Rashaun Broadus leads the MWC in assists with 5.0 and has helped the Cougars record an MWC-leading 18.1 assists per game this season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
GAME #13 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (8-4, 0-1 MWC)
UTAH UTES (8-4, 1-0 MWC)
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006
Marriott Center (22,700)
1 p.m. MST
BYU, Dave Rose (8-4 in first year; same overall)
Utah, Ray Giacoletti (37-10 in second year; 154-93 in ninth season overall)
Utah leads 122-117 after the Utes swept the series last season
ESPN+ (Rich Waltz, play-by-play; Irv Brown, game analysis)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (12 p.m. pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
Live audio and live stats broadcasts are available at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/
BYU HOSTS RIVAL UTAH SATURDAY
BYU (8-4, 0-1 MWC) hosts in-state rival Utah (8-4, 1-0 MWC) Saturday at 1 p.m. on ESPN+ (KJZZ-TV in Utah) in a quick turnaround after falling at Air Force late on Thursday night. Rich Waltz and Irv Brown will call the game on ESPN+, while the radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant calling the play-by-play action.
BYU travels to UNLV to face the Rebels Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game is a SportsWest tele cast which is also available via ESPN Full Court.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- Coming off a disappointing 9-21 season after five straight postseason appearances, BYU looks to return to the ranks of conference contenders and postseason invitees under the direction of new head coach Dave Rose, who served the past eight seasons as Steve Cleveland's lead assistant. The Cougars are off to an 8-4 start this year.
-- BYU is 6-1 at home this year and has won six straight in the Marriott Center. The Cougars are 1-3 away and 1-0 at a neutral site. BYU averages 77.2 points (second in the MWC) and shoots .486 (third in the MWC) from the field, including .387 from long range and .660 from the line. Cougar opponents average 68.2 points on .424 shooting, .323 from three and .732 from the line. BYU pulls down 35.3 rebounds per game, 2.5 more rebounds per contest than its opponents. The Cougars dish out an MWC-leading 18.1 assists per game.
-- Redshirt freshman forward/center Trent Plaisted leads BYU in scoring (12.9), followed by senior guard Brock Reichner (10.4). Junior forward Keena Young is the top Cougar rebounder (5.9), followed by Plaisted (4.3). Junior point guard Rashaun Broadus is the MWC's top assist maker (5.0), followed by junior combo guard Austin Ainge (3.5), who ranks fourth. Eleven Cougars are logging 10 minutes or more per game.
-- Among BYU's returning players, honorable mention All-MWC guard Austin Ainge was the team's second-leading scorer and top assist man last year, and forward Keena Young was BYU's leading rebounder. Other returners with starting experience last year include swingman Jimmy Balderson, who led Canada in scoring at the World University Games this summer; center Derek Dawes, who made 13 starts in the middle last year; and guard Mike Rose, who made seven starts last year and averaged 7.7 points while making a team-leading 56 treys. Lone senior Brock Reichner made two starts late last year after mostly limited action during the season.
LOOKING AT UTAH
The Utes are 8-4 this season and 1-0 in the Mountain West Conference with a win over New Mexico Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. Utah is 1-2 on the road this year including an overtime win at Weber State, a triple-overtime loss at Rice and a 52-76 loss at Colorado. The Utes also defeated BYU opponents Utah State and Southern Utah while losing to Washington State on a neutral court. With the loss of National Player of the Year Andrew Bogut and All-MWC guard Marc Jackson, Utah returns two starters and six letterwinners from last season's Sweet Sixteen team. Senior forward Bryant Markson, a third-team All-MWC pick last year, leads the way for the Utes this season averaging 15.3 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. He is also Utah's top assist maker with 38 on the year, one of four Utes with 20 or more assists this season. Markson shares high-rebounding honors with freshman center Luke Nevill, a 7-1 Australian who also adds 8.7 ppg, which is third on the team, on .551 shooting from the field. Sophomore transfer Johnnie Bryant, a 6-0 guard, is second on the team in scoring with 10.5 ppg while contributing 3.3 boards per contest and has started all 12 games along with Markson. Senior center Chris Jackson has also started all 12 games and is second on the team in rebounds with 4.3 per game to go along with his 8.6 ppg on a team-leading .770 field goal pergentage. As a team, the Utes average 65.5 ppg while shooting 47.1 percent from the floor, including 34.5 percent from three-point range and 63.2 percent from the free throw line. Utah opponents are averaging 62.3 ppg on 42.1 percent shooting from the floor, 33.6 percent from beyond the arc and 66.9 percent from the line. Utah leads the MWC in rebounding margin and rebounding defense as the Utes pull down 36.1 rebounds per game compared to opponents' 29.0. Last year's MWC Coach of the Year Ray Giacoletti is 37-10 in his second year at Utah and 154-93 in his ninth year overall.
UTAH's PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 20 Bryant Markson 6-7 198 Sr. 15.3 5.8
C 30 Chris Jackson 6-11 245 Sr. 8.6 4.3
G 1 Johnnie Bryant 6-0 190 So. 10.5 3.3
G 2 Lawrence Borha 6-3 205 Fr. 3.8 2.5
G 3 Chris Grant 6-3 200 So. 1.4 1.2
UTAH's LAST OUTING -- Markson Leads Utes to Victory Over Lobos
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Bryant Markson scored a career-high 24 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead Utah to a 64-49 victory over New Mexico on Wednesday in a rematch of last season's Mountain West Conference championship game. Johnnie Bryant added 13 points and the Utes avenged two losses to the Lobos last season. Utah outrebounded New Mexico (9-5, 0-1) by a 38-27 margin and kept the Lobos winless in five games on the road this season. Mark Walters scored 19 and David Chiotti added eight of his 13 points in the second half for the Lobos, who were just 16-for-49 from the field and never recovered after Utah started the second half with a 16-6 run. It was just the second time in his career that Markson reached 20 points. The home team has won the last seven regular-season meetings between the Utes and Lobos and it was quickly apparent in the second half that the streak was going to continue. After going just 3-for-12 on 3-pointers in the first half, the Utes made four of their first seven shots from beyond the arc in the second half to take a 50-37 lead. Ricky Johns gave Utah a 39-29 lead with a 3-pointer, Markson followed with another 3 and Luke Nevill converted a three-point play in a 9-2 run that put the Utes up 45-31 with 10:44 remaining. Kellen Walters got the Lobos within 47-34 on two free throws with 9:37 left to play, but Markson answered with his third 3-pointer on his third attempt. The Lobos rallied late in the second half and pulled within 57-46 on Chiotti's 3-pointer with about 4 minutes remaining. But after a time out the Utes got the ball to Markson on the baseline and he leaped for a two-handed dunk to start a 7-2 run that sealed it for Utah. The Utes coasted the rest of the way.
BYU and Utah will meet for the 240th time Saturday. The series ranks 10th in the NCAA record book in terms of most games in a rivalry and is the 11th longest running rivalry dating back to 1909. Utah is the opponent that BYU has played the most in its history (239 games) and is BYU's second longest running series (Utah State series began in 1905 and includes 221 games). BYU won the inaugural game, 32-9 in Provo, on Jan. 23, 1909, and won again on March 5 of that year, 40-27, in SLC on its way to winning the first eight games against the Utes. Last year, the Utes swept the season series with a 14-point victory in Provo and a 9-point win in Salt Lake City. In 2004, BYU won in Provo after the Utes' come-from-behind win in Salt Lake City and then lost to Utah in the semifinals of the MWC Tournament. The Utes' 2003 victory in Provo ended BYU's nation-best 44-game homecourt victory streak. Utah has won eight of the last 11 games, including two in Provo, since BYU ended a string of 12 straight Utah wins, its longest in the series, with the Cougars' 58-54 win at the 2000 MWC tournament semifinals. BYU has a 65-47 record in the Marriott Center against the Utes, while Utah holds a 71-46 advantage in Salt Lake City. BYU has a 6-4 edge on neutral floors.
UTES HOLD RECENT SERIES EDGE
In the 97 years of the BYU-Utah series, this season will mark only the fifth year the Cougars have trailed Utah in the overall series. Utah swept the regular-season series in 2000 to take its first-ever lead (114-113) in the overall series since it began in 1909. BYU evened the series with a 2000 MWC Tournament victory that year. Utah again held a one-game edge (116-115) in 2002 with its win in Salt Lake City. In the second game that year the Cougars staged a second-half comeback from 21 points down to even the series again at 116-116. With its sweep of the season series in 2003, Utah earned its third overall advantage in the long-running series and finished a season with the lead for the first time ever. It was also Utah's first-ever multi-game lead (118-116). Utah has won four out of five meetings over the past two years to earn its largest series lead of five games (122-117).
RECENT SERIES RECAPS
LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- No. 21 UTES PULL AWAY IN SECOND HALF
PROVO -- A solid first half was not enough for the Cougars as the University of Utah pulled away to defeat BYU, 72-58, Monday in the Marriott Center in the first of two meetings between the in-state rivals. No. 21 Utah increased its lead to 121-117 in the series, its largest margin ever. BYU Coach Steve Cleveland said his team played a solid first half but made too many mistakes to stay in the game. Austin Ainge led three double figure scorers for BYU with 15 points while Jimmy Balderson recorded 13 and Keena Young contributed 10. Ainge added five assists, and Young and Garner Meads had four rebounds each. Four Utes finished with double digits, led by Andrew Bogut's game-high 20. Bryant Markson and Tim Drisdom had 11 points each, and Mark Jackson chipped in 10. Bogut also had a game-high nine rebounds and added four assists. For the game, the Cougars shot 43.2 percent (19-44) while Utah connected on 61.9 percent of its shots (26-42). The Utes also won the rebounding battle, grabbing 27 to BYU's 20. The Cougars did not let Utah's No. 21 ranking intimidate them in the first period as they came out aggressive on both sides of the ball. Derek Dawes gave BYU its first lead at 3-2 with a thunderous dunk off a feed from Ainge. The Utes went ahead at 7-5 before an Ainge three gave the Cougars a lead they would hold for more than nine minutes. Rose hit a three from the corner that was followed by an Ainge turnaround jumper over Bogut, putting BYU up 15-9. Utah chipped its way back into the game with a 5-0 run, cutting the lead to 15-14, but a Balderson layup for the Cougars pushed the lead back to three. The Utes then went on an 8-2 run, capped by layups from Jackson and Bogut to give Utah a 22-19 lead. BYU put together a run of its own with Jared Jensen and Ainge hitting two-point field goals and Balderson nailing a three. A Jensen free throw extended the Cougars' lead to 27-24. Utah took the lead once more on four consecutive free throws by Bogut. Meads came down the floor determined to send his team into the locker room with the lead, rebounding his own miss and putting it back for the 29-28 halftime lead. It marked only the fourth time this season the Utes have gone into the locker room trailing. The shot also made Meads the eighth BYU player to score in the first half. Utah stormed out of the gates in the second period of play, scoring the first four points before Balderson tied the score at 32 with a three pointer from the corner. The Utes then scored seven straight points, forcing a BYU timeout. The timeout did not halt the momentum as Markson kept the run alive by getting a dunk and a three-pointer to put the Utes up 44-32, extend the run to 16-3 and forcing another Cougar timeout. Hall ended the run with a turnaround jumper out of the timeout to pull the Cougars to within 10. But Utah again pulled away, going up by 13 at 54-41. Balderson responded with a three to again cut the lead to 10. BYU would get no closer as the Utes stayed in control the rest of the way to take the game and stay perfect in the Mountain West.
LAST YEAR IN SALT LAKE CITY -- UTES TOP COUGARS
SALT LAKE -- Despite a fast start, BYU lost an early lead and the game to in-state rival Utah, 69-60, Saturday in the Huntsman Center. The loss drops the Cougars to 9-19, 3-10 in Mountain West Conference play, while the No. 12 Utes improve to 24-4 and 12-1 in the MWC. "Our aggression level was good. We competed," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "A coach can't be upset with this kind of effort." BYU came out scrappy and very aggressive, taking an early 20-9 lead, while holding Utah to a 1-for-10 shooting start. Foul shots kept the Utes in the game early. Utah had 16 first half foul shots compared to BYU's two. Foul shooting helped propel a Ute 20-9 run to end the first half. Over the final 2:21 of the first half, Utah scored the last seven points to tie the Cougars at the half, 29-29. Associate head coach Dave Rose was encouraged with the way the Cougars came out after their demoralizing loss at Air Force. "The guys were able to bounce back, and had a good week in practice," he said. "It's just a shame we weren't able to take advantage of that early lead." Utah pulled away in the second half, going on a 21-9 in the first eight minutes of the second half to stretch the lead to 50-38. The Cougars put together a small run to cut the Utes' lead to five, 56-51. Utah was able to overcome the late surge to win the game by nine. Rose credits Utah for its ability to execute in the second half. "You have to give a lot of credit to Utah for their patience and execution in their half-court offense in the second half," Rose said. Austin Ainge led the way for the Cougars with 17 points in the losing cause. Walk-on Brock Reichner had a career-high 9 points on 3-for-3 shooting, including 2-for-2 from three-point range. Bogut led the Utes with 26 points. Justin Hawkins added 21.
BYU's LAST OUTING -- Cougars Fall In MWC Opener At Air Force
USAFA -- The Cougars opened up Mountain West Conference play in less-than-impressive fashion Thursday night with a 75-59 loss at Air Force, falling to 8-4 on the season and 0-1 in the MWC. In a game reminiscent of last season's 70-39 loss at Air Force, which began with a 19-0 Falcon lead, BYU came out cold to start the game, allowing Air Force to open up with a 10-1 run. Brock Reichner, the Cougars' lone senior, recorded BYU's first seven points on a free throw and back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to 10-7. However, the Falcons responded with an 11-0 run to take a 21-7 lead. Keena Young ended the 5:32 BYU scoring drought with a make from underneath the basket at the 10:41 mark, the first Cougar besides Reichner to score, but the Falcons continued to light up the scoreboard as they led by as many as 26 points in the first half. However, despite Air Force making eight three-pointers in the first half while BYU made just nine baskets, the Cougars put together a 7-0 spurt to end the half and cut the lead to 42-23. BYU's comeback magic continued to start the second half as the Cougars added to their scoring streak with an 8-2 run to begin the second period of play, cutting the lead to 44-31. BYU held the Falcons without a bucket for 5:09 in the half after Air Force scored the first bucket of the period. The BYU bench contributed to most of the Cougars' second-half scoring, recording 32 of BYU's 59 points in the game, as the Cougars tried to find the right scoring combination. But BYU could not complete the comeback as Air Force's lead proved too large to overcome. Despite the Cougars actually outscoring the Falcons 36-33 in the second half, they could get no closer than 12 points at 63-51 at the 5:41 mark, eventually falling by 16 points, their largest margin of defeat this season. Young proved to be a bright spot for BYU in the loss as he scored a career-high 16 points while tying his career-best with 11 rebounds to record the second double-double of his career. Young and Reichner combined for 29 of BYU's 59 points as Reichner added 13 to Young's total, his eighth game scoring in double figures. The two combined to shoot 13-for-23 from the field. Austin Ainge and Mike Rose each recorded six points in 15 and eight minutes off the bench, respectively. Rashaun Broadus was BYU's top assist maker with four but struggled from the floor, shooting 1-for-7 on the night. As a team, BYU shot 41 percent from the field (24-for-59) while allowing Air Force to shoot 52 percent from the floor (24-for-56), including 44 percent from three-point range (11-for-25). The Cougars outrebounded the Falcons 37-27, resulting in a season-high 22 second-chance points compared to just seven for Air Force.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "Air Force is a really good team. You try to get an idea of how good they really are on film, but they're better than they look. Their guards were really hard for us to contain."
-- "Defensively, we made a pretty good effort but Air Force made the big shots."
-- "We didn't keep our composure offensively. We turned the ball over too much and never got into a good flow in the first half. We got down big and then had to fight from behind the whole time."
-- "I think that we didn't do a very good job capitalizing on what our strengths are. We didn't get the ball into guards who were posting up, which is a real strength of our team. Trent Plaisted was having a hard time getting into position and wasn't getting the ball underneath."
-- "The loss was a compilation of a lot of things; we didn't get good looks at the basket and when we did, we didn't make them."
-- "Keena Young picked up really well in the second half. It was obvious how much better our offense was when he was able to get in there and make some moves."
-- "Our bench is one of the strengths of our team. We can go down the bench a while and be a fresher team. It helps to have guys who don't have to play as much in the first half and can come in for long stretches in the second half and give us some fresh legs."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Lee Cummard started his third game of the season at Air Force, joining Brock Reichner, Rashaun Broadus, Fernando Malaman and Trent Plaisted in the starting five. Broadus, Malaman and Plaisted have started every game this season while Reichner has started the last 11 games for BYU. Reichner got the first start of his career last season at Air Force.
-- Individual Career Highs: Keena Young -- 16 points, 11 rebounds (tied), 8 field goals made, 2 steals (tied).
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Fewest Points Scored In a Game -- 59; Largest Margin of Defeat -- 16; Fewest Points Scored in a Half -- 23 (first); Largest Halftime Deficit -- 19 points; Most Second Chance Points -- 22; Most Opponent Three-Point Field Goals Made -- 11.
-- Keena Young recorded his first double-double of the season and the second of his career with 16 points and 11 rebounds against Air Force. Young's first career double-double also came against Air Force as he contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds in last season's home game against the Falcons.
-- Brock Reichner and Keena Young combined for 29 of BYU's 59 points as Young recorded a career-high 16 and Reichner added 13, his seventh game scoring in double figures. The two combined to shoot 13-for-23 from the field.
-- With the loss, the Cougars are 4-3 all-time in Mountain West Conference openers with a 1-2 mark on the road.
-- Air Force has defeated the Cougars in five of the last seven meetings at the Academy, giving the Falcons a 5-2 home record against BYU in MWC play. The Cougars have not won at Air Force since March 1, 2003.
-- Air Force jumped out to an early 10-1 lead as the Cougars did not score from the floor until the 16:55 mark. Last year at Air Force, BYU trailed 19-0 in the first half.
-- Brock Reichner scored BYU's first seven points of the game, making 1-of-2 from the line at the 17:18 mark and then hitting two three-pointers back-to-back to cut Air Force's lead to 10-7.
-- Keena Young became the second player to score for BYU with a make from underneath the basket at the 10:41 mark in the first half. The bucket ended an 11-0 Air Force run spanning 5:32.
-- After falling behind by 26 points at 42-16, BYU closed out the second half on a 7-0 run with a two-point make by Reichner, a three-pointer from Cummard and a long jumper from Broadus, who banked in his shot as time expired.
-- BYU's comeback magic continued in the second half as the Cougars added to their scoring streak with an 8-2 run to begin the second half, cutting the lead to 44-31. BYU held the Falcons without a bucket for 5:09 in the half after Air Force scored the first bucket of the period.
COUGARS FACE CHALLENGE OF QUICK TURNAROUND THIS WEEK
BYU opened MWC play this week with a late-start game at Air Force Thursday night (59-75 L) before having to travel back to host a better-rested Utah team in an early afternoon start on Saturday. The Utes opened at home with a win against New Mexico on Wednesday before making the 40-minute trip to Provo on Saturday. The Cougars have not played on one day's rest yet this season. BYU enters the Utah game with a roster that has only two players who have earned a win against the Utes (Balderson, 1-3; Rose, 1-3).
BYU lost at Air Force in its MWC opener to fall to 4-3 all-time in MWC openers, with a 3-1 record at home and a 1-2 mark on the road. BYU has lost its last three league openers after winning its first four. The Cougars are currently 4-2 in their MWC home openers and will open at home against Utah for the first time in the seven-year history of the MWC.
DEFENDING THE HOMECOURT
With a win Saturday over Utah, the Cougars can accomplish what last year's team could not - win seven games at home. BYU is currently 6-1 in the Marriott Center this season after going 6-8 last year during a disappointing 9-21 campaign. The Cougars have traditionally been tough to beat in the Marriott Center, going 372-115 (.764) all-time, including a 69-10 mark over the last six years. BYU also boasted the nation's longest active homecourt winning streak over parts of the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, winning 44 straight before losing to Utah 79-75 on Jan. 25, 2003.
BYU's starting lineup the last three games has consisted of two freshmen (Trent Plaisted and Lee Cummard), two junior transfers (Rashaun Broadus and Fernando Malaman) and one senior (Brock Reichner). Reichner is the only one of the five to have started a Division I game prior to this season. He made two starts late last year in his first season at BYU. Coming off the bench for BYU are five Cougars who started between seven and 23 games on last year's team (Austin Ainge, 23 starts; Jimmy Balderson, 16 starts; Keena Young, 15 starts, Derek Dawes, 13 starts; Mike Rose, 7 starts). Overall this year, seven players have started while Coach Dave Rose has used three starting lineups. Broadus, Malaman and Plaisted have started each game while Reichner has started 11 games and Balderson nine games. Ainge has one start, the first game, and Cummard has three starts, the last three games.
BYU AMONG MWC LEADERS
BYU leads the MWC in assists (18.1) and is second in scoring (77.2), assist/turnover ratio (1.23), defensive rebounds (25.58) and three-pointers made (7.2). The Cougars rank third in scoring margin (+9.1), field goal percentage (.486) and blocked shots (4.67). Individually, point guards Rashaun Broadus (5.0) and Austin Ainge (3.5) rank first and fourth, respectively, in assists and are first and third in assist/turnover ratio, as Ainge leads all MWC players with a 3.82 ratio, and Broadus recording a 1.82 mark. Trent Plaisted and Fernando Malaman rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in field goal percentage at .602 and .592 while Keena Young is eighth at .576. Young is also 10th in rebounding average (5.9), and Malaman is fourth in blocked shots (1.75).
SCORING FOR THE COUGARS
BYU is averaging an 77.2 points, second in the MWC, led by redshirt freshman Trent Plaisted's 12.9 points per game. Four different Cougars have led the team in scoring in BYU's first 11 games. Plaisted has led BYU five times (20 at USC, 13 vs. Southern Utah, 19 vs. Boise State, 15 vs. Weber State and 16 vs. Tulsa), and junior Keena Young has led the team three times (12 vs. Northern Kentucky, 15 vs. Eastern Washington and 16 at Air Force) while senior Brock Reichner (18 at Washington State and 26 at Utah State) and junior Jimmy Balderson (18 vs. Loyola Marymount and 21 vs. Lamar) have each led BYU twice. Nine different Cougars have had a double-digit scoring outing for BYU this year (all except Austin Ainge, high of 8; Lee Cummard, high of 9; and Jermaine Odjegba, high of 2).
BYU AT THE POINT
BYU's Rashaun Broadus (5.0 apg) and Austin Ainge (3.5 apg) rank first and fourth, respectively, among Mountain West Conference players in assists per game this season while helping the Cougars lead the MWC in team assists at 18.1 apg. Broadus and Ainge have combined for 68 assists compared to 25 turnovers in BYU's eight wins while totaling 34 assists and 19 turnovers in the Cougars' four defeats. Broadus has 40 assists and 18 turnovers in the wins with 20 assists and 15 turnovers in the losses. Ainge boasts 28 assists to only 7 turnovers in the victories while totaling 14 assists and 4 turnovers in defeats. With his overall 42 assists to 11 turnovers, Ainge easily leads all MWC players in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.82), while Broadus ranks third (1.82). In BYU's season-opening loss to Loyola Marymount the two guards combined for six assists and five turnovers, and in the loss at USC they totaled seven assists and five turnovers. Broadus and Ainge showed marked improvement in the Cougars' win at Washington State, where the two combined to dish out 10 assists while committing only two turnovers, as each posted a line of a game-high 5 assists with only one turnover. In BYU's victory over Southern Utah, they combined for 13 assists with only one turnover, as Ainge tied a career high with 8 assists without a turnover and Broadus had 3 assists and one turnover while scoring 11 points. Against Lamar, Broadus dished out a career-best 9 assists, including an assist on BYU's first six baskets, while Ainge added two assists to help BYU achieve 22 assists for the second straight game. Broadus recorded a team-high 6 assists against Boise State and the two points combined for 7 assists (4 Ainge, 3 Broadus) and only 1 turnover (Broadus) vs. Northern Kentucky and 7 assists (4 Ainge, 3 Broadus) and only 2 turnovers vs. Weber State. Ainge had 7 assists without a turnover at USU while Broadus had 8 assists and 4 turnovers while scoring a career-best 21 points. Broadus tied a career-best 9 assists while Ainge added 4 to fuel BYU to a season-high 29 assists vs. Eastern Washington. As a team, BYU has made an assist on 63.8 percent of its field goals this season.
BYU IN THE POST
BYU's post players are all efficient from the floor. Starters Trent Plaisted, who has converted 60.2 percent (56-of-93) of his attempts and Fernando Malaman, who has made 59.2 percent (42-of-71) of his shots, rank fourth and fifth, respectively among MWC players in field goal percentage. Off the bench, Derek Dawes is making .607 (17-of-28) and Keena Young is shooting .576 (38-of-66). Malaman's numbers are perhaps the most impressive to date, considering the 6-foot-9 Brazilian transfer is scoring from all over the floor, including a team-leading 61.1 percent success rate (11-of-18) from behind the three-point arc.
BYU ON THE WING
Senior Brock Reichner has started the last 11 games at 2-guard and is second on the team in scoring at 10.4 ppg, including a team-high 20 threes, while junior Jimmy Balderson started the first nine games at small forward and is third in scoring at 8.4 ppg, with nine treys. BYU's two freshman wings are playing significant roles. Lee Cummard has started in place of Balderson the last three games and is averaging 5.5 points in 14.2 minutes while shooting 46 percent from the floor and has made eight threes. Jackson Emery is shooting 47.2 percent from the floor and has made eight triples while averaging 4.0 points in 11.3 minutes. He has also been a solid defender for the Cougars, often helping guard the opponent's top perimeter player. Junior Mike Rose plays 10 minutes in the rotation on the wing, averaging 4.6 points, including 14 treys.
DANNY AINGE TO BE HONORED WITH PRESTIGIOUS 2006 NCAA SILVER ANNIVERSARY AWARD SATURDAY
Former BYU basketball great Danny Ainge has been selected as one of six recipients of the 2006 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. The award recognizes former student-athletes who completed successful collegiate careers in various sports 25 years ago and went on to excel in their chosen professions. Silver Award winners are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee, which comprises eight athletics administrators at member institutions and nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes. Joining Ainge as 2006 recipients are Valerie B. Ackerman (University of Virginia, women's basketball); Charles E. Davis (Vanderbilt University, men's basketball); Dr. Terry Schroeder (Pepperdine University, men's water polo); Michael Singletary (Baylor University, football); and Susan D. Wellington (Yale University, women's swimming and softball). The awards will be presented at the NCAA Honors Celebration on Saturday, January 7, during the annual NCAA Convention in Indianapolis. The Convention will serve as the kick-off to the NCAA's Centennial with the theme, Celebrating the Student-Athlete. Ainge becomes the third former BYU student-athlete to receive the prestigious award, joining current BYU Faculty Representative Larry Echohawk (Football, 1970), who was honored in 1995, and former Cougar All-American quarterback Gifford Nielsen (Football, 1978), who received the award in 2003.