Keena Young, who leads BYU in rebounds this year, will help the Cougars face Wyoming, the Mountain West Conference's top rebounding team. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
GAME #15 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (9-5, 1-2 MWC)
WYOMING COWBOYS (10-7, 3-1 MWC)
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2006
Marriott Center (22,700)
7:07 p.m. MST
BYU, Dave Rose (9-5 in first year; same overall)
Wyoming, Steve McClain (136-89 in eight years; same overall)
BYU leads 92-69 after Wyoming swept the season series last year for the first time since 1997
SportsWest -- KJZZ-14, in Utah, KTWO in Wyoming and ESPN Full Court pay-per-view (Tom Kirkland, play-by-play; Craig Hislop, game analysis)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. MST 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 WYOMING WEDNESDAY
BYU (9-5, 1-2 MWC) returns home to host Wyoming (10-7, 3-1 MWC) Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game is a SportsWest production available in Utah on KJZZ-14 and in Laramie on KTWO as well as being available via ESPN Full Court. Tom Kirkland and Craig Hislop will call the action. 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 hits the road again for a contest at San Diego State on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. PST (8 p.m. MST) and can be seen live in Utah on KSL-TV, channel 5, and nationally 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.
-- BYU is 9-5 overall, including 7-1 at home, and has won seven straight in the Marriott Center. The Cougars are 1-4 away and 1-0 at a neutral site. BYU averages 76.5 points (second in the MWC) and shoots .480 (third in the MWC) from the field, including .382 from long range and .681 from the line. Cougar opponents average 68.6 points on .428 shooting, .332 from three and .730 from the line. BYU pulls down 35.2 rebounds per game, 2.2 more rebounds per contest than its opponents. The Cougars dish out an MWC-leading 17.3 assists per game.
-- Redshirt freshman forward/center Trent Plaisted leads BYU in scoring (12.1), followed by senior guard Brock Reichner (10.0). Junior forward Keena Young is the top Cougar rebounder (5.6), followed by Plaisted (4.5). Junior point guard Rashaun Broadus is the MWC's top assist maker (4.6), followed by junior combo guard Austin Ainge (3.2), who is sixth. 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 WYOMING
Wyoming is 10-7 and tied for first in the Mountain West Conference with a 3-1 record. The Cowboys return six lettermen and one starter from last year's 15-13 team that tied for fourth in the conference standings at 7-7. This year's team is 8-4 at home and 2-3 away, including a 1-0 neutral-court record. The Cowboys are 1-0 on the road in league play, joining UNLV and San Diego State as the only teams to win on the road thus far in MWC action. Wyoming won at TCU to rebound from a home loss to UNLV in its MWC opener. Throughout the history of the MWC, Wyoming has been one of the leaders in conference road wins, with an 18-25 (.419) MWC road record. Wyoming ranks third in road wins behind only Utah, 24-19 (.558), and UNLV, 19-24 (.442). The Cowboys lead the MWC and are ranked nationally at No. 4 in blocked shots (7.5 bpg) and No. 25 in field-goal percentage defense (.398) in the most recent release of the NCAA statistical rankings (Jan. 10). Wyoming also leads the MWC on the boards with a +7.5 rebounding margin. Senior forward and returning starter Justin Williams is ranked No. 2 in the nation in blocked shots and No. 11 in rebounding, currently averaging 5.9 blocks and 10.4 rebounds. He had highs of 20 rebounds and nine blocks against Charlotte on Nov. 15. He averages a double-double with 10.7 points, which is tied for second on the team. Junior forward Steve Leven scores a team-leading 13.4 points, while freshman guard Brandon Ewing has made an immediate impact with a 10.7 ppg average. Leven has made a team-best 38 treys with 100 attempts. Sophomore guard Brad Jones dishes out a team-high 3.8 assists per game while adding 8.8 points. As a team, Wyoming shoots .429 from the floor, including .327 from behind the arc, and .649 from the free-throw line, while Cowboy opponents are shooting .398 from the field, .316 from three-point range and .646 from the line. Wyoming outscores its opponents 69.2 - 65.8 and has a significant edge on the glass, pulling down 40.6 rebounds to its opponents' 34.9 boards per game.
WYOMING's PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 2 Justin Williams 6-10 225 Sr. 10.7 10.4
F 15 Steve Leven 6-5 205 Jr. 13.4 2.5
C 54 Derek Wabbington 6-9 240 Sr. 6.7 4.7
G 1 Brad Jones 6-0 170 So. 8.8 3.8
G 23 Brandon Ewing 6-2 190 Fr. 10.7 3.9
WYOMING'S LAST OUTING -- Cowboys Hold Off Lobos in Laramie
Brandon Ewing scored 23 points, including four three-pointers, as Wyoming beat New Mexico 77-70 Saturday to improve to 3-1 in Mountain West Conference play. The Lobos made a late run, converting three consecutive three-point plays. UNM's David Chiotti's three-point play with 50.5 seconds left brought New Mexico (11-6, 2-2 Mountain West Conference) within 71-66. But Wyoming (10-7, 3-1) weathered the storm with strong free-throw shooting, hitting 17 of its last 18 attempts. The Cowboys outscored the Lobos 11-4 to start the second half, going up 38-37 with 15:52 left. They went on a 9-3 run later in the period, gaining their biggest lead up to that point at 53-46 with 9:54 to go. New Mexico shot poorly from the free-throw line, making only nine of 19 attempts, for 47.4 percent. Wyoming hit 18 of 21 attempts in the game, for 85.7 percent. Steve Leven scored 16 points for Wyoming, and Justin Williams added 10 points and five blocked shots. New Mexico's Mark Walters led all scorers in the game with 26 points. Chiotti added 19 for the Lobos. Walters hit his first three shots and grabbed two steals as New Mexico outscored Wyoming 10-3 to start the game. The Cowboys came back with a 10-2 run to take a 13-12 lead with 11:19 to go. After that, the lead changed 7 times before a final 9-0 New Mexico run, highlighted by three-pointers from Walters and Chiotti, put the Lobos up 33-27 at halftime.
This will be the 162nd meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 92-69. Wyoming swept the season series last year for the first time since 1997, to end five straight Cougar wins in the series. BYU has won seven of the last 10 games and nine of 14 meetings between the two schools since the formation of the Mountain West Conference. After Utah (240 games) and Utah State (223 games), BYU has faced Wyoming the third-most times in its history. Wyoming has a 53-27 advantage in Laramie while BYU boasts a 61-14 record in Provo. BYU has a 4-2 edge on a neutral floor, including a 2-0 advantage in conference tournament play.
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. WYOMING
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 92-69
BYU Record in Provo: 61-14
BYU Record in Laramie: 27-53
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 4-2
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 0-0
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 1-3* (all in Laramie)
*0-1 in 2OT games (1981 in Laramie, 84-86)
Last OT Game: 1981, lost in Laramie, 84-86 (2OT)
Longest BYU Win Streak: 12 (1972-77)
Longest Wyoming Win Streak: 9 (1942-46)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 35, 78-43 in 1966
Largest Wyoming Margin of Victory: 32, 63-31 in 1931
Most Points Scored by BYU: 102 in 1965
Most Points Scored by Wyoming: 107 in 1966
QUOTING BYU HEAD COACH DAVE ROSE ...
"Wyoming is one of the hottest teams in the league right now. They were upset early at home by UNLV but then they went on the road at TCU and won and came home and got two good wins over Air Force and New Mexico. They have two really good, young guards. Ewing had a big game for them on Saturday against New Mexico. Justin Williams and Steve Leven are the two guys that really carry their team. Leven can create a lot of different shots. He is a great outside shooter and can also shoot off the dribble and has a variety of floater-type shots. Williams is a really good shot blocker and a great offensive rebounder. He gets a lot of second chances for them. They play really well together. They are a team that has had some tough games and learned a lot about themselves. They are playing well right now and are really confident."
RECENT SERIES RECAPS
LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- COUGARS DROP NAIL-BITER TO WYOMING
PROVO -- In another heart-breaker for the Cougars, the Wyoming Cowboys won 59-58 Saturday night in the Marriott Center, sweeping BYU for the first time since the 1996-97 season. Austin Ainge scored his tenth point on two free throws with two seconds left in the game, but could not convert the third to send the game into overtime. "This season has been a test of character for our team," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "We have had a lot of close games, but we just can't get over the hump." The Cougars powered their way through the Cowboys for most of the first half, leading by as many as six points. Later in the half, careless turnovers, missed free throws and an 0-8 shooting performance by team leader Mike Hall allowed the Cowboys to go on a 7-0 run, taking a 28-26 lead with less than 10 seconds to go. But Cougar point guard Austin Ainge pulled up from beyond the arc and knocked down a three-pointer to regain the BYU lead. Despite the Cougars' 29.7 first half shooting mark, compared to the Cowboys 50 percent, BYU went into halftime with a 29-28. The battle continued in the second half, with neither team being able to gain a comfortable lead. The Cougars' largest lead came after a Hall slam dunk and two three-pointers by Jimmy Balderson to give BYU a four-point advantage. That lead diminished quickly for the Cougars due to sharp shooting by Cowboy guard Jay Straight, who finished the game with 23 points. Down the stretch, the Cougars trailed by three with 25 seconds left. The Cougars got one last chance to tie the game, but a Hall three-pointer came up short, giving the ball back to the Cowboys with five seconds left to play. However, on the out-of-bounds play, Hall stole the ball and dished it off to Ainge for a three-pointer to tie the game. Ainge missed the shot but was fouled and left to shoot three free throws to send the game into overtime. Ainge would hit his first two free throws but the Cougars would come up short by one point after a missed third free throw that bounced in and out of the basket. Balderson led BYU with 11 points, his fourth straight game in double-figures. Keena Young pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. The Cougars continued their shooting woes in the second half and ended the game with their lowest shooting percentage this year at 30 percent. The Cougars also finished the game shooting 30.8 percent from the charity stripe.
LAST YEAR IN LARAMIE -- COWBOYS CORRAL COUGARS
LARAMIE -- BYU's Mountain West Conference woes continued Monday night as the Cougars fell 83-71 to the Wyoming Cowboys in Laramie, opening league play 0-3 for the first time in the Steve Cleveland era. The Cougars got off to a characteristic slow start, falling behind by as many as eight points in the first 10 minutes of play. An 11-2 BYU run capped by a Mike Rose three-pointer gave the Cougars their first lead at 24-23, but it was short-lived as the Cowboys came back to take a 35-31 halftime lead. BYU's top two scorers, Mike Hall and Austin Ainge, combined for a total of two first half points as the Cougars have now shot 18-70 (.250) in the opening periods of the last two games. BYU fought back to open the second half, tying the game at 39 with the help of Hall, who found the net for eight points in the first eight minutes of the period. But Wyoming proved resilient throughout the half, knocking down critical shots and pushing the lead. The Cougars consistently clawed their way back to within two or three points only to be answered on the other end as BYU could not find a way to get stops. A five-minute field goal drought to end the game did the Cougars in as they scored their last six points from the free throw line while the Cowboys padded their lead, eventually earning the 12-point win. Hall finished the game with a team-high 16 points and was the only BYU starter in double figures. Rose added 13 points while Derek Dawes scored a career-high 11 and Keena Young contributed 10, all off the bench. Just one game removed from a career-high 25 points, Ainge scored only two points against the Cowboys. Young, who leads the Cougars in rebounds, pulled down a team-high five boards. Wyoming's Dion Sherrell led the Cowboys with a season-high 19 points. Justin Williams, the league's top shot-blocker, recorded four rejections while also adding 19 points. As a team, BYU shot 37.7 percent from the field and has now made 35.8 percent of its buckets in league play. The Cougars are averaging 43 percent on the season. Wyoming shot 50.8 percent from field goal range, equaling the highest shooting percentage BYU has allowed all season. The Cougars also managed just 22.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc compared to the Cowboys' 39 percent effort from three-point range. The nation's 15th ranked free throw shooting team, BYU hit 78 percent (21-27) from the line, topping its season average.
BYU's LAST OUTING -- Cougars Fall At UNLV
LAS -- The Cougars could not mount the second-half comeback they needed Wednesday night at UNLV, losing 82-72 to fall to 9-5 on the season and 1-2 in the Mountain West Conference. Both teams came out slow to start the game as each squad made just one shot in the first 4:48 of the first half. UNLV scored first on the opening possession 21 seconds into the game while BYU did not make its first basket until the 17:22 mark when Fernando Malaman found the hoop. Neither team scored again from the field until the 16:12 mark when a Rebel three-pointer followed by a steal and a layin gave UNLV an early 8-2 lead. The Cougars put together a 7-2 spurt of their own from there as Rashaun Broadus hit a big three-pointer and Derek Dawes and Brock Reichner both contributed on the offensive end of the court. BYU had difficulty finding an effective combination in the first half as Coach Rose used 10 of his 11 available players in the first eight minutes of the game. The two teams battled it out throughout the next several minutes until a long ball from Austin Ainge gave BYU its first lead of the game, 14-12, at the 9:42 mark. The Cougars continued fighting off the Rebels until, trailing 22-21, UNLV put together a 10-0 run, holding BYU scoreless for 3:53 until two free throws by Derek Dawes ended the drought. The remainder of the half was more of the same as the Rebels took a 37-30 lead into the locker room at halftime. BYU came into the second half ready to mount a comeback as the Cougars have outscored their opponents in the second half in every game this season since the season opener against Loyola Marymount. BYU was able to keep the Rebel lead at seven points in the opening minutes of the half until a 10-0 UNLV run left the Cougars reeling. Rashaun Broadus hit a three-pointer to end the drought, and BYU got a stop on the defensive end to put the ball in Jimmy Balderson's hands on the Cougar side of the floor. Balderson drove into the lane and thought he drew a charge, but no call was made, prompting a protest from Coach Rose that resulted in a technical foul, the first of Rose's head-coaching career. UNLV hit both free throws and a three-pointer on the ensuing offensive possession to take its largest lead of the game at 56-28. But the Cougars caught fire from three, hitting back-to-back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to nine points. After four straight points from the Rebels, BYU scored five of its own on a three-point play by Balderson and a jumper from Fernando Malaman to cut the lead to eight points at 60-52. The two teams battled it out for the next several minutes until another UNLV run, 10-1, pushed the lead to 74-57 and dashed any hopes of a BYU comeback, leaving the Cougars with the 82-72 loss. Only two Cougars managed to score in double digits as Fernando Malaman recorded 13 points and Brock Reichner added 10. Lee Cummard tied his career-high with nine points while Rashaun Broadus also contributed nine. Malaman was also BYU's high rebounder, pulling down a career-high seven boards. The Cougars shot 43 percent (23-for-54) from the field, 38 percent from three-point range (8-for-21) and 78 percent (18-for-23) from the line while tying UNLV with 34 rebounds.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose:
-- "I think that looking at the stats explains the problem. We had 18 turnovers and 11 assists. When we play well, that number is flipped around. We turned ball over way too much tonight. When you turn the ball over that many times, you have to shoot 60 or 70 percent to stay in the game. We didn't."
-- "We didn't win the hustle plays and the rebounding plays when we had to. Those are things we do well when we win. We had a hard time coming up with loose balls and getting big rebounds. The rebounding numbers don't tell the story. We got into a position three or four times to cut the lead and came up with the stops but couldn't get the rebounds."
-- "Any coach is concerned anytime their team gets beat anywhere. It's important for us to stay positive and believe that we're a good team. That's been our focus from day one. We have a lot of confidence in certain things. Right now, securing the road win in conference play is something we have to figure out how to do."
-- "This is a setback for us, but we're halfway through the season, and everything we want to do as a basketball team is still right in front of us. We're going to get back home, work harder, get better and see what we can do the next time out."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Rashaun Broadus - 3 three-point field goals made (tied); Lee Cummard - 9 points (tied); Jackson Emery - 2 steals; Brock Reichner - .833 free throw percentage, 5 free throws made; Fernando Malaman - 7 rebounds.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Fewest Assists -- 11.
-- Including the loss at UNLV, the Cougars have now suffered defeat in their last six conference road games dating back to last season. BYU's last MWC road win was Feb. 5, 2005 at UNLV.
-- With the loss at UNLV, the Cougars are now 1-5 this season when trailing at the half. BYU has been down an average of 11.3 points in those games while leading by an average of 11.8 points in the eight games in which the Cougars' have owned the halftime advantage.
-- The Cougars were outscored in the second half (42-45) for just the second time this season at UNLV (42-41 vs. Loyola Marymount). The Cougars average 6.0 more second-half points than their opponents.
-- Derek Dawes has contributed significantly from the free throw line in the last two games as he went 7-for-8 at UNLV and 5-for-6 against Utah.
-- With the 82-72 loss at UNLV, BYU is now 2-5 when allowing opponents to score 70 or more points.
-- After committing a total of seven turnovers against Utah last Saturday, the Cougars' lowest mark since March 1, 2004, BYU racked up seven miscues in the first 7:35 of the game at UNLV. The Cougars finished with 18 turnovers.
-- Trent Plaisted, BYU's leading scorer, has struggled in the Cougars' two league road games this season as he recorded three points, four rebounds and three turnovers at UNLV and scored five points with no rebounds and three turnovers at Air Force.
-- BYU Coach Dave Rose received the first technical foul of his head-coaching career with 16:02 left to play in the game.
-- BYU Coach Dave Rose used 10 different players in the first eight minutes of the game as he attempted to find the most effective combination. Only freshman Jackson Emery did not see action during that stretch.
-- Both teams came out slow to start the game as each squad made just one shot in the first 4:48 of the first half. UNLV scored first on the opening possession just 21 seconds into the game while BYU did not make its first basket until the 17:22 mark. Neither team scored again from the field until the 16:12 mark.
-- Austin Ainge gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at the 9:42 mark with a three-pointer to give BYU a 14-12 advantage.
-- Trailing 22-21, the Rebels put together a 10-0 run, holding BYU scoreless for 3:53 until two free throws by Derek Dawes ended the drought. The Rebels went on another 10-0 run in the second half to take a 52-35 lead, but BYU bounced back with three consecutive three-pointers two minutes later to cut a once-18-point lead to nine at 47-56.
COUGARS CAN SURPASS LAST YEAR'S WIN TOTAL
With a win on Wednesday, BYU can surpass its win total from last year. The Cougars are currently 9-5 this season after suffering a 9-21 campaign last year to end five straight postseason appearances.
BYU has bounced back from each of its four previous losses this season with a victory, a trend the Cougars hope to continue against Wyoming on Wednesday. The Cougars have achieved three winning streaks this year -- two three-game streaks and one two-game streak.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
BYU is 7-0 this season when holding opponents under 70 points and 2-5 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes are currently averaging 68.6 points per game. BYU is also 7-3 when scoring 70 or more points and 2-2 when falling below the 70-point mark. The Cougars are currently second in the league in scoring, averaging 76.5 ppg.
DEFENDING THE HOMECOURT
BYU is currently 7-1 at home this season, surpassing last year's 6-8 mark, which came during a disappointing 9-21 campaign. The Cougars have traditionally been tough to beat in the Marriott Center, going 379-116 (.766) all-time, including a 70-10 mark over the last six years. BYU also boasted the nation's longest 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.
Currently, three players are not able to practice due to injuries. Reserve center Derek Dawes was reinjured at UNLV with the same injury that kept him out a week while missing BYU's first two games of the year. Reserve forward Jermaine Odjegba has missed the last two games and redshirting guard Sam Burgess has also not been able to practice while recovering from injury. Dawes' and Odjegba's status for Wednesday's game will be evaluated day-to-day this week.
BYU's starting lineup the last five 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 13 games and Balderson nine games. Ainge has one start, the first game, and Cummard has five starts, the last five games.
BYU AMONG MWC LEADERS
BYU leads the MWC in assists (17.3) and is second in scoring (76.5), assist/turnover ratio (1.20), defensive rebounds (25.29) and three-pointers made (7.1). The Cougars rank third in field goal percentage (.480), scoring margin (+7.9) and blocked shots (4.21). Individually, point guards Rashaun Broadus (4.6) and Austin Ainge (3.2) rank first and sixth, respectively, in assists and are first and third in assist/turnover ratio, with Ainge leading all MWC players with a 3.21 ratio, and Broadus recording a 1.68 mark. Fernando Malaman and Trent Plaisted rank fourth and seventh, respectively, in field goal percentage at .591 and .560 while Keena Young is eighth at .558. Young is also tied for 12th in rebounding average (5.6), and Malaman is fourth in blocked shots (1.5).
BYU REDSHIRTS: SAM BURGESS, VUK IVANOVIC
Junior guard Sam Burgess is redshirting this season. The 6-foot-3 guard from Alpine, Utah, is one of nine juniors on the roster this year. Fellow junior Vuk Ivanovic will also redshirt while he sits out the season due to NCAA transfer rules.
TRANSFERRED: DAVID BURGESS
David Burgess, a 6-foot-10 redshirt freshman center, announced on Dec. 15 that he was transferring from BYU to complete his eligibility. BYU granted his request for a release. Burgess appeared in three of seven games this year, averaging 0.7 points and 1.7 rebounds. Said Burgess, "I thoroughly enjoyed my time at BYU and I think Coach Rose is an unbelievable coach but his system just isn't a good fit for me personally. When I signed, Coach Cleveland's system was a half-court offense, which fits me better as a player. I was excited for Coach Rose to be named the coach and I worked hard to lose some weight and try to prepare myself for his system but it's just not the best fit for me." Burgess has since announced he will transfer to Gonzaga.
SCORING FOR THE COUGARS
BYU is averaging 76.5 ppg, second in the MWC, led by redshirt freshman Trent Plaisted's 12.1 points per game. Six different Cougars have led the team in scoring in BYU's first 14 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 and juniors Rashaun Broadus (17 vs. Utah) and Fernando Malaman (13 at UNLV) have led the Cougars once. 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).
With its win against Utah, BYU is now 8-0 when leading at the half. The Cougars' average halftime lead is 11.8 points, and they have led by double digits six times. BYU has also been impressive in the second half this season. The Cougars have outscored their opponents in the second period of play in all but two games this year (42-41 vs. Loyola Marymount, 45-42 at UNLV). BYU averages 6.0 more second-half points than its opponents.
BYU AT THE POINT
BYU's Rashaun Broadus (4.6 apg) and Austin Ainge (3.2 apg) rank first and sixth, respectively, among Mountain West Conference players in assists per game this season while helping the Cougars lead the MWC in team assists at 17.3 apg. Broadus and Ainge have combined for 72 assists compared to 29 turnovers in BYU's nine wins while totaling 37 assists and 23 turnovers in the Cougars' five defeats. Broadus has 43 assists and 22 turnovers in the wins with 21 assists and 16 turnovers in the losses. Ainge boasts 29 assists to only 7 turnovers in the victories while totaling 16 assists and 7 turnovers in defeats. With his overall 45 assists to 14 turnovers, Ainge easily leads all MWC players in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.21), while Broadus ranks third (1.7). 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. In conference play, Ainge has five assists and three turnovers while Broadus has eight assists and 10 turnovers. As a team, BYU has made an assist on 62.0 percent of its field goals this season.
BYU IN THE POST
BYU's post players are all efficient from the floor. Starters Fernando Malaman, who has made 59.1 percent (52-of-88) of his shots, and Trent Plaisted, who has converted 56.0 percent (61-of-109) of his attempts, rank fourth and seventh, respectively among MWC players in field goal percentage. Off the bench, Keena Young is shooting .558 (43-of-77) and Derek Dawes is making .486 (17-of-35). 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 52.4 percent success rate (11-of-21) from behind the three-point arc.
BYU ON THE WING
Senior Brock Reichner has started the last 13 games at 2-guard and is second on the team in scoring at 10.0 ppg, including a team-high 22 threes, while junior Jimmy Balderson started the first nine games at small forward and is fifth in scoring at 7.9 ppg, with 10 treys. BYU's two freshman wings are playing significant roles. Lee Cummard has started in place of Balderson the last five games and is averaging 5.8 points in 14.7 minutes while shooting 46 percent from the floor and has made nine threes. Jackson Emery is shooting 44 percent from the floor and has made eight triples while averaging 3.6 points in 10.5 minutes. He has also been a solid defender for the Cougars, often helping guard the opponent's top perimeter player. Junior Mike Rose plays 10.6 minutes in the rotation on the wing, averaging 4.7 points, including 17 treys.
BYU's 76.5 points per game are coming in a variety of ways as the Cougars outscore their opponents in every statistical category on the season. BYU has scored 59 more points in the paint this season, outpacing its opponents underneath in seven games, tying in two and being outscored in five. The Cougars have also capitalized on opponent miscues in their 14 games to date, scoring 25 more points off of turnovers while outscoring foes in that category in seven games, tying in one and being outscored in six. BYU enjoys a 40-point advantage in second-chance points, partly due to the Cougars' +2.2 rebounding margin, as BYU has outscored opponents in that category in nine games. The Cougars' largest advantage, however, comes on the fast break as BYU has only been outscored on the break in three games this year, with a 150-86 margin.
BYU BASKETBALL ON KSL NEWSRADIO (102.7 FM and 1160 AM)
The "Voice of the Cougars" is KSL Newsradio 1160's Greg Wrubell. He is in his 10th season as the play-by-play voice of BYU basketball. Wrubell, also the voice of BYU football, is joined by former Cougar lettermen Mark Durrant and Russell Larson (for select broadcasts) as color analysts. Durrant has been part of the KSL broadcast team for nine years while Larson is in his first season as an analyst. In addition to live coverage of every Cougar game, the following programs can be heard each week on KSL Newsradio.
COACH ROSE ON KSL NEWSRADIO ...
-- Coach's Corner with Dave Rose
Mondays at 8:45 a.m.
-- The Dave Rose Show
Mondays from 7-8 p.m.
THE DAVE ROSE SHOW ON KSL-TV
BYU coach Dave Rose's weekly television show airs each Sunday evening at 11 p.m. on KSL-TV, channel 5 in Salt Lake City.