PROVO, Utah -- BYU (10-3) opens the Mountain West Conference season Monday when it faces San Diego State (9-6) at Cox Arena in San Diego in a 7 p.m. PST (8 p.m. MST) tip. The game is a SportsWest Productions telecast on KSL-TV, channel 5, in Salt Lake City and available pay-per-view on ESPN Full Court. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Brian Santiago providing analysis. Live audio and stats are available by selecting the basketball schedule page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com. Live audio is also available on KSL.com, via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
After playing five of its last six games on the road, BYU returns to Provo to host Colorado State Saturday at 7 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game is a SportsWest Productions telecast (KSL-TV and ESPN Full Court).
GAME #14 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (10-3, 0-0 MWC) @ SAN DIEGO STATE (9-6, 0-0 MWC)
MONDAY, JAN. 12, 2004
COX ARENA (12,414)
SAN DIEGO, CALIF.
7 p.m. PST (8 p.m. MST)
BYU, Steve Cleveland (118-81 in seventh year; same overall)
SDSU, Steve Fisher (65-69 in fifth year; 249-151 in 13th year overall)
BYU leads, 37-15 Last year: BYU swept the season series (80-69 in San Diego, 66-64 in Provo)
SportsWest Productions (KSL-TV 5, in Salt Lake City; Cox 4 in San Diego; ESPN Full Court)
Air Time: 7 p.m. PST (8 p.m. MST)
Play-by-Play: Tom Kirkland
Game Analyst: Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 6 p.m. PST (7 p.m. MST)
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Brian Santiago
Live audio and stats links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2003-04 schedule); live audio also available on KSL.com, via BYU Radio on Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS
San Diego State returns eight lettermen and one starter from last year's 16-14 team that advanced to the second round ofthe NIT. This season the Aztecs are off to a 9-6 start entering MWC play, coming off a loss at Saint Mary's. At home, the Aztecs are coming off consecutive homecourt victories over Portland (67-61) and Iowa State (86-76). Against the Cyclones, the Aztecs rallied from an 11-point deficit, the largest comeback of the season and the eighth time in Steve Fisher's five seasons that SDSU has rallied from a double-digit deficit to claim victory. Freshman Brandon Heath led the way for the Aztecs with a team-high 24 points on the strength of four three-point field goals. It marked the seventh 20-plus scoring game for the true freshman. Senior forward Aerick Sanders continued his stellar season with 18 points, a team-high nine rebounds, a career-high four steals and two blocked shots. The Aztecs (6-2 at home, 2-3 away, 1-1 neutral) will be looking to give Steve Fisher his 250th victory Monday against BYU. Now in his 13th full season, Fisher has a 249-151 record. In his fifth season at SDSU, the 1992 National Coach of the Year is 64-69, but has guided the Aztecs to a 59-46 record the last three-plus seasons. SDSU has only one senior on the roster, Sanders (16.4 ppg, 10.7 rpg), but junior Chris Walton (8.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is back from a redshirt season several newcomers have made an impact this season. Missouri transfer Wesley Stokes is third on the team in scoring at 13.3 points while true freshman Brandon Heath is scoring a team-best 17.3 points per game, most recently coming off the bench. Freshman Marcus Slaughter is starting and adding 7.1 points and 5.6 rebounds. Stokes and Heath have both hit a team-leading 31 threes while returning lettermen John Sharper, who has had three starts, has connected 19 times from long range. The Aztecs are shooting .438 from the floor, .345 on threes, and .721 from the line while scoring 75.8 points per game. They are allowing 70.8 points as their opponents have combined to shoot .443 from the floor and .357 on threes. SDSU has a 2.9 average advantage on the boards.
SDSU's LAST OUTING -- AZTECS FALL AT SAINT MARY'S
MORAGA, Calif. - Saint Mary's College hit 81.8 percent from the free throw line, including 20 of 23 attempts in the second half as it defeated San Diego State 80-66 in a nonconference game Tuesday. The host Gaels, shooting only 69.7 percent from the free throw line for the year, hit seven of 10 first-half attempts and also shot 50 percent from the floor as they built a 38-33 lead. They limited San Diego State to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor in the second half and kept the Aztecs from getting back in the game with their free throw shooting. Saint Mary's hit 11 of its final 12 free throws in the closing 1:07. San Diego State pulled within one at 42-41 on a Marcus Slaughter dunk, but the Gaels went on a 12-3 run, holding the Aztecs without a basket for five minutes to take control of the game. Tyler Herr started the run for Saint Mary's sinking three free throws and later scored a layup off a touch pass from Chase Poole, who also had a 3-pointer during the run. E.J. Rowland led Saint Mary's with 17 points and also had six assists. Paul Marigney had 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds off the bench. Frederic Adjiwanou had 14 and Jonathan Sanders 11 for the Gaels, whose leading scorer, Daniel Kickert, was held to seven points. Chris Walton had 13 points for the Aztecs before fouling out. Aerick Sanders and Brandon Heath each had 11.
SAN DIEGO STATE'S PROJECTED STARTERS (BASED ON LAST GAME)
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 3 Chris Walton 6-10 230 Jr. 8.3 5.0
F 42 Marcus Slaughter 6-9 208 Fr. 7.1 5.6
F/C 34 Aerick Sanders 6-9 203 Sr. 16.4 10.7
G 15 John Sharper 6-1 198 So. 4.9 1.1
G 2 Wesley Stokes 6-0 168 Jr. 13.3 2.5
BYU leads the overall series 37-15. BYU swept the season series last year, winning the first meeting in San Diego, 80-69, to end an Aztec two-game winning streak in the series. The Aztecs defeated BYU in the 2002 MWC tournament after winning in San Diego to end a BYU eight-game winning streak in the series. It was SDSU's first win since defeating the Cougars in Provo, 89-86 in overtime, on Dec. 31, 1996, during BYU's 1-25 season. BYU holds a 22-2 advantage in Provo and is 15-12 in San Diego, including a 5-1 mark in Cox Arena. BYU defeated the Aztecs 73-59 in the first game ever played in Cox Arena on Nov. 14, 1997. It was BYU coach Steve Cleveland's first game as the Cougars' coach. He is 10-2 against San Diego State.
BYU vs. SDSU SERIES BREAKDOWN
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 37-15
BYU Record in Provo: 22-2
BYU Record in San Diego: 15-12
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-1
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 10-2
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 2-2 (1-1 Rd, 1-1 Hm)
Last Overtime Game: 1996-97, lost in Provo, 86-89
Longest BYU Win Streak: 11 (1990-95)
Longest SDSU Win Streak: 3 (1941-77)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 40, 106-66 in 1982
Largest SDSU Margin of Victory: 19, 89-70 in 1985
Most Points Scored by BYU: 123 in 1980
Most Points Scored by SDSU: 104 in 1977
BIGELOW LED BYU TO WIN IN SAN DIEGO LAST YEAR
SAN -- BYU got a big night from Mark Bigelow as the Cougars beat the San Diego State Aztecs, 80-69, at Cox Arena Monday. With the win, the Cougars improved to 13-4 overall and 2-0 in MWC play. With 15:51 in the first half, Bigelow tied BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson with his 141st career three-pointer. Minutes later at 13:59, Bigelow became BYU's all-time leader on another bomb assisted from Terry Nashif following a steal by Rafael Araujo. Bigelow put down three more triples on the night to equal his single-game career high of five and bring his career total to 145 threes. BYU hit its first seven three-pointers and was 8-of-10 in the first half to build a lead as large as 19 points. After trailing 7-5 early, the Cougars went on a 25-4 run over the next seven minutes and earned its largest lead of the game at 30-11 on a Ricky Bower trey with 9:28 to play first half. SDSU fought back, outscoring BYU 20-11 the rest of the first half, including a Deandre Moore three just before the buzzer, to cut the Cougar lead to 10 at the break. The Aztecs out-rebounded BYU and held Araujo and Jared Jensen to 15 points combined with constant double and triple teaming, but could not overcome the Cougars' hot outside shooting. With Araujo on the bench in foul trouble, BYU looked to its perimeter shooting. The Cougars shot 10-17 from behind the arc for 58.8 percent for the game. Overall BYU shot 48.9 percent from the field. Bigelow scored over 20 points for the second straight game by equaling his season high of 21 points. For Bigelow, it's the fourth time in his career he has produced back-to-back 20-point games. Travis Hansen spent most of the game in foul trouble but played the last 10 minutes with four fouls. Hansen finished the game with 14 points and four rebounds. Guard Terry Nashif got the start again, guiding the Cougar offense and turning in a career-high 11 points on the strength of 3-for-3 three-point shooting. BYU scored 80 points for the fourth time this season -- winning all four games. The Cougars are 26-4 under Cleveland when they score over 80 points. Senior guard Tony Bland led the Aztecs with 25 points. Center Mike Mackell took advantage in the paint while Araujo was on the bench scoring 18 points and grabbing six rebounds. The Aztecs dropped to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in MWC play.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN SAN DIEGO LAST YEAR ...
"We knew SDSU would doubl- team the post and leave our shooters open. Anytime you score 80 points on the road that's pretty good in this league."
WHAT SDSU COACH STEVE FISHER HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN SAN DIEGO LAST YEAR ...
"We got whipped by a pretty good team tonight."
HANSEN HELPED COUGARS EDGE AZTECS IN PROVO LAST YEAR
PROVO -- Senior Travis Hansen led BYU with 19 points and eight rebounds and deflected San Diego State's last second shot to give the Cougars a 66-64 Mountain West Conference win over the Aztecs Monday night in the Marriott Center. With the win, the Cougars improve to 18-6 overall and 7-2 in conference play, while the Aztecs fall 12-10 overall and 3-6 in the MWC. "We were very fortunate in the last few minutes. We had difficulty getting the ball where it needed to be," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "If it had not been for Travis's three-pointer, I don't know where we would have been." After BYU had a 14-point second-half lead dwindle to one, Hansen ended a five-minute offensive dry spell for the Cougars by hitting his second three of the game to put the Cougars up four,66-64, with 1:33 to go. Although Hansen lost the ball on BYU's possession, he came back to get a finger on San Diego State's put-back attempt at the buzzer to help BYU escape with the victory. "In the first five minutes of the game we had difficulty getting started," Cleveland said. "But the 25 minutes that followed, I thought we played well. We had good execution, and we defended well." The Cougars scored the first points in the game on a Hansen field goal, but the Aztecs went on a 15-3 run in the next six minutes to take a 15-5 lead with 13:39 to go, led by Deandre Moore with five points. Moore finished the first half with 13 points on his way to a 16-point outing. Jared Jensen started the BYU comeback with two points with 13:27 remaining in the first half, and two minutes later, Bigelow came in with a three-pointer to bring the score within three at 16-19 and start the offensive momentum. Trailing 28-23, Jensen and Hansen combined for six consecutive points to give the Cougars the lead at 29-28. BYU had its largest lead of the half at 35-28 with 2:20 left, but the got to within one at 37-36 with less than four seconds in the half before Hansen connected on a three at the buzzer to give the Cougars a 40-36 lead going into halftime. After intermission BYU went on a 20-10 run, capped by an Araujo dunk, that gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game at 60-46 with 9:33 remaining. But the Aztecs were not ready to go fold, answered back with an 8-0 run of their own until Kevin Woodberry hit a trey at the 6:44 mark. San Diego State held BYU scoreless for the next five minutes, racking up eight more points to pull within one at 63-62 before Hansen's three. "Jensen was solid in the post, and Shoff gave us some good play inside, too," Cleveland said. "Late in the game you just have to be able to execute, and I believe that contributed to us losing the 12-point lead." The Aztecs last second shot went wide left, and a follow-up attempt also missed thanks to Hansen's deflection, as the Cougars escaped with the victory. BYU equaled its season low with 10 turnovers vs. SDSU (also vs. SUU).
2003-04 COUGAR CAPSULE
The Cougars finished nonconference play with a 10-3 record including the Cable Car Classic title and wins over No. 25 Oklahoma State and the Pac-10's USC. They are the preseason favorite to win the Mountain West Conference this year, returning four starters from last year's 23-9 co-championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Four-year starter Mark Bigelow and fellow senior Rafael Araujo were both named to the Preseason All-MWC Team. Senior guard Kevin Woodberry and junior forward Jared Jensen also were starters last season for BYU coach Steve Cleveland. Key newcomers include junior transfer Mike Hall and freshmen Mike Rose and Garner Meads. Araujo is scoring 20.8 points and 10.7 rebounds to lead BYU this year. Bigelow adds 12.9 points and 3.7 rebounds while Hall contributes 12.7 points and 3.9 rebounds. First-year starter Luiz Lemes leads the team in assists (5.2). As a team, the Cougars shoot .505 from the floor, including .380 on threes, and .717 from the line while scoring 76.6 points per game. BYU allows 64.6 points while the opposition has shot .450 from the field and .345 from behind the arc. BYU has an average rebounding advantage of 6.4.
BYU STARTING LINEUPS RECORD
Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 4-2
Lemes, Woodberry, Hall, Bigelow, Araujo 3-0
Lemes, Woodberry, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 1-1
Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Meads, Araujo 2-0
BYU'S LAST 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.
CLEVELAND PREPARES FOR 200TH GAME AS COUGAR HEAD COACH
San Diego and Cox Arena was the site of the first game Steve Cleveland coached at the helm of the Cougars. Monday it will be the site of his 200th game as the Cougars' coach. Cleveland won his inaugural game, defeating the Aztecs in a nonconference game, 73-59 on Nov. 14, 1997. He will be looking for his 119th win Monday night. After taking over a 1-25 program, Cleveland's teams posted a 17-33 record over his first 50 games, then reversed those numbers to go 33-17 over the next 50 outings for a 50-50 (.500) record after 100 contests. Cleveland guided his teams to a 34-16 record in the next 50 games and to a 34-15 record in the past 49 games. With a win Monday his teams will have gone 69-31 (.690) in his second 100 games. With a loss, he will havea 68-32 (.680) mark in those games.
First 50 Games Highlights
Upset 15th ranked New Mexico, 83-62, at UNM Feb 26, 1998, snapping the Lobo home winning streak at 41 games ... Triple overtime win (76-75) at UTEP Feb. 28, 1998 to qualify for WAC Tournament.
Second 50 Games Highlights
Coach Cleveland's first winning season (22-11) in 1999-2000 -- marked the most wins by BYU since 1994-95 ... Advanced to the inaugural Mountain West Conference Championship game... NIT Quarterfinal game appearance ... first win against rival Utah 58-54 on March 10 in the semifinals of the MWC Tournament, snapping a 12-game BYU losing streak against the Utes ... new school record for team steals with 236.
Third 50 Games Highlights
First BYU Conference Tournament title since 1992 ... first BYU regular season championship (three-way tie) since 1993 ... first BYU NCAA bid since 1995 ... BYU led the nation in free throw shooting (.780) ... Mekeli Wesley named AP Honorable Mention All-American ... 81-76 win against No. 13 Stanford in Las Vegas Showdown Dec. 22, 2001 ... Second NIT berth in three season.
Last 49 Games Highlights
Extended nation's longest homecourt winning streak to 44 straight victories ... Coach Cleveland named 2003 MWC Coach of the Year ... MWC regular season co-champions with Utah ... second NCAA bid in three seasons ... won Paradise Jam title in St. Thomas , U.S. Virgin Islands ... 22,702 attendance March 8, 2003 vs. CSU was largest home crowd since 1992 and the 21st largest crowd in school history ... achieved the nation's No. 1 average increase in attendance to average 14,468 and rank 17th nationally for the year ... extended nonconference homecourt record to 40 games ... 76-71 win against No. 25 Oklahoma State on Dec. 6, 2003 at the Delta Center ... Cable Car Classic title.
CLEVELAND NOW FIFTH ON BYU VICTORY LIST; THIRD IN MARRIOTT CENTER WINS
With BYU's seventh win this season, Cougar head coach Steve Cleveland moved into fifth on BYU's career coaching victories list. He moved past Ladell Andersen (114-71 record from 1983-89). Cleveland now has a 118-81 record in his seventh season in Provo. Legendary Cougar coach Stan Watts has the most wins in school history with 372 triumphs from 1949-72. Ott Romney (1927-35) and Roger Reid (1989-96) both achieved 152 victories and Frank Arnold (1975-83) is fourth with 137 wins. Cleveland currently has the third-most wins in the Marriott Center with a 77-18 record in the Cougars' home arena. Reid has the most Marriott Center wins with 92, followed by Arnold with 81. Andersen is fourth with 71.
CLEVELAND GETTING IT DONE (2003 MWC COACH OF THE YEAR)
BYU coach Steve Cleveland was named MWC Coach of the Year in 2003. At 23-9 last year, BYU achieved its fourth straight postseason tournament invitation and third 20-win season in the last four years. Only eight BYU teams have ever achieved more wins in a season than last year's team. The BYU record for wins is 28 (9 losses) in 1951 when the Cougars won the national title as NIT champs. The 2002-03 season was Cleveland's third 20-win season in the last four years, including a 24-9 record in 2001. The only BYU coaches to have more 20-win seasons are Stan Watts (7) and Roger Reid (6). Cleveland joins Frank Arnold and Ladell Andersen with three 20-win seasons.
ARAUJO RATES HIGH IN NATIONAL AND MWC STATISTICS
Senior center Rafael Araujo is 11th in the nation in rebounds (10.6), 14th in field goal percentage (.640) and 21st in scoring (20.9) in the latest release of NCAA statistics (Jan. 5). Among MWC players he is the top scorer, tied with SDSU's Aerick Sanders as thetop rebounder, is second in field goal percentage, offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds, rates seventh in blocked shots and 12th in steals.
ARAUJO NAMED CABLE CAR CLASSIC MVP
Araujo was named MVP of the Cable Car Classic after averaging 20.5 points and 11.5 rebounds and leading BYU to wins over Idaho State and host Santa Clara. Against Idaho State, he made 10-of13 shots, including his only three attempt, scored a team-high 23 points, added 11 rebounds, two blocks, two steals and one assist. Against host Santa Clara, he scored 18 points, all in the second half, against constant triple-teaming while dishing out three assists and grabbed 12 rebounds to help BYU win the Cable Car Classic. Araujo went 2-for-2 from behind the arc against the Broncos.
ARAUJO ACHIEVED DOUBLE-DOUBLE MARKS
Araujo tied an MWC record by posting five consecutive double-doubles starting with the UVSC game until his streak ended with his 23 points and 7 rebounds in 24 minutes against Weber State Saturday. He tied the Mountain West record held by former Wyoming Cowboy Uche Nsonwu-Amadi. Nsonwu-Amadi recorded five in a row from the last game of the 2001-02 season through his first four appearances in 2002-03. Araujo is the only MWC player to record five consecutive double-doubles in the same season. During his five-game double-double streak, Araujo averaged 26 points and 13.6 rebounds. He has nine double-doubles this year and 17 for his career.
ARAUJO BECAME FIRST BACK-TO-BACK MWC WEEKLY PLAYER AWARD WINNER (DEC. 7-DEC. 13)
BYU senior center Rafael Araujo captured Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week after leading the Cougars to victories over Western Oregon (92-56) and Southern California (85-61). Araujo is the first MWC player to win the award on back-to-back weeks since the inception of the MWC in 1999-2000. This is Araujo's third career player of the week honor. In two games last week, Araujo, a Sao Paulo, Brazil (Arizona Western) native, averaged 21.5 points and 12.5 rebounds, while shooting 64 percent from the floor. He scored 15 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked two shots in just 25 minutes of action against Western Oregon. In the 14-point victory over USC, Araujo netted 28 points, 11 boards and two steals. He hit 10-of-15 field goals, including a career-best two three pointers.
ARAUJO EARNED ESPN NATIONAL PLAYER SUPPORTING CAST RECOGNITION (DEC. 7-DEC. 13)
BYU senior center Rafael Araujo was regognized as one of the nation's top performers last week as supporting cast mention to ESPN's weekly national player honor. Araujo was one of seven players singled out by ESPN for outstanding play. ESPN also acknowledged it was the second consecutive week Araujo deserved the honor, stating, "OK, we admit we messed up by not including Araujo last week in the supporting cast." Araujo was named national player of the week that week by both the Sporting News and Collegeinsider.com.
ARAUJO EARNED NATIONAL, CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS (NOV. 30-DEC. 6)
BYU senior center Rafael Araujo was named the National Player of the Week by The Sporting News and by Collegeinsider.com for the week of Nov. 30-Dec. 6 after recording two double-doubles in victories at Boise State (75-69) and against 25th-ranked Oklahoma State (76-71). He was also named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week. He averaged 31.5 points and 15.5 rebounds, while shooting 71.4 percent from the floor and 76.7 percent from the free throw line. In the win at Boise State, Araujo scored 31 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. He made 10-of-13 attempts from the field and earned 14 trips to the free throw line, knocking down 11. In the victory over Oklahoma State at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Araujo scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. He made 10-of-15 field goals and 12-of-16 free throws on the day and scored 26 of the Cougars' 40 second half points. His 17 rebounds, one shy of the entire OSU team, led the way for BYU as it dominated the boards against the Cowboys, 44-18.
ARAUJO IN 30-30 CLUB
Rafael Araujo scored back-to-back, 30 points games with his 31 points at Boise State and career-best 32 points against No. 25 Oklahoma State at the Delta Center. Araujo became the first Cougar to accomplish the feat since Terrell Lyday scored 35 points in a win at Utah State and followed that with a 30-point effort in a win at UNLV in January 2000.
2003-04 BYU HONORS
Rafael Araujo -- 2003 Cable Car Classic MVP
Rafael Araujo -- Sporting News Ntl Player of Week
Rafael Araujo -- Collegeinsider Ntl Player of Week
Rafael Araujo -- MWC Player of Week (twice)
Mike Rose -- BYU single-game 3-point record (8 treys)
BYU -- 2003 Cable Car Classic Champions
BIGELOW APPROACHING COSIC AS THE NO. 9 ALL-TIME SCORER AT BYU
Senior Mark Bigelow needs 33 points to pass former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic into ninth place on BYU's all-time scoring list. Cosic scored 1,512 points in only three season from 1971-73. Bigelow moved out of a tie with Jay Cheesman (1,408 points from 1974-77) in 10th place against Utah State on Dec. 23. He surpassed current BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson (1,388 points from 1985, 88-90) against USC on Dec. 13 after overtaking Roland Minson (1,375 from 1949-51) against Western Oregon on Dec. 10.
FRESHMAN ROSE SETS THREE-POINT RECORD IN HIS COLLEGE DEBUT
It didn't take long for freshman Mike Rose to put his name in the BYU record book. In his college debut, the true freshman guard out of Houston set a new BYU single-game record with eight 3-pointers while scoring a game-high 26 points to lead the Cougars to an 88-54 win over Southern Utah University. His 26 points is the most scored by a BYU freshman since Mark Bigelow totaled 33 points at Washington State in 1998. Rose's eight 3-pointers broke the BYU record of seven threes in a game, previously set by Nick Sanderson (1992) and Danny Bower (1998). Rose's performance behind the arc was just shy of tying the Marriott Center's record of nine 3-pointers in a game held by Utah State's Jay Goodman (1990). Rose also dished out six assists with only one turnover and added two rebounds and one steal in his 22 minutes off the bench. He made 61.5 percent of his 3-point attempts, going 8-of-13 from behind the arc, and finished 9-for-16 (.563) overall from the floor against Southern Utah's match-up zone. He scored 17 points in 11 first-half minutes on 6-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-7 on threes. He broke the school record with 7:01 left in the second half on a three taken several feet behind the arc. He made 5-of-10 threes and scored 14 points in 18 minutes against Western Oregon and went 4-for-4, including 3-of-3 on threes, for 11 points in nine minutes vs. USC.
ROBERTS DISCONTINUED PLAYING, DRESSER ADDED TO ROSTER
Junior Marc Roberts decided to discontinue playing basketball due to continued struggles with tendonitis in his knees. He made the decision prior to the USC game. The walk-on guard appeared in 37 games with one start over his two-plus years with BYU, averaging 1.5 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.3 minutes per game. This year Roberts was averaging 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 8.6 minutes while playing in five of six games. With Ricky Bower and Austin Ainge unable to play at the time due to injuries, the Cougars decided to add another walk-on player, Mike Dresser, to the roster for the USC game. Dresser is a 6-5, 195-pound freshman guard/forward from Sacramento, Caliif., who had been practicing with the team. He wears jersey No. 15 at home and No. 33 on the road.
CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...
At home 11-0
On the road 0-1
On a neutral floor 2-0
At home vs. Nonconference 40-0
At home vs. MWC 5-0
On the road vs. Nonconference 0-1
On the road vs. MWC 2-0
On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 2-0
On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1
BYU IN THE POLLS
BYU is listed tied for 32nd in the AP Poll and tied for 35th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll. The new polls come out Monday. BYU was last ranked in the Top 25 during the 1992-93 season when the Cougars earned a No. 21 ranking. The last time BYU finished the year ranked was the 1987-88 season.
COUGARS CLAIM CABLE CAR CLASSIC TITLE, ARAUJO MVP
SANTA CLARA -- With its top three post players fouled out of the game, BYU looked to Mark Bigelow and he delivered a slashing bucket-and-one with 14.9 seconds remaining to lead the Cougars to a 68-66 win over host Santa Clara to claim the Cable Car Classic title at the Leavey Center. Senior center Rafael Araujo again loomed large, posting his eighth double-double in nine games with 18 points and 12 rebounds -- with all 18 points scored in the second half. Araujo was named the Cable Car Classic Most Valuable Player after combining for 41 points and 23 boards in the two Cougar wins. With its title this year, BYU won for the third time in four Cable Car appearances to tie the University of San Francisco for the second-most Cable Car Classic titles and the most of any non-Bay Area team. SCU leads with 13 titles and the Cougars have beaten the Broncos for each of their three titles. BYU also breaks SCU's six-game winning streak in the tournament, as the Broncos won the previous two titles.
ON THE ROAD
BYU has won its last two MWC road games dating back to last season when the Cougars went 5-2 on the road in league games, including a win in San Diego. In a road-heavy stretch of its schedule, BYU is playing its fifth game in the last six away from home. For the second straight season, the Cougars played more nonconference games away from Provo than they did in the friendly confines of the Marriott Center where BYU has won 55 of its last 56 games, including 40 straight over non-league teams. This year, BYU played six games at home and seven out-of-town contests while going 10-3 in nonconference. BYU went 6-0 at home and 4-3 away from Provo, with a 2-0 neutral court mark and a 2-3 record in an opponent's arena. Among those games included a neutral court win over then No. 25 Oklahoma State; a win at now 9-2 Boise State; and a victory over host Santa Clara to win the Cable Car Classic. Last season BYU played seven home games and eight away from the Marriott Center while earning an 11-4 record before starting Mountain West Conference play. BYU finished 4-4 away from home last year during nonconference play. The Cougars went 3-1 on a neutral floor, including a 3-0 mark to win the Paradise Jam, and were 1-3 in true away games, with a win over Arizona State.
IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
BYU is 6-0 at home this year and has won 11 straight overall in the Marriott Center. BYU has won 55 of its last 56 games at home and is 50-1 over in the past four seasons. BYU finished last season 13-1 at home in 2002-03. Lone senior Travis Hansen concluded his three seasons as a Cougar having lost only once at home. BYU earned a 44-1 record in Hansen's three years at BYU -- the best three-year home record in school history. The second-best home record over three years was a 39-2 mark from 1979-81 in Danny Ainge's final three seasons. The 44-1 record over the prior three seasons is the school's best-ever three-year home record. BYU won a school-record 44 straight home games in the Marriott Center before losing to Utah, 79-75, on Jan. 25. The streak was the longest active streak in the country over parts the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. BYU continues its string of nonconference home wins.
NONCONFERENCE VICTORY STREAK IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
The Cougars have defeated 40 straight non-conference 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.
Rafael Araujo and Jared Jensen are in their second season as teammates. When the two post players make major contributions BYU usually achieves victory. BYU is 4-1, 4-0 last season, when Araujo and Jensen both contribute 10 or more points in a game. The Cougars are 14-5, 8-2 this year, when Araujo leads the team in scoring and 12-5, 7-2 this season, when Araujo posts a double-double. BYU is 10-2 (0-1 this season) when Jared Jensen scores double-digit points from his forward slot.
COUGAR FANS SHOWING SUPPORT
BYU is ahead of last year's attendance pace with an average crowd of 13,340 after six nonconference games. Last year BYU averaged the 17th largest crowd in the nation overall at 14,468. The NCAA announced that BYU achieved the nation's largest average increase over the prior season in 2001-2002 (during the middle of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City). BYU's 22,702 attendance vs. CSU in its last home game last year was the largest crowd since 1992 and the 21st largest crowd in school history.
Facing then No. 25 Oklahoma State, BYU played its first top-25 ranked team this season. The victory over the Cowboys was BYU's first over a top-25 team since an 81-76 victory over No. 13 Stanford on Dec. 22, 2001 at the Las Vegas Showdown.
RECORD AGAINST TOP TEAMS
BYU is 2-3 this year against teams that qualified for postseason last year (21-point win over Weber State at home; five-point win over Oklahoma State on a neutral floor; two-point loss at Utah State; one-point loss at Cal and 27-point loss at North Carolina State). BYU finished last season with a 7-2 record against teams that were conference champions the prior season. BYU went 12-6 last year against teams that qualified for postseason play in 2002. BYU played 12 games last year against eight teams that earned an invitation to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. BYU had a 5-7 record in those games (UConn 0-1, Arizona State 1-0, San Diego 1-0, Utah State 1-0, Colorado State 2-1, Weber State 0-1, Creighton 0-1, Oklahoma State 0-1, Utah 0-2). Seven of BYU's nine losses in 2002-03 came against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. UNLV and San Francisco were the two teams to beat BYU that didn't advance to the NCAA tournament.
BYU LANDS TOP-20 RECRUITING CLASS
Four highly regarded high school recruits signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball at BYU during the November signing period. Rated one of the top-20 recruiting classes nationally and the third-best class in the West, BYU received official commitments from top prospects David Burgess (Irvine, Calif.), Lee Cummard (Mesa, Ariz.), Chris Miles (Provo, Utah) and Trent Plaisted (San Antonio, Texas).
BYU PICKED AS FAVORITE TO CLAIM 2004 MWC CROWN
Bigelow, Araujo selected to preseason All-MWC team
The Mountain West Conference released its men's basketball preseason media poll and all-conference team at the league's media day being held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. The league media selected BYU to claim the Mountain West Conference men's basketball title with 144 total points and 13 of the possible 19 first-place votes. Utah was picked second with 138 points and was the only other team to garner first place votes with six. Defending MWC Tournament Champion Colorado State came in third with 107 points, followed by UNLV fourth with 97. Wyoming placed fifth with 73 points, followed by San Diego State (55), New Mexico (36), and Air Force (35). BYU has earned a share of the conference titles in 2001 and 2003, but this is the first time in more than 10 years the Cougars have been the preseason MWC favorites. The Cougars and Utes shared the conference's regular season crown last season with 11-3 records. BYU went 23-9 overall and fell to Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Utah finished the 2002-03 season 25-8, defeating Oregon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Kentucky in the second round. The Mountain West Conference has sent six of its eight teams to the postseason each of the past two seasons and is the only league in the country to have sent 75 percent of its members to the postseason two straight years. BYU seniors Mark Bigelow and Rafael Araujo were selected to the preseason first-team All-MWC team. Other athletes picked were Utahs Tim Frost and Nick Jacobson, Air Force's Tim Keller and the top MWC returnee Matt Nelson from CSU.
BYU SCHEDULE INCLUDES ACC, BIG XII AND PAC-10 OPPONENTS
Potential matchups with six nonconference opponents that made the 2003 NCAA Tournament, including teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big XII Conference and Pac-10 Conference, an appearance in the Cable Car Classic, and 15 overall contests against teams that qualified for postseason play last year highlight the 2003-04 BYU men's basketball schedule. "We look forward to what should be a very challenging schedule with more than half our games being against teams that qualified for postseason last year," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "We face some very talented teams during nonconference and every game is a battle during the Mountain West season."
COUGARS COMING OFF SUCCESSFUL SUMMER TOUR TO AUSTRALIA
Getting an early jump on the upcoming season, BYU participated in a six-game tour of Australia against professional teams in Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. "Four years ago when we went to Europe it helped us get a head start on the season," BYU Coach Steve Cleveland said. "This was a nice opportunity to implement our system and give the players some good experience. Everyone got a chance to play significant minutes." BYU earned the first of four consecutive postseason tournament berths under Cleveland in 2000 after its summer 1999 trip to England, Croatia and Italy. The NCAA allows a foreign tour once every four years. The team was also allowed 10 additional practice days to prepare for the trip. All of last year's returning players were allowed to make the trip, including redshirt freshmen Austin Ainge and Garner Meads. Newcomers Mike Hall and Michael Rose, along with returning missionary Derek Dawes, were not eligible for the trip. The Cougars played six games in seven nights, posting a 4-2 record. Senior Mark Bigelow led the team, scoring 21.6 points in 27 minutes per game. Senior center Rafael Araujo added 14.0 ppg and a team-high 7.7 rpg in 20 minutes of action. Redshirt freshman Garner Meads scored 9.3 ppg and pulled down 6.0 rpg. The tour also includes visits to the Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Manly Beach and the Great Barrier Reef.
BYU's lone departing senior in 2003, guard Travis Hansen, was selected 37th overall in 2003 NBA Draft and has signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks. BYU rates second among Mountain West Conference teams with 42 NBA Draft selections after UNLV's 49.
WINNING BASKETBALL TRADITION
With its all-time record of 1460-934 (.610), BYU is the ranked 40th all-time in winning percentage among all Division I basketball programs. In terms of total wins, BYU is in the top 25. The Cougars have had 81 winning seasons in their 101 years of basketball and have made 29 postseason appearances, including 20 NCAA bids, and won 26 conference championships.
NCAA TOURNAMENT TRADITION
BYU appeared in its 20th NCAA Tournament with its at-large invite in 2003. BYU coach Steve Cleveland has guided the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament twice (in the last three years) in his six years at the helm since taking over a program that was 1-25 the season before his arrival. He has led BYU to postseason play in each of the last four years.
In 2002-03, BYU earned its fourth straight postseason berth and second NCAA bid in the last three years while claiming a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title for the second time in the last three years. Playing among the nation's toughest schedules, including 11 different conferences on its non-league slate, the Cougars finished the year with a 23-9 overall record, going 11-4 through the pre-conference schedule before earning a share of the MWC regular season title with Utah at 11-3. The Cougars went 1-1 at the MWC Tournament before losing to No. 5-seed Connecticut at the NCAA Tournament in Spokane, Wash. BYU went 13-1 at home and 10-8 away, including a 4-3 neutral record and 6-5 road mark. The Cougars had the MWC's top defense and also won the preseason Paradise Jam title in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. BYU was led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo. Hansen, one of two first-team All-MWC consensus players, led the team in scoring (16.8) and blocks (20) and was second in assists (2.4) and rebounds (4.8). Bigelow, a third-team All-MWC selection, was second in scoring (13.9), third in rebounding (3.7) and the team's top three-point shooter (63). Araujo, a third-team All-MWC pick, was the third-leading scorer (12.0) and top rebounder (8.9). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen, who received All-MWC honorable mention, added 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while JC transfer Kevin Woodberry averaged 6.3 points and 2.5 assists at the point.