday mornings

Office Phone: 336-584-2518

Overall Record (Years): 170-221 (15th year)

Record at School (Years): 75-119 (7th year)

Assistant Coaches: Eric Richardson, James Johnson


Overall Record: 13-15

Conf. Record/Finish: 7-7 / 3rd

Final Ranking/Post Season Finish: N/A


Lettermen Returning/Lost: 8/6

Starters Returning/Lost: 2/3

Returning Starters

Brendon Rowell, 6-3, Jr., G (14.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg)

Dennis Gaskins, 6-1, Sr., G (7.9 ppg, 2.7 apg)

BYU in Season Openers

The Cougars are 3-0 since Steve Cleveland's arrival in season openers. The Cougars have opened at home the past two years, defeating UC Riverside in 1999 and Wofford in 1998. BYU gave Cleveland a win in his first game in 1997, winning at San Diego State in a non-conference contest. BYU is 7-3 in season openers dating back to the 1990-91 season, with losses in 1990 vs. East Tenn. State at home, in 1993 at ASU and in 1996 at home vs. Cal State Fullerton.

Three BYU Players Plan to Redshirt the 2000-01 Season

BYU Head Basketball Coach Steve Cleveland has announced that three players on this year's team - Garner Meads, Jesse Pinegar and Bart Jepsen - plan to redshirt during the 2000-01 season.


Mekeli Wesley

Last Game: 25 points, 6 rebounds in 30 minutes vs. EA Sports (exhibition).

• He had 18 points and seven boards in first exhibition vs. Team Reebok.

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.


POINTS: 34 Wyoming

FG MADE: 12 at Denver

FG ATT: 19 (4 times)

FG%: 1.000 (5-5) vs SJSU

3FG MADE: 3 Wyoming

3FG ATT: 7 Wyoming

3FG%: 1.000 (2-2) (2 times)


FT ATT: 18 (2 times)

FT %: 1.000 (11-11) @ Utah

REB: 11 vs. SDSU


STEALS: 4 (2 times)

BLOCKS: 3 (3 times)


Terrell Lyday

Last Game: He did not play, sitting out with a strained muscle in lower left leg.

• He 15 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists in exhibition vs. Team Reebok.

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 ... after an outstanding summer, playing with NBA players and excelling at camps, he is in the best shape of his career ... he will be a go-to player for the Cougars in his final season.


POINTS: 35 at Utah State

FG MADE: 11 at Utah State

FG ATT: 19 vs. So. Illinois

FG%: .647 at Utah State

3FG MADE: 6 at Utah State

3FG ATT: 11 vs. Notre Dame

3FG%: (4-4) 1.000 at So. Ala.

FT MADE: 10 vs. U.C. Irvine

FT ATT: 13 vs. U.C. Irvine

FT %: .900 (9-10) New Mexico

REB: 11 at UNLV

ASSISTS: 5 (three times)

STEALS: 6 (two times)

BLOCKS: 1 (12 times)

MINUTES: 40 vs. New Mexico

Nathan Cooper

Last Game: 4 points, 2 rebounds in 32 minutes vs. EA Sports (exhibition).

• He had 13 points (5-5 floor, 3-3 3P), 9 rebounds in 20 minutes vs. Team Reebok.

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.


POINTS: 24 vs. TCU

FG MADE: 8 vs. TCU

FG ATT: 13 vs. TCU

FG%: .750 (6-8) (twice)

3FG MADE: 3 (6 times)

3FG ATT: 5 at CSU

3FG%: 1.000 (3-3) vs. UTEP

FT MADE: 10 at UC Irvine

FT ATT: 11 vs. Utah

FT %: 1.000 (10-10) Irvine

REB: 11 vs. CS Northridge

ASSISTS: 7 vs. So. Alabama

STEALS: 3 vs. Hawaii

BLOCKS: 1 (9 times)

MINUTES: 39 vs. Arizona

Eric Nielsen

Last Game: 7 points, 5 rebounds in 27 minutes vs. EA Sports (exhibition).

• He had 2 points, no rebounds and 1 assists in 19 minutes vs. Team Reebok.

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.


POINTS:17 vs. Utah

FG MADE: 7 (twice)

FG ATT: 14 (twice)

FG%: 1.000 (6-6) vs. Bowling Green

3FG MADE: 1 (five times)

3FG ATT: 5 at Utah

3FG%: 1.000 (1-1) (twice)

FT MADE:5 (twice)

FT ATT: 6 (twice)

FT %: .833 (5-6) (twice)

REB: 11 vs. New Mexico

ASSISTS: 4 at Utah

STEALS: 3 (twice)

BLOCKS: 2 (5 times)

MINUTES: 39 vs. Utah

Matt Montague

Last Game: 9 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists in 38 minutes vs. EA Sports (exhibition).

• He had no points, 1 rebound, 5 assists in 21 minutes vs. Team Reebok.

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.


POINTS: 15 vs. SMU

FG MADE: 6 vs. TCU

FG ATT: 12 vs. SDSU

FG%: .600 (6-10) vs. TCU

3FG MADE: 1 (5 times)

3FG ATT: 4 vs. Wyoming

3FG%: 1.000 (1-1) (3 times)

FT MADE: 5 vs. CS Fullerton

FT ATT: 12 vs. CS Fullerton

FT %: 1.000 (4-4) Utah State

REB: 10 vs. Tulsa

ASSISTS: 11 at Weber St.

STEALS: 2 (6 times)


MINUTES: 40 (three times)

Travis Hansen

Last Game: Did not play because of a groin injury.

• He had 7 points, and 1 assist in 18 minutes off the bench vs. Team Reebok.

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.

Daniel Bobik

Last Game: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists vs. EA Sports (Exhibition)

• He started against EA Sports in place of injured Terrell Lyday

• He had 17 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists off the bench vs. Team Reebok.

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.

Jacob Chrisman

Last Game: 4 points, 2 rebounds in 15 minutes vs. EA Sports (Exhibition)

• He had 13 points wit no rebounds vs. Team Reebok.

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.

Derek Dawes

Last Game: 6 points, 3 rebounds in 11 minutes vs. EA Sports (Exhibition)

• He had 5 points, 5 rebounds in 16 minutes vs. Team Reebok.

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.

Dan Howard

Last Game: 2 points, 4 rebounds in 5 minutes vs. EA Sports (Exhibition)

• He had 4 points, 1 rebounds in 8 minutes vs. Team Reebok.

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.

Ty Shippen

Last Game: 1 assist in 6 minutes vs. EA Sports (Exhibition)

• He had 2 points, 3 assists in 6 minutes vs. Team Reebok.

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.

Jordan Archibald

Last Game: 1 point, 2 rebounds in 5 minutes vs. EA Sports (Exhibition)

• He had 3 points, 1 assists in 4 minutes vs. Team Reebok.

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.

Transfers Eligible on Dec. 16

NATE KNIGHT: 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.

TRENT WHITING: 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.