Coming off only its second defeat of the season, BYU (8-2) returns home to host Southern Utah University Thunderbirds (5-4) Saturday 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 game 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 4-0 at home this season and enter Saturday's game with the nation's longest homecourt victory streak at 40 games. BYU has defeated its last 31 non-Mountain West Conference opponents in the Marriott Center since suffering a 71-70 loss to California on Dec. 19, 1998. The Cougars hope to rebound after suffering its worst loss of the season Monday at USF, where the Cougars shot a season-low 36.5 percent from the floor while allowing USF to shoot an opponent-high 50.9 percent and score the most points by a Cougar opponent with 84.
The Thunderbirds are coming off a week layoff for the holidays having won their last two games with victories over the NAIA's Montana Tech (77-34) and the MWC's New Mexico Lobos (69-57) at The Pit. SUU is 1-2 on the road this year, with losses at Utah (61-47) and Washington State (72-66). BYU has won all five games in the series between the two instate schools.
GAME #11 FAST FACTS
BYU (8-2, 0-0 MWC) vs. SOUTHERN UTAH (5-4, 0-0 MID-CON)
SATURDAY, DEC. 28, 2002
MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)
7 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (93-71 in sixth year; same overall)
SUU, Bill Evans (154-143 in 11th year; same overall)
BYU leads, 5-0
Last Meeting: BYU won 79-58 in Provo on Dec. 29, 2001
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Times: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
A live audio link and live stats link are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule). A live audio link is also available via BYU Radio on Dish Network and byuradio.org.
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 12.9 3.8 2.1 apg
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 9.7 4.0
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 8.9 8.3
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 15.8 5.2 2.8 apg
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 6.3 1.8 2.0 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 5.6 1.7 1.8 apg
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 3.2 1.6
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 2.7 1.8 1.2 apg
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.4 1.9
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.5 0.6
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.3 0.6
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.1 0.8
SOUTHERN UTAH UNIVERSITY THUNDERBIRDS
Southern Utah returns two starters, five lettermen and two redshirts from last year's 11-16 team that placed fourth in the Mid-Continent Conference with an 8-6 record. The Thunderbirds are off to a 5-4 start this year and are coming off a week layoff for the holidays having won their last two games with wins over the NAIA's Montana Tech (77-34) and the MWC's New Mexico (69-57) at The Pit. SUU is 1-2 on the road this year, with losses at Utah (61-47) and Washington State (72-66). The Thunderbirds have home wins over Sacramento State (74-68), Long Beach State (79-67), Montana State-Northern (83-54), Montana Tech (77-34) and the road victory over New Mexico. SUU's two home defeats were to Boise State (73-71) and Northern Arizona (73-56). The Thunderbirds are getting significant help from the JC ranks as two of its top three scorers are JC transfers. Junior swingman Al Williams out of Dixie State Colllege is the team's top scorer at 11.3 ppg, while junior forward David Palmer out of American River JC contributes 10.8 ppg. One of last year's returning starters, senior guard Jay Collins, adds 11.0 ppg as three Thunderbirds are averaging double figures. Last year's starter, senior forward Donnie Jackson, has primarily been coming off the bench this year while adding 6.0 ppg and 3.7 rpg in 21 minutes of play. Collins is the only player to start every game for coach Bill Evans as nine players are averaging at least 14 minutes per game. Palmer, who has made eight starts, pulls down a team-leading 5.4 rebounds per contest. The Thunderbirds are a good shooting team, making 49.8 percent from the floor, 38.6 percent from behind the arc and 73.2 percent from the free throw line. They are scoring 69.1 points to their opponents' 62.1 and have a small rebounding edge, averaging 32.1 boards to the oppositions' 31.1.
SOUTHERN UTAH'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 33 David Palmer 6-7 210 Jr. 10.8 5.4
F 22 Al Williams 6-4 210 Jr. 11.3 3.7
F 21 Kevin Henry 6-3 205 Sr. 7.2 1.9
G 30 Rand Jones 6-3 210 Fr. 0.7 2.1
G 31 Jay Collins 6-3 185 Sr. 11.0 3.0 6.1 apg
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 5-0
BYU Record in Provo: 5-0
BYU Record in Cedar City: 0-0
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 3-0
BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A
Longest BYU Win Streak: 5 (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
LAST YEAR - HOT SHOOTING COUGARS DOWN THUNDERBIRDS
PROVO -- When BYU guard Travis Hansen got an emphatic dunk directly off the opening tip Saturday, the 10,266 fans in the Marriott Center got a pretty good idea of what would follow over the next 40 minutes. BYU stormed out to an 8-0 advantage and never looked back, leading by as many as 25 points before defeating Southern Utah 79-58. The Cougars, now 9-2 on the year, extended their win streak at the Marriott Center to 27 games, the fourth-longest home court streak in the nation, and their overall win streak to seven games, the longest by a BYU team since the 1994-95 season. BYU improved to 5-0 all-time against Southern Utah, who suffered its fourth straight loss to fall to 3-8 on the year. Led by sophomore Mark Bigelow's five threes and game-high 20 points, the Cougars used hot shooting and stingy defense to stifle the Thunderbirds' game. BYU shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range for the game. Freshman Jared Jensen became the primary benefactor of BYU's ball entry into the post in the second half. Jensen failed to score in the first half, but scored 14 points in the second half to tie a career high. Jensen also scored 14 points in a loss at UC Santa Barbara. Jensen wasn't the only freshman who had an influence on the game's outcome. Guards Terry Nashif and Jimmy Balderson played quality minutes off the bench, with Balderson scoring 11 points in only 13 minutes and Nashif logging a season-high 10 minutes at the point. For the second straight game, Bigelow had the hot hand for the Cougars in the first half. Just like Thursday against Cal State Northridge, Bigelow scored 17 points in the first half on his way to a game-high 20 for the night. He also finished with a game-high six rebounds. Bigelow, who leads BYU in scoring at 18.4 points per game, has now scored at least 14 points in 10 straight games. The Cougars held Southern Utah to only 21 points in the first half on 28 percent shooting, but Cleveland still thinks BYU needs to improve its defense if it wants to succeed down the road. Hansen scored 16 points to join Bigelow, Jensen and Balderson in double figures for BYU. Dan Beus led Southern Utah with 16 points while Brian Gardner and Donnie Jackson each added 10. The Thunderbirds shot 36 percent for the game.
WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY LAST YEAR ...
"One thing we did well tonight was shoot the ball.Southern Utah was shooting poorly in the first half, but they did get good looks. They just couldn't knock them down and that concerns me a little bit. I thought we were very efficient in the second half getting the ball in the post. I thought Nashif and Balderson showed composure in coming off the bench."
WHAT COACH BILL EVANS HAD TO SAY LAST YEAR ...
"Mark Bigelow is a guy who knows how to get the ball into the basket."
BYU'S LAST OUTING -- COUGARS FALL AT SAN FRANCISCO MONDAY
A great comeback by BYU was not enough as the Cougars dropped a tough game on the road against San Francisco 84-72 Monday. BYU (8-2) put on a strong run in the second half while attempting to overcome a 19-point halftime deficit but stumbled in the last few minutes, losing to the now 3-6 Dons. USF went on a 16-0 run to build a first-half lead that balooned to a high of 20 points before taking a 46-27 lead into the break. BYU shot just 30 percent in the first half compared to 60 percent for the Dons. To open the second half, BYU increased the defensive intensity, forcing the Dons into five turnovers in the first few minutes, which helped the Cougars score easy baskets on the other end. The Dons did not score a field goal in the first seven minutes of the second half, managing just one free throw during that stretch. BYU looked to center Rafael Araujo, who scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. He also helped ignite BYU's second-half run with three steals. BYU enjoyed a 21-3 run to open the half, most coming with Hansen on the bench in foul trouble. Woodberry connected on three treys in the second half to lead the Cougars back to within a bucket of the lead before USF senior Shamell Stallworth took over and almost single-handedly stretched the Dons lead back to 71-60 with 4:42 left. Stallworth led the Dons with a career night of his own, scoring a game-high 37 points on 12-of-16 shooting. Following an Araujo layup, Hansen stole the in-bounds pass with under a minute to go and passed to Woodberry, who missed the easy basket that would have cut the lead to two points. That's as close as BYU would get as USF hit free throws to increase the lead and win by 12. For BYU, Hansen scored 13 points in limited action and Woodberry added 10. Jake Shoff chipped in nine points off the bench. The Cougars came into the game shooting 75 percent from the stripe but struggled from the free throw line all game, shooting 66 percent, their second worst effort of the season. BYU had its worst shooting night from the floor, making below 40 percent for the first time at 37 percent and was just 3-17 from three-point range, its second worst three-point percentage of the year. The Dons shot 51 percent from the field and 78 from the free throw line. The Dons, who are now 2-1 since two starters became eligible at the semester break, became the first team to out shoot BYU this year and the first to top 42 percent from the floor.
WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY ...
""We have got to put two halves together on order to be a good team. We just did not get the stops we needed late in the game to get over the hump."
FIRST HALF/SECOND HALF
BYU has trailed at the half six times this year, including four of the last five games. The Cougars have played well in the second half, however, rallying for four victories to post a 4-2 record when trailing at the break. BYU had its biggest deficit of the year at USF, trailing by as many as 20 points and 19 at the break. BYU whittled the lead to two points in the first eight minutes of the second half but never managed to get over the hump. BYU has made its runs early in the final 20 minutes as the Cougars have held the lead with five minutes remaining in eight games, winning all eight. BYU went on an 18-0 run, its longest of the season, in the second half against USD. BYU out scored Utah State 35-21 in the final 20 minutes. The Aggies lost for the first time in six games this year when they had the halftime advantage.
BYU coach Steve Cleveland is expected to play a larger rotation this year with a deeper bench. Twelve players are expected to play this year. Eight are playing double-digit minutes. Cleveland has gone with the same starting lineup in every game but St. Bonaventure, where a the Bonnies pressing defense warranted a lineup change. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts and freshman guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba are planning to use the season to redshirt. Ainge broke his thumb during practice three days before BYU's season opener. He had surgery in Phoenix. He isn't expected to practice for 2-3 weeks.
BYU STARTING LINEUP (RECORD)
Woodberry, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo (7-2)
Woodberry, Bower, Bigelow, Hansen, Araujo (1-0)
BIGELOW APPROACHING THREE-POINT MARK
Junior forward Mark Bigelow has made a team-leading 17 three-point shots this year. With 126 career triples, Bigelow will tie Terrell Lyday for second place on the all-time list with his next trey. BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson holds the school record with 141 three-pointers. Bigelow is shooting 42.5 percent on this three-point attempts this year (17-40). He has made a combined 41.0 percent (126-307) in his two-plus seasons.
BYU received votes in both polls released Monday before the Cougars' loss at San Francisco. BYU is tied for 36th with LSU in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll with 10 points and ranked 40th with 16 points in the Associated Press Poll.
RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS
BYU entered the week rated No. 1 in the RPI ratings produced by Collegiate Basketball News and CBS Sportsline.com. The College Basketball News ratings are updated weekly. BYU fell to No. 9 in the CBS Sportsline ratings after its loss, according to results through Thursday's games. In the Sagarin ratings, also updated after Thursday's results, the Cougars are rated 19th as the top-rated Mountain West Conferenc school. Utah is the next MWC school at No. 50. Creighton is the top-rated team in the nation. The Mountain West is rated sixth nationally as a league, ahead of the Pac-10, Conference-USA and Atlantic-10.
BYU's 8-1 start this year was its best under Steve Cleveland, surpassing the 7-1 start of the 1999-2000 team, and equaled the programs best start since 1991-92. That team, however, went 9-1 before suffering its second defeat. After losing at USF, BYU fell to 8-2, the same record it had last yeear after 10 games. Last year's team went 10-2 before losing at Pepperdine to finish the preseason at 10-3. The 1999-2000 NIT team finished the preseason at 11-2, while the 2000-2001 NCAA team went 11-4. BYU's best-ever start to a season was a 17-0 run at the beginning of the 1987-88 season that garnered the Cougars a No. 2 national ranking.
BYU extended the nation's longest homecourt winning streak to 40 games with its victory over UC Santa Barbara last Saturday. The Cougars have won 31 straight home games over a nonconference opponent and 17 consecutive vs. Mountain West Conference teams. BYU has lost its last two road games. BYU's loss at Creighton ended a string of four consecutive BYU wins away from the Marriott Center. It was the team's best streak away from home since BYU's 2001 NCAA team won five consecutive games (2 away, 3 at the MWC tournament) in March 2001. The Cougars won five straight games overall to open this season, the longest overall streak since winning eight straight games last year in preseason. BYU has made a three-point shot in 189 consecutive games since last going 0-9 in a 75-67 loss to Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 22, 1996 during BYU's 1-25 season.
SHOOTING, REBOUNDING SUCCESS
BYU has outshot nine of 10 opponents this year (except USF) and outrebounded seven (except Creighton,USU, USCB). BYU is shooting .462, including .363 on threes, while limiting opponents to .383 shooting from the floor and only .265 on threes. BYU averages 35.1 boards to its opponents' 32.6. BYU has shot 45 percent or better in seven games this year, including six straight until shooting a season-low 36.5 percent at USF when the Cougars also allowed an opponent-best 50.9 percent -- the only time an opponent has topped 42 percent this year.
FROM THE LINE
BYU topped 80 percent free throw shooting for the fourth time this year when it shot a season-high 85.2 percent from the line vs. UCSB last Saturday, going 23-27. The Cougars have shot better than 70 percent in all but two games, a season-low 55.0 percent (11-20) vs. San Diego and only 65.7 percent at USF. Individually, seven Cougars are shooting 73 percent or better from the line. John Allen is a perfect 5-5 while Ricky Bower is shooting 92 percent (23-25). BYU is shooting 74.1 percent as a team.
BYU has held eight opponents to 42 percent or lower shooting, and has held four opponents below 35 percent shooting. BYU held UCSB, a team that came in after seven games shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent on threes, to 36.5 percent and 26.1 percent on threes. BYU has held seven of its 10 opponents this year to 60 points or less. BYU is 48-3 under Steve Cleveland when holding its opponents below 60 points. BYU held USD to a BYU-opponent low of 49 points. On the year, BYU's defense has yielded a combined 61.2 points per game.
The Cougars held UCSB forward Mark Hull to four points on 2-8 shooting and three rebounds in 34 minutes. He entered the game averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. BYU made Utah State's leading scorer Desmond Penigar earn all 11 of his points on 3-11 shooting. He was averaging 15.2 and shooting 49 percent from the floor entering the game. The other top Aggie scorer, guard Mark Brown, entered the game with a 13.8 scoring average, having reached double figures in every game. He scored only two points against the Cougar defense, going 1-8 from the floor in a team-high 35 minutes. BYU also held San Diego's leading scorer, 6-foot-10, 290-pound center Jason Keep, who had 30 points and 16 rebounds at UCLA this year, to just seven points -- nearly 11 points below his 17.7 average entering the game. Against Rice, BYU held 2002 WAC Freshman of the Year forward Michael Harris, who came in averaging 13.7 points and 10.3 rebounds, including a 14-point, 10-rebound night on 7-10 shooting at Stanford, to 11 points and four boards. ASU's freshman sensation Ike Diogu was held five points below his season average. Despite the loss, BYU held Creighton, a team that shot 54 percent from the floor and 51 percent on threes in its first five games, to 42 percent shooting from the floor and 29 percent three-point shooting on its home floor.
With its 14 assists and 13 turnovers vs. UCSB last Saturday, BYU put together back-to-back games with more assists than turnovers for the first time this year. BYU has four games this year when it hasn't committed more turnovers, including 13/13 vs. Kansas State and 17/14 vs. Rice. After committing 21 and a season-high 23 turnovers at ASU and Creighton, BYU did a better job of holding on to the ball in the last three home ames, committing 14, 11 and 13 turnovers. BYU had 10 assists and 12 turnovers at USF. The Cougars' assist/turnover ratio for the year is 0.8.
NATION'S LONGEST HOME WINNING STREAK
BYU has a 40-game homecourt winning streak. The streak, which is a school record topping the 24 straight won between March 1994 and January 1996, is the longest current streak in the nation. BYU went 16-0 at home last season and was 15-0 the prior year. BYU has had a perfect home record seven times since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season. The past two years, however, marks the first time it has happened in back-to-back seasons. Last year's team tied the BYU single-season record with 16 home wins and was only the fourth Cougar squad to win more than 14 home games in a season. The 1987-88 Ladell Andersen squad went 16-2 in the Marriott Center. BYU's last home loss was on Feb. 17, 2000 when New Mexico edged the Cougars 78-74. BYU has won 17 straight at home over MWC teams. BYU has defeated 31 straight nonconference 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 ON THE ROAD
While BYU entered this season with the nation's longest active home winning streak at 36 games (now 40), the Cougars also finished last season having lost their last 10 games away from the Marriott Center and their last 11 straight games on an opponent's home court, including three in overtime. This year, BYU has snapped both losing streaks. With its three wins at the Paradise Jam -- BYU's first win streak away from home since the end of the 2001 season, BYU ended the 10-game skid. With BYU's victory at ASU, the Cougars ended the 11-game road losing streak and seven straight losses on a Pac-10 opponent's home floor dating back to its win over ASU in 1989. BYU is 1-2 on an opponent's court this year. Last year BYU won only twice away from home. Last year's road wins were a neutral court 81-76 upset over No. 13 Stanford at the Las Vegas Showdown on Dec. 22, 2001 and a season-opening win at San Diego, 70-59, on Nov. 17, 2001.
NEUTRAL COURT RECORD
BYU is 12-7 on a neutral court under Steve Cleveland. Last year BYU was 1-1 on a neutral floor. Prior to the Paradise Jam, BYU's last neutral court game was a 62-51 loss to San Diego State at the 2002 MWC Tournament. BYU's prior neutral win was over No. 13 Stanford, 81-76, at the Las Vegas Showdown. The Cougars have won seven of their last nine neutral court contests.
When Utah State did not connect on a three-point attempt, going 0-5, against BYU on Dec. 14 it marked the first time a BYU opponent has failed to make a three-pointer since Oklahoma went 0-9 vs. the Cougars in the 1992 Maui Classic on Dec. 21, 1992.
BYU VS. ITS CONFERENCE PEERS
BYU is picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference. BYU has a won 58 percent (418-299) of its games vs. its MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU has dominated the Mountain West, winning 63 percent of the titles in the league's first three seasons.
COUGARS SIGN COMBO GUARD MICHAEL ROSE
During the early signing period in November, BYU signed Michael Rose, a 6-foot-1 combo guard out of Spring Woods High School in Houston Texas. A four-year starter, Rose averaged 16.3 points, five rebounds and three assists playing shooting guard as a junior. A preseason All Greater Houston First Team selection, Rose will play point guard his senior season. He has earned first-team All-District 21 5A honors the past two seasons and was the team MVP in 2002. He has helped his team to second-place District 21 finishes the past two years. In is first season, he was named District 21 Freshman of the Year. Rose has played four years on the Houston Hoops summer AAU team that also features top-five recruits Ndidi Eby and Kendrick Perkins. As the team's starting shooting guard, Rose averaged 14 points and helped the team earn a No. 1 national rating for much of the summer. The team placed second at two of the nation's larger invitational tournaments, finishing as the runner-up at both the Nike Peach Jam in Augusta, Ga., and Nike Super Showcase in Orlando, Fla. A great shooter, Rose is one of the 16 finalists still alive in Cuttino Mobley's Clutch City Shootout. Sponsored by the Houston Rockets and generating more than 300 participants, the Shootout allows Houston-area 4A and 5A high school basketball players the opportunity to compete in a series of three-point shooting contests. Rose is scheduled to shoot at halftime of the Rockets' Jan. 13 game. Earlier this month, he connected on 14 consecutive three-point shots during a scrimmage while scoring 56 points. Rose possesses a strong academic resume, ranking second in his class of 365 seniors. He was recruited by Houston, St. Louis, Utah State, Colorado State, Texas Christian, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Illinois. With guard Travis Hansen being the only senior on this year's roster, Rose is expected to be the only player to sign with BYU during the early signing period. He is the nephew of BYU Associate Head Coach Dave Rose.
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF BASKETBALL
BYU is celebrating 100 years of basketball. Since the first season of BYU basketball in 1903, BYU entered this season having achieved a 1435-924 (.608) overall record with 21 different coaches at the helm. The combined efforts of these men have provided the Cougars with 80 winning seasons in 100 years. BYU has won 25 conference titles and made 28 postseason tournament appearances with 19 NCAA bids and nine NIT berths. The Cougars won the 1951 and 1966 NIT titles and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1981, highlighted by Danny Ainge's length-of-the-court dash to defeat Notre Dame at the buzzer. Ainge was named the nation's top player as the John Wooden Award and Eastman Award winner. Twenty-three players have received All-America recognition while NBA teams have selected a Cougar 41 times in its annual draft. BYU has the nation's 11th longest rivalry, dating back to 1909, against the University of Utah. BYU and Utah have the 10th longest rivalry in terms of games played with 232 contests. Amazingly, the series is tied at 116-116. For more information on BYU's 100-year history, please consult the 2002-03 BYU media guide.
COUGARS BOAST STRONG SCHEDULE
Seventeen games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year and spots in the University of The Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Touchstone Energy All-College Classic (Oklahoma City) highlight BYU's 2002-03 men's basketball schedule. BYU's nonconference schedule includes teams from 10 different conferences. Overall, 12 teams earned postseason bids last season, seven advancing to the NCAA tournament and five playing in the NIT. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title and 12 placed in the top three in their league standings. In all, the schedule includes a total of 29 regular season games and two exhibitions. The Cougars will play 14 regular season games in the Marriott Center, where BYU owns the nation's longest active home-court victory streak at 36 games. Excluding the MWC Tournament, BYU plays 15 road games, including 11 away contests and four neutral site games. The 2003 MWC Tournament takes place March 12-15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Pac-10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic are represented on the non-league schedule. Nine teams -- Arizona State, Creighton, San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Utah State, Southern Utah, Weber State and Pepperdine -- were also on last year's nonconference schedule. BYU earned a 6-3 record in those games, losing at UCSB and dropping overtime games at both Utah State and Pepperdine.
BYU ON TELEVISION
The Cougars will be featured in 15 television broadcasts in 2002-03, including five times as part of the Mountain West Conference television package with ESPN. BYU will appear on ESPN2 vs. Oklahoma State in the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City on Jan. 4 and on ESPN "Big Monday" at Utah on Feb. 24. BYU appears three times on ESPN+Plus, hosting Utah Jan. 25 and New Mexico Feb. 1 before facing reigning MWC champion Wyoming in Laramie on Feb. 8. BYU will also be featured in nine SportsWest Production telecasts and on Fox Sports Net. The Mountain West Conference television agreement with ESPN will provide 32 national and regional television broadcasts on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+Plus in 2002-03, including 14 appearances on ESPN, two on ESPN2, two on ABC and 12 on ESPN+Plus as the featured "Mountain West Conference Game of the Week". ESPN+Plus games in Utah are aired on KJZZ-TV, channel 14. An additional 20 MWC games are scheduled to be aired on SportsWest as point-to-point broadcasts by local affiliates, while local institutional packages will add a minimum of another 19 games in 2002-03. For the fourth consecutive season every game of the EAS Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship will be televised by ESPN or ESPN+Plus.
HANSEN, BIGELOW EARN PARADISE JAM AWARDS
Leading BYU to the University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam title, Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow were named to the Paradise Jam All Tournament Team. Others selected to the team were Pervis Pasco of Kansas State, Nick Moore of Toledo, Terry Taylor of Virginia Tech and tournament MVP Marques Green of St. Bonaventure.
RECORD JAM DEFENSE
BYU set the Paradise Jam tournament record for fewest average points allowed by giving up only 59 points per game in its three tournament wins. The previous record was LaSalle's 62.7 points allowed over three tournament games last year. In the championship game, BYU held St. Bonaventure, who came into the title showdown having scored 91 and 89 points in its first two games, to 57 points and 28 percent shooting. BYU held Toledo to 34.6 percent shooting and 56 points and allowed only 40.4 percent shooting and 64 points by Kansas State. Combined, BYU's Paradise Jam opponents shot 33.9 percent from the floor, including 31.8 percent on threes.