Jimmy Balderson, Keena Young and Austin Ainge have been selected to serve as team captains for the 2006-07 season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Cougar Coaches Select Team Captains for 2006-07 Season
PROVO -- Fans will have their first chance to see the 2006-07 BYU men's basketball team in action this week as the Cougars host Brock University out of Ontario, Canada, on Thursday at 7 p.m. in their first exhibition game of the season. Tipoff it set for 7:05 p.m. in the Marriott Center.
KSL Newsradio will stream the game live online at KSL.com via the KSL X-Stream. Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing game analysis.
The Brock University Badgers are off to a 7-1 start this season and are riding a four-game winning streak. Senior guard Brad Rootes leads the team in scoring with 24.8 points per game while dishing out a team-best 6.3 assists per outing. Senior forward Chris Keith leads the Badgers in rebounding with 7.9 per game, bolstered by 11 boards in each of the last two games. As a team, Brock is a high-scoring team, averaging 83.8 points. The Badgers are coached by Ken Murray, who has a 326-215 record in his 17th season with Brock and a 462-421 mark in his 27th year overall.
"Brock is a good offensive team," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "They're skilled shooters from all over the floor, and they like to shoot the three."
In conjunction with BYU's first action of the season, Coach Rose and the Cougar coaching staff have announced this year's team captains, calling upon seniors Austin Ainge, Jimmy Balderson and Keena Young to lead this year's team.
"I'm proud of the way these three players have developed and of their dedication to our team," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "They are totally commitment to this program and have earned the respect and confidence of their teammates. They will provide us with good leadership as we work together as a team to achieve our goals."
Ainge, a co-captain of last season's team, proved a valuable asset off the bench in 2005-06 after starting at the point guard spot and receiving All-Mountain West Conference honorable mention as a sophomore. Last season he ranked 11th in the MWC in assists while helping BYU lead the league in both scoring and assists. Balderson also provided a spark off the bench for the Cougars last season as he scored in double figures in 11 of the last 13 games and was the only player in the conference averaging more than 10 points per game off the bench with a 10.2 scoring average. Young led BYU in rebounding as a sophomore before becoming an All-MWC Third Team pick last year after starting the last 14 games of the year and ranking second on the team in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and third in scoring (10.3 ppg).
Ainge, Balderson and Young are three of nine returning lettermen on this year's team, including 2006 Freshman All-American Trent Plaisted, who led BYU in both scoring (13.6) and rebounding (6.9) on year ago. Others on the Cougar roster will see their first action for BYU this year, including junior redshirt Vuk Ivanovic (Jr., 6-10, C/F) and five newcomers -- freshmen Jordan Cameron (6-5, G/F), Jonathan Tavernari (6-6, G/F) and Brock Zylstra (6-6, G/F), sophomore Gavin MacGregor (6-9, F/C) and junior transfer Ben Murdock (6-2, G).
"We have a good group of players," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "They want to be successful. It should be an exciting season."