True freshman Jimmer Fredette has scored 8.3 points per game in the last six road games. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
BYU GAME #24 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (18-5, 7-1 MWC)
COLORADO ST. RAMS (6-17, 0-9 MWC)
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008
Moby Arena (8,745)
Fort Collins, Colo.
7 p.m. MT
BYU, Dave Rose (63-23 in third season; same overall)
CSU, Tim Miles (6-17 in first season; 218-149 in 13th year overall)
BYU leads, 82-46, after a 92-73 Cougar win in Provo on Jan. 12 and a season split last year
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. MT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Andy Toolson, game analyst)
Live audio and live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com
BYU PLAYS AT COLORADO STATE WEDNESDAY
BYU (18-5, 7-1 MWC) will begin the second half of Mountain West Conference play Wednesday at Colorado State (6-17, 0-9 MWC) at 7 p.m. Boasting a six-game winning streak, the Cougars are coming off an 83-72 victory over TCU last Wednesday, securing sole possesesion of first place in the league standings. The Rams are coming off a 68-51 setback at UNLV on Saturday and have lost 10 straight games overall. Wednesday's game will not be televised. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City and on the Internet at KSL.com beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. MT.
The Cougars will return to the Marriott Center Saturday to face off against UNLV at 7 p.m. on CSTV.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- At 7-1 in MWC play, the Cougars are off to their best league start in Mountain West Conference history and their best conference start since 1995 (WAC).
-- BYU was picked in the preseason poll to finish first in the MWC race this year by the league's media.
-- BYU currently owns the nation's second-longest active home win streak with 43 straight wins in the Marriott Center, three victories behind No. 1 Memphis. BYU went 17-0 at home last year and is 12-0 at home this year.
-- Two-time reigning MWC?Coach of the Year Dave Rose helped make BYU the second-most improved program in the nation in his first season with a 20-9 record and guided the Cougars to the outright MWC?title and a top-25 ranking in his second campaign in Provo as the Cougars went 25-9 last season.
-- This year's BYU squad returns two starters among seven lettermen from last year's outright league leaders (13-3 MWC record) as well as returned missionary Chris Miles, who made six starts as a freshman in 2004-05. Headlining BYU's top returners are 2008 MWC Player of the Year candidates Trent Plaisted, a two-time All-MWC Second Team selection in his first two seasons, and Lee Cummard, a versatile junior guard who earned All-MWC Third Team honors one year ago. Sophomore forward Jonathan Tavernari and senior guards Sam Burgess and Ben Murdock are all full-time starters for the first time this season. Burgess and Murdock have contributed solid play at the guardline while Tavernari has provided scoring punch. Last year Tavernari followed Plaisted's lead the prior season by being named the 2007 MWC Freshman of the Year.
LOOKING AT COLORADO STATE
Colorado State (6-17, 0-9 MWC) returns just two lettermen and one starter from last year's 17-13 team that tied for sixth in the Mountain West Conference at 6-10 under Dale Layer. First-year CSU coach Tim Miles has a 218-149 record in his 13th year as a head coach, recently coming from North Dakota State. The Rams started the year 5-3 but have dropped 14 of their last 15 despite some close home contests. CSU's losing streak currently stands at 10 games, including an 0-9 MWC record. CSU's close losses in Moby Arena have included a three-point loss to Colorado (73-70), a three-point set back to UNLV (65-62) and a one-point defeat to San Diego State (83-82). The lone win in the last 15 games was a 40-point victory over Western State (87-47) on Dec. 29 in Fort Collins. The Rams are coming off a 68-51 loss at UNLV on Saturday that marked the return of starting center Stuart Creason, who missed nine games due to injury including the first BYU-CSU contest in Provo this year. The 7-foot senior came off the bench against the Rebels and scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting with five rebounds in 16 minutes of action. CSU is led in scoring by Marcus Walker, who is averaging 18.5 points per game overall and 22.2 points in nine league games, both of which lead the MWC. He has made a team-high 44 three-pointers this season. Creason adds 12.3 points and 6.3 boards in his 14 appearances this year while shooting 58.4 percent from the floor and 74.3 percent at the line. Willis Gardner is the third double-digit scorer for the Rams, contributing 10.5 points per game and making 28 triples. Freshman Andre McFarland is fourth in scoring at 7.0 points per game. Sophomore 7-foot center Ronnie Aguilar is pulling down a team-best 6.5 rebounds while scoring 4.1 points with eight starts in Creason's absence. He is averaging 7.7 rebounds and 6.2 points in 23.1 minutes during conference play. As a team, CSU is scoring 64.8 points while allowing 71.5 points per game. The Rams are shooting 44.1 percent, including 34.0 percent from behind the arc, while converting 73.0 percent at the line. Their opponents have shot a combined 43.3 percent from the floor and 33.5 percent from three-point range. The Rams have a deficit on the boards (33.0--35.8). CSU is 3-6 at home this year, 3-0 on a neutral floor and 0-11 in away games. In conference play, CSU is 0-4 at home and 0-5 on the road.
COLORADO STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS (BASED ON LAST GAME)
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG Hometown
F 13 Andre McFarland 6-6 225 Fr. 7.0 4.2 Las Vegas, Nev.
C 23 Ronnie Aguilar 7-0 250 So. 4.1 6.5 Los Angeles, Calif.
G 04 Marcus Walker 6-0 175 Jr. 18.5 2.7 Kansas City, Kan.
G 12 Adam Nigon 6-3 175 So. 2.2 2.9 Broomfield, Colo.
G 43 Willis Gardner 6-1 182 Jr. 10.5 3.5 Norristown, Penn.
COLORADO STATE'S LAST OUTING -- RAMS CAN'T HANDLE UNLV ON THE ROAD
LAS -- Wink Adams scored 23 points to lead UNLV to a 68-51 victory over Colorado State on Saturday, giving head coach Lon Kruger his 400th career win. Adams also had six assists and five rebounds to help lead the Rebels (18-5, 7-2 Mountain West). Rene Rougeau pitched in with 17 points and six rebounds. It was Kruger's second attempt at win No. 400 as UNLV lost Wednesday at Utah, 81-73. Kruger now has a record of 400-272 in 22 seasons. "Anytime you win, it feels great," Kruger said. "A lot of people share in this. We've had good teams. We like what this team is doing." Kruger, who is in his fourth season as UNLV's coach, has an overall record of 82-39 with the Rebels. He took UNLV to a Sweet 16 appearance a year ago with a 30-7 record. "It's a big deal," Adams said of Kruger's win. "He never hyped it up. We knew about it when we're going to Utah. We had to make it special for him today." Prior to his stint in Las Vegas, he coached in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks (2000-03) and was an assistant to the New York Knicks ('03-'04). Before the NBA, he spent 18 seasons as a head coach at Pan American (1982-86), Kansas State ('86-'90), Florida ('90-'96), and Illinois ('96-'00). Kruger guided the 1993-94 Florida Gators to the NCAA Final Four. Marcus Walker led Colorado State (6-17, 0-9) with a game-high 24 points. Walker, the conference's scoring leader at 18.3 per game, was 4-of-9 from 3-point range and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. He also had seven rebounds. UNLV never trailed in the game, jumping to an 8-0 lead. The Rams later cut the lead to 20-16, but the Rebels went on an 11-0 run to end the half with Adams scoring eight of those 11. UNLV's lead never went below 15 points in the second half and the team built their largest lead at 58-32 with 10:36 left. The Rams lost their 11th straight game dating back to Dec. 29 and haven't won a road game this season.
Saturday's game will be the 129th meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1938. BYU leads the series 82-46 after a 92-73 home win earlier this season. The Cougars also recorded a 76-67 home win and a 90-78 loss in Fort Collins last year. The Cougars own a 54-10 record in Provo while the Rams hold a 33-27 advantage in Fort Collins. The Cougars have won 11 of the last 15 games overall and nine straight in Provo since CSU swept the series in 1998. The two teams did not meet in 1999. BYU swept both meetings in 2006 with an 86-84 win in Fort Collins and a 77-69 victory in Provo. In 2005, the two teams split the season series with each school defending its homecourt. In 2004, BYU swept the regular-season series for the second consecutive year, beating the Rams in Fort Collins and again in Provo. CSU has a 3-1 advantage in neutral court games.
QUOTING COACH ROSE
"It seems like it's been a long time since we played them. They've had a difficult time with injuries and consistency, but they've got one of their best players back in Stuart Creason. It will be a different team that we play over there."
"The thing that I do know is that the other two leaders in the league, UNLV and San Diego State, both those games came down to the last possession. CSU played them really tough. We have to make sure our mindset is straight and that we understand it will be a battle."
THIS YEAR AT BYU -- PLAISTED AND TAVERNARI LEAD BYU TO MWC VICTORY
PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team began defending its Mountain West Conference title Saturday, defeating Colorado State, 92-73, to extend the nation's second-longest active home win streak to 40 games. The Cougars' win improves their record to 12-4 overall and 1-0 in the Mountain West Conference. Trent Plaisted scored a season-high 25 points to propel the Cougars to victory. Jonathan Tavernari also tallied 25 points, leading the Cougars from outside with five threes. The Cougars have made at least six threes in 15 of 16 games played this year. With 140 makes from long range already and at least 16 games remaining, BYU is on track to break the single-season three-point record set last year with 256. The Cougars capitalized early with a 6-0 lead, keeping CSU scoreless during the first three minutes of the game. Tavernari led the Cougars in the first half, coming off the bench and claiming 12 points. Plaisted followed Tavernari with 11 points, beginning the game 5-for-5 from the floor despite running into early foul trouble. The Cougars scored the last seven points of the first half and came out strong in the second half, scoring 12 unanswered points. The 19-point run marks their longest run of the season. The run was highlighted with a dunk from Plaisted and a pair of threes from Sam Burgess and Ben Murdock. The Rams fought to close in on BYU's commanding lead but were unable to capitalize on enough scoring opportunities, only shortening the Cougar lead to 82-66. Despite the pressure and 24 points from the Ram's Marcus Walker, BYU continued to dominate to the 92-73 win.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "It was a long couple of days since Tuesday night, but our players came out ready to play and we were able to come back strong."
-- "We did a great job tonight sharing the ball, moving the ball around and getting in position to make good shots."
-- "This win was a good way to start league play. We have a long way to go, but it is definitely a good start."
-- "We seem to find an energy level when we make shots. We need to find that energy level all the time on the court."
Colorado State Head Coach Tim Miles
-- "BYU is a fun place to play. Everybody loves coming to Provo."
-- "I think BYU knows how to take open shots. They know how to move the ball around well. Trent's (Plaisted) a heck of a player. He had a great game."
-- "We didn't execute as well as we could have. It's the little things we have to do. We need to play smarter and better."
-- "(Marcus Walker) can get it cranked up. He had a great run where he helped us get in the game. He's a young guy who was a prolific high school scorer."
BYU NOTES FROM THIS YEAR AT BYU
-- Individual Career Highs: Jimmer Fredette -- 4 assists (tied).
-- Individual Season Highs: Trent Plaisted -- 25 points; Chris Miles -- 6 rebounds.
-- Team Season Highs: Attendance -- 13,135.
-- With the win, BYU improved its Marriott Center win streak to 40 games, the second-longest active home court victory streak in the nation behind No. 2 Memphis at 41 wins.
-- With the 19-point win, BYU is now outscoring its opponents by 14.5 points on the year. That margin jumps to 22.4 points in the Cougars' 12 wins.
-- With the 92-73 win, BYU is now 12-1 when scoring at least 70 points in a game. The Cougars are also 7-0 when scoring at least 80 points and 5-0 when topping 90.
-- Including 10 three-point makes against the Rams, BYU has made double-digit treys in six games this year. The Cougars have made at least six threes in every game this season except against SUU when they made five. With 140 makes from long range already this year and at least 16 games left to play, BYU is on pace to break the single-season three-point record the Cougars set last year with 256.
-- Including a game-high lead of 27 points against the Rams, the Cougars have posted a double-digit lead in 14 of 16 games and have led by more than 20 points in 10 games and more than 30 points in three contests.
-- Cummard has now drained at last one three-pointer in the last 10 games and 15 of 16 contests on the year. Tavernari has also hit a trey in 15 of 16 games while Sam Burgess has hit from long range in 13 contests.
-- Jonathan Tavernari topped the 20-point mark for just the second time in his career with 25 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the floor, including a 5-for-9 mark from three-point range. Tavernari scored 29 points in BYU's win over No. 6 Louisville. With a season-high 25 points, Plaisted surpassed the 20-point mark for the fifth time this year and 14th time in his career.
-- With 25 points from Tavernari and 25 from Plaisted, BYU has now had two 20-point scorers in a game three times this year (Louisville -- Plaisted (21), Tavernari (29); Lamar -- Cummard (27), Plaisted (22).
-- With a 38-27 halftime lead against Colorado State, the Cougars have now led at halftime in 14 of 16 games this year, including 11 double-digit leads. The Cougars are now 11-2 when holding a halftime advantage. BYU has scored at least 30 first-half points in every game this season and has held opponents under 30 points in 11 contests.
-- Despite picking up two early fouls, Plaisted began the game 5-for-5 from the floor to score 10 points in the first 12 minutes while helping BYU build a 25-10 lead.
-- After scoring the last seven points of the first half, BYU began the second half with a 12-0 run, scoring 19 unanswered points spanning halftime, their longest run of the year.
LAST YEAR AT CSU -- COUGARS COME UP SHORT AT CSU
FORT COLLINS -- Despite a career-high 27 points from Trent Plaisted, BYU was unable to hold off the Colorado State Rams Saturday, falling 90-78 in Fort Collins. Plaisted's game-high 27 points surpassed his 23-point mark set earlier this season vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and included four dunks. Jimmy Balderson also topped the 20-point mark with 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting from three-point range, tying his career high in three-point makes. The duo became the first pair of Cougars to top the 20-point mark since last season's game at CSU on Jan. 28 when Balderson scored 24 and Brock Reichner added 23 points. Austin Ainge led BYU in assists, tying his season high with six, while three Cougars -- Plaisted, Ainge and Lee Cummard -- each pulled down four rebounds. BYU quickly established a presence in the post as Young and Plaisted scored the Cougars' first eight points of the game while CSU's two seven-footers, Jason Smith and Stuart Creason, each picked up an early foul, leading to an 8-6 BYU lead. But back-to-back buckets from the Rams swung the advantage back to the home team at 11-8. The Cougars got a break at the 14:04 mark as Smith picked up his second foul and was forced to check out. However, the Rams kept up the pressure and held on to the lead at 18-13 despite a second foul on Creason. Young heated up for BYU from there, recording back-to-back buckets to get the Cougars within one point at 18-17 with 10:10 left to play in the half. But the Rams responded with two straight makes of their own, including a three-pointer, to push the lead to 23-17. A dunk from Plaisted sparked a 10-2 BYU run as the Cougars drained two three-pointers to take a 27-25 lead. The two teams traded scores from there until a third throw down from Plaisted followed by a short jumper from Fernando Malaman on the next BYU possession gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game to that point at 33-30 with 4:06 left in the half. Neither team would score back-to-back again in the first half as BYU held on to a 39-37 lead at the break. BYU jumped out to a 44-39 lead after halftime, including a three-pointer from Balderson, until a 7-0 Ram run gave CSU a 46-44 lead. But the Cougars responded with an 8-0 spurt of their own with four points each from Young and Balderson to retake the lead at 52-46. However, CSU put on a shooting clinic during a 23-5 run, making eight of 10 shots while allowing BYU just five free throws to take a 69-57 lead with 9:45 left to play. The Cougars began climbing back into the game with a dunk from Plaisted and a three-pointer from Balderson to cut the lead to seven points, but the Rams' hot hand continued as BYU was unable to get a stop on the defensive end and CSU was unable to miss from the floor, leading to a 79-66 Ram lead with 5:20 left to play. BYU attempted a late rally with a 10-4 run to get within seven points, but it wasn't enough as the Rams pulled out the 90-78 win.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "We did some good things today, but Colorado State played very well and hit big shots. We need to do a better job of defending and trying to limit the six-, seven-, eight-point scoring runs."
-- "I thought Trent (Plaisted) played with a lot of energy and gave a great effort. I think it's a real positive that he was being aggressive and going strong to the basket and still drawing fouls despite struggling at the free-throw line."
-- "Colorado State's chemistry is really good right now because they're getting a lot of consistent play out of their guys."
Colorado State Head Coach Dale Layer
-- "What an incredible game. Both teams played their hearts out. I thought the second half defensive effort was excellent."
-- "The guards stepped up with some threes. We had eight or nine guys really contribute. We were attacking the rim better in the second half. We got touches down low by Jason (Smith) and Stu (Creason)."
-- "I thought the board work was what got us over the hump. Give BYU credit. I thought Trent (Plaisted) and Keena (Young) were tremendous."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST?YEAR?AT?CSU
-- Individual Career Highs: Trent Plaisted - 27 points, 11 field goals made, 16 field goals attempted; Jimmy Balderson - 5 three-pointers made (tied).
-- Individual Season Highs: Austin Ainge -- 6 assists (tied).
-- Team Season Highs: 90 opponent points; .567 opponent shooting; 53 opponent points in a half.
-- The Cougars are now 13-3 when scoring at least 70 points with all three losses coming on the road (at Lamar, at UNLV, at CSU). BYU is also 2-6 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. The Cougars have scored at least 70 points in 11 straight games.
-- With a .538 (7-for-13) three-point shooting mark at CSU, BYU has now shot above .400 from behind the arc in five straight games and 10 on the season. The Cougars have shot above .500 in six games.
-- With a 34-25 rebounding deficit against the Rams, the Cougars are now 1-6 when losing the battle of the boards.
-- Leading 39-37 at CSU, BYU went into the locker room with a halftime lead for the 14th time this season. BYU had won 12 straight games when leading at the break prior to the loss at CSU and is now 12-2 when leading at the half.
-- BYU's two 20-point scorers (Plaisted - 27, Balderson - 21) marked the first time since last season's game at CSU on Jan. 28 that two Cougars topped the 20-point mark.
-- Mike Rose did not score for the first time since Dec. 9, ending a streak of 10 straight games with a made three-pointer, which tied his career streak.
-- With 18 points against the Rams, Young has now scored in double figures in 17 of 19 games this year.
-- The BYU post duo of Plaisted and Young scored 16 of the Cougars' first 19 points of the game as they each recorded eight points in the first 11:32 of the half. Both scored in double figures in the first period of play as Plaisted scored 14 points on 6-for-8 (.750) shooting and Young added 10 points on 5-for-7 (.714) shooting from the field before the break. Plaisted's mark tied his highest point total in a half this season (14 vs. Michigan State).
--Jimmy Balderson became the third Cougar to score in double figures with seven second-half points in the first 3:47, bringing his game total to 10 and marking the eighth time this year he has posted double digit points. Balderson entered the game averaging 5.5 ppg in MWC play but finished with 21 points at CSU.
-- Balderson's career-high-tying five three-point makes against the Rams marked just the third time this season he has made multiple three-pointers in a game and the first time since Nov. 29 against Boise State. Balderson was third on the team last year in three-pointers made with 32.
-- Plaisted posted four dunks in the game, including three in the first half, to bring his season total to 21 and his career mark to 54. The Cougar big man has recorded a dunk in 13 games this season including multiple throw downs in five contests.
BYU'S LAST OUTING -- PLAISTED CARRIES COUGARS TO VICTORY
PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team scored an 83-72 victory over TCU Wednesday night in the Marriott Center, improving to 7-1 in Mountain West Conference play, their best MWC start ever. BYU also extended its home-winning streak to 43 games as the Cougars collected their 18th overall victory of the season. The Cougars were led by junior center Trent Plaisted, who tied his career high in points with 27. Plaisted also went 7-for-9 from the free-throw line. "We came out tonight and shared the ball well," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "Offensively it was a good night. Defensively we had more of a difficult time. It was a highly contested game, but I am really pleased with the outcome." BYU guard Jonathan Tavernari recorded his fifth straight game with over 10 points as he ended with 20. Tavernari hit on four shots from beyond the arc on the night. The only other Cougar to finish with double-digit scoring was freshman Jimmer Fredette as he ended with 10 points. BYU started off the game on a 7-0 run with all of the Cougars' points coming from the hand of senior Sam Burgess. Burgess made two lay-ups and a three-pointer from the wing to help the Cougars get on top early within the first 2:10 of the game. The Cougars continued to extend their lead and saw their largest advantage of the first half at the 11:14 mark up 23-8. This was due in part to a nine-point BYU run. Plaisted got on a hot streak in the first half as he set a new season high in first-half points with 17 before the break. Plaisted reached double-digit scoring in the first eight minutes of the game. TCU saw a big boost come from its bench in the first half that helped the offense. Horned Frog senior Ryan Wall came into the game to hit on four three-point attempts as he finished the half with a team-high 12 points. Wall helped TCU cut into the Cougar lead as the score got as close as 37-30. The Horned Frogs also hit the offensive boards hard early in the game as they came down with eight first-half offensive rebounds. TCU converted those extra offensive touches into four second-chance points. The Cougars were able to maintain the lead, though, as they went into the locker room up 43-35. Tavernari also helped BYU early as he scored 11 points before the break. BYU's consistent guard Lee Cummard did not get into the scoring column until the 18:10 mark of the second half, but he made his presence felt in other areas as he ended the game with a team-high six assists and seven rebounds. Both Plaisted and Tavernari continued their second-half offensive push early in the second period as they combined for 13 of BYU's early second-half points. Tavernari and Plaisted scored seven and six points, respectively, by the 10:40 mark of the second half. The Cougars had their largest lead of the game with 7:38 left in the second half as they found themselves up by 20, 69-49. One highlight of the second half came from the hands of Tavernari as he hit on a take-it-yourself lay up through the lane and then got a quick steal that lead to a Michael Loyd, Jr. fast-break lay in. BYU cruised the rest of the way to finish the game on top of the Horned Frogs by nine.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "We came out tonight and shared the ball well. Offensively it was a good night. We had some good shots, and we passed t he ball well. Defensively we had more of a difficult time. TCU is an athletic team, and at some points we had a hard time stopping them."
-- "It was a highly contested game, but I am really pleased with the outcome."
TCU Head Coach Neil Dougherty
-- "I recognize Lee [Cummard's] effectiveness. He had some great plays during the game and hurt us in a lot of ways tonight."
-- "Sometimes we got going too fast tonight, playing too much as individuals and not as a team."
-- "When we get back home, we're going to practice hard and get back to playing good basketball here soon."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Jonathan Tavernari - 5 assists; Trent Plaisted - 27 points (tied).
-- Individual Season Highs: Trent Plaisted -- 17 first-half points.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: 9 team fouls (fewest since 2000); .818 free-throw percentage (9-for-11); 27 assists.
-- With the 83-72 win, BYU improved its Marriott Center win streak to 43 games, the second-longest active home court victory streak in the nation behind No. 1 Memphis.
-- At 7-1 in Mountain West Conference play, the Cougars are off to their best league start since the formation of the conference prior to the 1999-2000 season.
-- BYU's win over TCU combined with UNLV's 81-73 loss at Utah tonight gives the Cougars sole possession of first place in the MWC.
-- The Cougars' six straight wins marks their longest win streak of the season (@ Utah, San Diego State, New Mexico, @ Air Force, @ Wyoming, TCU). BYU has won at least six straight MWC games in each of Dave Rose's three seasons at the helm.
-- BYU has never lost to TCU as a member of the Mountain West Conference, going 6-0 in MWC play and 10-3 overall.
-- With the 83-72 win, BYU is now 15-1 when scoring at least 70 points and 9-0 when scoring at least 80 points.
-- BYU's 60 percent shooting mark from the field marked just the second time this season the Cougars have shot 60 percent (60.4 vs. Hartford).
-- With a game-high lead of 20 points, the Cougars have now held a double-digit lead in 18 of 23 games this year and have led by at least 20 points in 12 contests. BYU has also led wire-to-wire in 10 games this season.
-- With a 43-35 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play, BYU recorded its 19th halftime lead of the season. The Cougars have scored at least 40 points in the first half of nine games this season and have shot above 50 percent in the first 20 minutes of eight contests including a 56.7 percent mark (17-for-30) against TCU. The Cougars are now 17-2 when leading at the break.
-- Plaisted's 27-point outing against TCU tied his career high and marked the sixth time this year and the 15th in his career he has scored at least 20 points. BYU has had at least one player top the 20-point mark in each of the last four games and has had two players score at least 20 points in the same game in two of the last three contests.
-- Plaisted went 7-for-9 from the free-throw line against TCU. Including a 7-for-11 mark at Wyoming, he has shot 70 percent (14-for-20) from the charity stripe in the last two contests.
-- The Cougars came out of the gates firing, making their first five shots from the field to take an early 12-4 lead. Burgess scored the first seven points of the game on 3-for-3 shooting in the first 2:08 while Plaisted was the first Cougar to double digits, scoring his 10th point on a one-handed dunk with 12:29 left in the first half.
COUGARS BY THE NUMBERS
1 Rank of BYU coach Dave Rose's 63 wins and .733 winning percentage among the 18 head coaches who began their first season as a head coach at the Division I level along with Rose in 2005-06. Rose ranks second to only Tennessee's Bruce Pearl (67-21 record) among all coaches who started at a new school in 2005-06.
3 Number of top 10 teams BYU has played this season - then-No. 1 North Carolina, then-No. 6 Louisville and then-No. 9 Michigan State. The Cougars beat the Cardinals, 78-76, before falling, 73-63, to the Tarheels despite battling UNC through six second-half lead changes. BYU held a double-digit halftime lead against the Spartans before losing, 68-61.
5 Number of games in which BYU has scored at least 90 points, the most since 1995-96 when the Cougars also reached 90 points in five games. BYU has not scored at least 90 in six games on the year since 1993-94. The Cougars currently lead the Mountain West Conference in scoring at 75.1 ppg.
7-1 BYU's MWC record so far this season, equaling the Cougars' best league start since 1995 when the Cougars still played in the Western Athletic Conference.
7 Number of statistical categories in which a BYU player ranks among the top three in the MWC out of the 12 categories tracked by the league.
7 Number of statistical categories in which Lee Cummard ranks among the top 10 in the MWC including field-goal percentage (1st - .566), free-throw percentage (2nd - .870), offensive rebounds (3rd - 2.22), scoring (4th - 15.8), assists (6th - 3.48), total rebounds (7th - 6.4) and defensive rebounds (7th - 4.17).
9 Number of points Trent Plaisted needs to surpass Eldon Brinley to move to 20th on BYU's all-time career scoring list. Plaisted currently has 1,187 career points.
10 Number of games in which Lee Cummard has been perfect from the free-throw line out of 16 games in which he taken free throws. Cummard made a career-best 21 straight free throws before missing on his first attempt against San Diego State. He also had a streak of 19 straight earlier this year prior to a miss against Southern Utah. He is shooting 87.0 percent (60-for-69) on the year.
15 Number of times this season BYU has held its opponents under 30 points in the first half. The Cougars have scored at least 30 first-half points in 19 of 23 games this season while racking up halftime leads in 19 of 23 games, including 12 by double digits.
18 Number of games in which BYU has led by double digits. The Cougars have also led by at least 20 points in 12 contests and 30 points in four. BYU has led wire-to-wire in 10 games this year.
18.3 The Cougars' average margin of victory in their 18 wins this season. BYU has won seven games by more than 20 points, including two by more than 30. The Cougars' 40-point win at Long Beach State to begin the year was BYU's largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent since defeating Morgan State by 41 points (110-69) on Dec. 28, 1995.
20 Number of games this season Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari have each made a three-pointer. Sam Burgess has made a trey in 18 of 23 outings this year while Jimmer Fredette has done so in 17 games.
23 Number of starts made this season by Sam Burgess after the senior made just one start in his two prior seasons as a Cougar. Fellow senior Ben Murdock has also started all 23 games after not starting last year in his first season in Provo.
80 Number of MWC games BYU has won since the formation of the league prior to the 1999-2000 season, leading all MWC teams. The Cougars are second in overall wins with 180, one victory behind UNLV.
100 Percent of games BYU has won this year when leading with five minutes remaining. The Cougars are 18-0 when ahead on the scoreboard at the 5-minute mark.
DEFENDING THE HOME COURT
With 43 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars currently own the nation's second-longest active home victory streak, just three wins behind No. 1 Memphis. The Cougars are 12-0 at home this year and won 17 home games last season after going 14-1 at home in 2005-06. BYU's last home loss was in the 2005-06 season opener against Loyola Marymount. BYU?has since won 23 straight over nonconference opponents and 20 consecutive over MWC foes since losing its season finale in 2005 to UNLV. BYU?is 415-116 (.782) all-time in the Marriott Center. The Cougars' longest home winning streak came from Feb 19, 2000 to Jan 16, 2003 when BYU won 44 straight in the Marriott Center.
Active Homecourt Winning Streaks (As of Feb. 10, 2008)
Wins Team This year Next home game
46 Memphis 14-0 Feb. 13 vs. Houston
43 BYU 12-0 Feb. 16 vs. UNLV
ON THE ROAD
The Cougars are 5-3 in true road games this year having won their last three games away from the Marriott Center after a 73-63 victory at Wyoming. With a 1-2 record on neutral courts, BYU is 6-5 this season away from home with a 3-1 record in Mountain West Conference play. BYU won five of its last seven games on the road last season including a win at then-No. 20 Air Force (62-58), snapping the Falcons' 30-game home winning streak. BYU was 6-7 on the road last year and 5-3 in conference play, becoming the only MWC team with a winning record on the road in league play last year.
With the Cougars' 55-52 win at Utah coming on the heels of a loss at UNLV, BYU has now bounced back from all five of its losses this season with wins. BYU recovered from a setback against No. 1 North Carolina with a victory at Portland, a loss vs. then-No. 9 Michigan State with a win over Lamar, a loss at Boise State with a triumph against Loyola Marymount and a defeat at Wake Forest with a victory over Colorado State. The Cougars have won their comeback games by an average margin of 19.4 points. BYU head coach Dave Rose has only lost back-to-back regular-season games once in his Cougar career (vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and at Lamar in 2006-07).
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
BYU is 15-1 when scoring at least 70 points this year and 14-1 when holding opponents under the 70-point mark while averaging 75.4 points and allowing 64.0 ppg. The Cougars' 55-52 win at Utah marked the first time this season BYU has won a game when scoring less than 70 points. The Cougars have scored 90 or more points in five games this season, reaching 100 against Jackson State, and are 9-0 when scoring over 80 points on the year.
CLEANING THE GLASS
BYU has won the battle of the boards in 17 games this year, going 15-2 in those contests. The Cougars tied an opponent on the boards for the first time this year against SDSU when both the Cougars and Aztecs pulled down 41 rebounds. BYU is besting opponents by an average of 6.1 boards per contest, leading the league in rebounding margin and rebound average (40.2). The Cougars posted a season-high +19 rebounding margin (38-19) against Hartford as four Cougars pulled down at least five rebounds. BYU began the season with a 55-40 rebounding advantage at Long Beach State, matching last year's season high of 55 boards against Seton Hall. Five Cougars posted at least six rebounds in BYU's win over Lamar, marking the first time since Jan. 8, 2005 that feat has been done.
BYU has had five players score in double figures in a game three times this season, matching last year's total of three games in which at least five players reached double digits. Five different Cougars have led the team in scoring this year with Lee Cummard pacing BYU a team-best 12 times.
Four Cougar freshman are making an impact this year as Chris Collinsworth, Jimmer Fredette, Michael Loyd, Jr. and Nick Martineau have all made a difference for BYU. Collinsworth is fourth for BYU with 4.9 rebounds per game while ranking 13th among MWC players in conference play at 5.8 rpg. He has started six games. Fredette is fifth on the team in scoring with 7.0 ppg and third in steals with 21. Loyd is averaging 9.0 minutes per game and has posted 26 assists on the year. Martineau has 14 assists to 7 turnovers in his 15 games played.
After setting a program record with 256 three-pointers last season, the Cougars are on pace to break that record this year having already made 190 treys so far. BYU has posted double-digit triples in a game eight times this year, including 10 at Air Force, 13 against New Mexico, 10 against Colorado State, 10 at Wake Forest, 12 against Loyola Marymount, 11 against Lamar, 12 at Long Beach State and 13 vs. Hartford. The Cougars have made at least five three-pointers in 21 of 23 games this season. The Cougars tied the program record with 33 three-point attempts against Loyola Marymount and recorded the sixth-best three-point shooting percentage in program history with 81.3 percent accuracy (13-of-16) against New Mexico, which is also an MWC record in league games. Individually, Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari have each made a three-pointer in 20 of 23 games this season while Sam Burgess has done so in 18 contests and Jimmer Fredette in 17. Cummard had an 11-game streak with a make from long range, which ranks ninth all-time at BYU, come to an end at Utah, while Tavernari's 12-game streak to begin the year is tied for seventh all-time in BYU history. Tavernari is on pace to break the Cougars' single-season three-point record of 74 with 60 treys so far this season.
BYU IN THE RANKINGS
The BYU men's basketball team fell out of the top-25 polls released on Dec. 31 after a 73-70 road loss at Boise State. This season BYU first entered the national rankings on Nov. 26, earning the program's earliest appearance in the national polls since the 1980-81 season when the Cougars entered the rankings at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll. BYU has now been ranked in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1980-81 and 1981-82. Last year, BYU entered the polls on Feb. 19 to receive the program's first national ranking since 1993, finishing the season ranked No. 24 in the final AP Poll, something a Cougar team had not accomplished since 1988. The Cougar basketball program has now been ranked in the AP Poll during 16 seasons since its first national ranking in 1950-51.
PLAYING THE BEST
BYU's game against No. 9 Michigan State on Dec. 8 was its third game in three weeks against a top-10 opponent, including a victory over No. 6 Louisville on Nov. 23 and a loss to No. 1 North Carolina on Nov. 24. BYU has played at least three regular-season games against top-10 opponents in a season just six times previously in program history with the last coming in 1983-84. Only twice previously have the Cougars played three top-10 teams during a three-week stretch, once in 1990-91 with a loss to No. 9 Utah on March 2, a win over No. 8 Utah on March 9 in the WAC Tournament and a loss to No. 8 Arizona on March 16 in the NCAA Tournament and once in 1980-81 with a victory over No. 9 Utah on March 7 in the WAC Tournament, a win over No. 10 UCLA on March 14 in the NCAA Tournament, a victory over No. 7 Notre Dame on March 19 in the NCAA Tourney and a loss to No. 5 Virginia on March 21 in the NCAAs.
Seniors Ben Murdock and Sam Burgess along with juniors Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted have started all 23 games this year while sophomore Jonathan Tavernari has made 17 starts and freshman Chris Collinsworth has started six contests.
WINNING WITH ROSE
With a 63-23 record in his third season, BYU coach Dave Rose ranks first in wins and winning percentage among the 18 head coaches who began their first season as a head coach at the Division I level along with Rose in 2005-06. Rose ranks second to only Tennessee's Bruce Pearl (67-21 record) among all coaches who started at a new school in 2005-06. (including games as of Feb. 10)
First-Year Coaches in 2005-06 By Wins
Coach, School Record Percentage
Dave Rose, BYU 63-23 .733
Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss* 58-29 .667
*includes one season as the interim head coach at Cincinnati
Head Coaches in Their First Year With a Program in 2005-06 By Wins
Coach, School Record Percentage
Bruce Pearl, Tennessee 67-21 .761
Dave Rose, BYU 63-23 .733
Tim Floyd, USC 60-33 .645
BYU PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TRENT PLAISTED (FEB. 11) -- Junior forward/center Trent Plaisted scored 27 points on 71.4 percent shooting from the floor and 77.8 percent accuracy at the free-throw line in BYU's 83-72 win last week vs. TCU. Plaisted added four rebounds, two steals, one assist and one blocked shot in his 33 minutes on the floor. He scored a season-best 17 first-half points to lead the Cougars to a 43-35 lead at the break. He added double-digit scoring in the second half as well to equal his career mark with a game-high 27 points. Plaisted finished the night making 10-of-14 field-goal attempts while going 7-for-9 at the charity stripe. He scored 20 or more points for the sixth game this season and 15th time during his career.
PLAISTED IN 1,000 POINT CLUB
With 22 points against Lamar, junior Trent Plaisted became the 37th member of BYU's elite 1,000 Point Club, joining such Cougar greats as Danny Ainge, Michael Smith, Devin Durrant, Fred Roberts, Kresimir Cosic and Andy Toolson to score at least 1,000 points in their Cougar careers. Plaisted now has 1,187 career points, 21st on BYU's all-time scoring list. Before Plaisted, Keena Young was the most recent addition to the club as he posted 1,068 points during his three-year BYU stint from 2005-07. Of four-year players, Plaisted is just the 10th Cougar to reach the 1,000-point milestone as a junior. The last four-year player to reach 1,000 points as a junior was Mark Bigelow with 1,312 following the 2002-03 season. Plaisted also has 622 career rebounds, making him just the 11th player overall to record at least 1,000 career points and 600 career rebounds.
BURGESS COMIN' UP BIG
Senior co-captain Sam Burgess is making the most of his final BYU campaign as he is fourth on the team in scoring (8.6), third in field-goal shooting among players with at least 30 attempts (.438) and third in assists (2.0) while ranking second on the team in three-point shooting (.407). He has increased his scoring total from last season by 5.0 ppg while averaging 16.1 more minutes per game. His nine double-figure scoring games this year has already surpassed last year's mark of four double-digit scoring outings. Burgess has started all 23 games this season after starting just one game in his two prior seasons as a Cougar. He scored 15 points against New Mexico on 4-for-6 shooting from the field and a 3-for-3 mark from three-point range.
BYU boasts five players who are making 80 percent or more of their free-throw attempts this year (Jimmer Fredette, .889; Lee Cummard, .870; Ben Murdock, .867; Jonathan Tavernari, .852; Sam Burgess, .846). Lee Cummard made a career- and team-season-high 21 straight free throws before missing his first attempt vs. SDSU. He earlier had made 19 straight before a miss against Southern Utah, meaning he had made 40 of 41 attempts (97.6 percent) over that stretch. He has been perfect at the line in 10 of 16 games he has gone to the line this year.
The Cougars' 18 victories this year have come by an average margin of 18.3 points, including a season-opening 40-point road win at Long Beach State (74-34), one of 15 double-digit wins for BYU this season and one of seven victories by over 20 points. The win over the 49ers marked BYU's largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent since defeating Morgan State by 41 points (110-69) on Dec. 28, 1995. Including BYU's five losses, the Cougars still boast a scoring margin of 11.4 points this year. BYU won 17 games by double-digits last year, including seven by 20 or more points, and was the only team in the Mountain West Conference to not have a regular-season game decided by less than four points. With an average scoring margin of +9.1 last season, the Cougars posted their largest margin of victory since 1993.
THIS YEAR'S LOSSES
BYU's five losses this year have come on neutral floors against then-No. 1 North Carolina and No. 6 (then No. 9) Michigan State and on the road at Boise State, at Wake Forest and at UNLV. BYU held double-digit leads over both Michigan State and Boise State and battled the top-rated Tar Heels through six second-half lead changes. North Carolina (22-2), Michigan State (20-3), Boise State (17-6), Wake Forest (14-8) and UNLV (18-5) have a combined 91-24 record for a .791 winning percentage as of games played Feb. 10.
FROM THE FIELD
BYU is shooting 46.1 percent from the field this season while allowing opponents to shoot just 39.0 percent from the floor (No. 1 in the MWC). Overall, the Cougars have shot above 50 percent in nine games this year. BYU has shot above 50 percent in the first half of eight games this season and in the second half of 11 contests, totaling 19 halves of play with a shooting percentage of 50 percent higher, including five above 60 percent. The Cougars posted a season-high 60.4 percent efficiency against Hartford bolstered by a 63.6 percent second-half shooting mark (14-for-22). Individually, Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted rank No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, among MWC players in field-goal percentage at 56.6 and 54.0 percent and 35th and 67th, respectively, in the national rankings as of Feb. 7.
The Cougars are 17-2 this season when leading at the half with 12 of the 19 advantages coming by double digits. No. 1 North Carolina, Wake Forest, UNLV and San Diego State are the only teams this season to post a halftime lead against BYU. BYU's win over SDSU was the Cougars' first triumph after trailing at the break. BYU suffered its first loss of the year after holding a halftime lead with a 68-61 defeat against No. 9 Michigan State after a 35-25 lead at the break. The Cougars led by 11 points at the half at Boise State but fell by three points to the Broncos. The Cougars are besting opponents by an average of 8.0 points in the first period of play while scoring at least 40 points in the first half of nine of 23 games this season. BYU has scored at least 30 points in the first half of 19 of 23 games while holding opponents under 30 points 15 times. The Cougars' 36-12 lead at the break at Long Beach State marked their largest halftime advantage since being up by 28 points (51-23) against Western Oregon on Dec. 22, 2006. The 12 points given up by BYU in the first 20 minutes of the game at LBSU marked the fewest points allowed in a half by the Cougars since allowing a record-low 10 points against Air Force in 2003. BYU has topped 40 points in the second half of 10 games this year while surpassing the 50-point mark in the second half four times.
PAINTING THE TOWN
The Cougars have outscored their opponents in the paint in 12 games and equaled them in one other this year, recording a +4.2 margin in that category. BYU has posted a double-digit margin in eight games, including a season-best +38 margin (54-16) against Jackson State. The Cougars are 12-0 when besting opponents in the paint while all five of BYU's losses on the season have come when the Cougars have been outscored in the paint.
MAKING THE MOST OF THE MISCUE
Despite recording a -0.6 turnover margin with their opponents on the year, the Cougars have outscored foes in points off of turnovers in 17 games this season, posting a +4.6 scoring margin in that category. BYU scored a season-best 26 points off of turnovers against Loyola Marymount.
FAST AND FURIOUS
BYU has outscored opponents in transition in 16 games, equaled them three times and been outpaced only four times. The Cougars average 4.7 more fastbreak points than their opponents. The Cougars scored a season-best 20 fastbreak points against Jackson State while tying their season high with a +16 margin. BYU's four deficits in that category came in losses against No. 1 North Carolina (0-4), against No. 9 Michigan State (0-4) and at Wake Forest (0-8) and a win at Air Force (0-2).
FROM THE BENCH
BYU's reserves have outscored the opposition's bench only eight times this year, but they have done it in six of the last 12 games after seven straight contests with a scoring deficit off the bench. On the whole, the BYU bench has outscored opponent reserves by 0.8 points per game this season, tallying 463 points or 20.1 points per game. BYU's leading scorer off the bench is freshman guard Jimmer Fredette, who is averaging 7.0 points per game. He had 10 points against TCU. He stepped up at Wake Forest, tying for team-high honors with 15 points off the bench and is averaging 8.3 ppg in BYU's last six road games.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
Including a game-high lead of 20 points against TCU, the Cougars have posted a double-digit lead in 18 of 23 games and have led by more than 20 points in 12 games and more than 30 points in four contests. The exception to the double-digit leads came against No. 1 North Carolina when the game-high BYU lead was two points, at Wake Forest when BYU never led, at UNLV when the Cougars' large lead was three points, at Utah when the Cougar game-high lead was seven points and vs. San Diego State when BYU built a six-point advantage. The Cougars have led wire-to-wire in 10 games this season.