Cougars Prepare for NCAA Battles

BYU (24-8) faces the Cincinnati Bearcats (23-9) Thursday in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Championship. The Cougars are the 12th seed and Bearcats the fifth seed in the West Region being played in San Diego at Cox Arena on the campus of San Diego State University.

West Region Matchups - San Diego Venue

Thursday, First Round - First Session

11:42 a.m.

No. 9 St. Joseph's vs. No. 8 Georgia Tech

Apprx. 2:15 p.m.

No. 16 UNC-Greensboro vs. No. 1 Stanford

Thursday, First Round - Second Session

4:56 p.m.

No. 13 Kent State vs. No. 4 Indiana

Apprx. 7:30 p.m

No. 12 Brigham Young vs. No. 5 Cincinnati

Saturday, Second Round

2:38 p.m.

Winners meet, Game 1

Apprx. 5 p.m

Winners meet, Game 2

* Second round winners advance to the West Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) in Anaheim, Calif, March 22. The West Regional Championship game is March 24.

Game 33 Fast Facts (NCAA First Round)

Teams:

No. 12 Seed - Brigham Young University Cougars (24-8, 10-4 Mountain West)

No. 5 Seed - University of Cincinnati Bearcats (23-9, 11-5 Conference USA)

Date: Thursday, March 15, 2001

Site: San Diego, California

Arena:Cox Arena (12,414)

Time: Approx. 7:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. MST)

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (67-56 in fourth year; same overall)

Cincinnati, Bob Huggins (299-95 in 12th years; 467-167 in 20 years overall)

TV: CBS (KUTV, channel 2 in Salt Lake City)

Radio:

KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)

Pregame Air Time - 7 p.m. PST (8 p.m. MST)

Play-by-Play - Greg Wrubell

Game Analyst - Mark Durrant

BYU's Probable Starters:

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

F 42 Nathan Cooper 6-6 210 Sr. 4.6 3.9

F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Jr. 6.4 3.9

F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 240 Sr. 17.0 5.5

G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 195 Sr. 16.5 2.8

G 21 Trent Whiting 6-1 185 Sr. 14.3 3.2

BYU Reserves:

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

F 1 Nate Knight 6-10 225 Sr. 2.5 2.6

F 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 So. 5.6 2.9

G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Jr. 2.2 1.8

G 20 Daniel Bobik 6-6 195 Fr. 3.4 1.4

F 34 Jacob Chrisman 6-8 215 Fr. 2.9 1.9

C 43 Derek Dawes 6-11 255 Fr. 1.2 2.1

C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Fr. 0.9 0.6

G 23 Ty Shippen 6-1 190 Jr. 0.7 0.8

G 10 Jordan Archibald 6-4 205 Fr. 0.1 0.0

Opponent Information

Cincinnati

Cincinnati (23-9, 11-5 Conference USA) is making its 20th appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Bearcats earned the No. 5 seed in the West Regional. Cincinnati enters its 20th NCAA tournament as the No. 5 seed. The Bearcats had been a top three seed in each of the five previous NCAA tournaments.Cincinnati will be making its 10th straight NCAA tournament appearance, the school's longest streak of consecutive NCAA berths. The Bearcats have a 35-18 record in NCAA tourney play. Cincinnati has won six regional championships, made six trips to the Final Four, posted two third-place finishes, one runner-up finish and won national championships in 1961 and 1962. Cincinnati is the ninth-winningest school in NCAA tournament history. The Bearcats have compiled a 35-18 record for a .660 percentage. In addition to being national champions twice, Cincinnati has lost to the eventual tournament champion five times.

Cincinnati won its sixth consecutive Conference USA regular season championship this season. The Bearcats rallied to win seven of its last eight games, four of them on the road, to finish with an 11-5 record. Cincinnati has won regular season championships in eight of the past 10 seasons. Cincinnati reached the title game of the Ohio Casualty Group Conference USA tournament for the third time in the past six years, but the Bearcats bid for a third title were ended by an 80-72 loss to Charlotte. UC, seeded No. 1 in the tourney for the sixth straight year, defeated Southern Mississippi, 73-70, in the quarterfinals and bested Memphis, 89-79, in the semifinals. With the loss, one UC streak remained intact: Cincinnati has either won the title, or lost to the eventual tournament champion in every C-USA tourney. Coach Bob Huggins is 299-95 (.759) in 12 seasons at Cincinnati and 467-167 (.737) in his 20 seasons of coaching.

CINCINNATI PROBABLE STARTERS

F, 23, Immanuel McElroy, 6-4, Jr, 7.2 pts, 3.3 reb, 1.7 ast

F, 1, Jamaal Davis, 6-9, Jr, 6.6 pts, 4.1 reb, 1.0 ast

C, 44, B.J. Grove, 6-11, So, 3.8 pts, 3.8 reb, 0.5 ast

G, 22, Steve Logan, 6-0, Jr, 17.8 pts, 2.3 reb, 2.4 ast

G, 11, Kenny Satterfield, 6-2, So, 14.3 pts, 4.6 reb, 5.1 ast

Indiana

The Hoosiers (21-12, 10-6 Big Ten) advanced to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago with victories over the University of Wisconsin (64-52) and the University of Illinois (58-56) before falling to the University of Iowa (63-61) in the title tilt. The loss ended a five-game winning streak. Junior forward/center Kirk Haston, a first-team All-Big Ten pick, leads IU with 18.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Forward Jared Jeffries, the Big Ten‚s Freshman of the Year, contributes 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds a contest to rank second on the team in both categories. Mike Davis (Thomas Edison ‚95) was named interim head coach at Indiana prior to the season, replacing longtime IU mentor Bob Knight.

Kent State

Kent State University (23-9, 13-5 Mid-American Conference) makes it second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three years as the 13th seed. Kent State has won a school-record 23 games for the third straight season and earned the MAC's automatic bid with a 67-61 victory over Miami University March 10 in Cleveland, Ohio. During the regular season, the Flashes won their first MAC East Division title, finishing just one game behind overall conference champion Central Michigan University, who they defeated 58-45 in their only meeting of the year. The Golden Flashes are making their third consecutive trip to a national postseason tournament as they advanced to the quarterfinals of last year's National Invitation Tournament. In its lone previous NCAA Tournament appearance, Kent State lost to Temple University 61-54 in the first round

of the 1999 East Region in Boston, Mass. Head Coach Gary Waters: Gary Waters (Ferris State ‚75) is in his fifth season as head coach at Kent State with a record of 91-59 (.607).

Series Information

BYU has only played a combined five games against any of the teams it could meet this week in San Diego and has not faced any of the three teams since 1973. BYU has played Cincinnati twice, Indiana two times and Kent State once. Interestingly, the last time BYU faced Cincinnati was in the 1971-72 season - the same season BYU also played Indiana for the first time. After defeating Cincinnati on Dec. 19, BYU defeated Utah State on the 21st before its next game vs. Indiana on Dec. 28th. Indiana won the game, 61-50.

Series Results:

BYU vs. Cincinnati

BYU leads, 2-0

• BYU won, 82-79, at Jayhawk Classic

(Dec. 19, 1971).

• BYU won 41-27 in Cincinnati (Jan. 3, 1931)

BYU vs. Indiana

Indiana leads, 2-0

• Indiana won, 96-52, at the Far West Classic (Dec. 26, 1973).

• Indiana won, 61-50, at the Old Dominion Classic (Dec. 28, 1971).

BYU vs. Kent State

BYU leads, 1-0

• BYU won, 66-51, in Provo (Dec. 22, 1960).

BYU vs. NCAA Field:

BYU This Year vs. 2001 NCAA Field

Record: 2-2

Dec. 14 Southern Utah 58-52 W

Dec. 16 Utah State 69-67 W

Dec. 22 *v. Iowa St. 71-77 L

Dec. 23 *v. USC 67-70 L

*at Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Laie, Hawaii

BYU All-Time vs. 2001 NCAA Field

Record: 268-110

BYU in the NCAA Tournament

This will be BYU's 19th NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 1995. The Cougars have an 11-21 record in their prior 18 NCAA Appearances.

BYU'S NCAA RESULTS

1950

Western Regional Semis (Kansas City)

Baylor 56, BYU 55

Western Consolation (Kansas City)

BYU 83, UCLA 62

1951

West First Round (Kansas City)

BYU 68, San Jose State 61

West Regional Semifinals (Kansas City)

Kansas State 64, BYU 54

West Regional Consolation (Kansas City)

Washington 80, BYU 67

1957

West Regional Semifinals (Corvallis, Ore)

California 86, BYU 59

West Regional Consolation (Corvallis, Ore)

BYU 65, Idaho State 54

1965

West Regional Semifinals (Provo)

UCLA 100, BYU 76

West Regional Consolation (Provo)

Oklahoma City 112, BYU 102

1969

West First Round (Las Cruces, NM)

New Mexico State 74, BYU 62

1971

West First Round (Logan, UT)

BYU 91, Utah State 82

West Reg. Semifinals (Salt Lake)

UCLA 91, BYU 73

West Reg. Consolation (Salt Lake)

Pacific 84, BYU 81

1972

West First Round (Pocatello, Idaho)

Long Beach State 95, BYU 90

1979

West Second Round (Tuscon, Ariz.)

(4) San Francisco 86 (5) BYU 63

1980

West First Round (Ogden, Utah)

(6) Clemson 71 (3) BYU 66

1981

East Regional (Providence, R.I.)

(6) BYU 60, (11) Princeton 51

(6) BYU 78, (3) UCLA 55

East Regional Semifinals (Atlanta)

(6) BYU 51, (2) Notre Dame 50

West Regional Finals (Atlanta)

(1) Virginia 74, (6) BYU 60

1984

Mideast Regional (Birmingham, Ala.)

(8) BYU 84, (9) UAB 68

(1) Kentucky 93, (8) BYU 68

1987

SE First Round (Birmingham, Ala.)

(7) New Orleans 83, (10) BYU 79

1988

Mideast Regional (Birmingham, Ala.)

(4) BYU 98, (13) NC-Charlotte 92 (OT)

(5) Louisville 97, (4) BYU 76

1990

East First Round (Hartford, Conn.)

(5) Clemson 49, (12) BYU 47

1991

West First Round (Salt Lake)

(10) BYU 61, (7) Virginia 48

West Second Round (Salt Lake)

(2) Arizona 76, (10) BYU 61

1992

West First Round (Boise, Idaho)

(7) LSU 94, (10) BYU 83

1993

Midwest First Round (Chicago)

(7) BYU 80, (10) SMU 71

Midwest Second Round (Chicago)

(2) Kansas 90, (7) BYU 76

1995

Midwest First Round (Memphis,Tenn)

(9) Tulane 76, (8) BYU 70

BYU Notes

BYU at Cox Arena:

BYU is a perfect 4-0 in Cox Arena, having defeated San Diego State in each of the last four seasons since the arena opened.

MWC TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Quarterfinals

March 8

Game 1 - No. 2 BYU 69, No. 7 Air Force 54

Game 2 - No. 3 Wyoming 73, No. 6 San Diego St 58

Game 3 - No. 4 New Mexico 76, No. 5 CSU 65

Semifinals

March 9

Game 5 - No. 2 BYU 77, No. 3 Wyoming 66

Game 6 - No. 4 New Mexico 56, No. 1 Utah 53

Finals

March 10

No. 2 BYU 69, No. 4 New Mexico 65

MWC All-TOURNAMENT TEAM

Terrell Lyday, BYU

Mekeli Wesley, BYU

Josh Davis, Wyoming

Marlon Parmer, New Mexico

Wayland White, New Mexico

MWC TOURNAMENT MVP

Mekeli Wesley, BYU

Cougars Earn First NCAA Bid since 1995

BYU earned its first NCAA Tournament appearnance by winning the Mountain West Conference tournament and obtaining the league's automatic bid. BYU also earned a share of the MWC's regular season title. BYU will be making its 19th NCAA appearance.

Conference and Tournament Champions

BYU won the MWC Tournament title after earning a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title with a 10-4 conference record. BYU shared the title with Wyoming and Utah.

Finishing Strong

BYU is the only team in the MWC to win every game in the last two weeks, having won five straight -- all away from home. BYU has won eight of its last nine games and 11 of its last 13. Steve Cleveland's teams have finished well in each of his four seasons since taking over a 1-25 program.

Marching into March

BYU has played well in the late season under coach Steve Cleveland. BYU has a 12-4 record in March in Cleveland's four years. He is 11-2 in the last two seasons, including a perfect 5-0 mark this year in March.

Overall Record

BYU is 24-8, the most wins of any MWC team. Only five BYU teams have ever had more wins. The Cougars have the fewest losses for a BYU team since 1993, when BYU finished 25-9, won the WAC and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Kansas.

Home

15-0 perfect home record. BYU has a 20-0 active home winning streak - 6th best in the nation. The 15-0 home record was the second most home wins in school history and only the fifth time a Cougar team has gone unbeaten at home and the first time since 1995 -- the last year BYU earned an NCAA Tournament berth.

Away/Neutral

The Cougars have won six of their last seven away/neutral games, including five straight. The Cougars lost two road games early, at San Francisco and ASU without two of their top six players in seniors Trent Whiting and Nate Knight. One game after obtaining their services, BYU competed in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Hawaii, where BYU was 1-2 with a 6-point loss to Iowa State and a 3-point loss to USC on back-to-back nights.

Top Players

BYU has two of the top five players in the Mountain West Conference and three of the top 10, including league Player of the Year and conference tournament MVP Mekeli Wesley. The three seniors, forward Wesley, and guards Terrell Lyday and Trent Whiting, are all capable of putting up 30 points. The exciting trio average 16.7 (Lyday), 16.6 (Wesley), and 14.2 (Whiting) points per game. In this week's MWC Tournament, Lyday is scoring 28.5, Wesley 18.0 and Whiting 14.0. All three can hurt you outside or take it to the hole. Wesley is guaranteed double team in the post.

Margins

The Cougars' 10 MWC wins were by a margin of 14 points while its four conference losses have been by an average of 7.7 points. BYU held double-digit leads in two of those losses, at Wyoming and at UNLV, and trailed by a single point with 30 seconds remaining at Colorado State. BYU defeated its conference co-champions Utah and Wyoming by an average of 12 points per game while its two losses were both seven-point defeats on the road.

Defensive Ratings

BYU were rated 18th in scoring defense (61.9) in the latest NCAA statistics (now 62.0). The Cougars have also been rated among the top field goal percentage defensive teams in the country most of the year (currently allow 41 percent, 31.3 on threes).

Hot Shooting

BYU is rated No. 1 in the nation at the free throw line in the latest NCAA rankings. The Cougars also have the nation's top team single game field goal percentage, making 70.8 percent in the season opener against Elon College.

Cougars Gaining Ground after Missing Key Players

The Cougars began the year forced to give more time to inexperienced players, having recently lost two-year starter Michael Vranes and McDonald's All-American Garner Meads to injuries and waiting for senior transfers Trent Whiting and Nate Knight to become eligible. Even though the lack of experience may have hurt in critical situations, the Cougars have become a stronger team as the season progressed with added experience and the contributions and leadership of Whiting and Knight.

Wesley Named MWC Tournament MVP

Mekeli Wesley and Terrell Lyday led BYU to the automatic qualifying berth in the NCAA Tournament by winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament title Saturday. Wesley earned MVP honors, averaging 22 points and six rebounds in BYU's three wins while shooting 66.7 percent from the floor, 62.5 percent (5-8) on threes, and 81 percent (17-21) from the line. He totaled a season-high 30 points in the title game.

Lyday Earns All-Tourney Accolades

Joining Wesley on the All-MWC Tournament Team, Lyday scored a season-high 32 points in the semifinal win over Wyoming to get BYU into the title clash. Lyday averaged a team-best 22.7 points in the three wins while shooting 52.6 percent from the field, including 75 percent (9-12) from three-point range, and 95 percent (19-20) from the line.

Cougars Share Conference Crown

Four years after a 1-25 season and a 0-16 conference record, BYU earned the title of conference champions. Steve Cleveland's Cougar team won a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title after finishing sixth last year. With its 10-4 conference record, BYU finished in a three-way tie for first place with Wyoming and Utah. The Cougars last won the conference crown in 1993, when BYU finished 15-1 to win the WAC title. BYU entered the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas as the No. 2 seed, with Utah earning the top seed in the tiebreaker and Wyoming being seeded third. BYU went on to win the tournament title, its first conference title since winning the WAC tournament in 1992. BYU has played in the MWC tournament title games both seasons. This is BYU's first MWC Tournament title.

BYU Surpasses 20 Wins for Second Straight Season

BYU surpassed the 20-win mark for the second straight season. BYU is 24-8. Last year the Cougars finished 22-11. The last time BYU posted back-to-back 20-win campaigns was in 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons with identical 22-10 records.

Wesley, Lyday Earn NABC/Chevrolet All-District Honors

Mekeli Wesley was named to the first team and Terrell Lyday the second team of the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 13 teams Friday. Wesley earned the award for the second straight year. Other MWC players named to the teams included Wyoming's Josh Davis (1st) and Marcus Bailey (2nd). Weber State's Jermain Boyette and Southern Utah's Fred House also earned second team honors.

Rare Road Sweep

With its wins at New Mexico and Air Force, BYU swept a two-game conference road trip for the first time since defeating San Diego State and Hawaii in January of 1999 as a member of the WAC. Last year BYU defeated San Diego State and UNLV on the road but during separate one-game trips. The Cougars lost at Air Force and New Mexico last season on the road. Wyoming was the only other MWC team to sweep the New Mexico-Air Force trip this season.

Wesley Carries Cougars Regular Season Road Sweep

Mekeli Wesley recorded back-to-back 25 point games and averaged 6 rebounds while leading BYU to a sweep of its road trip over New Mexico and Air Force to gain a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title. He shot 57.1 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free throw line in the two victories. Wesley had 25 points and eight rebounds at New Mexico, going 6-11 from the floor, 1-5 on threes and 12-16 from the line. He had 25 points and 4 rebounds at Air Force, making 6-10 from the field, including 1-2 from behind the arc, and 12-14 from the line.

Wesley From Behind the Arc

Wesley has made a three in 11 of the last 14 games. He has connected from long range in 17 games overall this year. He is shooting 41.9 percent on threes, going 31-74.

Wesley on the Road

Wesley has been the Cougars' most consistent scorer in road games this year. He averages 19.5 points per game on the road. He reached double figures in 14 of 17 away/neutral contests this year.

MWC 2001 Men's Awards Announced

Wesley Named MWC Player of the Year; Lyday and Whiting Honored

Colorado Springs, Colo. -- The Mountain West Conference announced it's 2001 men's basketball awards Monday. The league's eight men's head coaches selected the all-conference teams, coach, player, freshman and newcomer awards. Utah head coach Dick Hunsaker captured Coach of the Year honors, while Mekeli Wesley of BYU was selected as the Player of the Year and Uche Nsonwu-Amadi of Wyoming was named Newcomer of the Year. Freshman of the Year honors went to Nick Jacobson of Utah. BYU and Wyoming, two of the three regular season tri-champions with Utah, placed two players each on the first team. Mekeli Wesley and Terrell Lyday of BYU were honored, while Wyoming had Marcus Bailey and Josh Davis garner first-team acclaim. UNLV's Kaspars Kambala was the fifth member of the MWC's first-team. The Cowboys' Davis and Runnin' Rebels' Kambala were both first team selections last year, while the Cougars' Wesley was a second team honoree.

Utah's Dick Hunsaker became the interim head coach for the remainder of the season after Rick Majerus decided to take a leave of absence after the first game in order to devote more time to family matters and personal health issues. Hunsaker led the Utes to at least a share of a conference title for the seventh consecutive year with a 19-10 overall record and 10-4 conference mark.

BYU senior Mekeli Wesley was selected as Player of the Year after leading the Cougars to at least a share of a conference title for the first time since the 1992-93 season. Wesley averaged 17.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in conference play this season while shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line. He averaged 16.5 points per and 5.5 rebounds per game and shot 49.5 percent from the field. Wesley was named the MWC Player of the Week twice this season (Dec. 11 and Jan. 2) and was a second-team All-MWC selection last year. He becomes the first Cougar to be named conference Player of the Year award since Michael Smith in 1987-88.

Sophomore center/forward Uche Nsonwu-Amadi of Wyoming was named Newcomer of the Year by the conference coaches. Nsonwu-Amadi transferred to Wyoming from Indian Hills Community College in Iowa prior to the 1999-2000 season. He averaged 11.8 points per league contest and is first in the league in shooting percentage (.594) and second in rebounds (8.3). Nsonwu-Amadi tallied six double-doubles on the year and had eight double-figure rebound games.

Freshman of the Year honors went to Utah's Nick Jacobson, a forward from Roseville Minn. (Roseville HS). Jacobson averaged 8.9 points per conference game and ranked third in 3-point field goal percentage in league play at 43.8. Overall, he averaged 7.9 points per game and was tenth in the MWC with a 37.8 3-point field goal percentage. Jacobson is the first Ute to garner conference Freshman of the Year honors since Keith Van Horn in 1993-94.

Other All-Mountain West Conference First-Team Honorees:

Wyoming sophomore guard Marcus Bailey leads the conference in scoring in both conference play (18.0 ppg) and all games (17.9 ppg). He is also fifth in league action in steals (4.07spg) and seventh in all games (3.30 spg). Bailey has scored 20 points or more in a league-high 12 contests this season, including a career-high 34 vs. UNLV on March 3, and received player of the week honors twice this season (Dec. 4 and Jan. 22).

Wyoming junior forward Josh Davis captured first-team All-MWC honors for the second consecutive year. He leads the league with 11 double-figure rebound games, including a season-high 18 at LSU. Davis ranks in the top 10 in conference only stats for rebounding (1st 8.6 rpg), blocked shots (1st-2.21 bpg), field goal percentage (4th-51.7 percent), and scoring (7th-14.4 ppg). In all games, he averages 13.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.78 blocks per game. Davis was named the conference Player of the Week on Feb. 11 and recorded the second-most double-doubles in the league at seven to bring his career total to 23.

Senior center Kaspars Kambala of UNLV is a MWC first-team selection for the second year in a row. He averaged 16.9 points per game (2nd in the MWC) overall and 15.4 points (5th) in conference play. He also ranks second and third, respectively, in both categories in rebounding with an average of 9.1 rpg in all games and 7.9 in league contests. Kambala leads the MWC with nine double-doubles (37 career) and ranks second with 10 double-figure rebounding games. He was selected the Player of the Week a Nov. 27 and won the award a total four times in his two seasons in the league

BYU's Terrell Lyday was the MWC's Newcomer of the Year last season. The senior guard ranks third in scoring in league play with a 16.8 average and fourth in all-games at 15.9 points per game. He is a 80.9 percent free throw shooter (6th) in league contests and 81.5 percent in all games. Lyday also averages 1.50 steals per conference game (6th) and 1.24 in all games (9th).

All-Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Team

(selected by head coaches)

Player of the Year -- Mekeli Wesley, BYU

Newcomer of the Year -- Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, Wyoming

Freshmen of the Year -- Nick Jacobson, Utah

Coach of the Year -- Dick Hunsaker, Utah

First-Team All-Mountain West

Marcus Bailey, Wyoming, So., 6-5, 190, G/F, Cheyenne, Wyo. (East HS)

$Josh Davis, Wyoming, Jr., 6-8, 235, F/C, Salem, Ore. (Salem Academy HS)

$Kaspars Kambala, UNLV, Sr., 6-9, 250, C, Riga, Latvia (Homestead HS)

&Terrell Lyday, BYU, Sr., 6-3, 195, G, Fresno, Calif. (Fresno City College)

!Mekeli Wesley, BYU, Sr., 6-9, 235, F, Provo, Utah (Provo HS)

Second-Team All-Mountain West

Kevin Bradley, Utah, Jr., 6-0, 170, G, Los Angeles, Cailf. (Compton CC)

Ruben Douglas, New Mexico, So., 6-4, 185, G, Altadena, Calif. (Univ. of Arizona)

Britton Johnson, Utah, 6-9, 205, So., F, Murray, Utah (Murray HS)

Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, Wyoming, So., 6-10, 260, F/C, Enugu, Nigeria (Indian Hills CC)

Trent Whiting, BYU, Sr., 6-1, 185, G, Kuna, Idaho (Univ. of Utah)

All-Mountain West Newcomer Team

Kevin Bradley, Utah, Jr., 6-0, 170, G, Los Angeles, Cailf. (Compton CC)

Ruben Douglas, New Mexico, So., 6-4, 185, G, Altadena, Calif. (Univ. of Arizona)

Randy Holcomb, San Diego State, Jr., 6-9, 219, F, Chicago, Ill. (LA City College)

Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, Wyoming, So., 6-10, 260, F/C, Enugu, Nigeria (Indian Hills CC)

Trent Whiting, BYU, Sr., 6-1, 185, G, Kuna, Idaho (Univ. of Utah)

$ 1999-2000 All-MWC First-Team Selection

! 1999-2000 MWC All-MWC Second-Team Selection

&1999-2000 Newcomer of the Year

Wesley Scoring Points, Wins

Since scoring a season-low four points in a loss at Utah, Mekeli Wesley has averaged 23.2 points per game while leading BYU to five straight road wins. He scored 23 or more points in four of the five games, including 30 Saturday vs. New Mexico. Wesley has scored in double figures in 27 of 32 games overall this year and leads BYU in both scoring and rebounding with 17.0 and 5.5 averages, respectively. He averaged 17.0 points in conference games to edge Lyday, who averaged 16.8 ppg in league play.

Lyday Strong During Current Streak

Terrell Lyday, who scored a season-high 32 points vs. Wyoming last week, has been on fire in the last five games, averaging 21 points in five consecutive Cougar victories. He scored 26 points at New Mexico. Last week he shot 52.6 percent from the floor and an sizzling 75 percent from behind the arc and 95 percent from the line in three wins.

Bobik, Chrisman Set New Marks

Freshman guard Daniel Bobik had a career-high six rebounds vs. CSU in 20 minutes. Freshman forward Jacob Chrisman added a career-best 3 assists vs. the Rams. Bobik had 5 points with 2 rebounds and 2 assists vs. Utah in 15 minutes while Chrisman had a bucket in his only minute of action.

Record-Setting Free Throw Team

BYU has excelled at the charity stripe this year, ranked first nationally in free throw shooting (.782). BYU went 15-17, vs. UNM, 24-27 vs. Wyoming, 18-24 vs. AFA, 20-23 at AFA, 27-36 at UNM and made 22-26 attempts at Utah in its last six games. The Cougars set a new school record for a game making 26 straight free throws at Weber State, going 30-32 on the night. BYU also made 19 in a row at SDSU, the second best single game effort in Cougar history. The Cougars finished 19-20 at SDSU after missing the first attempt of the game. In the next game vs. Wyoming, Wesley made BYU's first two free throws before a Cougar miss. Going 12-18 in the first half, BYU made 16 consecutive attempts vs. Wyoming between a Jacob Chrisman miss in the first half and a Wesley miss with 3:03 left in the game. BYU made 21-22 free throws in the second half.

Home Support Improved

Fan support at home games has improved each year under Steve Cleveland as average attendance has grown from 8,430 in his first year to 9,809 in his second, 10,794 last year and 11,452 this year in 15 home dates. BYU has averaged 15,608 in its seven conference home contests this year, compared to 13,464 last year and 11,562 the previous season. The top crowd of this season was 19,098 in BYU's win over rival Utah on ESPN.

This Year's Team in Elite BYU Company

BYU finished the year with a perfect 15-0 home record this year. The Steve Cleveland-coached team became the fifth BYU squad to ever complete a perfect home record. The Roger Reid 1989-90 team also went a perfect 15-0 at home. Other unbeaten teams include the Stan Watts coached 1971-72 team (12-0), Frank Arnold's 1978-79 (14-0) and 1980-81 (13-0) teams and Reid's 1994-95 (14-0) squad. With its 15th home win this year, BYU improved over last season 14-2 home record (including two NIT victories) to become only the third Cougar team to win more than 14 home games in a season. In addition to the 15-0 1989-90 team, the 1987-88 Ladell Andersen squad won a BYU record 16 games with two losses in the Marriott Center.

BYU Avenges Last Year's Two Home Losses

BYU ended two home losing streaks with its wins over Utah and New Mexico. Both the Utes and Lobos had five-game winning streaks in Provo dating back to 1995 before falling in the Marriott Center last week. Including last year's MWC Tournament wins, BYU has now defeated Utah in consecutive meetings for the first time since the 1993-94 season and New Mexico twice in a row for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

Knight Has Season Highs at UNM

Nate Knight had season highs of 20 minutes, seven points and seven rebounds at UNM and made key plays down the stretch, including an offensive rebound off a free throw miss and taking a charge on the next UNM possession.

Whiting, Knight Made Strong BYU Debuts

Transfer players Trent Whiting (Utah) and Nate Knight (Kentucky) made their Cougar debuts Dec. 16 vs. Utah State after sitting out the first seven games of the year because of transfer rules. Whiting scored a game-high 22 points on 7-11 shooting, including 4-7 threes, in a team-high 39 minutes in his debut while Knight 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.

BYU Ranked First in Nation at Free Throw Line

BYU was ranked first nationally in free throw percentage in the latest NCAA statistics released Tuesday, Mach 6. The Cougars improved from 77.7 to 78.2 since that release date. Nine players are shooting 70 percent or better, with four shooting better than 80 percent (Lyday .829, Wesley .803, Whiting .827, Howard 2-2, 1.000). Freshmen Jake Chrisman and Derek Dawes have the team's worst percentage (except Jordan Archibald, 1-2, .500) at a still respectable 66.7 percent.

Scoring Points

Nine BYU players have had double figures scoring games this season. The regular starters (Wesley, Lyday, Whiting, Nielsen, Hansen, Cooper) are the only players to reach double figures in conference games. Lydan and Wesley are coming off the top two scoring games this year with Lyday putting up 32 vs. Wyoming followed by Wesley's 30 points vs. UNM. Wesley, Lyday and Trent Whiting are the only three players to earn team-high game scoring honors this year. Wesley carries more of the scoring load on the road, scoring 19.5 ppg while Lyday adds 16.3 and Whiting 12.8. At home, Lyday scores 16.7, Whiting 162 and Wesley 14.1.

Offense

BYU shoots 46.1 percent, including 38.3 percent on threes, and 78.2 percent from the line while averaging 70.8 points. The Cougars are out scoring their opponents by 8.8 points per game. BYU has topped 50 percent shooting eight times this year, all wins, including two of three games last week in Las Vegas. Five of the eight games over 50 percent were in the Marriott Center. In addition to shooting 57.1 percent vs. New Mexico and 51.2 percent vs. Air Force on a neutral floor last week, BYU shot over 50 percent vs. Boise State (53.3 percent) during the Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Hawaii. Three players are averaging double figures (Mekeli Wesley, 17.0; Terrell Lyday, 16.5; Trent Whiting, 14.3).

Defense

BYU holds opponents to 62.0 points and a 41.0 field goal percentage, including 31.3 percent on threes. BYU held nine of its last 10 opponents at home to under 40 percent shooting (Wyoming .423). BYU has held 15 of 32 opponents overall under 40 percent shooting. BYU had a string of not allowing an opponent to shoot 40 percent on threes in 13 straight games until San Diego State shot 45.5 percent. BYU has held opponents under 40 percent on threes in 25 of 32 games overall. BYU held the MWC's top shooting team, CSU, to 37.5 percent at home and 41.7 percent in Moby Arena. BYU held high-scoring Wyoming to a season-low 63 points. BYU has also had success shutting down the opponent's top player. The Cougars held the MWC's top scorer, Wyoming's Marcus Bailey, to nine points (came in averaging 17.8 ppg) and then stopped Colorado State's top scorer, John Sivesind, keeping the Ram sharpshooter from making a field goal while scoring two points from the line. Sivesind, who entered the game fourth in the nation in three-point shooting (.486), was 0-6 from the floor, including 0-4 on three-point attempts. BYU held New Mexico's Eric Chatfield and Ruben Douglas to nine points apiece and held Bailey to nine points in Laramie. BYU held UNLV center Kaspars Kambala, averaging 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds entering the game, to two points and three rebounds in Provo. Against SDSU, Aztec star forward Randy Holcomb was the only player to reach double figures in Provo, but BYU held the two-time MWC Player of the Week winner to 13 points, almost five points below his team-leading season scoring average.

70-Point Mark

BYU is 23-2 this year when holding opponents to less than 70 points. BYU is 1-6 when opponents have scored 70 or more points. UNLV (68) joined Colorado State (60) as the only opponents to score less than 70 points and still win. Wyoming scored 85 points against BYU in Laramie, the most points given up by the Cougars this season.

On the Boards

BYU averages 32.1 rebounds while allowing 31.6. BYU is 14-0 when out boarding its opponents, 7-7 when being out rebounded, and 3-1 when they are equal on the boards. BYU has totaled 40 or more boards six times this year. Mekeli Wesley pulls down a team-best 5.5 boards per game.

Meads Begins Serving 2-Year Mission

McDonald's High School All-American forward Garner Meads has received his mission call to serve a 2-year LDS Church mission in Edmonton, Alberta. He began serving his mission two weeks ago when he entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo. Meads decided to redshirt this season after a lung injury kept him from being able to practice until the season began. He will return to the team in the winter of 2003 to resume the final half of his redshirt year before taking the court for the 2003-04 season.

Cleveland's Record

Steve Cleveland is now 67-56 overall in his fourth year, having improved the Cougars in each year since taking over a 1-25 program. With BYU's win over Idaho on Jan. 2 Cleveland went above a .500 winning percentage for the first time since going 1-0 with a win in his first game at San Diego State in 1997. He went to 50-50 with a win over Boise State in Hawaii before the Cougars suffered back-to-back close defeats to ranked teams. Wins at Weber State and vs. South Alabama brought his record to 52-52 , the last time he was at .500. Cleveland is 27-26 against MWC teams.

Wesley Passes Roberts, Ainge, Roberts on Career Free Throw Charts

Wesley moved Kenneth Roberts into third place on BYU's all-time free throws attempted list Saturday after having recently passed Ken's brother Fred Roberts and Danny Ainge on the list. Wesley also passed three former Cougar greats and NBA players on the free throws made list. He is now fourth all-time at BYU after passing Michael Smith, Fred Roberts and Ainge. Wesley is 501-642 in his four-year career. He needs to make 11 more free throws to pass Kenneth Roberts into third place and is 32 attempts shy of moving into second place, passing Russell Larson.

Wesley Field Goal Milestones

Wesley is seventh in field goals attempted and eighth in field goals made at BYU, going 562-1,212 to date. He needs to make five more baskets to move into seventh place and pass Kresimir Cosic (71-73). Wesley is 48 attempts shy of moving into sixth place, passing Fred Roberts.

Wesley 7th All-Time at BYU

Wesley moved into seventh all-time in total points scored at BYU after scoring 66 points last week. He passed Kenneth Roberts. Wesley has 1,715 career points. Jeff Chatman (1985-88) is sixth with 1,824 points. Danny Ainge (1978-81) is the all-time scoring leader with 2,467 points.

Lyday One of Four 2-year Cougars to score 1,000 points

Terrell Lyday scored his 1,000th career point on March 1 at New Mexico to become the 33rd BYU player to score 1,000 points in a career but only the fourth two-year transfer to do so. The other BYU players who scored 1,000 points in only a two-year career were Steve Schreiner (1,128 points from 1989-91), John Fairchild (1,106 points from 1963-65) and Bernie Fryer (1,031 points from 1969-71). After his game-high 26 points at New Mexico and 11 points at Air Force, he now has 1,093 career points in his two seasons at BYU.

Streaks

BYU has won five straight games, all on the road. BYU won has won three straight neutral floor games to end a two-game losing streak on a neutral floor with close defeats to nationally ranked Iowa State and USC. BYU has won eight of its last nine games overall and 11 of its last 13. BYU can match its longest winning streak of the year with a win vs. Cincinnati. The six-game streak was BYU's longest since a seven-game victory string during the 1994-95 season. BYU has reached five straight wins five times under coach Cleveland. Two times last year and three times this season.

Home Court Streak

The Cougars have a 20-game home winning streak dating back to last year when BYU won its final five contests in the Marriott Center. The home court streak is the 6th longest active home success run in the nation. BYU went 15-0 at home this season. BYU's last home loss was to New Mexico (78-74) on Feb. 17, 2000.

BYU at Home

BYU is 15-0 at home this year after going 14-2 at home last year. BYU avenged both of last year's home losses (Utah and UNM) this year. The Cougars have a 20-game home winning streak. BYU shot 49 percent from the floor and 42.4 percent on threes in the Marriott Center this year. The Cougars out rebounded their opponents at home 34.6-31.3. BYU is scoring 73.9 points at home while giving up 54.9 points. BYU won its 15 home games by an average of 19 points. Over the past two seasons, BYU is 29-2 in the Marriott Center. BYU has a high of 100 points (vs. Elon College) and a low of 58 points (vs. Southern Utah) at home.

BYU on the Road (Away/Neutral Courts)

BYU is 9-8 in away and neutral games this year, including a 5-2 neutral court record and a 4-6 away mark. This will be BYU's fourth straight week on the road. BYU has won six of its last seven games on the road in that stretch. BYU went 3-4 in conference play on the road. BYU is shooting 43.6 percent from the floor, 34.1 percent on threes and 81.4 percent on free throws away from the Marriott Center. The Cougars are being out rebounded 31.9-29.9. BYU is nearly even in scoring on the road with a small, 68.3-68.1, average deficit. BYU has a high of 84 points (at Weber State) on the road and a low of 51 points (at AFA in a win). In neutral court games, BYU is shoots an improved 49.2 (floor), 45.8 (threes) and 82.9 (line) percentages while opponents shoot 42.9, 32.0 and 69.4, respectively. BYU is out boarded 30.7-28.9 but out scores opponents 70.7-64.0.

Training Room News

Hansen Returns from Foot Injury

Travis Hansen saw his first action in a month last week, after missing nine games with a foot frature. He played nine minutes vs. AFA, 5 minutes vs. Wyoming and 14 minutes vs. New Mexico last week. He had been starting prior to the injury. After played with discomfort and pain at CSU and Wyoming a bone scan revealed a stress fracture. He played with the injury vs. Utah in Provo, but broke the bone in his foot during the game. He uses a bone stimulater in hopes to accelerate the healing process.

Knight Working Through Back Troubles

Transfer senior forward Nate Knight has been limited in his ability to participate in practices fully because of a lingering back injury. He has played with the condition throughout the season and is not expected to miss any games.

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. In January, Vranes underwent a third surgery in Houston from a specialist, Dr. Donald Baxter, who said Vranes has a possibility for a full recovery. The surgery was determined a success but his status for next year is still uncertain. He has one year of eligibility remaining if he is able to return.

Injuries Played Role in Three Players Decision 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.

Mekeli Wesley (17.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg overall -- 17.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg MWC)

Last Game: Season-high 30 points, team-high 8 rebounds in 34 minutes vs. UNM.

• Wesley was selected the MWC Tournament MVP last week after being named the MWC Player of the Year during conference play. He led BYU to a share of a conference title for the first time since the 1992-93 season. Wesley averaged 17.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in conference play this season while shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line. He averaged 16.5 points per and 5.5 rebounds per game and shot 49.5 percent from the field. Wesley was named the MWC Player of the Week twice this season (Dec. 11 and Jan. 2) and was a second-team All-MWC selection last year. He becomes the first Cougar to be named conference Player of the Year award since Michael Smith in 1987-88.

• He leads the team lead in scoring and rebounding. Wesley carries more of the scoring load on the road, averaging 19.5 points compared to his 14.1 average at home.

• With his 30 points vs. UNM, Wesley has led (or shared) BYU in scoring 18 times this year. He has 27 double figures scoring games this season. Last year he reached double figures in 30 of 33 games and led the Cougar in scoring in 17 games.

• Wesley has a team-high 11 20-plus point games this year.

• Wesley moved Kenneth Roberts into third place on BYU's all-time free throws attempted list Saturday after having recently passed Ken's brother Fred Roberts and Danny Ainge on the list. He is fourth in free throws made. Wesley is 501-642 in his four-year career. He needs to make 11 more free throws to pass Kenneth Roberts into third place and is 32 attempts shy of moving into second place, passing Russell Larson.

• Wesley is seventh in field goals attempted and eighth in field goals made at BYU, going 562-1,212 to date. He needs to make five more baskets to move into seventh place and pass Kresimir Cosic (71-73). Wesley is 48 attempts shy of moving into sixth place, passing Fred Roberts.

• Wesley moved into seventh all-time in total points scored at BYU after scoring 66 points last week. He passed Kenneth Roberts. Wesley has 1,715 career points. Jeff Chatman (1985-88) is sixth with 1,824 points. Danny Ainge (1978-81) is the all-time scoring leader with 2,467 points.

• With his bucket at the 12:55 mark in the second half vs. Air Force in Provo, Wesley became one of only nine players to surpassed 1,500 points as a Cougar.

• He set a career high by making four three-pointers (4-6) vs. Utah and New Mexico in Provo and equaled it going 4-5 vs. Wyoming at the MWC Tournament.

• He attempted a career-high 21 field goals (29 points) while making a season-high 10 baskets at Wyoming. He also had his second-best rebounding effort this year with 11.

• His double-double at Wyoming was his second this year and the sixth of his career.

• He became the conference's first repeat winner of the MWC Player of the Week Award. He was also named to the Yahoo! Sports Invitational All-Tournament Team Dec. 23 while averaging 21.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in three games.

WESLEY CAPSULE: Wesley is the only player on the BYU roster to have played in each of coach Steve Cleveland's four seasons ... a four-year starter, he developed into the Mountain West Conference MVP 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 missed part of his sophomore season while attending Salt Lake Community College for a semester ... a team captain, he returned to lead BYU in rebounding and was nine points shy of Lyday in scoring last year.

Terrell Lyday (16.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg -- 16.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg MWC)

Last Game: 11 points, 3 rebounds, tied career-best 5 assists, 1 block in 37 minutes vs UNM.

• Lyday was named to the MWC All-Conference First Team. He is second in scoring in overall games and conference games for BYU.

• He ranked third in scoring in league play with a 16.8 average and fourth in all-games at 15.9 points per game. He is a 80.9 percent free throw shooter (6th) in league contests and 81.5 percent in all games. Lyday also averages 1.50 steals per conference game (6th) and 1.24 in all games (9th).

• With 11 points vs UNM, Lyday has reached double figures in 19 straight games and 29 of 32 overall this year. He has reach double figures in 59 of 65 games in his two years at BYU.

• BYU has a 46-19 since Lyday became a Cougar, including a 29-2 mark at home.

• Lyday averaged 19.6 points per game in BYU's seven conference home wins and 21 points in BYU's three wins last week.

• With his 32 points against Wyoming, Lyday has reached 20 or more points in 10 games this year. BYU is 10-0 in those games. Wesley has 12 20-plus games while Whiting is the only other Cougar to reach 20 points, having done so five times in 25 games.

• He was named the MWC Player of the Week Jan. 15 after scoring 24 points in 22 minutes vs. SDSU.

• Lyday averages 33 minutes on the year, second only to Trent Whiting's 35 minutes.

• Terrell has made 32-70 (.457) threes in 15 home games but is 10-48 (.208) in true away games. He is 18-35 (.514) in seven neutral court contests. Lyday was 16-33 (.485) at home in BYU's seven MWC wins, 4-12 (.250) in BYU's three MWC road wins and was 3-14 (.214) in BYU's four MWC road losses. Overall, he is shooting 40.3 percent on threes, making a team-leading 60 triples.

• Lyday has made multiple threes in 16 games this year. Last year he made two or more treys in 20 of 33 games.

• He has made a trey in his last 14 games and in 30 of 32 games this season. At Weber State he ended a string of 15 straight games with a three dating back to last year. The 15-game streak is third on the BYU all-time list. He set the BYU record with a trey in the first 21 games of last year. He made a three in each of BYU's first 11 games this year.

LYDAY CAPSULE: Lyday was named first team all-conference after having a strong first season last year upon transferring from Fresno City College ... he is 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 is a go-to player for the Cougars.

Trent Whiting (14.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.4 apg -- 13.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.3 apg MWC)

Last Game: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 steal in 39 minutes vs. UNM.

• He is third on the team in scoring in overall and conference games.

• He was named to the MWC All-Conference Second Team and to the All-Newcomer Team.

• He plays a team-high 35 minutes per game.

• He averaged 14.3 points last week in three BYU wins, shooting 45 percent from the floor and 53 percent (8-15) on threes.

• He did not start at Wyoming while blisters on his toe was being attended to but he checked in at the 19:50 mark for Matt Montague, missing only 10 seconds of early action. • He has reached double-digits in 20 of 25 games this year.

• He failed to reach double figures for the first time this season at Wyoming, ending a string of 11 straight double-digit games. He also did not reach double figures in both games against New Mexico, at UNLV and Saturday at Air Force.

• He scored a career-high 26 point vs. UNLV earlier this year

• He had a season-low 2 points at Air Force in a win and only four points at UNLV in a loss.

• He had 21 points and 7 rebounds vs. San Diego State the last time he played at Cox Arena.

• He has five games with 20 or more points. BYU is 4-1 when Whiting tops 20 points, with the lone loss being at Utah when he had a game-high 22.

• Starting in his BYU debut, Whiting hit his first three shots and made four of five threes to score 14 first half points. He was 7-11 on the night.

WHITING CAPSULE: Whiting is in his first year at BYU after transferring from Utah last year ... he was not 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 ... he is a gifted outside shooter with excellent range and a conditioned athlete with a strong vertical leap.

Nathan Cooper (4.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg overall -- 4.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg MWC)

Last Game: 3 points, 1 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in 16 minutes vs. UNM.

• He is third on the team in rebounding and sixth in scoring.

• Cooper has been a strong contributor, especially defensively and on the boards, since starting in Travis Hansen's nine-game absence. He made a critical steal and resulting layup while scoring a season-high 11 points vs. Wyoming. He had a season-best 8 rebounds vs. UNM in Provo and shared team-high assist honors at UNM last Thursday. He led BYU in rebounds at AFA.

COOPER CAPSULE: Cooper is one of the team captains ... he is a versatile player who has a solid outside shot with a tough, scrappy nature and competitive desire ... he was the team's top free throw shooter last year... he has been a solid contributor in each of his first three seasons, both as a starter and off the bench.

Travis Hansen (5.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg overall -- 7.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg MWC)

Last Game: 3 points, 2 steals in 14 minuts vs. UNM.

• He has played in the last three games, although sparingly, since returning from an injury. He missed nine games because of a fractured in his right foot.

• He averaged 9 points and 5.5 rebounds in BYU's two road losses at CSU and Wyoming.

• He had started the last seven games before his injury and has nine total starts. The Cougars are 7-2 (CSU, Wyoming) when Hansen starts and 10-4 in games he came off the bench. He came off the bench in the first seven games of the season.

• Overall, he is fifth on the team in scoring.

• He averaged 8.2 points and 3.7 rebounds during BYU's six-game winning streak.

HANSEN CAPSULE: Hansen is in his first season at BYU ... he enrolled this fall as a transfer from Utah Valley State College after sitting out a redshirt season last year upon returning from his LDS Church mission ... he played at UVSC as a freshman ... he is one of the most athletic players on the team ... he has nice range from outside and can slash to the basket effectively.

Eric Nielsen (6.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg overall -- 6.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg MWC)

Last Game: 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block in 31 minutes vs. UNM.

• Nielsen is fourth on the team in scoring and second in rebounding.

• Nielsen was one point off his career high of 17 points at Utah, which he recorded against Utah last year in the MWC tournament. Going 6-6 from the field, Nielsen topped teammates Mekeli Wesley and Jacob Chrisman who both went 5-5 in the season-opening win over Elon College.

• Nielsen is 32-50 (.640) from the floor in the last 14 games. Nielsen is shooting 61.1 percent from the floor overall. Last year he had the eighth best season field goal percentage in BYU history with a 57.8 percentage. Nielsen's current 56.7 career percentage is tied for second all-time at BYU among starters, having made 232-409 field goals.

• He had his seventh double-digit scoring game of the year at Utah and had his first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds v. South Alabama.

• After not scoring for the first time this year vs. Iowa State, he reached double figures in three straight games for the first time in his career. He also did not score vs. AFA.

NIELSEN CAPSULE: Nielsen came on strong at the end of last season helping BYU advance in the MWC and NIT tournaments ... a three-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 prior to this season ... an intelligent player with a good mid-range jumper, he is physically much stronger than last season.

Nate Knight (2.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg overall -- 2.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg MWC)

Last Game: 2 rebounds in 13 minutes vs. UNM.

• He had season highs of 7 points, 7 rebounds and 20 minutes at UNM.

KNIGHT CAPSULE: Knight transferred to BYU from Kentucky ... he became eligible to play 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 ... he is primarily a power forward but could also play at center ... he 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.

Matt Montague (2.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.0 apg overall -- 1.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.4 apg MWC)

Last Game: Started with 1 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal in 16 minutes vs. UNM.

• He has started three of the last four games. He made a big steal and hit three free throws after being fouled as the clock expired to end the first half at AFA Saturday. He hit a three vs. AFA to end the half last week at the MWC tournament to give BYU momentum.

• He has a team-best 95 assists. He took only 16 shots in the 14 MWC games.

• He started the first seven games but has come off the bench (except Wyoming and Air Force) since Trent Whiting made his BYU debut vs. Utah State.

• He started the year making his first eight shots, including 5-5 on threes, but is 6-30 from the floor in the last 24 games. He has nearly tripled the number of treys (8-18) he made all of last year (3-12).

MONTAGUE CAPSULE: Montague is 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 during preseason conditioning this year but is not being troubled currently by the injury.

Derek Dawes (1.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg overall -- 0.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg MWC)

Last Game: Did not play

• He has played more minutes toward the end of the season. AFter having only played double digit minutes in season opener, he logged 13, 13 and 15 minutes in the three games.

• He has given BYU help inside against teams with big frontlines with solid defense and timely rebounds.

• He has taken 22 shots in the the 22 games in which he has played.

DAWES CAPSULE: Dawes is in his first year of college basketball as one of the most sought-after high school centers in the West ... he has played a limited role as a freshman but is an active player who runs the floor well and is a good free throw shooter ... he has outstanding shot blocking ability and timing and good athleticism and size ... he anticipates going on an LDS Church mission after the season.

Daniel Bobik (3.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg overall -- 2.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg MWC)

Last Game: Did not play.

• He played only one minute last week with the return of Travis Hansen to the lineup.

• He has played double-digit minutes the seven games before the UNM and AFA road trip with Hansen out with an injury. He has played double-digit minutes in 14 games this year. He has played less than 10 minutes in 13 games. He has not played in five games.

• He hit a big three-pointer vs. Wyoming to help increase after Wyoming had trimmed a 13-point BYU lead to only three moments before the shot.

BOBIK CAPSULE: Bobik has enrolled at BYU for his freshman season after returning from an LDS Church mission to the Dominican Republic ... coming out of high school 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.

Jacob Chrisman (2.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg overall -- 1.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg MWC)

Last Game: Did not play.

• He played only two minuts last week.

• He has scored in 22 of the 28 games he has played. He has had a rebound in 21 of 28 games played.

• He had back-to-back career highs of 6 and 8 rebounds vs. TAMCC and SDSU.

• He is 29-52 (.558) from the field this year.

CHRISMAN CAPSULE: Chrisman is extremely mobile and has the potential to be 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 play the three and the four.

Dan Howard (0.9 ppg, 0.6 rpg overall -- 0.4 ppg, 0.8 rpg MWC)

Last Game: Did not play.

• He has played in 13 games overall.

• He is 5-8 from both the floor and 2-2 from the line this year. Last year he was 3-3 from the floor before being forced to redshirt with a knee injury.

HOWARD CAPSULE: Howard played four games last year but redshirted after having knee surgery ... he had 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 play a factor with his size inside.

Ty Shippen (0.7 ppg, 0.8 rpg overall -- 0.8 ppg, 0.8 rpg MWC)

Last Game: Did not play.

• He hit the three vs. SDSU that tied the BYU team record for 13 treys in a game.

• He has played 24 minutes in 10 games. After playing 10 minutes in BYU's first two home wins, he has played 14 total minutes since.

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.

Jordan Archibald (0.1 ppg, 0.1 apg overall -- 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg MWC)

Last Game: Did not play.

• He has played 15 minutes this year, six 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.

Recruiting Update

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.

More Cleveland

In his fourth season at the helm of the Cougars, Steve Clevelan guided BYU to an NCAA tournament berth and a Mountain West Conference championship. Cleveland has proven to be a first-rate recruiter, an excellent coach and player developer, and above all, a winner.

Cleveland has made significant strides in rebuilding a program that finished 1-25 before his arrival. After improving from 9-21 to 12-16 in his first two seasons, Cleveland coached the Cougars to a 22-11 record and an NIT quarterfinal appearance last year--BYU's first 20-win season in five years. BYU was one of three Mountain West Conference schools to achieve 20 wins. This year's team is currently 24-8.

General Information

Location: Provo, Utah 84602

Enrollment: 30,069 (Daytime)

Founded: Oct. 15, 1875, by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Colors: Blue and White

Elevation: 4,553 feet

Nickname: Cougars

Mascot: Cosmo

Affiliation: NCAA Division I

Conference: Mountain West

President: Merrill J. Bateman (Utah, '60)

Athletic Director: Val Hale (BYU, '81)

Athletic Dept. Phone: (801) 378-2096

Ticket Office Phone: (801) 378-BYU1 or 1-800-322 BYU1

Basketball Information

Head Coach: Steve Cleveland (UC-Irvine, '76)

Office Phone: (801) 378-3612

Best time to call: Contact SID

Record at BYU: 67-56, 4th Year

Career (4-year schools): same

Associate Head Coach: Dave Rose

(Houston, '83),

Asst. Coaches: Nate Call (BYU, '93), Heath Schroyer (Armstrong St., '94)

Trainer: Steve Pincock

Arena: Marriott Center (22,700)

1999-00 Record: 22-11

1999-00 MWC Record: 7-7, 6th

2nd-place, MWC Tournament

post-season: NIT Quarterfinalist

(2-1 record)

Final National Ranking: N/A