BYU Travels to Play Colorado State Thursday

PROVO -- After defeating UNLV at home Saturday, BYU, 16-7 overall and 5-5 in the Mountain West Conference, travels to face Colorado State, 15-10 and 5-5, Thursday at 7 p.m. in Fort Collins. The Cougars and Rams are tied with Wyoming in fourth place in conference play. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant calling the action.

Up Next

BYU returns to Laramie for the first time since 1997-98 to play the Cowboys in a 4 p.m. game Saturday. The game will be televised on KSL, channel 5.

Last Time Out

BYU held on to defeat UNLV Saturday in the Marriott Center, 83-82, when a Trevor Diggs 17-footer with Michael Vranes in his face missed the mark for the Rebels at the final buzzer. BYU led by as many as 11 and never relinquished the lead during the game's final 28 minutes, but nearly allowed the Rebels to steal a win because of missed free throws down the stretch. The Cougars led by seven with just over 30 seconds remaining but with three different Cougars missed free pitches at the line, UNLV was able to nearly erase the Cougar lead. Five Cougars scored in double figures for the first time since the second game of the season, led by Terrell Lyday with 22 points. Mekeli Wesley added 17, Todd Christensen 15, Vranes 12 and Eric Nielsen 11. Vranes pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and Wesley and Lyday both had career bests with six and five assists, respectively. Kaspars Kambala led all scorers with 27 points for UNLV. Diggs totaled 21 and Dalron Johnson 14. BYU shot 52 percent from the floor, including 6-12 on threes, while UNLV shot 48 percent and was 6-16 from behind the arc. BYU finished at 62 percent from the line going 21-34. BYU actually made 13 free throws in a row at one point in the second half before going cold in the final minutes. The Cougars had 21 assists to only 12 turnovers. With the win, BYU swept the season series with UNLV and improved to 16-7 and 5-5 in the MWC.

Game Quick Facts:

BYU (16-7, 5-5) at Colorado State (15-10, 5-5)

Thursday, Feb. 24 • Moby Arena (8,745) • Fort Collins, Colo. • 7 p.m. Mountain

Broadcast Plans:


Network: Cougar Sports Network

Station: KSL Newsradio 1160 AM

Air Time: 6:30 p.m. Mountain

Play-by-play: Greg Wrubell

Commentary: Mark Durrant

BYU's Probable Starters:

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG

F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-8 210 So. 5.3 3.9

F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 230 Jr. 17.9 6.1

G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 190 Jr. 17.4 3.9

G 13 Michael Vranes 6-3 190 So. 8.0 4.3

G 31 Matt Montague 6-1 190 So. 3.0 2.8

Colorado State's Probable Starters:

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG

F 45 Ceedric Goodwyn 6-8 230 Sr. 17.4 4.4

F 40 Garrett Patik 6-7 210 Jr. 4.1 5.6

G 3 Ron Grady 6-3 185 Jr. 9.2 2.9

G 32 John Sivesind 6-3 195 Jr. 11.7 3.0

G 10 Aki Palmer 5-9 175 Jr. 7.9 1.9

BYU Coach: Steve Cleveland

Record at BYU: 37-44 (3rd year)

Overall Div. I record: Same

CSU Coach: Ritchie McKay

Record at CSu: 34-21 (2nd year)

Overall record: 58-50 (4th year)

Series Record: 71-40 BYU

Game Time: 7 p.m. Mountain

Scouting Colorado State

Colorado State is 15-10 overall and 5-5 in the conference. The Rams are 7-3 at home this year and 2-2 in conference play and have gone 4-4 since losing to BYU in the Marriott Center in the first meeting between the two teams. Colorado State has a two-game winning streak, its first back-to-back wins since winning eight straight non-conference games in December. In the two wins Colorado State edged Air Force in Colorado Springs (66-64) and cruised by San Diego State, 74-46, on Feb. 12. The two wins ended CSU's two-game losing streak with losses at UNLV (74-63) and to Creighton (78-67). The 28-point win over San Diego State is the largest margin of victory in a road conference game in school history. In the last outing, CSU shot 55 percent from the floor, including 53 percent on threes, to edge Air Force on the road. Aki Palmer led CSU with 15 and Ceedric Goodwyn added 13. Goodwin has reached double figures in a conference-best 25 straight games. In the win over SDSU, Goodwin scored 15 and Garret Patik (Jr., F) recorded his second double-double of the year (10 pts, 10 rbs). The Rams' loss to Creighton ended their 26-game non-conference win streak. Goodwyn led the way with 17 points. In the loss at UNLV, CSU struggled from the 3-point line, shooting just 26.1 percent (6-for-23). It was the third lowest 3-point percentage in a game for the Rams this season. John Sivesind (Jr., G) scored a team-high 15 points. CSU is the top three-point shooting team in the nation and ranks 18th in field goal percentage. Colorado State's defense has posted two of the lowest scoring halves by an opponent this season. Seattle University managed just 10 points in the first half of a 74-31 loss to the Rams on Nov. 20, while Denver tallied 15 points in the first half of the Dec 18th game. The Rams are 7-0 this season when it holds an opponent to under 40 percent from the field. Goodwyn leads the Rams with a17.4 scoring average, while Sivesind adds 11.7. Patik pulls down a team-best 5.6 rebounds per game. Goodwyn can get hot as was demonstrated earlier this year when he was named the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week after he scored 52 points (26 ppg), pulled down 12 rebounds, and had seven blocks in two games. Goodwyn shot 54 percent (19-35) from the field, 67 percent (4-6) from beyond the arc and 59 percent (10-17) from the free throw line to earn the honor. Common non-conference teams on BYU's schedule were Arizona State (72-57 loss) and Denver (85-51 win).

Series Notes

This will be the 112th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 71-40 and won the last outing (68-47) in Provo this year but CSU has won five of the last seven meetings, including the previous three by an average of 12 points. CSU has won seven of the last 11 games dating back to the 1993-94 season. BYU's last victory in Fort Collins was a 72-70 overtime win in 1993-94. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 1-2 against Colorado State with both losses occurring during his first season in 1997-98. The series dates back to 1938.

Last Meeting

Four Cougars scored in double figures and BYU held Colorado State to a season-low shooting night in a 68-47 win Saturday. It was the first time in the last four games that any BYU players other than Mekeli Wesley and Terrell Lyday have reached double-digit scoring. Eric Nielsen, who was averaging 3.9 points and had not scored in double figures in the previous 14 games, made 4-5 shots, including his first three-pointer of the year, to score 10 points. He scored five points during a 16-5 run in the first half that gave BYU a 24-11 early advantage. Wesley contributed 13 points in 21 minutes while Lyday scored a game-high 15 and Michael Vranes added 11. Ceedric Goodwyn, who scoring a team-high 14 points, helped CSU pull within five at half but Vranes scored five of his 11 points during a 12-4 BYU run to open the second half. After Goodwyn scored at the 12:42 mark, Colorado State didn't score another field goal. BYU shot 50 percent to CSU's 32.6 percent, a season low. Neither team shot well from three-point range despite coming in as two of the top three teams in the nation in three-point percentage. Lyday however, made 3-5 treys and set a new BYU record by making a three-pointer in his 17th straight game. The Cougars out boarding the Rams 40-28.

Coach Cleveland Shows

Radio: Coach Steve Cleveland can be heard Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. with host Greg Wrubell on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM.

Television: The Coach Cleveland Show can be viewed Sunday at 5 p.m. on KSL-TV, channel 5 with host Alema Harrington.

BYU Starting Lineups

UCR Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

SUU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Ariz. Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Den. Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

ASU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

TSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

WSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

SCSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

USA Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

FIU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

UCSB Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

UCI Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

USU Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

UNLV Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Utah Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

Wyo Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

CSU Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

AFA Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

UNM Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

SDSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Utah Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

UNM Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

UNLV Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

BYU's record when . . .

BYU leads at half 14-1

Opponent leads at half 1-6

Score tied at half 1-0

BYU leads with 5 minutes left 15-1

Opponent leads with 5 min. left 0-6

BYU leads with 1 minute left 15-0

Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-7

Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0

Game goes into overtime 1-0

BYU out rebounds opponent 11-0

Opponent out rebounds BYU 5-7

BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 0-0

BYU shoots 50 % or better 10-0

Opponent shoots 50 % or better 0-3

BYU out shoots opponent 15-1

Opponent out shoots BYU 1-6

More BYU's Record When ...

BYU is 2-1 in games decided by two points or less; 0-2 in 3-5-point games; 4-2 in 6-9-point games; and 10-2 in double-digit margins. Mekeli Wesley has either shared or been BYU's top scorer in 13 games this season and the Cougars are 8-5 in those games. He has also been BYU's top rebounder in 12 games. BYU is 8-4 in those games. BYU is 4-4 in the games when Mekeli Wesley was both the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Terrell Lyday has shared or led BYU in scoring in nine games and BYU is 6-3 (except UNM twice and at Utah) in those contests. Silester Rivers has been BYU's best rebounder in five games and the Cougars are 4-1 (except UNM). When the Cougars get good scoring efforts from its supporting cast, they have been hard to beat. BYU is 8-0 when Michael Vranes has scored in double figures and 7-0 when Christensen scores in double digits. They are 6-1 (all but at UNM) when Rivers reaches double figures, 4-1 (all but at AFA) when Eric Nielsen had double digits and 4-2 when Cooper (except UNM and at Utah) has scored 10 or more.

Wesley Moves Up Scoring Ladder

Mekeli Wesley became the 32nd BYU player to score 1,000 career points Thursday vs. UNM. After scoring 22 vs. UNLV Saturday, he now has 1,027 career points and passed Dave Eastis (1,015 points from 1959-61) into 31st place on the career scoring list. He needs five points to overcome Bernie Fryer, 1,031 (1971-72) and 25 points to pass Scott Runia, 1,051 (1977-80). The most recent BYU basketball players to reach 1,000 career points were Ken Roberts (1,652 points) and Randy Reid (1,073 points) who both ended their BYU careers in 1996. Danny Ainge (1978-81) tops the career list at 2,467 points. Despite missing part of his sophomore season, Mekeli is only the eighth BYU player to reach 1,000 points as a junior. He joins Ainge, Michael Smith, Devin Durrant, Russell Larson, Fred and Ken Roberts and Jeff Chatman as the only BYU players to have scored more that 1,000 points by the end of their junior years.

MWC Series Notables

With its win Saturday, BYU evened its series with UNLV at 4-4. BYU has a winning record against every other Mountain West team but Utah, who defeated the Cougars twice this year and have 12 straight wins over BYU. The Cougars now trail Utah by one game, 113-114, which is the first time in the 91-year history of the rivalry that Utah has held the advantage.

Scoring Support Brings Victories

Todd Christensen was one off his season high with 15 points vs. UNLV Saturday while Michael Vranes added 12. BYU had five Cougars score double figures for the first time since the second game of the season. BYU now boasts a perfect 8-0 record when Michael Vranes has scored in double figures and a 7-0 mark when Christensen scores in double digits.

Win Column

With a 16-7 record, BYU has its most wins in a season since the 1994-95 season. BYU's last winning season was in 1995-96 season when the Cougars finished 15-13.

Attendance Notable

BYU played in front of the second largest crowd of the season Saturday when 17,432 attended the UNLV game. The largest crowd BYU has seen on the road this year was 17,242 at New Mexico. BYU's largest crowd came at home against Utah in the Marriott Center on Jan. 15. The 22,580 made up the eighth largest fan attendance this season in Division I.

Win/Loss Barometer

BYU shot 52 percent from the floor against UNLV, including 6-12 on threes. The Cougars are now 10-0 when they shoot 50 percent or better. In five conference losses, the Cougars shot 40 percent from the floor in three games and 41 percent in the other two. In BYU's five conference wins, the Cougars shot 48, 49, 50, 52 and 54 percent from the floor. Overall, the Cougars are 15-1 when they out shoot the opposition and 1-6 when they don't.


BYU ended its second two-game losing skid Saturday with a home win over UNLV. Last year BYU had two three-game losing streaks and one four-game skid. The Cougars have had two five-game winning streaks this year and a seven-game home winning streak. On the road, BYU had a four-game winning streak snapped at AFA (the longest road win streak since 1992-93, when the Cougars won six straight road games).

Assist vs. Turnover Trends

BYU surpassed 20 assists in a game for the fourth time this year (all wins) with 21 assists vs. UNLV. It was the first time the Cougars have done so in conference play and the first time in the last 15 games. The other 20-plus assist games came at Denver (21), vs. Texas Southern (20) and vs. South Carolina State (23). With its 21 assists to 12 turnovers vs. UNLV, BYU has now had more assists than turnovers in the last three games after having committed more turnovers in the previous four contests. In conference play, BYU has had more assist than turnovers in four of 10 games. On the year, BYU averages 15.0 assists and 14.3 turnovers. The Cougars have a + 1.1 turnover margin. (Last year BYU averaged 17.3 turnovers per game to only 12.8 assists). In conference play, BYU averages 13.6 assists and 14.8 turnovers in 10 games. BYU has had 12 games this year where it has had more assists than turnovers, one game when assists equaled turnovers and 10 games when it has had more turnovers than assists.

Lyday's BYU-Record Consecutive Game Three-Point Streak Ends at 21

Lyday had his BYU record streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer halted at 21 vs. New Mexico when he went 0-4 from behind the arc. Saturday vs. UNLV he went 2-3 on threes -- marking the 13th game this year he has had multiple treys but only the first time in the last six games. On the year, he has made a three in 22 of BYU's 23 games. He is only 6-27 in the last six games on three-point attempts. The prior consecutive games record was 16 set by Andy Toolson in 1990. Lyday has made 40 percent of his three-point attempts and a team-best 47 treys.

Three-Point Range

BYU had its eighth game with a 50 percent or better three-point percentage Saturday vs. UNLV. The Cougars are 7-1 in those games (lost at S.Alabama despite hitting season high 61.5 percent on threes). The last time BYU played Colorado State, the Cougars entered the contest tied for second nationally behind CSU in three-point percentage but made only 4-16 against the Rams -- the beginning of BYU's worst three-point stretch of the season (8-46 in three games). BYU has had trouble with the three vs. New Mexico this year. BYU was only 2-13 on threes vs. UNM last week, its second worst percentage (15) of the season, and shot a mere 7.7 percent (1-13) at UNM earlier this year. BYU, however, shot 50 percent or better in both games vs. UNLV.

Finding the Mark

After going 4-24 from three-point range in his previous five games, Lyday made 2-3 vs. UNLV Saturday. Christensen, who was 6-14 in the same five games, got even hotter hitting 3-4 attempts Saturday. Vranes, however, still had trouble finding the target. He had been 3-11 in the previous five games and went 1-5 Saturday. Wesley is 3-11, and Cooper 3-10 in the last six games (neither made an attempts Saturday).

Numbers on the Road

BYU is 6-5 on the road this year, having tripled its road wins last year (2-10). BYU is coming off a loss at Utah and a win at SDSU. Two road losses at AFA and UNM ended a four-game road winning streak. BYU is scoring 69.4 points in away games and allowing 67.6. BYU is shooting .436, including .391 on threes, and .703 from the line. BYU is being out rebounded 33.5-36.7. Terrell Lyday leads the Cougar scoring effort on the road with a 18.4 average, including a career-high 35 at Utah State and 30 at UNLV. Mekeli Wesley averaged 16.5 points and a team-best 6.0 boards. Christensen averages 7.2 points.

Numbers at Home

BYU is 10-2 at home this year, surpassing its home win total of last year (9-5). The losses were to Utah (56-49) and vs. UNM (78-74). The Cougars are averaging 76.4 points per game at home (13.3-point margin of victory). The Cougars are making 49.6 percent of its shots, including 37.3 percent of its three-point attempts, in the Marriott Center. They are pulling down 35.7 rebounds per game to their opponents 33.8. Wesley is scoring a team-best 19.2 points, followed by Terrell Lyday at 16.5, Michael Vranes 9.3, Silester Rivers at 7.7 and Nathan Cooper at 7.2.


BYU's defense has been a large part of the Cougars success this year. Only three teams have shot 50 percent or better against BYU but two have been in the last three outings (UNM 51, Utah 56) and UNLV shot 48 percent Saturday (Arizona 54 percent). In BYU's four other losses, S. Alabama .490, UNM .452, Utah .429 and AFA .392. The Cougars rank first in the MWC in both field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense. The Cougars have held opponents below a 40 percent shooting in 13 games. BYU is 12-1 in those games (exception - Air Force). BYU holds opponents to 65.3 points. Individually BYU has had outstanding defensive efforts, including Terrell Lyday helping hold Eddie House of Arizona State (No. 3 scorer in the nation) to a 0-16 night -- the only time House has gone without a field goal in his career.

On the Boards

BYU is pulling down 34.7 rebounds per game and its opponents 35.2. Despite being undersized, BYU had not had a negative rebounding margin until the last three games. The Cougars are 11-0 when they have out rebounded their opponents and 5-7 in games were the opposition totalled more boards. Mekeli Wesley leads BYU with 6.1 rebounds per game, including a team-best 107 defensive boards. Silester Rivers has a team-high 35 offensive rebounds (Wesley has 33 and Nielsen 31). BYU has been out boarded in seven of 10 MWC games (Utah, UNM, AFA, Wyo, Utah, UNM, UNLV).


After scoring 83 vs. UNLV Saturday, BYU has scored more than 80 points in a six games and averages 73.0 points. BYU has shot better than 50 percent in 10 games (all wins). The Cougars have shot below 40 percent three times -- 36.5 percent in a loss at No.4 Arizona and a season-low 29.6 in a win at UCSB and 29.6 percent at AFA. The Cougars are shooting 46.6 percent (38.3 on threes and 70.7 percent from the line. BYU is 10-0 when it shots 50 percent or better and 15-1 when it out shoots its opponent (except AFA). Two regular players are shooting better than 50 percent. Silester Rivers is making a team-best 56.8 percent and Eric Nielsen 55.6 percent. Mekeli Wesley makes 49.6 percent while Todd Christensen (48.5) and Terrell Lyday (46.2) have the best percentages from the back court. Cooper makes a team-best 81.5 percent from the line.

Mekeli Wesley

Wesley is BYU's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 17.9 ppg and 6.1 rpg. He averages 17.4 and 5.8 in MWC games. He has been BYU's top scorer in 13 games this season and has scored in double figures in 21 of BYU's 23 games, including the last 13 straight. He has 10 games with 20 or more points and one game with more than 30. Despite playing on a sprained ankle last week, he scored a team-high 22 vs. UNLV along with a career-best 6 assists. He also had 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. He had 16 points in 30 minutes vs. UNM. When he scored his 11th point at UNM he became the 32nd BYU player to reach 1,000 career points and only the eighth to do so as a junior. He tied Terrell Lyday with a game-high 14 points at Utah and had a team-best 6 rebounds. He hit two treys to help BYU take an early 18-9 lead. He recorded game highs with 15 points and nine rebounds to lead BYU to a 72-50 road win at San Diego State Thursday. After two bad shooting nights at AFA and UNM, Wesley responded by hitting 6-11 shots, including 1-2 three-pointers, to help the Cougars break its first two-game losing skid of the season. He added two steals and a block and assist in 25 minutes against the Aztecs. He went 3-12 from the floor at UNM (10 points, 7 rebounds) and scored a team-high 12 points (4-10 shooting) at Air Force and only had two rebounds, matching his season low (2 vs. SUU). He had 13 points in 21 minutes vs. CSU and scored a career- and conference-play high 34 points vs. Wyoming (he scored 31 points twice as a freshman) and had team highs of 8 rebounds and 4 assists. He had game highs of 21 points and 7 rebounds against Utah. He scored 17 points and had 4 rebounds at UNLV Monday. He scored 11 points and had a team highs with 8 rebounds and 3 assists at Utah State. He scored 18 points and pulled down 6 boards against UC Irvine. He had 6 rebounds and scored a game-high 24 points, 16 in the second half, at UCSB. He had 8 points, 7 rebounds at FIU. He had a game-high 20 points at South Alabama. He averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds to earn MWC Player of the Week honors (Dec. 7-11) and was named the Cougar Classic MVP for the second time in his career (also as freshman). He recorded his first double-double of the year (fourth of career) with 24 points, 10 rebounds in win over Texas Southern. He scored a season-high 26 points in back-to-back games this year versus Denver and ASU.

Terrell Lyday

Lyday averages 17.4 points, second on the team, and team-high 33 minutes. Lyday is averaging 18.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in MWC games. He has scored in double figures in 21 of BYU's 23 games, including the last 12 straight games. He made a three-pointer in a BYU record 21 straight games this season ( previous record was 16 games by Andy Toolson 1990) and has connected in 22 of 23 games overall. His streak came to an end vs. UNM when he went 0-4. He is only 6-27 on threes in last six games, however, but has made a team-high 47 threes (40.5 percent). Last year he made 102 treys at Fresno City College. He has excelled defensively also, guarding the other team's best perimeter player. He helped hold Arizona State's high scoring Eddie House to a 5 points on 0-16 shooting, the only time House has not scored a field goal in his career. House has the top two scoring games in the nation this year (61 and 46). Lyday scored 17 and had career-best 5 assists vs. UNLV and scored a game-high 29, his third-best effort of the year, vs. UNM in 34 minutes. He had 14 points and 4 assists at Utah. He was only 4-11 from the floor, 1-4 on treys and 5-8 form the line. He had 12 points and 5 rebounds at SDSU. He scored 17 first-half points at UNM and 21 in the game. Playing on a sprained ankle, he was 4-11 (11 pts) vs. AFA. He had game-high 15 vs. CSU and scored 22 points vs. Wyoming. He had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists vs. Utah. Lyday made 5-10 threes, scored 30 points and had a career-high 11 rebounds and tied a career-best with 6 steals at UNLV. It was his first double-double of the year. He was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week (Jan. 3-8) after averaged 28.5 points and shooting better than 60 percent from the floor and on threes in two BYU wins. He carried BYU to a win at Utah State with a career-high 35 points, including six three-pointers, and scored a game-high 22 points to lead a BYU comeback win over UC Irvine. He had career-best 6 steals at UCSB, despite an off night scoring (2-11 for 8 points and held scoreless in the first half for the first time this year). He scored 26 points at FIU and had 15 points against South Alabama, where he was a perfect 4-4 on three-point attempts. He joined Wesley on the Cougar Classic All-Tournament team Dec. 10-11. He scored 18 points against Arizona and had 17 vs. ASU.

Silester Rivers

Rivers averages 7.0 points (4th on team) and 4.4 rebounds (2nd on team). He has a team-high 35 offensive boards and is shooting a team-best 56.8 percent (FG). He has scored in double figures seven times this year and has led the team in rebounds four times (6 vs. UC Riverside, 9 at Denver, 11 at FIU, 9 at UNM). Despite fouling out, he gave BYU 21 solid minutes while banging Kaspars Kambala of UNLV Saturday. Rivers was 2-3 for 4 pts and had 3 rebounds. He started vs. UNM but got in quick foul trouble and only played 5 minutes without scoring (0-1) while grabbing four rebounds. He has been troubled by sore knees. He played 20 minutes at Utah and did not take a shot while grabbing two rebounds and committing three fouls. He fouled out with 15 minutes remaining at SDSU (3 pts, 2 rbs). He played well with 12 pts, team-high 9 boards at UNM in 29 minutes off the bench (only 6-12 from the line). He played only eight minutes at AFA but had 7 pts, 2 rbs, 2 assts. He scored 9 points vs. CSU and 8 points vs. Wyoming. He started his third game of the year vs. Utah and had 5 points, 4 rebounds while guarding the much larger Ute post players. Rivers had 3 points (3-4 FTs) and 5 rebounds at UNLV. He had a strong outing at Utah State, scoring 15 points (some nice post moves), 7 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Rivers came off the bench against UC Irvine after starting the two previous games. Despite being weakened by the flu, he contributed 5 points and 6 rebounds in 11 minutes. He started his second straight game against UCSB but was 0-2 with 4 rebounds in 17 minutes. He played a season-high 31 minutes in his first start at Florida International and had double-double 10 points and season-high 11 rebounds. He scored 8 points in 12 minutes at South Alabama. He scored game- and season-high 17 points against South Carolina State. He had 10 points versus Arizona State and 14 points in back-to-back games to open the year against UC Riverside and Southern Utah.

Michael Vranes

Vranes is third on the team in rebounding (4.3 rpg), and scoring (8.0 ppg), and second with 2.8 assists per game. He has made a trey in 13 games. He has scored in double figures in eight games (all BYU wins). He has only reach double figures in three of the last 11 games but he scored 12 points and had team-high 7 rbs along with 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block vs. UNLV. He had 7 pts and game-high 6 assts vs. UNM but no rebounds for the first time all year. He had 7 pts, 1 rbd at Utah and had 12 points at SDSU after recording only three total points in the two previous games. At UNM, he went 1-6 shooting (3 pts, 2 rbs, 2 assts). Fighting the flu, he went 0-3 and did not score for the first time in his career at Air Force. He had a team-high 7 rebounds vs. CSU and 11 pts. He had 8 pts, 5 rbs , 3 assts vs. Wyoming. He had 4 pts, 4 rbs, 3 assts vs. Utah. He had 9 pts, 4 rbs at UNLV and 9 pts, 5 rbs, 2 assts at Utah State. He had 11 pts, 5 rbs, 5 assts against UC Irvine. Vranes matched a career high with a team-best 9 rebounds at UCSB and had a team-high 3 assists despite 3 points on 1-9 shooting. He scored 8 of his 12 points in overtime at FIU. He totalled 10 pts, 6 rbs and a season-high 7 assists vs. South Carolina State. He had a season-high 15 pts along with 5 rbs vs. Weber State.

Todd Christensen

Regarded as the best shooter on the team, Christensen shoots 48.5 percent from the floor and 45,7 percent from behind the arc. He averages 6.2 ppg in 18 minutes. He is sharing point guard duties after playing shooting guard most of last year. Beginning with Utah State, he started six straight games before coming off the bench (0-1. 0 pts and 8 minutes) at UNM. He was one off his season high vs. UNLV, scoring 15 points, including 3-4 on treys. He took a season-high 10 shots and made 5 to equal his season best for field goals made. He 2 pts in 16 minutes vs. UNM. He scored 7 pts at Utah and totaled 11 pts at SDSU, including a 3-4 night from long range. He hit two treys for 6 pts at AFA. He did not score (0-3 -- all treys), 3 assts vs. CSU. He had 7 pts, 3 assts vs. Wyoming. He did not score, taking only one shot, vs. Utah. At UNLV, he had 8 pts, including a clutch three-pointer to put the Cougars up four late in the game. At Utah State he scored 7 early pts to help BYU shot 57 percent in the first half. Christensen scored 13 pts, including a four-point play at UCSB. Against UCSB and FIU he was 9-16 (.562) from the floor, 6-11 (.545) on treys, and 3-3 from the line while averaging 13.5 ppg. He scored all of his 14 pts in the first half at FIU (4-5 treys in 11 minutes). He had 3 assts at S. Alabama in 12 minutes. He had a season-high 16 pts, including 5-8 threes, vs. South Carolina State (10 at Denver).

Matt Montague

The only true point guard on the BYU roster, he has team-leading 93 assists (4.0 apg, 3.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg). After starting the first 12 games, he came off the bench for the next six before returning to the starting lineup in the last five. He had 2 pts, 3 rbs, 4 assts (no turnovers) vs. UNLV in 15 minutes. He had 2 pts, 1 asst (4 turnovers) vs. UNM in 18 minutes. He made his third trey of the year at Utah and scored 5 points with 3 assists in 18 minutes. He had 2 rebounds and 2 assists but did not score at SDSU. He had 4 pts, 6 assts at UNM in 36 minutes. He took season-high seven shots and scored season-best 9 points at AFA (6 assts). He had 5 assists, 5 boards and 2 points vs. CSU and had 7 points vs. Wyoming. He played a season-low seven minutes vs. Utah (1 assist, 3 TO, 1 rebound). He scored 6 points, 7 assists at UNLV. At Utah State he played 25 minutes off the bench and had 4 points, 2 assists. He was limited to 10 minutes (achilles) against UC Irvine and did not record an assist for the first time this year. Montague made three clutch free throws down the stretch at UCSB. He had 2 pts, 4 rbs , 8 assts in team- and personal career-high 41 minutes at FIU. He shared team-high 5 rebounds with Wesley at South Alabama (4 assts). He had 5 points vs. South Carolina State and made his second three-pointer of the year. After receiving stitches to repair a cut above his eye against ASU, Montague returned and led BYU on a 14-1 run. He dished out a season-high 9 assists vs. Weber State and helped hold Wildcat guard Eddie Gill to 2-14 shooting.

Eric Nielsen

A returned LDS missionary to Russia, Nielsen is averaging 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds. He has started in 19 games, including the first nine and the last five until not starting vs. UNM Thursday. He started again vs. UNLV Saturday. After scoring 10 and 12 points in first two games, he went 14 straight outings without reaching double digits until scoring 10 points in back-to-back games ( vs. CSU and at AFA). Before only getting one foul and 11 pts in 22 minutes vs. UNLV Saturday, he had fouled out of the previous three games. He had 7 pts, 4 rbs in 24 minutes vs. UNM. He had 4 pts, 2 rbs at Utah. He had 9 pts, 4 rbs and a team-high 3 assists at SDSU. He was 4-6 for 8 points, 5 boards at UNM and had a career-best 9 boards (4-5, 10 pts) at AFA. He had 6 rebounds, 3 steals vs. CSU. He didn't score for the second time this year vs. Wyoming. He fouled out, playing 14 minutes, scoring 2 points on one attempt and had 1 rebound vs. Utah. In foul trouble, he played only 10 minutes at UNLV (2 pts, 4 rebounds). At Utah State he was held scoreless and had 4 rebounds. He had 4 points, 3 rebounds and a season-high 3 assists vs. UC Irvine. At UCSB, he equaled a then career-best 7 rebounds. He was married to BYU All-American volleyball player Anna-Lena Smith Dec. 30 in Mesa, Ariz. He had 8 points at South Alabama and at Denver. He scored a season-high 12 points versus SUU and had 10 against UC Riverside.

Nathan Cooper

He is coming off the bench this year after starting 23 of BYU's 28 games last year. He is averaging 6.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in 19.5 minutes. He has made a team-best 44-54 free throws (.815). He has six double-figures scoring games and has made a trey in six games. He only played seven minutes vs. UNLV and was 0-1 with 2 turnovers. He had team-best 6 rbs along with 7 pts, 2 assts vs. UNM in 27 minutes. He hit 3-4 treys and scored 11 pts along with 5 rbs at Utah. He had 6 pts, 3 rbs at SDSU. He broke out of a slump with 11 straight BYU pts, 9 in 1:40, and 5 rbs in 12 minutes at UNM. He did not score for first time this year and had 1 rebound at AFA. He had 4 pts, 5 rbs and 2 assts vs. CSU after scoring 1 point vs. Wyoming. He had 5 pts, 3 rbs vs. Utah. He was forced to play the 4 position at UNLV with foul trouble to Eric Nielsen and Silester Rivers. He played 22 minutes (2 pts, 1 rbd). He played 15 minutes at Utah State, scoring 1 point and adding 2 rbs, 2 assts. He and Michael Vranes received the coaches game ball for their effort against UC Irvine (Cooper had 14 pts, 4 rbs in a season-high 31 minutes). He scored BYU's first basket at UCSB five minutes into the contest and sparked an 8-0 run with a steal, forcing a turnover and handing out an assist. He finished with 3 pts, 3 rbs. He had 5 pts, 6 rbs effort at FIU. He set a career high with 7 assts at USA. He scored a season- and team-high 15 pts vs. Weber State.

Marc Roberts

Marc Roberts, a true freshman out of Provo's Timpview High School, has seen action in seven of the last eight games (except at Utah). He played two minutes (no stats) vs. UNLV and played four critical minutes at the end vs. UNM for defensive purposes. On the year, he has averaged 3.6 minutes in 14 games. He has scored 11 points (4 at Denver is his high) and is 3-6 from the floor and 5-6 from the line.

David Nielsen

A redshirt freshman from Brighton High School in Salt Lake City, Nielsen has played in four of the last seven games (except both UNM and UNLV). He did not score in three minutes at Utah after coring 4 points at SDSU, making both his shots. He scored a career-best 6 points vs. Texas Southern. He has played in 10 games this year and averages 3.8 minutes in those games and 1.4 points.

John Allen

A walkon freshman, Allen played a season-high 11 minutes vs. UNM with four pts, 3 rbs. He was 1-2 from the floor, including 1-1 on threes (his first). He has played in nine games this year, and averages 1.1 points and rebounds in 4.7 minutes.

Media Guidelines

Team Practices

• Closed Practice:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 3:30-6 p.m.

• Open Practice:

Tuesday and *Thursday, 3:30-6 p.m.

(*except game days)

All home practices are at the Marriott Center. Practice days and times vary on the road.

Coach and Player Interviews

• All player and coaches interviews, including during travel and when on the road, need to be scheduled through Brett Pyne in the Athletic Media Relations office. He can be reached at the following numbers:

Office: 801-378-4912

Cell: 801-367-1631

Home: 801-796-6867


• Coach Cleveland is available for interviews before practice at 3:30 p.m. on the court on Tuesday and Thursday. Interviews can also be conducted mornings (best time generally 9-11 a.m.). With prior arrangement, Coach Cleveland will do interviews on the day of the game at the shootaround with media who are generating a live broadcast (radio or television) of the game.

• Player interviews are conducted before practice. TUESDAY is the preferred day for interviews. Contact Brett Pyne to arrange a player interview. Special requests such as live radio or television interviews, extended feature interviews or interviews on days other than Tuesday can be arranged as necessary through Brett Pyne. No player interviews are available on the day of a game until post game.


Media wanting a travel itinerary for BYU's road games can request it by contacting Brett Pyne in the Athletic Media Relations office.

Interviews conducted while on the road must also be arranged through Brett Pyne. Players are not free to be interviewed in airports or at hotels unless an arrangement has been made through Brett Pyne.

Other interview guidelines also apply while on the road.

Comparing Statistics BYU CSU


Points per game .73.0 70.5

Scoring margin + 7.8 + 6.8


Field goals .466 .486

3-pointers .383 .430

Free throws .707 .711


Rebounds per game 34.7 30.1

Rebounding margin - 0.5 - 1.4


Assists per game 15.0 14.8


Turnovers per game 14.3 14.3

Turnover margin + 1.1 + 0.6


Blocks per game 2.2 4.6


Steals per game 7.8 6.8