Game 10 - BYU Hosts No. 9 NC State Tuesday

Senior Mike Hall and his teammates face No. 9 North Carolina State Tuesday. NC State is the first ACC Team to play BYU in Provo. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BYU (2-7) hosts No. 9 North Carolina State (8-1) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The game will be televised on KSL-TV, channel 5 (SportsWest Productions) locally and on Fox Sports Net South and is available via ESPN FULLCOURT. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 (KSL.com).

UP NEXT FOR THE COUGARS

The Cougars travel to play in-state foe Weber State Thursday in Ogden at 7 p.m. (No TV).

BYU GAME #10 FAST FACTS

BYU COUGARS (2-7, 0-0 MWC) vs. No. 9 NC STATE WOLFPACK (8-1, 0-0 ACC)

TUESDAY, DEC. 21, 2004

MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)

PROVO, UTAH, 7:06 p.m. MST

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (131-94 in eighth season; same overall)

NCSU, Herb Sendek (156-109 in ninth season; 219-135 in 12th year overall)

Series:

NC State leads, 3-0 (Last meeting: NCSU 89, BYU 62, last season in Raleigh - Jan. 7, 2004)

TV:

SportsWest Productions on KSL-TV, Channel 5, locally and nationally via ESPN FULLCOURT (Tom Kirkland play-by-play with Blaine Fowler adding analysis); and Fox Sports Net South (Ron Thulin and Dan Bonner)

Radio:

KSL 1160, BYU Sports Network (Greg Wrubell calls play-by-play with Mark Durrant adding commentary)

Web:

Live stats and live audio are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2004-05 schedule)

COUGAR QUICK HITS

ý Steve Cleveland's young squad meshes 10 players who did not suit up for BYU last year with six returning lettermen. Of those returning, senior Mike Hall started in 28 of 30 games last year while averaging 12.8 ppg, sophomore Garner Meads made 18 starts (averaged 16 minutes in 29 games, 4.2 ppg) and senior Jared Jensen started 8 games (averaged 12.1 minutes in 27 games, 3.8 ppg). The other three players who played for BYU last season include senior Terry Nashif (averaged 7.4 minutes in 23 games, 1.0 ppg), sophomore Mike Rose (averaged 7.9 minutes in 26 games, 3.9 ppg) and sophomore Austin Ainge (averaged 4.5 minutes in 8 games, 1.3 ppg).

ý The 10 BYU players averaging double-digit minutes this season include seven sophomores and three seniors. Of BYU's freshmen top-20 signing class, only F/C Chris Miles is currently playing (9.1 minutes). Neither David Burgess (ankles) nor Trent Plaisted (knees) dressed last game and have been limited while top guard prospect and Arizona Player of the Year Lee Cummard has not been with the Cougars this season after opting to serve an LDS Church mission. He will join the Cougars next season after returning from his mission early.

ý Playing a tough schedule, BYU has played four Pac-10 opponents already this season and is facing its second top-10 ACC team Tuesday. BYU's two wins are over Chaminade (77-56) and Boise State (90-77).

ý Senior guard Mike Hall leads BYU in scoring as the only Cougar averaging double figures (12.7 ppg). Sophomore guards Mike Rose and Austin Ainge each contributes 9.2 ppg. Sophomore swingman Keena Young leads BYU in rebounding (6.3 rpg) while sophomore forward Garner Meads adds 5.4 rpg.

ý BYU is shooting .404 from the floor, .355 from behind the arc and .708 from the line.

ý NC State is the first ACC team to play BYU on its home court. Miami has played BYU twice at home, once in the Marriott Center, prior to joining the ACC. BYU is playing two ACC teams this year for the first time since the 1955-56 season. The Cougars lost to North Carolina in the season-opener in Maui.

LOOKING AT NC STATE

NC State is 8-1 and was ranked No. 9 (coaches) and 12th (AP) in last week's polls before suffered its first loss of the season Sunday at No. 18 Washington (8-1). NC State returns three starters and seven lettermen from last year's NCAA Tournament team, including 2004 ACC Player of the Year Julius Hodge. NC State is off to its best start since the 1988-89 season with Hodge, a National Player of the Year candidate Hodge, leading the way averaging 18.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Junior swingman Cameron Bennerman adds 10.7 ppg. The Wolfpack has also been getting a boost of late from 6-10 freshman Andrew Brackman, who averages 8.8 ppg and is coming off big performances in the last three outings. In victories over Liberty and Louisiana-Lafayette, Brackman made 12-of-13 shots from the floor, scoring 14 and 20 points, respectively. He added 14 points and 5 rebounds at Washington Sunday, going 6-of-11 from the floor. Jordan Collins, NC State's starting center at 6-10, suffered a hip flexor injury in the first half of the Louisiana-Lafayette game and missed the entire second half. He started and played 16 minutes at Washington. WIth an 8-0 record at home, this is NC State's first road trip of the season. NC State shoots well from the floor, making 49.8 percent of its attempts while connecting on 36.2 percent from behind the arc. NC State shoots .676 from the line. The Wolfpack average 81.6 points while holding opponents to 58.4 points, with its nine opponents combining to shoot .379 from the floor and .297 from long range.

WOLFPACK SUFFERS FIRST LOSS AT WASHINGTON SUNDAY

Will Conroy and Tre Simmons each scored 12 points and Brandon Roy returned earlier than expected from knee surgery to add 10 points, leading No. 18 Washington to a 68-64 victory over No. 9 North Carolina State on Sunday. The Huskies (8-1), off to their best start in seven years, outlasted the Wolfpack (8-1) in an exciting finish. Julius Hodge scored 15 points and Cameron Bennerman had 16 points for the Wolfpack, while freshman Andrew Brackman added 14. Washington's Nate Simmons scored five points in the final 23 seconds. His three-point play on a breakaway layup put Washington ahead 66-61 with 22 seconds to go. He hit two free throws to seal it with 0.2 seconds on the clock. The Huskies avenged a 77-72 loss last season in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack cut it to 66-64 on Engin Atsur's 3-pointer with 12 seconds remaining. Robinson was fouled in the backcourt with 10 seconds on the clock but missed the front end of a-and-1, giving the Wolfpack a chance to tie or win it. Hodge drove on the last play and was met by Simmons, Roy and Robinson. They slapped his shot away and Simmons came away with the ball, drew a foul and made the free throws. It was the Wolfpack's first road game, kicking off a stretch of five of six away from home.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS

POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG

F 21 Levi Watkins 6-8 235 Sr. 6.4 2.7

F 24 Julius Hodge 6-7 205 Sr. 18.6 6.9

C 32 Jordan Collins 6-10 242 Sr. 8.7 3.1

G 14 Engin Atsur 6-3 200 So. 7.1 2.4

G 22 Tony Bethel 6-2 178 Jr. 8.4 4.3

BYU SERIES RECORD VS.NC STATE

Overall Series Record: North Carolina State leads 3-0

BYU Record in Provo: N/A

BYU Record at North Carolina State: 0-3

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0

BYU Record Under Steve Cleveland: 0-1

BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A

Longest BYU Win Streak: N/A

Longest N.C State Win Streak: 3 (1952-present)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: N/A

Largest N.C State Margin of Victory: 27 (89-62 last year)

Most Points Scored by BYU: 81 in 1955

Most Points Scored by N.C State: 95 in 1955

Date Opponent Score W/L

12-31-52 at N.C. State* 59-75 L

12-21-55 at N.C State 81-95 L

1-7-04 at NC State 62-89 L

*Dixie Classic

LAST YEAR'S OUTING -- COUGARS SUFFER BLOWOUT DEFEAT AT NC STATE

RALEIGH -- Despite game highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds from Rafael Araujo, BYU ran into a hot North Carolina State team in a 89-62 loss at the RBC Center Wednesday night. The Cougars fell to 10-3, while the Wolfpack improved to 8-2. Araujo was 8-for-15 from the field and recorded his ninth double-double of the year. Senior forward Mark Bigelow was the only other Cougar in double figures with 16 points. NCSU shot a season high 59 percent on 34-for-58 shooting and held BYU to a season-low 40 percent shooting on 21-of-52 shooting. "They played a phenomenal game tonight," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "They kicked the living daylights out of us. It's hard to find very many positive things about this game. "It was a total collapse at both ends of the floor for us. It's unacceptable to have an effort like that." The Cougars held their only lead after Araujo laid in the first two points of the game for a 2-0 lead. From there the Wolfpack swarmed the Cougars in the first half, incrementally building up a commanding lead. With the score tied at 6-6, NCSU used an 8-0 run within a 2:35 span to take a 14-6 lead. An Araujo baby hook in the lane with 12:09 to go in the half stemmed the tide and reestablished the Cougars on the scoreboard. "I thought Hoffa (Araujo) did a solid job," Cleveland said. "He did what he was supposed to do." Ilian Evtimov then went on a tear for the Wolfpack making three consecutive treys in just over three minutes. His last 3-pointer stretched the NCSU lead to 29-13. The story of the first half revolved around turnovers. NCSU forced 13 turnovers and converted them into 22 points, while BYU force one turnover for one point. In the second half, BYU again struck first with a basket by Luiz Lemes, and the Cougars traded basket-for-basket in the early going, but were unable to sustain offensive cohesion as the Wolfpack added to their lead. The Cougars won the turnover battle in the second half, forcing the Wolfpack to cough up the ball six times, while only committing four turnovers themselves. Another highlight for BYU was its hot shooting from the charity stripe, as the Cougars shot 88 percent, 15-of-17 from the foul line. Julius Hodge led the Wolfpack with 23 points, six rebounds and four assists.

BYU RECORD vs. THE ACC ...

8-17 Overall

6-10 neutral

0-7 away

*2-0 home

*home games were against Miami prior to its joining ACC

Clemson 1-1

Duke 1-1

Georgia Tech 0-1

Florida State 1-0

Maryland 0-0

Miami 2-2

NC State 0-3

North Carolina 0-4

Virginia 1-3

Virginia Tech 1-0

Wake Forest 1-2

BYU SERIES vs. ACC

This year the Cougars will play two teams from the ACC in the same season for the first time in nearly 50 years. BYU lost to UNC to open the season at the Maui Invitational. The last time BYU had a schedule with two ACC teams was the 1955-56 season when the Cougars played at both NC State and Wake Forest. NC State's visit to the Marriott Center is the first-ever by an ACC team to BYU's home court. Miami played BYU in Provo twice, once in the Marriott Center, prior to joining the ACC. Tuesday's game will be the fourth game vs. an ACC team under Steve Cleveland. BYU lost to NC State last year in Raleigh. In Cleveland's first season after taking over a 1-25 BYU program, the Cougars fell 72-58 to Virginia in Hawaii the night before upsetting Ohio State, 72-65. BYU finished the season 9-21. BYU's last victory against an ACC school was an NCAA Tournament triumph, 61-48, over Virginia on March 14, 1991 in Salt Lake City. BYU lost in the next round to Arizona, 76-61, to finish the year with a 21-13 record. Between the two Virginia games, BYU suffered neutral court defeats to Duke in 1992 and North Carolina in 1993. The only ACC school BYU has never played is Maryland.

BYU BASKETBALL ON KSL NEWSRADIO 1160

The "Voice of the Cougars" is KSL Newsradio 1160's Greg Wrubell. He is in his ninth season as the play-by-play voice of BYU basketball. Wrubell, also the voice of BYU football, is joined by color analyst Mark Durrant, a four-year BYU basketball letterman who graduated in 1995 as a three-time Academic All-WAC forward, or Brian Santiago, who was the WAC assist and three-point percentage leader at Fresno State. Durrant has been part of the KSL broadcast team for eight years while Santiago is in his fourth year providing analysis for select games. Stations on the Cougar Sports Network include:

Salt Lake City, Utah (Flagship) KSL 1160 AM

St. George, Utah KDXU 890 AM

Manti/Delta, Utah KMGR 95.7 FM

Idaho Falls, Idaho KSSL 1260 AM

Also, listen online at KSL.com

BYU COACHES ON KSL EACH WEEK ...

Coaches Corner with Steve Cleveland Mondays at 8:45 a.m.

The Steve Cleveland Show Wednesdays 6-7 p.m.

*Cougar Hoops Weekly with Dave Rose Thursdays 6-7 p.m.

*This week's show will air on Monday.

BYU's LAST OUTING - UTAH STATE COMPLETES SEASON SWEEP OVER BYU

PROVO -- Spencer Nelson and the Aggies ended a 13-game losing streak in the Marriott Center, defeating the Cougars 84-62 in their second meeting this season. The Cougars were led by Austin Ainge who scored a career-best 21 points, while three Aggie players scored in double figures, led by Nelson who scored a game-high 26 points to sweep the Cougars. "Utah State dominated every position offensively and defensively," coach Steve Cleveland said. "We got beat in every area of the game." In the first half, the Cougars struggled with the Aggies' low-post offensive presence. Early in the half, Utah State forward Nate Harris, who finished the game with 16 points, scored three easy lay-ups to lift the Aggies to a comfortable lead. The Cougars fought back with a crowd-pleasing block by Gardner Meads, followed by an Ainge three-pointer to close in on the Aggies, trailing 26-30. The Utah State would answer back to the Cougars' run with Nelson connecting on a three-point play and then scoring on a three-point banker from the top of the arc the next time down the court. The Aggies continued their run with an all-around effort to finish the half leading 41-27. Utah State jumped on the Cougars in the second half, widening the lead to as high as 23 points. Posting double-figures in his eighth consecutive game, Nelson continued to deliver for the Aggies, scoring 12 of his 26 points in the second half and adding a game-high 11 rebounds. The Cougars would rally back mid-way through the second half to cut the lead to a 14-point deficit, yet sharp shooting by Jaycee Carroll from beyond the arc proved to be key to finish off the Cougars. Carroll finished with 21 points. "We were obviously really excited about playing really well down here," Utah State Coach Stew Morrill said. "We made a few shots and that always helps." The Cougars were out-shot by the Aggies, with BYU shooting only 39 percent to Utah State's 50 percent. Mike Rose was the Cougars' second-leading scorer with 14 points, followed by Kenna Young who finished with 8 points and a team-high 7 rebounds.

YOUNG TEAM FACING STRONG SCHEDULE

BYU's schedule includes 10 teams that finished in the top three in their respective league standings, with eight finishing as either the league champion or runner-up. Seven teams played in the NCAA Tournament and five were invited to the NIT, while eight opponents achieved 20-win seasons last year. North Carolina, North Carolina State and Stanford all finished the season in the final top-25 rankings. The Cougars will play two teams from the ACC in the same season for the first time in nearly 50 years and they also play four teams from the Pac-10 for the first time since 1998-99. The last time BYU had a schedule with two ACC teams was the 1955-56 season when the Cougars played at both NC State and Wake Forest.

ROTATING LINEUPS

Coach Cleveland has used seven different lineups in the first nine games of the season. Cleveland went with his most experience the first two games of the year, starting seniors Terry Nashif, Jared Jensen and Mike Hall as well as sophomores Garner Meads and Mike Rose. However, since then, transfer Keena Young has started four games (two in place of an injured Meads), sophomore Jimmy Balderson, who came out of his redshirt season at Utah State, has started the last three games, while sophomore point guard Austin Ainge has two starts and transfer Sam Burgess has started one game.

SLOW START

BYU is off to a 2-7 start playing a strong schedule with a young team that includes seven sophomores and three freshmen. This is BYU's slowest start since the 1996-97 season, the year prior to Steve Cleveland's arrival when BYU suffered through a program-worst 1-25 season.

IMPROVING TURNOVER/ASSIST RATIO

BYU has taken better care of the ball after averaging 23 turnovers to only 6 assists in its first two outings this year. Over the last seven games, the Cougars are averaging 14.4 turnovers and 13.1 assists.

INJURY ISSUES

In Saturday's home loss to Utah State, sophomore center Derek Dawes got his first start of the year despite having suffered a broken thumb Thursday during practice. With regular starting center Jared Jensen sick with food poisoning (played 10 minutes) and freshman center David Burgess still out with ankle troubles, BYU was not at full strength in the post. Freshman forward Trent Plaisted (6-foot-11) also missed Saturday's game due to injury and junior Josh Burgess has been slowed by a back injury.

AINGE PROVING POINT

Point guard Austin Ainge is one of BYU's young players taking advantage of his opportunity for playing time this season. He has been the team's most consistent player over the last five games while averaging 14.6 points, including a career-best 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting vs. Utah State Saturday. He has scored 17.0 ppg over the last three games and earned his second start Saturday. Overall, he is now tied for second on the team in scoring at 9.2 ppg. He leads the team in shooting percentage both from the floor (.528) and from three-point range (.419).

CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...

At home 0-1

On the road 0-2

On a neutral floor 0-1

At home vs. Nonconference 0-1

At home vs. MWC 12-0

On the road vs. Nonconference 0-3

On the road vs. MWC 3-0

On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 0-1

On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1

at regular season tournament 1-0

at MWC Tournament 0-1

at NCAA Tournament 0-5

at NIT 0-1

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