Game 1 - Cougars Open 2010-11 vs. Fresno State

Noah Hartsock and No. 24 BYU host Fresno State in the 2010-11 season opener on Friday at 7 p.m. MT. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

2010-11 Season Opens Friday against Fresno State

No. 24 BYU (0-0) men’s basketball opens the 2010-11 season on Friday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. MT at home against Fresno State (0-0) of the Western Athletic Conference. The Cougars are coming off a 30-win season and a trip to the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Fresno State is coached by former BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. The Bulldogs were 15-18 and 7-9 in the WAC last season, including a 72-67 home loss to the Cougars. BYU welcomes back preseason All-American Jimmer Fredette for his senior season while Fresno State is led by sophomore center Greg Smith. Friday’s game can be heard live on KSL Newsradio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. MT on 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com.

Up Next

BYU will host Utah State on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. Follow the game live via GameTracker on www.byucougars.com and listen live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. MT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The game will be televised live on The Mtn.

Cougar Quick Hits

— No. 24 BYU is 3-2 in season openers under head coach Dave Rose including wins in its last three openers.

— BYU head coach Dave Rose is 127-40 in his five seasons at BYU and is the program’s all-time leader in winning percentage at .760. He has led BYU to four-straight 25-win seasons, four-straight seasons ranked in the top 25 and four-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.

— The Cougars are opening the season ranked in the AP Preseason Poll for the first time since the 1980-81 season.

— BYU welcomes back its starting backcourt of seniors Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery. This will mark the third-straight season the duo has started for Dave Rose.

Jimmer Fredette has been named to five preseason All-America teams (AP, Sporting News, Athlon, Dick Vitale and Blue Ribbon).

— The Cougars return three starters and five other letterwinners from a squad that went 30-6 overall and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993. Two lettermen from 2007-08 also return after serving two-year missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

BYU GAME #1 FAST FACTS

No. 24 BYU (0-0) vs. Fresno State (0-0)

Friday, Nov. 12, 2010

Marriott Center

Provo, Utah

7 p.m. MT

Coaches

BYU, Dave Rose (127-40 in sixth season; same overall)

Fresno State, Steve Cleveland (78-81 in sixth season; 216-189 in 13th season overall)

Series

BYU leads, 12-5, including a 72-67 win at Fresno State last season

TV

None

Radio

KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. MT pregame show — Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)

Web

Live audio and live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/

Looking at Fresno State

Fresno State opens the 2010-11 season at BYU. The Bulldogs were 15-18 overall and 7-9 in the WAC—fifth place—in 2009-10. The team’s top returning player is sophomore center Greg Smith, who averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds last season. Also back is Stephen Shepp, who started 27 games and averaged 5.5 points per game. In an exhibition against Fresno Pacific, Fresno State started Smith, Nedeljko Golubovic (started one game last season), Jonathan Wills (a transfer from New Mexico who sat out last season) and junior college transfers Tim Steed and Bennie Rhodes. The Bulldogs are coached by Steve Cleveland, who prior to coaching at Fresno State, was BYU’s head coach for eight seasons. Cleveland is 78-81 in five seasons at Fresno State and 216-189 in 13 years as an NCAA Division I head coach.

Fresno State’s Last OUting — Fresno State Downs Fresno Pacific in Exhibition

FRESNO, Calif. - Sophomore center Greg Smith led the way with a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds in only 26 minutes of action Saturday night at the Save Mart Center to help propel the Fresno State men’s basketball team to a 71-50 exhibition victory over the NAIA’s Fresno Pacific. Garrett Johnson, a returning sophomore guard from Pomona, Calif., also made significant contributions coming off the bench grabbing six rebounds and scoring 12 points by going 4 for 5 from the field and notched a perfect 3-3 clip at the free throw line. The Bulldogs came out aggressive on the defensive end by not allowing the Sunbirds to score in the first 3:45 of the game. On the night, the Dogs held Fresno Pacific to only 50 points, the fewest by FPU against Fresno State in the past seven seasons, and 31 percent from the field. The highlight of the first half came with 1:35 left when junior guard Tim Steed delivered a perfect pass to Smith for a strong layup and a foul. Smith’s free throw made it 28-16, the Dogs’ largest lead in the first session, and entered the locker room with a 28-19 advantage. The Bulldogs wasted no time getting to work in the second half when junior guard Jonathan Wills flew in from the right base line to tip-in a miss with only nine seconds off the clock. In a test of playing against solely zone defense, Cleveland’s squad kept fighting and pulled away late with the help of back-to-back three pointers from Kevin Olekaibe, a freshman guard from Las Vegas, Nev., which gave the Dogs’ their biggest of the game at 68-45. During the evening, the Bulldogs shot 46 percent from the field and 16 of their 26 baskets came by way of assisted passes.

Series Notes

Friday’s game will be the 18th meeting between BYU and Fresno State with the Cougars owning a 12-5 advantage. BYU won last season’s meeting 72-67 at Fresno State with Jimmer Fredette leading the way with 24 points. Friday’s game also marks Steve Cleveland’s return to the Marriott Center. Prior to taking the reigns at Fresno State in 2005, Cleveland was BYU’s head coach for eight seasons.

In the Rankings

BYU is ranked in the preseason top 25 for the first time since 1980. The Cougars are No. 24 in the AP Poll and are receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Cougars finished the 2009-10 season ranked No. 17 in the AP Poll and No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. BYU was been ranked as high as No. 12 in the AP Poll and No. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

Team/Player notebook

— With a final record of 30-6, the 2009-10 BYU men’s basketball squad set the Cougar record for regular season wins (28) and the overall record for wins (30). The 2007-08 team set the previous regular season records with 25 regular season victories and finished 27-8 after the postseason. The 1950-51 team was 24-7 in the regular season and finished with what was a program record 28 wins overall to go with nine losses.

— In 2009-10, BYU men’s basketball entered the top-25 rankings for the first time this season on Jan. 4 at No. 25 in the AP Poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Cougars finished the season ranked No. 17 in the AP Poll and No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. BYU was been ranked as high as No. 12 in the AP Poll and No. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Rose has led his teams to the rankings in each of the last four seasons to become the first Cougar coach to lead BYU into the rankings in four-straight seasons. BYU is ranked in the preseason AP Top 25, giving the Cougars a fifth-straight season appearing in the rankings.

— At 13-3 in the MWC in 2009-10, BYU finished second to go with another second-place finish (2006) and three conference titles (2007, 2008 and 2009) under Dave Rose. BYU is tied for seventh among all NCAA Division I programs for most regular-season titles won or shared with 28. BYU’s 112 MWC wins in the 11-year history of the league lead all MWC teams.

— Junior guard Jimmer Fredette led BYU with 22.1 points and 4.7 assists per game. His totals of 751 points and 159 assists rank fourth all-time at BYU in a single season in their respective categories. Fredette enters the 2010-11 season 11th in career scoring (1,531) and eighth in career assists (355).

— With 91 steals in 2009-10, Jackson Emery set the BYU single season record for steals in a season, held previously by Marty Haws who had 66 in 1989-90. The 91 steals also ties the MWC record for steals in a season, set previously by Marcus Banks in 2002-03. Emery is currently fourth at BYU with 148 career steals, 48 from surpassing Danny Ainge for first.

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