All-MWC Third Team pick Lee Cummard will be looked to for leadership this year as the Cougars open the regular season on Saturday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
BYU GAME #1 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (0-0)
LONG BEACH ST. 49ERS (0-0)
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007
Walter Pyramid (4,200)
Long Beach, Calif.
2 p.m. PT (3 p.m. MT)
BYU, Dave Rose (45-18 entering third season; same overall)
LBSU, Dan Monson (entering first season at LBSU; 170-123 in 11th season overall)
LBSU leads, 4-3, with BYU winning the last meeting, 94-75, in 1985
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (2 p.m. MT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
A live audio link is available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/ as well as a link to Big Sky TV, where live video streaming is available.
BYU OPENS REGULAR SEASON AT LONG BEACH STATE
The BYU Cougars will open regular-season play Saturday at Long Beach State at 2 p.m. PT (3 p.m. MT). The Cougars, who finished their 2007-08 campaign ranked No. 24 in the nation with a 25-9 overall record, won their two exhibition contests by an average margin of 30.5 points. The defending Big West Champion 49ers were 24-8 last season and won their lone exhibition game, 72-58, against San Francisco State. Saturday's game will not be televised but can be heard live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 1 p.m. PT (2 p.m. MT) on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com.
BYU will play its first home game of 2007-08 on Wednesday against Idaho State at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Cougars enter the season with the nation's second-longest active home win streak at 31 games.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- Two-time reigning MWC Coach of the Year Dave Rose helped make BYU the second-most improved program in the nation in his first season with a 20-9 record and guided the Cougars to the outright MWC title and a top-25 ranking in his second campaign in Provo as the Cougars went 25-9 last season.
-- BYU has been picked in the preseason poll to finish first in the MWC race this year by the league's media.
-- BYU went 17-0 at home last year and enters the 2007-08 season with the nation's second-longest active home victory streak at 31 games.
-- This year's BYU squad returns two starters among seven lettermen from last year's outright league leaders (13-3 MWC record) as well as returned missionary Chris Miles, who made six starts as a freshman in 2004-05. Headlining BYU's top returners in 2007-08 are MWC Player of the Year candidate Trent Plaisted, a two-time All-MWC Second Team selection in his first two seasons; versatile junior guard Lee Cummard, who earned All-MWC Third Team honors one year ago; and sophomore sharpshooter Jonathan Tavernari, who followed Plaisted's lead the prior season by being named the MWC Freshman of the Year in his first campaign as a Cougar.
LOOKING AT LONG BEACH STATE
Long Beach State opens its 2007-08 campaign against BYU on Saturday after finishing last season 24-8 overall. The Big West regular-season and tournament champions downed their only exhibition opponent, San Francisco State, 72-58 last Saturday. The 49ers return four letterwinners but lost their top nine scorers from last season's team that lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition to several new faces on the court for LBSU this season, there will be a new face on the bench as Dan Monson begins his tenure with the 49ers. Monson has compiled a 170-123 (.580) record in 10 years as a Division I head coach. He was 52-17 (.754) in two years at Gonzaga, leading the Bulldogs to the Elite Eight in 1999. In eight years at Minnesota, he compiled a 118-106 (.527) mark with five postseason appearances.
LBSU'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 14 Darnell Porter 6-4 182 RFr. -- --
C 50 Andrew Fleming 7-0 255 So. 0.6 0.3
G 3 Greg Plater 6-1 165 Fr. -- --
G 4 Donovan Morris 6-3 201 Jr. -- --
G 11 Artis Gant 6-3 217 Jr. 1.9 1.3
LBSU'S LAST OUTING -- 49ERS DOWN SAN FRANCISCO STATE IN LONE EXHIBITION
LONG BEACH -- Brian Freeman had 13 points and added eight rebounds off the bench as Long Beach State won its only exhibition, 72-58 over visiting San Francisco State. LBSU shot 48 percent for the contest, including 52 percent in the second half as five players hit double digits. "I feel really proud of our guys, I just wanted them to establish a defensive identity. I felt we did that today," said first year Head Coach Dan Monson, whose team held the Gators to just a 34 percent shooting perentage. "I thought it was a good team effort. This team is going to need to build confidence, and I think this was a good start today." The 49ers open up the regular season next Saturday, November 10 at 2 p.m., hosting BYU at the Walter Pyramid. Tickets are available by calling (562) 985-4949 or can be purchased online at www.longbeachstate.com. "The main thing I wanted to do was add energy when I came off the bench," said Freeman who shot 5-of-10 from the field. "I felt I came in, played hard and played some good defense." To go along with his team-high 13 points, Freeman led the 49ers with eight rebounds while adding four assists, two steals and two blocks Darnell Porter had 12 points, while Artis Gant and Greg Plater had 11 points a piece, and Donovan Morris rounded out the scoring with 10 points. The 49ers outrebounded the Gators 43-to-28. Alex Thomas had 19 points, including four three-pointers, to lead the Gators. The Gators kept themselves relatively close with five second half three's, as Thomas' three at 1:32 made it 67-58. But the 49ers converted 5-of-5 free throws down the stretch to keep SFSU at bay. The 49ers responded each time the Gators tried to make a run, as a Robert Hayes three-pointer cut the lead to single digits, at 61-52 with 3:24 left, before Porter responded with a three-pointer himself to extend the lead back to 64-52 with 2:51 left. San Francisco State led early, but Freeman responded with his own mini run to put the 49ers in front midway through the first half. Freeman completed a three-point play, part of a 5-0 run by the junior center, to tie it at 17-17 with 8:24 left. The 49ers did not trail for the rest of the half, leading 34-27. LBSU shot 45 percent, compared to a 33 percent clip by the Gators. Freeman had 10 points and six rebounds over the first 20 minutes. A Plater three made it 32-21 with 2:29 left as The Beach extended it to a 10-point advantage late in the first half.
This will be the eighth meeting between Long Beach State and BYU and the first since 1985. The 49ers own a slim 4-3 lead in the all-time series, which includes a 1-0 record in Long Beach. BYU won the last meeting, 94-75, at the Cougar Classic and has a 3-1 record in Provo. Two overtime games have been played in the series, including a 95-90 LBSU victory in the inaugural contest at the 1972 NCAA Tournament and an 81-77 LBSU win in the 1982 Cougar Classic. The 49ers have won back-to-back meetings twice in the series while the Cougars have done so once.
Overall Series Record: Long Beach State leads 4-3
BYU Record in Provo: 3-1
BYU Record in Long Beach: 0-1
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-2
BYU Record Under Dave Rose: 0-0
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 0-2
Last Overtime Win: BYU lost 77-81 in Provo
Longest BYU Win Streak: 2, 1975-77
Longest Long Beach State Win Streak: 2 (twice in 1972 and 1979-82)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 19, 94-75 in 1985
Largest Long Beach State Margin of Victory: 12, 101-89 in 1972
Most Points Scored by BYU: 100 in 1977
Most Points Scored by State: 101 in 1972
QUOTING COACH ROSE
"Every season, every team is different. It's hard to anticipate what a team is going to be like when you don't have a lot of games to look at from that season. You don't really have patterns you can look at. As for a game plan, you really just have to focus most of your attention on your own team."
"This will be a good learning experience for our guys. We've really played our last seven games without knowing a whole lot about our opponents between our five games in France and our two exhibition games. We don't have a lot to go on, so we just have to get in there and play."
BYU IN SEASON OPENERS
BYU has a 72-33 record in season openers for a .686 winning percentage. BYU is 55-15 (.786) when opening at home, 14-15 (.483) when opening on an opponent's home floor and 3-3 (.500) when opening on a neutral floor. In the 10 seasons since Dave Rose first came to BYU as an assistant, the Cougars are 7-3 in season openers with a 4-1 mark at home, a 2-1 tally in away games and a 1-1 record on neutral floors. Last year, BYU stuck with No. 5 UCLA in Los Angeles for most of the game before finally falling, 82-69.
BYU'S LAST OUTING - COUGARS FINISH EXHIBITION PLAY WITH EMPHATIC WIN
PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team finished its exhibition play on Wednesday night at the Marriott Center defeating Division II powerhouse Bryant University, 83-53. The Bulldogs have gone to the Div. II NCAA Tournament four straight times, making it all the way to the championship game in 2005. But the Cougars showed their dominance early and never looked back. "I thought we were more consistent tonight," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We did a better job of executing our defensive game plan." The Cougars forced the Bulldogs into 20 turnovers and 33 percent shooting in the game. Though the Cougars had 17 turnovers of their own, a 43 percent shooting night was too much for Bryant to handle. Seventeen points from BYU sophomore guard Jonathan Tavernari and 12 points and seven rebounds from Trent Plaisted lifted the Cougars past the Bulldogs. Bryant came out shooting well from behind the arc in the first half with Peter Lambert and Jon Ezeokoli each netting a three-pointer. The Cougars responded well with a three-pointer from Tavernari and four points in the post from Plaisted, giving BYU an 11-8 lead at the 15-minute mark. Tavernari continued to put points on the board early in the first half, scoring nine of the Cougars' first 18 points. But a balanced scoring attack from the Bulldogs kept them within four points at the eight-minute mark. With six minutes left in the first half, BYU senior Vuk Ivanovic made a key steal that led to a Tavernari layup on the other end. The transition bucket gave BYU a 28-18 lead. A three-pointer from Ezeokoli kept the Bulldogs within striking distance to end the first half, but the Cougars maintained a 39-27 lead going into the locker room. Tavernari led all BYU scorers with 15 first-half points. BYU shot 46 percent from the field in the half. Ezeokoli and Chris Lambert led the Bulldogs with eight points apiece. Plaisted scored six of the Cougars' first nine points to start the second half, giving the Cougars the jumpstart they would need to put away the Bulldogs for good. Bryant unsuccessfully attempted to chip away at the Cougars' 20-point lead throughout the second half. BYU's defense limited the Bulldogs to 27 percent shooting in the half.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I thought we were more consistent tonight. We did a better job executing our defensive game plan."
-- "Offensively we still have some things that we need to work through. We had a few sloppy passes, and we had wide open shots that we need to hit."
-- "Overall we got a chance to play a lot of our players and give everyone time on the court."
-- "I noticed that they (Bryant) tired late in the game, and I credit that to our players' defense. It also helped that we were able to shuffle our guys in and out of the game."
Bryant Head Coach Max Good
-- "I was very impressed with Brigham Young. They definitely are team players and played strong both individually and as a team."
-- "We made a lot of mistakes, and we'll go watch the video to see where we need to improve. Playing against a good team will show you where your flaws are."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- BYU head coach Dave Rose used the same starting lineup in both exhibition contests, going with seniors Sam Burgess and Ben Murdock as well as returning All-MWC selections Trent Plaisted and Lee Cummard and MWC Freshman of the Year Jonathan Tavernari.
-- Rose once again emptied his bench in exhibition play as all 13 players who dressed for the game saw time.
-- BYU's 39-point first half against Bryant marked the first time the Cougars have been held under 40 points in a half in exhibition play since a 33-point first half against Seattle Pacific on Nov. 10, 2005.
-- The Cougars did keep another streak intact, however, with the 39-27 halftime lead as they have led by at least 10 points at the break in every exhibition game dating back to Nov. 10, 2005 (trailed 33-35).
-- Jonathan Tavernari led BYU with 17 points against Bryant followed by Plaisted with 12 points. Both players also scored in double figures in BYU's first exhibition game (Plaisted -- 18, Tavernari -- 15). Twelve of the 13 Cougars who played against Bryant scored.
-- Plaisted went 6-for-7 from the free-throw line in BYU's two exhibition games, including a 2-for-3 night against Laval and a perfect 4-for-4 performance against Bryant.
-- True freshman Chris Collinsworth averaged 7.0 rebounds per game in BYU's two exhibition contests, including a team-best eight boards against Bryant.
-- After starting the game 3-for-9 from the field and finding themselves trailing 8-7, the Cougars made five of their next six shots to take an 18-12 lead.
-- Jimmer Fredette made an immediate impact upon entering the game at the 13:18 mark, going 3-for-4 from the free-throw line and recording two assists and two steals, including one that led to a fastbreak dunk for Cummard.
-- Jonathan Tavernari was the first Cougar to score in double figures as he reached 11 points at the 5:34 mark of the first half with a layin from a no-look pass by Mike Loyd, Jr. He finished the half with 15 points on seven-for-12 shooting.
-- After leading by just two points at 20-18, BYU put together a 10-0 run over 5:24 of the first half, including four points from Cummard, three from Vuk Ivanovic, two from Tavernari and a free throw from Fredette.
-- Trent Plaisted scored six of the first nine BYU points in the second half to become the second Cougar in double figures while helping BYU begin the second frame with a 12-2 run to take a 50-29 lead.
-- Bryant struggled offensively in the second half as the Bulldogs made just two of 12 shots in the first 10 minutes.
-- Neither team scored from the floor for 3:37 of the second half until Chris Miles scored a bucket at the 9:52 mark. BYU was still able to build its lead to 61-38 with eight straight free-throw makes.
-- Miles scored his first eight points of the game during a 1:31 stretch of the second half, going four-for five from the free-throw line with two buckets. He finished with nine points after a late free-throw make.
EXHIBITION #1 - PLAISTED LEADS FOUR PLAYERS IN DOUBLE FIGURES AGAINST LAVAL
PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team opened exhibition play with a 91-60 win against Canada's Laval University on Friday in the Marriott Center. Junior Trent Plaisted led four Cougars in double figures with 18 points. Sam Burgess and Jonathan Tavernari contributed with 15 points each, and Lee Cummard added 11. Tavernari also recorded a game-high eight rebounds. BYU held Laval to a .368 field-goal percentage and scored 28 points off of turnovers. The opening tip went the Cougars' way and from there the team never looked back. Despite being unable to convert on its first possession, two steals by Lee Cummard and Sam Burgess gave the Cougars the early lead, which they would never lose. Burgess and Plaisted combined to score BYU's first nine points. Newcomer Jimmer Fredette's first touch of the game resulted in a turn-around jumper to give the Cougars a 19-8 lead. Burgess scored his third three-pointer with 9:30 to play in the first half, increasing BYU's lead to 10 points. The physical play of both teams came to a head when Murdock and Fredette collided on the floor. Murdock received three stitches to his forehead, and Fredette received 13. Though Murdock returned to the game, the coaches chose to hold Fredette out, but he is expected to play again on Wednesday. BYU's good defensive play and two three-pointers by Tavernari put the Cougars up 35-22. However, plagued by constant traveling calls and turnovers, both teams were unable to establish a run despite BYU having a 42-29 lead going into the half. The Cougars opened the second half with a forced Laval turnover and dunk by Cummard. Momentum began to shift in BYU's favor after Plaisted went 2-for-3 from the free-throw line in two trips, and Cummard recorded his second dunk of the night with less than 17 minutes to play in the game. Not wanting to be left out of the dunking action, Plaisted knocked one down to put the Cougars up 52-34. He went on to score 10 points in BYU's 18-5 scoring run to begin the second half. Two breakaway lay-ins by Burgess and Michael Loyd Jr. increased the BYU lead to 28 points. Tavernari recorded his first block of the night with 6:10 to play in the game and continued his contributions with a three-pointer on BYU's next possession. Vuk Ivanovic tipped in a missed attempt by Burgess from beyond the arc, while Loyd scored two after forcing a Laval turnover. BYU's 34 point lead, its largest of the night, came with 2:35 left in the game.
TAVERNARI HELPS WHITE TEAM CLAIM VICTORY AT COUGAR TIPOFF
PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team gave Cougar fans a glimpse of what to expect from its 2007-08 squad when the team split in half to participate in a full-length scrimmage on Wednesday at the annual Cougar Tipoff. 2007 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year Jonathan Tavernari led the White team to a 77-64 victory with a game-high 27 points and 12 rebounds. "I'm pleased with Jonathan [Tavernari]," said head coach Dave Rose. "He shot the ball well." Other players for the White team included recently returned-missionary Chris Miles, Sam Burgess, Ben Murdock, Archie Rose, Nick Martineau, Matt Pinegar and Gavin MacGregor. The Blue team consisted of returning starters Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted along with newcomers Jimmer Fredette, Chris Collinsworth, Lamont Morgan Jr., Michael Loyd Jr. and James Anderson. A three-pointer by Burgess gave the White team its first points of the night to start the scrimmage. Collinsworth answered on the opposite end of the floor on the Blue team's next possession. The threes continued to fall for the White team, however, totaling eight in the first half alone and giving the team a 38-29 lead going into the locker room. The White team continued to dominate in the second half with its largest lead of 17 coming with 13:49 to play in the game. With just under nine minutes to play, the Blue team attempted its comeback, fueled by a three-pointer by Loyd. Fredette would go on to score the Blue team's next 14 points, bringing the score to 66-58. "Jimmer [Fredette] really settled down in the second half and played with more confidence," said Rose. "I like our competitive spirit. We have some talented offensive players that can score baskets." The Blue team's efforts would fall short, coming to within only six points.
BURGESS, CUMMARD, PLAISTED NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS
BYU men's basketball head coach Dave Rose has announced that senior Sam Burgess and juniors Trent Plaisted and Lee Cummard have been selected to serve as captains on this year's team."Each of our captains have qualities we really want in all of our players," Rose said. "Sam is a hard worker and tough competitor who leads by example. Trent and Lee have proven their leadership ability both on and off the court over the past two years." Both Cummard and Plaisted are two year starters who received all-conference accolades last season after helping the Cougars win their first outright league title since 1988 and achieve their first national ranking since 1993. A two-time All-MWC Second Team selection and Freshman All-American, Plaisted was second on the team last year in both scoring (12.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg). The junior forward/center from San Antonio scored in double figures 21 times while posting three double-doubles on the year in 33 starts. Cummard was named to the All-MWC Third Team last season after starting every game for the Cougars. He averaged 9.4 points, third on the team, on a team-best .553 shooting mark from the field. The junior guard from Mesa, Ariz., also led the team in steals and minutes, was second in assists and blocks and was third in rebounds with 5.6 per contest. He ranked among the top 15 in the conference in seven statistical categories. After redshirting the 2005-06 season, Burgess provided a spark off the bench for the Cougars last year, playing in 31 of 34 games and averaging 3.6 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.2 minutes of action. The senior guard from Alpine, Utah, came on especially strong during BYU's run to the conference championship, playing double-digit minutes in eight of the Cougars' last 12 outings. The best-conditioned perimeter player on the team the past two seasons, Burgess averaged 15.0 points and 5.2 assists per game while shooting .615 from the floor during BYU's successful tour of France over the summer.
PRESEASON MWC POLL
The Mountain West Conference media selected defending regular-season champion BYU to repeat as the MWC men's basketball champion. The Cougars' Trent Plaisted was named to the five-member preseason team and BYU newcomer Jimmer Fredette was tabbed the top freshman. "Obviously, these picks are a compliment to our team as well as to Trent and Jimmer," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "I think this is a tribute to how hard our guys have worked and speaks to the credibility of our program." BYU captured 15 of 22 first-place votes and 181 points for the top spot in the preseason media poll. Five MWC teams earned at least one first-place vote. Five institutions were represented on the preseason all-MWC team. Wyoming's Brandon Ewing was named the Top Returning Player, while San Diego State's Ryan Amoroso garnered Top Newcomer accolades and Fredette received Top Freshman kudos. One senior and four juniors make up this year's preseason all-MWC team.
Preseason Media Poll
School (First Place Votes)--Points
1...BYU (15) -- 181
2...UNLV (2) -- 146
3...Utah (2) -- 142
4...New Mexico (2) -- 128
.....San Diego State (1) -- 128
6...Wyoming -- 120
7...TCU -- 58
8...Air Force -- 54
9...Colorado State -- 33
Trent Plaisted, Jr., F/C, BYU
J.R. Giddens, Sr., G, New Mexico
Wink Adams, Jr., G, UNLV
Luke Nevill, Jr., C, Utah
Brandon Ewing, Jr., G, Wyoming
Top Returning Player
Brandon Ewing, Jr., G, Wyoming
Ryan Amoroso, Jr., F, San Diego State
Jimmer Fredette, BYU
DEFENSE, OFFENSE, DOING IT ALL - LEE CUMMARD
Junior Lee Cummard contributed across the box score and on the defensive end of the floor for BYU last season. On the year, Cummard averaged 9.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.9 blocks while shooting .553 from the floor, .435 on threes and .794 from the line. He ranked among the top 15 in the MWC in seven statistical categories overall. In conference action, he was eighth in steals (1.44), tied for ninth in assists (2.88), 11th in blocks (1.25) and tied for 12th in defensive rebounds (3.56). He had at least one steal in 25 of 34 games, including a career-high 5 steals against UNLV, and hit a three-pointer in 26 of 34 games, including a string of 13 straight. He was often called upon to guard the opponent's top perimeter player. Among his defensive highlights was excelling in the tough assignment to guard the MWC's all-time scoring leader and reigning MVP Brandon Heath of San Diego State. He held Heath to season-low-tying 13 points -- well below his MWC No. 2-ranked 20.3 scoring average entering the game -- helping end Heath's string of four straight games with 20 or more points. He held Wyoming's Brandon Ewing, the league's top scorer, to eight points on 2-of-12 shooting and TCU's Brent Hackett to six points on 2-of-7 shooting, while Cummard averaged 13.0 ppg on 77 percent shooting, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 3.0 bpg and 2.0 spg in those back-to-back road games. He also helped hold Utah State's leading shooter Jaycee Carroll, who ranked 22nd in the nation shooting .629, to just .308 shooting (4-for-13) and seven points below his average.
PERFORMANCE IN THE POST - TRENT PLAISTED
After a Freshman All-American campaign in 2005-06, Trent Plaisted once again contributed solid play for the Cougars as a sophomore last year. He was second on the team with 12.6 points per game on .546 shooting from the field, seventh in the MWC. He also ranked second for BYU and was tied for sixth in the league with 6.2 rebounds per game while adding 1.35 blocks per game, tied for seventh in the conference. Plaisted scored in double figures in 21 games, helping the Cougars go 17-4 in those contests, while scoring at least 20 points in six outings. He also reached double-digits on the boards in three games, posting three double-doubles on the year. He led BYU in rebounds 12 times, scoring eight times and assists twice. In league play, Plaisted was sixth in the MWC in field-goal percentage (.563), tied for fifth in blocks (1.55), ninth in offensive rebounds (2.25) and 14th in scoring (12.9).
ON THE ROAD
BYU won five of its last seven games on the road last season including wins at then-No. 20 Air Force (62-58), at TCU (85-72), at New Mexico (70-49), at Utah (76-66) and at Wyoming (77-73) and losses at San Diego State (86-74) and at then-No. 25 UNLV (78-70) in the MWC Tournament Championship game. The Cougars' win in the Huntsman Center was their first since 1994, and their win at Air Force snapped the Falcons' 30-game home winning streak. BYU was 6-7 on the road last year and 5-3 in conference play with a season-opening loss at then-No. 5 UCLA, a Nov. 29 setback at Boise State, an overtime win at Weber State, an overtime defeat at Lamar and league losses at UNLV and at CSU. BYU was the only Mountain West Conference team with a winning record on the road in league play last year. The Cougars were 2-2 in neutral court games last season with a loss against then-No. 25 Michigan State at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. and against Xavier in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Lexington, Ky., and wins against TCU and Wyoming in the MWC Tournament.
DEFENDING THE HOME COURT
With 31 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars currently own the nation's second-longest active home victory streak. BYU won 17 home games last season after going 14-1 at home in 2005-06. BYU's last home loss was in the 2005-06 season opener against Loyola Marymount. BYU has since won 15 straight over nonconference opponents and has won 16 consecutive over MWC foes since losing its season finale in 2005 to UNLV. BYU is 403-116 (.776) all-time in the Marriott Center. The Cougars' longest home winning streak came from Feb 19, 2000 to Jan 16, 2003 when BYU won 44 straight in the Marriott Center.
Active Homecourt Winning Streaks (As of Nov. 10, 2007)
Wins Team This year Next home game
34 Memphis 2-0 Nov. 20 vs. Arkansas State
31 BYU 0-0 Nov. 14 vs. Idaho State
With 256 three-pointers made last season, BYU set a new program record in that category, surpassing the mark of 214 set in 1992. The Cougars also set a school record with 15 three-pointers against UNLV on .682 (15-for-22) shooting from long range, the third time the Cougars shot above .600 from downtown last season. BYU shot above 40 percent from behind the arc 18 times on the year, including 12 of the last 15 games, and made at least 10 treys in a game on seven occasions. The Cougars ranked fifth nationally and led the MWC in three-point shooting (.415). BYU also paced the conference in three-point percentage (.457) in MWC play while Cougar players finished first (Austin Ainge - .525) and second (Mike Rose - .471) in the league in three-point shooting percentage in MWC action. Rose tied the BYU?individual record he set in 2003 with eight triples against UNLV.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
Last year the Cougars scored an MWC-leading 78.1 points and allowed 69.0 points. BYU?was 20-0 when opponents scored less than 70 points and 5-9 when they scored 70 or more. BYU was 23-6 when it scored 70 or more points and 2-3 when scoring less than 70 with both wins coming against nationally ranked Air Force. The Cougars were also 12-0 last season when scoring at least 80 points. With its scoring output, BYU?recorded its highest scoring average since 1996 (82.3 ppg) and highest scoring margin since 1993 (also +9.1).
CLEANING THE GLASS
BYU was 24-2 last season when outrebounding its opponents and 1-7 when losing the battle of the boards. The Cougars led the MWC?in rebounding average (37.4) and rebounding margin (+6.2). BYU posted its largest margin of the season with a +22 mark against then-No. 13 Air Force (42-20) and against TCU in the MWC Tournament (46-24). Senior Keena Young was fourth at 6.6 rpg while sophomore Trent Plaisted was tied for sixth on the glass at 6.2 rpg. The Cougars?recorded back-to-back season-high efforts of 52 rebounds vs. Oral Roberts and 55 against Seton Hall in the BYU Holiday Classic. BYU outrebounded the Pirates 55-34 as four Cougars had nine or more rebounds (Cummard 12, Young, Plaisted and Ainge 9).
LEADING/TRAILING AT THE BREAK
BYU led at the half in 26 of the team's 34 games last season, including a double-digit lead 14 times. The Cougars outscored their opponents by an average of 5.9 points in the first period of play. BYU's win over Seton Hall marked the first time the Cougars won last year after trailing at the break. The second breakthrough after trailing at the break came at Wyoming. The Cougars also won at AFA after trailing at the half. BYU's 82-69 loss at UCLA after leading 39-36 at the half marked the first time since the 2004-05 season that BYU lost when leading at the half. BYU also lost at CSU, at UNLV and vs. Xavier after leading at the break. The Cougars were 22-4 when leading at the half, 3-4 when trailing and 0-1 when tied last season.
SCORING ON THE ROAD
BYU's top scoring first half on the road last year was 41 points at TCU, followed by 39 points in the first 20 minutes at nationally ranked UCLA and at Colorado Sate. BYU's top scoring second half on the road was 49 points at San Diego State followed by 46 points at Wyoming and 44 points at TCU. BYU?also topped 40 points in the second half at Boise State (43), at Lamar (42) and at Utah (42). BYU's largest overall output on the road was its 85 points at TCU, followed by 78 points at Colorado State and 76 at Utah.
COUGAR RECORD AMONG THE TOP IN SCHOOL HISTORY
BYU finished with a 25-9 record in 34 games last year, making it one of the best BYU teams in program history. Last year's Cougars tied for third all-time in BYU history for most overall wins. In the 105-year history of BYU men's basketball, only the 1950-51 NIT Championship team (28-9) and the 1987-88 WAC champion team (26-6) finished the year with more total wins. One other BYU team equaled the 2006-07 Cougars' 25-9 record. At 23-7 prior to postseason play, last year's BYU team was just the sixth Cougar squad to record its 23rd win prior to the end of the regular season. The Cougar record for wins in the regular season is 24 achieved three times. Last year's BYU team is also tied for sixth all-time in program history with a .735 overall winning percentage.
BYU won 12 of its last 15 games overall last season with victories over New Mexico (twice), Air Force (twice), Utah (twice), UNLV, Wyoming (twice), TCU (twice) and Colorado State and losses at SDSU, at then-No. 25 UNLV and vs. Xavier. The Cougars had won eight straight prior to the SDSU loss, marking their longest victory streak since winning nine straight during the 2003-04 season and ranking tied for 10th nationally. The Cougars also won seven straight last year over Utah State, Western Oregon, Liberty, Oral Roberts, Seton Hall, San Diego State and TCU.
MEN'S BASKETBALL HONORED FOR HIGH ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
The NCAA honored the BYU men's basketball team with a public recognition award for the Cougars' Academic Progress Rate scores. BYU posted multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all men's basketball teams in the country. "The athletes have really worked hard at striving to be good students," said E.J. Caffaro, Student Athlete Academic Center director and men's basketball academic coach. "We've worked hard to put together a strong academic program. Their high score is a result of their hard work and the success of that program." Out of the 336 Division I men's basketball programs in the country, BYU is one of 35 to be honored by the NCAA and the only basketball team from Mountain West Conference to receive the recognition. The Cougars are also one of only 10 teams to earn high academic achievement and also qualify for the past year's NCAA Tournament. Other NCAA Tournament teams who also received public recognition awards were Belmont (NCAA No. 15 seed), Holy Cross (No. 13 seed), Davidson (No. 13 seed), Illinois (No. 12 seed), North Carolina (No. 1 seed), Notre Dame (No. 6 seed), Pennsylvania (No. 14 seed), Villanova (No. 9 seed) and Xavier (No. 9 seed).