Transfer Mike Hall will play in his first regular season game as a Cougar Friday when BYU hosts Southern Utah in the Marriott Center. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH FRIDAY IN SEASON OPENER
BYU opens the 2003-04 regular season Friday when it hosts the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds at 7 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game is not being televised. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning at 6 p.m. MST with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing analysis. Live Internet audio links are available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
The Cougars are the preseason favorite to win the Mountain West Conference this year, returning four starters from last year's 23-9 co-championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Four-year starter Mark Bigelow and fellow senior Rafael Araujo are both named to the Preseason All-MWC Team and are MWC Player of the Year candidates. Bigelow is the team's top returning scorer at 13.9 ppg while Araujo pulled down a team-best 8.9 rebounds last year. Senior guard Kevin Woodberry and junior forward Jared Jensen also return as starters for BYU coach Steve Cleveland.
BYU plays at California Wednesday in a 7 p.m. PST game being televised by SportsWest Productions on KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City.
GAME #1 FAST FACTS
BYU (0-0, 0-0 MWC) vs. SOUTHERN UTAH (0-0, 0-0 MID-CON)
FRIDAY, NOV. 21, 2003
MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)
7 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (108-78 in seventh year; same overall)
SUU, Bill Evans (160-156 in 12th year; same overall)
BYU leads, 6-0 Last: BYU won 93-60 in Provo on Dec. 28, 2002
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Times: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live audio link available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) and via BYU Radio on Dish Network and byuradio.org.
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG* RPG* *Exh. stats
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 200 Sr. 13.0 4.0
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 Jr. 9.5 2.5
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 280 Sr. 17.5 13.0
G 0 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Sr. 4.5 2.5 3.0 apg
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-4 180 Sr. 9.5 2.0 4.0 apg
BYU OFF THE BENCH
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG* RPG* *Exh. stats
G 1 Mike Hall 6-3 205 Jr. 11.5 5.0 2.5 apg
G 2 Mike Rose 6-2 185 Fr. 17.0 2.0
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Jr. 3.5 1.5 4.5 apg
G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 200 Jr. 4.5 1.0 1.5 apg
F 41 Garner Meads 6-8 230 Fr. 6.0 3.0
C 43 Derek Dawes 6-11 265 So. (likely redshirt)
BYU PLAYERS OUT FOR THE GAME:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG* RPG* *Exh. stats
G 13 Austin Ainge 6-2 180 Fr. Injury
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Sr. Injury
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Sr. Injury
F 34 Joshua Burgess 6-8 230 So. Transfer rules
SOUTHERN UTAH UNIVERSITY THUNDERBIRDS
In the first game for both teams, Southern Utah University looks to start the season off right after going 11-17 overall and 5-9 in the Mid-Continental Conference last season, including a 2-11 record on the road. Although the Thunderbirds lost three starters and seven lettermen, including second-leading scorer and Mid-Continental Conference assists leader Jay Collins as well as leading rebounder Donnie Jackson and field goal percentage leader Kevin Henry, all four of their remaining lettermen started at some point last season and will be counted on to lead the team. David Palmer, a 6-foot-7 senior forward is back after starting all but two games last season, earning a spot on the Mid-Con's all-tournament team last year, and leading the team in scoring (11.7 ppg), points (327), field goals, field goal attempts (114-242) and in 3-pointers and 3-point attempts (58-127). Palmer also finished second in rebounding, averaging 4.5 boards per game. SUU also returns 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Rand Janes, 6-foot-9 sophomore center Lubor Olsovosky, and 6-foot-8 senior center Robbie Warren, who finished second on the team in field goal percentage (.549) and third in offensive rebounds per game (1.0) and blocks (13). Coach Bill Evans looks forward to the return of Jason Baker after red-shirting last season. Baker is the only remaining player from SUU's 2000-01 Mid-Con Championship and NCAA Tournament team. The Thunderbirds also enjoyed the offseason, landing one of the best recruiting classes in recent years. The team will welcome JC all-American forward DeAngelo Newsom (6-foot-5 junior) who averaged 17.3 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game at Northwest College as well as center Vaughn Schouten (6-foot-9 sophomore) who was Utah Valley State College's most improved player, and guards Tim Gainey (6-foot-6 junior), Jeff Martini (6-foot-2 junior), and Dallas Rensch (6-foot-3 freshman).
SOUTHERN UTAH'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 24 DeAngelo Newsom 6-5 220 Jr. 12.5 11.0
F 33 David Palmer 6-7 210 Sr. 17.0 7.0
C 40 Robbie Warren 6-8 225 Sr. 13.0 5.5
G 30 Rand Janes 6-3 210 So. 2.5 2.5
G 12 Jason Baker 6-2 185 Jr. 24.0 1.0
LAST YEAR - HOT-SHOOTING COUGARS CRUISE TO VICTORY
All 12 BYU players scored Saturday night, as the Cougars (9-2) cruised to their 41st consecutive home victory by beating Southern Utah University, 93-60. With the loss, SUU falls to 5-5 on the season. Forward Mark Bigelow scored 14 points, including four three-pointers. Bigelow passed former Cougar Terrell Lyday for second all-time in three-pointers made with 130. He trails assistant coach Andy Toolson by 11 treys. Bigelow also passed the 1,000-point mark for his career and now has 1,009. He is the 34th Cougar and only the ninth junior to reach the 1,000-point milestone. As a team, BYU shot 14-24 (58.8 percent) from behind the arc while setting a new school record for most three-pointers made in a single game on a Ricky Bower trey with 1:49 to go. With Southern Utah playing a match-up zone, seven different Cougars hit a trey in the contest, with six players scoring their only field goals from behind the arc. The Cougars used team-basketball to bury the T-Birds early with 25 of the team's 29 field goals coming off an assist from a teammate. BYU shot 58 percent for the game and held SUU to 43.2 percent. In the first half, BYU capitalized on nine Southern Utah turnovers and only lost one. The T-Birds surrendered 16 points off those turnovers enabling the Cougars to build a 12-point halftime lead. BYU continued to look for center Rafael Araujo, fresh off his career night versus San Francisco. The big man scored 13 of his game-high 17 points before the half. He also grabbed seven rebounds in just 24 minutes. BYU did not allow one T-Bird player to score in double figures. Kevin Henry, Al Williams, and Robbie Warren scored nine points apiece.
WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY LAST YEAR ...
"When we're making baskets and guarding we can be pretty good. There are not many nights when everyone gets substantial minutes, and when that happens it really makes a coach feel good."
BYU SET THREE-POINT RECORD IN WIN OVER SOUTHERN UTAH
The Cougars set a new school record for three-pointers made in a game, going 14-24 (.583) vs. Southern Utah's match-up zone. Seven BYU players made a trey with six players' only field goals being triples.
SHARING THE BALL
BYU totaled a season-high 25 assists vs. Southern Utah while committing a only 10 turnovers. Scoring 29 field goals against the Thunderbirds, only four BYU buckets were not set up by a teammate's pass. All 12 Cougars scored and seven made a three-pointer.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 6-0
BYU Record in Provo: 6-0
BYU Record in Cedar City: 0-0
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 4-0
BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A
Longest BYU Win Streak: 6 (1992-Present)
Longest Southern Utah Win Streak: N/A
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 46, 108-62 in 1992
Largest Southern Utah Margin of Victory: N/A
Most Points Scored by BYU: 108 in 1992
Most Points Scored by Southern Utah: 67 in 1994
Date Opponent Score W/L
12-11-92 Southern Utah* 108-62 W
12-9-94 Southern Utah* 82-67 W
11-24-99 Southern Utah 92-66 W
12-14-00 Southern Utah 58-52 W
12-29-01 Southern Utah 79-58 W
12-28-03 Southern Utah 90-63 W
OPENING THE SEASON
BYU opens the season against Southern Utah for the first time. The Cougars begin their 102nd season in 2003-04. In the 101 prior seasons, BYU has opened with a win 72 times, winning its first game 71.3 percent of the time. In the Cougars' first home game of the season (not necessarily the season opener) they have won 78 times, for a .772 winning percentage. This year will be the 19th time since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season that the Cougars have opened the year at home. BYU is 13-5 in season-opening games at the Marriott Center. BYU has won its last three season-opening games in the Marriott Center since losing to Cal State Fullerton (75-67) during the 1-25 year in 1996-97. BYU is a perfect 6-0 in season openers under Steve Cleveland, including a 3-0 record in the Marriott Center, a 2-0 record on the road and 1-0 mark on a neutral floor after last season's win at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Cleveland is 5-1 in the team's home-opening game with the lone loss coming in his first season in 1997-98. The Cougars opened that year with a win at San Diego State before returning home for a sound defeat (78-49) by Washington State.
BYU Record in Season Openers: 72-29 (.713)
BYU Record in Home Openers: 78-23 (.772)
Cleveland in Season Openers: 6-0 (1.000)
Cleveland in Home Openers: 5-1 (.833)
NONCONFERENCE VICTORY STREAK IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
The Cougars have defeated 34 straight non-conference opponents in the Marriott Center since starting the streak with a 61-59 win over Utah State on Jan. 2, 1999. The last non-league foe to win in Provo was the California Bears, who edged BYU 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998.
BYU Schedule includes ACC, Big 12, Pac-10 opponents
Potential matchups with six nonconference opponents that made the 2003 NCAA Tournament, including teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 Conference and Pac-10 Conference, and 15 overall contests against teams that qualified for postseason play last year highlight the 2003-04 BYU men's basketball schedule. "We look forward to what should be a very challenging schedule with more than half our games being against teams that qualified for postseason last year," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "We face some very talented teams during nonconference and every game is a battle during the Mountain West season."
BYU finishes exhibition play with 2-0 record after win over northwest sports
BYU came out strong and never trailed in a huge 104-58 exhibition victory against Northwest Sports in Provo. BYU took the opening tip-off and never looked back, leading 43-24 at the half and shooting 56.3 percent from the field overall. The Cougars spread the ball around well, with five players scoring in double figures, led by freshman Mike Rose with 17 points in his college debut. Rafael Araujo added 14, Mark Bigelow 12, Jared Jensen 12, and Mike Hall 11. Playing the point, Luiz Lemes added five assists while going a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor to add nine points. The Cougars out-rebounded Northwest with Araujo bringing down 14. Hall added seven rebounds, including four on the offensive glass, and Bigelow added six boards. Seeing his first action since wowing fans at Cougar Tipoff, Rose was the game's leading scorer and the story of the evening. Having decided to play his freshman year instead of redshirting, Rose came off the bench for a game-high 17 points, including five long-range threes from behind the international arc. The Cougars held Northwest to just 38 percent shooting, including a dismal 7 percent from beyond the arc. However, despite the impressive margin of victory, Cleveland still feels that his team needs to improve defensively. Fouls were also a problem, especially in the first half as the Cougars racked up 12 to Northwest's 4. Former University of Utah guard Marc Jackson returned to the Marriott Center playing for Northwest. Jackson scored 12 points and former BYU player Ken Roberts scored 11. Cleveland was impressed overall with his team's effort and play, especially praising his reserves. The Cougar bench contributed quality playing time as everyone who dressed out saw action. Terry Nashif dished out a game-high six assists off the bench with seven points. Said Cleveland, "We'll need everyone throughout the course of the year." Fans were treated to a show featuring a high powered offense, sparked by huge treys from Rose and dunks by Araujo and Hall that drew roars from the 7,927 fans who came out to cheer on the Cougars.
Lemes hits game-winner in exhibition victory
Luiz Lemes hit a jump shot with 17 seconds left in the game to put the Cougars up, 73-72, and Mark Bigelow hit two free throws to ice the game as the Cougars defeated EA Sports, 75-72, at the Marriott Center.The Cougars got off to a slow start, falling behind by five points early at 18-13, but fought back to tie the game at 32 at halftime. The game went back and forth all night with neither team leading by more than seven points. BYU started to pull away from EA Sports with just under four minutes to play, building a seven-point lead at 68-61, but EA Sports fought back to take the lead at 72-71, before Lemes hit the game-winner. Rafael Araujo led four Cougars in double figures, scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. While having a tough shooting night (5-16), senior Mark Bigelow still added 14 points.BYU coach Steve Cleveland said he was really pleased with the play of Araujo and Lemes, and how Araujo has matured since last year. "I was most pleased with the way Rafael and Luiz played," Cleveland said. "They are really consistent. That is how they have been practicing. We need to get everybody to play at that level." Lemes (10 points) also scoring in double figures for BYU along with Mike Hall (12 points). Cleveland said Hall played well for his first game. "Mike played better in the second half," Cleveland said. "He stopped thinking about things and just started playing."
quick 2002-03 recap
In 2002-03, BYU earned its fourth straight postseason berth and second NCAA bid in the last three years while claiming a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title for the second time in the last three years. Playing among the nation's toughest schedules, including 11 different conferences on its non-league slate, the Cougars finished the year with a 23-9 overall record, going 11-4 through the pre-conference schedule before earning a share of the MWC regular season title with Utah at 11-3. The Cougars went 1-1 at the MWC Tournament before losing to No. 5-seed Connecticut at the NCAA Tournament in Spokane, Wash. BYU went 13-1 at home and 10-8 away, including a 4-3 neutral record and 6-5 road mark. The Cougars had the MWC's top defense and also won the preseason Paradise Jam title in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. BYU was led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo. Hansen, one of two first-team All-MWC consensus players, led the team in scoring (16.8) and blocks (20) and was second in assists (2.4) and rebounds (4.8). Bigelow, a third-team All-MWC selection, was second in scoring (13.9), third in rebounding (3.7) and the team's top three-point shooter (63). Araujo, a third-team All-MWC pick, was the third-leading scorer (12.0) and top rebounder (8.9). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen, who received All-MWC honorable mention, added 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while JC transfer Kevin Woodberry averaged 6.3 points and 2.5 assists at the point.
BYU PICKED AS FAVORITE TO CLAIM 2004 MWC CROWN
Bigelow, Araujo selected to preseason All-MWC team
The Mountain West Conference released its men's basketball preseason media poll and all-conference team today at the league's media day being held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. The league media selected BYU to claim the Mountain West Conference men's basketball title with 144 total points and 13 of the possible 19 first-place votes. Utah was picked second with 138 points and was the only other team to garner first place votes with six. Defending MWC Tournament Champion Colorado State came in third with 107 points, followed by UNLV fourth with 97. Wyoming placed fifth with 73 points, followed by San Diego State (55), New Mexico (36), and Air Force (35). BYU has earned a share of the conference titles in 2001 and 2003, but this is the first time in more than 10 years the Cougars have been the preseason MWC favorites. The Cougars and Utes shared the conference's regular season crown last season with 11-3 records. BYU went 23-9 overall and fell to Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Utah finished the 2002-03 season 25-8, defeating Oregon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Kentucky in the second round. The Mountain West Conference has sent six of its eight teams to the postseason each of the past two seasons and is the only league in the country to have sent 75 percent of its members to the postseason two straight years. BYU seniors Mark Bigelow and Rafael Araujo were selected to the preseason first-team All-MWC team. Other athletes picked were Utahs Tim Frost and Nick Jacobson, Air Force's Tim Keller and the top MWC returnee Matt Nelson from CSU.
COUGARS COMING OFF SUCCESSFUL SUMMER TOUR TO AUSTRALIA
Getting an early jump on the upcoming season, BYU participated in a six-game tour of Australia against professional teams in Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. "Four years ago when we went to Europe it helped us get a head start on the season," BYU Coach Steve Cleveland said. "This was a nice opportunity to implement our system and give the players some good experience. Everyone got a chance to play significant minutes." BYU earned the first of four consecutive postseason tournament berths under Cleveland in 2000 after its summer 1999 trip to England, Croatia and Italy. The NCAA allows a foreign tour once every four years. The team was also allowed 10 additional practice days to prepare for the trip. All of last year's returning players were allowed to make the trip, including redshirt freshmen Austin Ainge and Garner Meads. Newcomers Mike Hall and Michael Rose, along with returning missionary Derek Dawes, were not eligible for the trip. The Cougars played six games in seven nights, posting a 4-2 record. Senior Mark Bigelow led the team, scoring 21.6 points in 27 minutes per game. Senior center Rafael Araujo added 14.0 ppg and a team-high 7.7 rpg in 20 minutes of action. Redshirt freshman Garner Meads scored 9.3 ppg and pulled down 6.0 rpg. The tour also includes visits to the Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Manly Beach and the Great Barrier Reef.
winning BASKETBALL tradition
With its all-time record of 1450-931 (.609), BYU is the ranked 40th all-time in winning percentage among all Division I basketball programs. In terms of total wins, BYU is in the top 25. The Cougars have had 81 winning seasons in their 101 years of basketball and have made 29 postseason appearances, including 20 NCAA bids, and won 26 conference championships.
Cleveland getting it done (honored as 2003 MWC Coach of the year)
BYU coach Steve Cleveland was named MWC Coach of the Year in 2003. At 23-9 last year, BYU achieved its fourth straight postseason tournament invitation and third 20-win season in the last four years. Only eight BYU teams have ever achieved more victories in a season than last year's team. The BYU record for wins is 28 (9 losses) in 1951 when the Cougars won the national title as NIT champs. The 2002-03 season was Cleveland's third 20-win season in the last four years, including a 24-9 record in 2001. The only BYU coaches to have more 20-win seasons are Stan Watts (7) and Roger Reid (6). Cleveland joins Frank Arnold and Ladell Andersen with three 20-win seasons.
MARCHING IN MARCH
BYU has traditionally finished strong under Steve Cleveland. BYU is 18-10 in March under Steve Cleveland, including a 5-2 record in March 2003.
NCAA TOURNAMENT TRADITION
BYU appeared in its 20th NCAA Tournament with its at-large invite in 2003. BYU coach Steve Cleveland has guided the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament twice (in the last three years) in his six years at the helm since taking over a program that was 1-25 the season before his arrival. He has led BYU to postseason play in each of the last four years.
NATION'S LARGEST ATTENDANCE INCREASE
In 2002-2003, BYU averaged the 17th largest crowd in the nation at 14,468. The NCAA announced that BYU achieved the nation's largest average increase over the prior season (an average increase of 5,838 per game more than the 8,630 that attended games in 2001-2002 during the middle of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. BYU's 22,702 attendance vs. CSU in its last home game was the largest crowd since 1992 and the 21st largest crowd in school history.
BYU's lone departing senior in 2003, guard Travis Hansen, was selected 37th overall in 2003 NBA Draft and has signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks. BYU rates second among Mountain West Conference teams with 42 NBA Draft selections after UNLV's 49.