After picking up two instate home wins last week the Cougars (6-2) travel to Hawaii to play in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational (formerly Pearl Harbor Invitational) Thursday - Saturday. BYU opens with Boise State Thursday at 6 p.m. HT in the first of three games in three days. BYU will face either Iowa State or Troy State Friday before its final game Saturday. Other teams in the tournament include host BYU-Hawaii, Mississippi, Southern California and Southern Illinois. BYU's games are being delayed (SportsWest Productions) on KSL-TV, channel 5, and can be heard live on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant calling the action.
After returning from Hawaii, BYU will play another instate game, this time at Weber State in Ogden on Dec. 28. BYU will then host South Alabama Dec. 30.
Invitational Fast Facts
Dates: Dec. 21-23, 2000
Site: Laie, Hawaii
Arena: Cannon Activities Center (4,338)
1 p.m. -- Iowa State vs. Troy State
3 p.m. -- Southern Illinois vs. Mississippi
6 p.m. -- BYU vs. Boise State
8 p.m. -- USC vs. BYU-Hawaii
1 p.m. -- Iowa State/Troy State loser vs. BYU/Boise State loser (Game 5)
3 p.m. -- Southern Illinois/Mississippi loser vs. USC/BYU-Hawaii loser (Game 6)
6 p.m. -- Iowa State/Troy State winner vs. BYU/Boise State winner (Game 7)
8 p.m. -- Southern Illinois/Mississippi winner vs. USC/BYU-Hawaii winner (Game 8)
10 a.m. -- Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 (7th and 8th place)
Noon -- Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 (5th and 6th place)
3 p.m. -- Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 (3rd and 4th place)
5 p.m. -- Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 (Championship)
*Tournament times listed are all Hawaii Time
SportsWest - KSL-TV
Thursday - BYU vs. Boise State - delayed at 10:30 p.m. MST
Friday - BYU vs. Iowa State or Troy State - delayed at 11 p.m. MST
Saturday - BYU vs. TBA - delayed at 10:30 p.m. MST
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Time: All games broadcast live starting with 30 minute pre-game show
Play-by-Play - Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst - Mark Durrant
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG / RPG
F 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 So. 5.4 / 3.0
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Jr. 7.4 / 4.1
F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 240 Sr. 15.6 / 5.8
G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 195 Sr. 14.0 / 2.1
G 21 Trent Whiting 6-1 185 Sr. 22.0 / 2.0
F 42 Nathan Cooper 6-6 210 Sr. 5.8 / 4.8
F 34 Jacob Chrisman 6-8 215 Fr. 5.4 / 2.0
F 1 Nate Knight 6-10 225 Sr. 5.0 / 6.0
G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Jr. 4.9 / 2.6
G 20 Daniel Bobik 6-6 195 Fr. 4.0 / 1.4
C 43 Derek Dawes 6-11 255 Fr. 2.0 / 2.9
This will be the seventh meeting between BYU and Boise State. The Cougars lead the series, 4-2. Boise State won the last meeting, 83-67, in Boise on Dec. 6, 1997. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 0-1 vs. the Broncos as that defeat came in Cleveland's sixth game as Cougar coach. The Broncos return four starters and eight lettermen from last year's 12-15 team that tied for fourth in the Big West Conference. The Broncos enter the week with a 5-3 record after dropping an overtime game at Weber State Saturday, 88-80. Boise State plays Tuesday at home vs. common BYU opponent the University of San Francisco before coming to the Islands for the tournament.
A BYU vs. Iowa State matchup would be the fourth such meeting between the two teams but the first since 1957. Iowa State is a perfect 3-0 vs. BYU in the series, including that last win, 54-45, on Dec. 12, 1957 in Provo. The Cyclones return two starters and 11 lettermen from last year's 32-5 team that won the Big 12 Conference and finished third in the coaches poll. Iowa State hosts Drake Sunday before coming to Hawaii. The Cyclones are off to a 6-1 start (ranked No. 28) with its lone loss coming in its last game at rival Iowa.
A BYU vs. Troy State matchup would be the first meeting between the two teams. Troy State returns three starters and seven lettermen from last year's 17-11 team that tied for first in the Trans America Athletic Conference. The Trojans are 2-5 this year entering the Invitational.
A BYU vs. BYU-Hawaii matchup would be the first meeting between the two teams. The Seasiders return one starter among seven lettermen from last year's 19-9 team that won the Pacific West Conference.
A BYU vs. Mississippi matchup would be the first meeting between the two teams. The Rebels return three starters and nine lettermen from last year's 19-14 team that advanced to the NIT quarterfinals after a fifth-place tie in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi has started the season with a perfect 8-0 record and is ranked No. 36 in last week's poll. The Rebels play fellow Yahoo! Sports Invitational opponent Troy State Monday at home before coming to Hawaii.
A BYU vs. USC matchup would be the sixth meeting between the two teams. Southern California holds the advantage, 3-2, in the series. The teams haven't played each other since 1970. The Trojans won big in that game, a 101-65 drubbing over BYU in Los Angeles on Dec. 11, 1970. This year USC returns all five starters and seven lettermen from last year's 16-14 team that finished sixth in the Pac-10 Conference. The Trojans were ranked 13th in last week's poll and now have a 7-0 record after defeating Pepperdine last week.
A BYU vs. Southern Illinois matchup would be the second meeting between the two schools. Of the teams in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational, Southern Illinois is the one team BYU played last season, defeating the Salukis 82-57 in Provo in the second round of the NIT. Southern Illinois returns two starters off last year's 20-13 team that earned an NIT berth after finishing third in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Salukis are 3-3 this year entering a game at home vs. Murray State Sunday.
Opponent Quick Facts:
Location: Boise, Idaho
Colors: Blue and Orange
Conference: Big West (East Division)
Head Coach: Rod Jensen
Overall Record (Years): 79-62 (5)
Record at School (Years): 79-62 (5)
Assistants: Ed Boyce, LaVaughn Williams, Mark Folsom
Location: Ames, Iowa
Colors: Cardinal and Gold
Conference: Big 12
Head Coach: Larry Eustachy
Overall Record (Years): 206-106 (10)
Record at School (Years): 47-20 (2)
Assistants: Terry Carroll, Leonard Perry, Randy Brown
Location: Troy, Alabama
Colors: Cardinal, Silver & Black
Conference: Trans America Athletic
Head Coach: Don Maestri
Overall Record (Years): 297-210 (18)
Record at School (Years): 297-210(18)
Assistant Coaches: David Felix, Billy Jefcoat, Shawn Forrest
Location: Laie, Hawaii
Colors: Crimson, Gold and Gray
Conference: Pacific West
Head Coach: Ken Wagner
Overall Record (Years): 198-95 (10)
Record at School (Years): 198-95 (10)
Assistant Coach: David Evans
Location: Oxford, Mississippi
Colors: Navy Blue and Cardinal Red
Conference: Southeastern (SEC)
Head Coach: Rod Barnes
Overall Record (Years): 39-27 (2)
Record at School (Years): 39-27 (2)
Assistants: Marc Dukes, Eric Bozeman, Wayne Brent
Location: Los Angeles, California
Colors: Cardinal and Gold
Head Coach: Henry Bibby
Overall Record (Years): 57-57 (4)
Record at School (Years): 57-57 (4)
Assistants: David Miller, Silvey Dominguez
Location: Carbondale, Ill.
Colors: Maroon and White
Conference: Missouri Valley
Head Coach: Bruce Weber
Overall Record (Years): 35-25 (2)
Record at School (Years): 35-25 (2)
Assistants: Matt Painter, Lynn Mitchem, Rodney Watson
BYU TEAM NOTES
BYU Wins Twice at Home Last Week
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.
Cougars Edge Utah State
Trent Whiting scored a game-high 22 points in his long-awaited BYU debut, and Mekeli Wesley knocked in two free throws with eight seconds to play while also scoring 22 points, as the Cougars held off Utah State 69-67 Saturday at the Marriott Center. BYU improves to 6-2 on the season with the win, while the Aggies drop to 6-2. Whiting made an immediate impact in the Cougar offense, starting in his first game back since transferring from Utah last season. He and senior Nate Knight, a Sandy, Utah native who transferred from Kentucky last year as well, became eligible Friday when the fall semester ended. Knight also saw significant action in his first game for the Cougars, finishing with six rebounds in 18 minutes of play. The Cougars started the game 5-5 from three point range, as Whiting drained his first three shots from downtown and Wesley added two long-range jumpers of his own. Mekeli finished with 22 points, including 2-3 on three point attempts, and Whiting went 4-7 from behind the arc. BYU led by as much as 12 points in the early going, but Utah State battled back to take the lead for only the second time in the game with just 36 seconds remaining in the first half. But an NBA-range bomb by Whiting at the buzzer sent the Cougars into the locker room with a 41-40 halftime lead. Utah State came out firing in the second half, taking a 42-41 lead on a dunk by center Dimitri Jorssen just over a minute into the half. The Aggies maintained the lead for almost the entire half. But with 3:23 left to play, Terrell Lyday hit a clutch three pointer to bring the Cougars within two. On the ensuing Aggie possession, Whiting stripped the ball from point guard Bernard Rock and took it the length of the floor for a layup to tie the game at 63-63. With 39 seconds left, and the game tied at 67-67, the Cougars tried to free up Whiting for a three pointer. His attempt from the corner hit the back of the rim and bounced out near the free throw line. But Travis Hansen outleaped an Aggie defender to capture the offensive rebound and maintain possession for BYU. Wesley's two free throws with just eight seconds left gave BYU its first lead of the second half, and proved to be the difference in the final score.
Whiting, Knight Make Strong BYU Debuts
Transfer players Trent Whiting (Utah) and Nate Knight (Kentucky) made 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 from other division I schools during last fall. Whiting has been considered to be one of the top Cougar performers in practice and proved he was one of top Cougars on the court Saturday, scoring a game-high 22 points on 7-11 shooting, including 4-7 threes, in a team-high 39 minutes. Knight, who had been slowed by a back injury that kept him out of most practices except for the last two weeks, made a solid contribution with five points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. Neither player had played in a game for more than a year since transferring last fall.
The Cougars have a four-game winning streak, their longest of the season. BYU is 1-0 this year in neutral court games with its win over Rice at the Compaq Center in Houston. The Cougars also have a 10-game home winning streak dating back to last year when the Cougars won their final five contests in the Marriott Center. BYU is 5-0 at home this season. The last loss at home was to New Mexico (78-74) on Feb. 17, 2000.
Cleveland Nears .500 Winning Percentage in 100th Game
BYU will play its 100th game under Steve Cleveland Thursday vs. Boise State. With BYU's 6-2 record this year, Cleveland is approaching a .500 record with a 49-50 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.
After having its first six games be decided by more than 10 points, BYU had two single-digit wins last week at home over instate opponents. The Cougars defeated Southern Utah Thursday by six points, 58-52, and edged Utah State by two, 69-67, Saturday.
BYU equaled an all-time Cougar record for fewest field goals in a game with only 10 baskets Thursday vs. SUU. The Cougars last had only 10 field goals vs. Wyoming in a 1982 pre-shot clock slow down game in which BYU lost 27-25. Only three BYU players made a field goal vs. SUU with Lyday connecting five times, Eric Nielsen four times and Travis Hansen once.
Behind the Arc
Saturday BYU shot better than 50 percent from three-point range for the second time this year by knocking down seven treys in 13 attempts for a season-best 53.8 percent. The Cougars opened the year making 7-14 threes vs. Elon College. BYU has connected on a season-best seven threes four times this year, all wins. Terrell Lyday leads BYU with 15 treys while Matt Montague and Daniel Bobik have six and Trent Whiting put down four in his only game this year. Three other players have made a three-pointer (Wesley 4, Cooper 3, Hansen 3). Three Cougars have made 50 percent of their three attempts (Whiting 4-7 .571; Montague 6-10 .600; Cooper 3-6 .500)
Highs and Lows
Lyday and Eric Nielsen had season highs of 24 and 15 points, respectively, Thursday vs. Southern Utah and Trent Whiting had a career-high 22 points and Mekeli Wesley a season-best 22 points Saturday vs. Utah State. Wesley scored his season high after suffering only his third game without a field goal Thursday, going 0-2 from the floor while scoring a season-low 5 points. Though not very involved offensively vs. SUU, 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.
Wesley Named MWC Player of the Week
BYU senior forward Mekeli Wesley was named the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week Dec. 11 after leading the Cougars to a pair of victories over Rice and Florida International. 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.
Vranes Out for the Year
Two-year starting guard Michael Vranes will miss the entire season after a foot injury required two 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.
BYU Starting Lineup (Record)
Montague, Lyday, Cooper, Nielsen, Wesley (5-1)
Whiting, Lyday, Hansen, Nielsen, Wesley (1-0)
Montague, Lyday, Cooper, Wesley, Dawes (0-1)
BYU's record when . . .
BYU leads at half 6-0
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 1-2
BYU leads with 1 minute left 5-0
Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-2
Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0
Game goes into overtime 0-0
BYU out rebounds opponent 2-0
Opponent out rebounds BYU 3-2
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 6-0
Opponent out shoots BYU 0-2
BYU PLAYER NOTES
Mekeli Wesley (15.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
Last Game: Season-high 22 points with 2 rebounds, 2 assists in 30 minutes vs. USU.
* After taking only two shots Thursday without connecting, Wesley came out on fire Saturday making 7-8 first half shots, including 2-3 treys, for 16 points in 20 minutes. He went on to score a season-best 22 points.
* Wesley did not make a field goal for the third time in his career vs. SUU, 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.
* Before last week's games, 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 that 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.
* Wesley has scored in double figures in seven of BYU's eight games and has been the Cougars' top scorer or shared the honor in six of the eight games, including Saturday's 22-point effort. Last year he had double figures in 30 of 33 games and led the Cougar in scoring in 17 games.
* Wesley is moving up the career free throw charts at BYU. He made 4-7 free throws Saturday, moving past Kresimir Cosic into eighth place on BYU's all-time attempts list with 489. He could move as high as sixth this week, needing only three to pass Mike Smith (491) and eight to pass Gary Trost (496). He has made 375 free throws, which is eighth all-time. He needs seven more makes to pass Cosic into seventh place (Mike Smith in sixth with 431). This year Wesley has team highs of 45 makes and 59 attempts.
* He has had an offensive rebound in each of the last seven games and has a team-best 15 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-high 22 points with 2 rebounds, 2 assists in 30 minutes vs. USU ... 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 (14.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg)
Last Game: Career-low 5 points, with 2 rebounds, 2 assists in injury -shortened 26 minutes vs. USU.
* Lyday did not reach double figures scoring for the second time this year and only the fifth time in his career with a season-low 5 points Saturday. He was slowed by a sprain to his right ankle in the first half but came back in the game late in the second half to score his five points and make a big three.
* He had season highs of 24 points and 4 blocks Thursday vs. Southern Utah along with a career-best 2 blocks (he has had one block 14 times).
* He has made a three in each of BYU's eight games this year. He has made multiple threes in five of the eight 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.
* Lyday has been in a shooting slump in three games away from the Marriott Center this year (22.4 FG%, 16.7 3FG%). Overall, he is shooting 32.3 percent from the floor and 30.6 percent on threes.
* After grabbing only 5 rebounds in the first four games, Lyday has grabbed 12 in the last four 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 a career-low 5 points, with 2 rebounds, 2 assists in injury -shortened (sprained right ankle) 26 minutes vs. USU .... 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.
Trent Whiting (22.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Last Game: Career-high 22 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists in team-high 39 minutes vs. USU.
* Starting in his BYU debut, Whiting hit his first three shots and made four of five threes to score 14 first half points.
* He made several big plays Saturday. He nailed a buzzer-beating three from just inside the mid-court line to put BYU up 41-40 to end the half. He later made a critical steal and layup to tie the game with 2:40 remaining and made two free throws in the last minute to tie the score again at 67. He was 7-11 from the floor on the night.
* With Lyday playing only 26 minutes because of an ankle sprain, Whiting played both guard positions, coming out for only one minute.
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.
2000-01 BIO: Whiting had a career-high 22 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists in team-high 39 minutes vs. USU in his BYU debut.
Nathan Cooper (5.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
Last Game: 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists in season-low 14 minutes vs. USU.
* Came off the bench for the first time this year vs. USU.
* 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. He had four points off the bench Saturday with three rebounds in only 14 minutes.
* He was a perfect 2-2 Saturday but has only taken three shots in the last two games. He only took one shot vs. the SUU zone Thursday. He made 3-4 shots vs. Rice and overall this year is shooting 62.5 percent from the floor (15-24) 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.
* All three of his rebounds Saturday were off the offensive glass. On the year he has 14 offensive rebounds, one behind Mekeli Wesley. He is second to Wesley in total rebounds with 38 (4.8 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 had 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists in season-low 14 minutes vs. USU ... did not score, taking only one shot, with 1 rebound, 1 steal in 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 (7.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
Last Game: 6 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists in 21 minutes vs. USU.
* Nielsen was 2-3 from the floor Saturday.
* He become more aggressive offensively in the previous 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 vs. SUU and 7-8 from the line.
* He is shooting a team-best 64.5 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 55.4 percent (175-316) 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 6 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists in 21 minutes vs. USU ... 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 (4.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.3 apg)
Last Game: No points, 1 assist, 1 steal in season-low 10 minutes vs. USU.
* He came off the bench for the first time this year with Trent Whiting making his BYU debut. Montague was 0-1 with 1 assist, 1 turnover and 1 steal.
* He is a 0-8 from the floor in the last three games. He started the year making his first eight shots, including 5-5 on threes, then made 5 of his next 8 shots, 1-2 on threes, before going 0 for his next 8 attempts. He is still shooting a strong 54.2 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).
* He played the full 40 minutes for the first time this year vs. Rice. It is the fourth time he has played 40 minutes during his career at BYU.
* He was a perfect 9-9, including 4-4 on threes, in the Marriott Center this year before going 0-4 last week.
* He has had 13 assists and 12 turnovers in his last five 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 did not score (0-1) with 1 assist, 1 steal in season-low 10 minutes vs. USU ... 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 (5.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
Last Game: 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal in 25 minutes vs. USU.
* He started for the first time this year Saturday vs. USU.
* He has has played more than 20 minutes in each of the last three games after playing less than 20 in the first five games.
* He went 1-6 from the floor against both SUU and USU last week. He was one of only three Cougars to make a field goal vs. SUU, knocking down a three. He was 5-6 from the line.
* He has had a career-best four rebounds in each of the last three games. He had a big offensive rebound in the closing minutes vs. USU.
* 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 two of the last three games.
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 started for the first time and had 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal in 25 minutes vs. USU ... 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.
Nate Knight (5.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
Last Game: 5 points, 6 rebounds in 18 minutes vs. USU in his BYU debut.
* He had a key offensive rebound and provided a strong defensive presence in the post for the Cougars vs. USU.
* He was 1-3 from the floor.
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.
2000-01 BIO: Knight had 5 points, 6 rebounds in 18 minutes vs. USU in his BYU debut.
Daniel Bobik (4.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
Last Game: Played a season-low 3 minutes vs. USU.
* He has not scored in the last three games after getting on the scoreboard in the first five games. He did not take a shot Saturday and had taken only one shot in each of the previous two games, both missed threes, in limited play.
* He has played a combined 17 minutes in the last three 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 played a season-low 3 minutes vs. USU ... 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 (5.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
Last Game: 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist in 10 minutes vs USU.
* He was 1-2 from the floor and 1-3 from the line Saturday. He did not score for the first time this year Thursday vs. SUU and did not grab a rebound for the second straight game largely due to limited play (season-low 5 minutes).
* He has played 15 combined minutes the last two games, including a season-low 5 minutes Thursday vs. SUU. He is averaging 13 minutes per game on the year.
* He has made 15-26 (.577) 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 had 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist in 10 minutes vs USU ... 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 (2.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
Last Game: 1 rebound in 4 minutes vs. USU.
* He has not taken a field goal attempt in the last two games and has only taken two shots in the last five games in which he has played. He is 5-9 on the year from the field.
* 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.
* Despite a limited role he has been an effective rebounder. He averages 2.9 rebounds in 6.9 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 has outstanding shot blocking ability with great timing and good athleticism and size.
2000-01 BIO: Dawes had 1 rebound in 4 minutes vs. USU ... 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.
* He has missed the last three games while recovering from a knee injury. He had played in the previous three games before injuring his knee at practice the day before the Rice game.
* He could play in Hawaii if needed.
* 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, SUU or USU because of a 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.
* He has not played in the last four games.
* 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 as a walk-on 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, SUU or USU ... 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.
* 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.