Game 16 Notes - BYU Opens MWC Play vs. UNLV Thursday

BYU (11-4) begins its Mountain West Conference schedule Thursday when it hosts UNLV (11-2) at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The game is being televised by SportsWest Productions on KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City and on Las Vegas One in Las Vegas with Dave McCann and Craig Hislop describing the action. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing game analysis. Live Internet audio links are available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.

THURSDAY'S MATCHUP

BYU and UNLV both completed successful non-conference schedules, totaling 11 wins apiece. After starting 8-1, BYU is 3-3 in its last six games but 7-0 at home this year. The Cougars look to extend the nation's longest home victory streak, which has grown to 43 games since it was started with an 83-82 win over UNLV on Feb. 19, 2000. UNLV looks to end the streak by winning in Provo for the first time 1998. The Rebels are playing well, coming to Provo having won their last five games.

GAME #16 FAST FACTS

BYU (11-4, 0-0 MWC) vs. UNLV (11-2, 0-0 MWC)

THURSDAY, JAN. 16, 2003

MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)

PROVO, UTAH

7 p.m. MST

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (96-73 in sixth year; same overall)

UNLV, Charlie Spoonhour (32-13 in second year; 351-184 in 18th year overall)

Series:

UNLV leads, 7-6

Last: UNLV won 73-70 in Las Vegas on Feb. 9, 2002

TV:

SportsWest Productions (KJZZ in Salt Lake City; Las Vegas One in Las Vegas)

Satellite: Telstar 6, TRANSPONDER 3

Tipoff Time: 7:06 p.m. MST

Play-by-Play: Dave McCann

Game Analyst: Craig Hislop

Radio:

KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)

Pregame Air Times: 6 p.m. MST

Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell

Game Analyst: Mark Durrant

Web:

Live audio and live stats links available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) and live audio also available on KSL.com and byuradio.org or via BYU Radio on Dish Network.

BYU's Probable Starters:

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG

F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 12.1 3.5

F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.1 3.8

C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 11.5 8.9

G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 15.3 4.5 2.7 apg

G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 2.7 1.5 1.6 apg

BYU Reserves:

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG

G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 6.6 1.9

G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 6.1 1.9 2.4 apg

G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 4.5 1.5

F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 3.7 1.5

F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.8 2.2

C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.6 0.9

G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.5 0.8

F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.3 1.0

UNLV REBELS

UNLV coach Charlie Spoonhour returns two starters from last year's 21-11 team that advanced to the second round of the NIT after a 9-5 conference record. In his second year, Spoonhour looks to improve on last year's third-place Mountain West Conference finish after completing the non-conference schedule with an 11-2 record. The Rebels are 8-1 at home, with a 77-66 loss to Stanford during the Las Vegas Showdown, and 3-1 on the road, with a 91-74 loss at Wisconsin. The Rebels are coming off a win at DePaul (75-70) and also came away with victories in close games at Nevada (82-80), Bradley (85-83 in OT). Since losing to Stanford, the Rebels have victories home wins over West Virginia (70-67), SMU (79-78), IPFW (74-62) and Santa Clara (75-53) in addition to its last victory at DePaul. The Rebels have two of the MWC's top-five scorers in senior point guard Marcus Banks and senior forward Dalron Johnson. Banks is second in the conference in scoring (19.0 ppg) and is the top assist-maker (5.5 apg) and defender on the perimeter (3.5 spg). On Monday, the 6-foot-2 Banks was named Mountain West Player of the Week for the second time this season. He had 19 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals at DePaul. Johnson, who ranks atop the MWC stat leaders in blocks (1.54) and free throw percentage (.863), adds 15.5 ppg, which is fifth among MWC players just ahead of BYU's Travis Hansen. The 6-foot-10 forward also contributes 6.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Jermaine Lewis, at 6-foot-4, pulls down a team-leading 7.1 rebounds, third among MWC players, while 6-foot-8 junior center J.K. Edwards adds 6.1 boards. Former Georgetown guard Demetrius Hunter, a 6-foot-2 junior, scores 9.8 ppg, while Edwards and Lewis add 9.6 and 9.5, respectively. Led by Banks, last year's MWC Defensive Player of the Year, the Rebels are the MWC's clear-cut leader in steals and turnover margin. UNLV intercepts just over 10 opponent passes each game while forcing teams into 19.7 turnovers per game. UNLV has a +3.6 turnover margin. UNLV is the second-highest scoring team in the MWC, coming in with a 78.2 average. The Rebels are last in points allowed while yielding 71.5 points. The Rebels shoot .461 from the floor, .365 on threes, and .676 from the line. UNLV's opponents have shot .451 on field goals and .305 on treys. UNLV opponents have a slight rebounding edge, 36.8 boards to UNLV's 35.7.

UNLV'S PROBABLE STARTERS

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

F 10 Dalron Johnson 6-10 215 Sr. 15.5 6.3

C 55 J.K. Edwards 6-8 250 Jr. 9.6 6.1

G 5 Jermaine Lewis 6-4 200 Sr. 9.5 7.1

G 1 Demetrius Hunter 6-2 210 Jr. 9.8 1.6

G 3 Marcus Banks 6-2 200 Sr. 19.0 3.9 5.5 apg

SERIES BREAKDOWN

This will be the 14th meeting between the two schools dating back to 1981. Last year, BYU evened the series at 6-6 with a 60-47 victory in Provo on Jan. 15, before UNLV took the edge again with its last-second win in Vegas, 73-70, on Feb. 9. The two teams have split the regular season series with home wins the past two years. BYU swept the two regular season meetings in 1999-2000 before the Rebels achieved their largest margin of victory over BYU at the Thomas & Mack Center to win the 2000 MWC tournament title. BYU has won four of the seven games as MWC opponents.

Overall Series Record: UNLV leads 7-6

BYU Record in Provo: 4-2

BYU Record in Las Vegas: 2-5

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 4-5

BYU Record in Overtime Games: 1-0 (1-0 in Las Vegas)

Last Overtime Game: 1981, won in 2OT in LV, 92-90

Longest BYU Win Streak: 2 (1981, 2000)

Longest UNLV Win Streak: 4 (1981-98)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 28, 91-63 in 2001

Largest UNLV Margin of Victory: 23, 79-56 in 2000

Most Points Scored by BYU: 92 in 1981

Most Points Scored by UNLV: 90 in 1981

Date Opponent Score W/L

1-3-81 at UNLV (2OT) 92-90 W

2-6-81 UNLV 86-77 W

12-5-81 UNLV 63-66 L

2-12-82 at UNLV 50-52 L

1-22-98 at UNLV 63-76 L

2-21-98 UNLV 76-84 L

1-10-00 at UNLV 77-75 W

2-19-00 UNLV 83-82 W

3-11-00 at UNLV (MWC Tourn.) 56-79 L

1-15-01 UNLV 91-63 W

2-10-01 at UNLV 56-68 L

1-15-02 UNLV 60-47 W

2-9-02 at UNLV 70-73 L

LAST YEAR IN PROVO - DEFENSES DOMINATE BUT BYU GETS WIN

PROVO -- A stingy second half defense and some timely shooting helped BYU knock off a feisty UNLV team, 60-47. BYU found itself down 26-22 at the half, its largest deficit after a half at that point in the season. The Cougars came out strong in the second half, outscoring UNLV 38-21. Mark Bigelow led the Cougars with 16 points, 15 coming in the second half. Bigelow hit a trey at the beginning of the second half, setting a new BYU record with a three in 22 consecutive games. While Bigelow provided the second half scoring, the game might have been decided on the glass. BYU dominated UNLV in rebounding, holding a 39-22 edge. Freshman Jared Jensen led the team with seven rebounds, and Travis Hansen and Matt Montague each had six. UNLV played tough, physical defense throughout the game, forcing the Cougars out of their natural flow. Especially in the first half, BYU had trouble holding onto the ball, turning it over 13 times. But the Cougars played well enough to win in the second half. Dalron Johnson led UNLV with 18 points on 8-12 shooting before fouling out in the final minute.

oBYU's 22 points in the first half was its second-lowest first-half output of the season. oUNLV's 47 points equaled a BYU opponent low last year.

oBYU equaled a season-high 20 turnovers.

oBYU dominated the glass vs. the Rebels, holding a 39-22 edge in rebounds.

WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY LAST YEAR ...

"It's a good thing that we were playing at home and not in Las Vegas. The positive point is when you don't do your best and win it's a good thing. We did a good job on the boards and played a good 20 minutes in the second half. It was obvious that UNLV came in with a great game plan. They had a great defensive plan of just pressuring us and you have to give them credit for taking us out of what we wanted to do."

WHAT COACH CHARLIE SPOONHOUR HAD TO SAY LAST YEAR ...

""I think if you're ever going to have a chance to beat BYU, this would be the night."

LAST GAME IN VEGAS - COUGAR COMEBACK FALLS SHORT

LAS -- BYU's comeback effort fell one shot short when UNLV's Vince Booker hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Rebels a 73-70 win in Las Vegas. The Cougars (14-7, 4-4) fought back after being down by as many as 16 points to tie the game at 70 with 15 seconds remaining on a Jared Jensen layup. Jensen finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds, continuing his consistent conference play. BYU forward Bart Jepsen played 22 key minutes to help the Cougars get back in the game. On the final play of the game, UNLV point guard Marcus Banks held the ball for 10 seconds before he drove to the basket, ultimately passing the ball out to Booker who then hit the game-winner. BYU shot 61 percent from the field in the second half but missed free throws at key points hurt the Cougars. Although BYU made 15-of-20 attempts, many of those misses were front-end shots on one-and-one opportunities. The Cougars fought back to bring the game within one, 54-53, after a Matt Montague drive and pass to Jepsen who finished the play with a dunk. UNLV (12-8, 4-4) then went on a 6-0 run before Eric Nielsen made a three-point play to bring BYU back within three. Nielsen was hit in the mouth, chipping his tooth and was briefly knocked out at the 4:13 mark. He left the game with a concussion after contributing 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The score was 69-66 before Hansen stole the ball and made two free throws after being fouled on the breakaway, making the score 69-68 with 1:20 remaining. Hansen finished with 21 points in 23 minutes as he spent much of the game on the bench in foul trouble. Jensen's put-back made it 70-70 before Booker's three-pointer dashed the Cougars' hopes of victory. Mark Bigelow finished with 13 points. The Rebels started the game with a hot and consistent hand, making the first five shots they took to build an 11-5 lead. By the time Las Vegas had built the lead to 21-6, the Runnin' Rebels were 9-for-11 while BYU was 2-of-13 on shot attempts. A three-point play by Hansen again brought the Cougars within nine, 32-23, but the Rebels then went on a run of their own to increase their lead to 16 points, 43-27. Jimmy Balderson made four consecutive free throws to bring the score to 43-31 at the 1:20 mark where it would remain for the rest of the half. The Cougars made only 11-of-31 shots (36 percent) compared to UNLV's 17-of-31 (55 percent) from the field in the first half.

WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY LAST YEAR ...

"To win on the road, you have to rebound and make free throws and those are two things we didn't do well in the last few minutes of the game."

BYU NOTES

BYU'S LAST GAME -- COUGARS TOP ISU TO COMPLETE PRESEASON

PROVO -- BYU used a 17-3 first-half run to build a lead it would not relinquish, beating the Idaho State Bengals 77-58 Saturday at the Marriott Center. With the win the Cougars improved to 11-4 and extended the nation's longest homecourt winning streak to 43 games. Idaho State dropped to 6-6 entering its Big Sky schedule. After trailing 20-17 at the 10:41 mark in the first half, BYU outscored the Bengals 17-3 the rest of the way to take a 34-23 lead into the locker room. The Bengals opened the second half fighting to get back in the game, but the Cougars used their second best field goal shooting percentage of the season (58 percent) to seal the game. "We played well for about 10 minutes," said Idaho State head coach Doug Oliver. "They were just too big and too strong and they wore us down." BYU big man Rafael Araujo turned in his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He also led BYU with four steals -- two of which ended in breakaway, rim-rocking jams at the other end. "Araujo is the most improved player on this team and as he continues to improve we will become a better team," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. Travis Hansen scored 16 points, including a three-point play on a jam and foul shot that brought the crowd of 16,078 to its feet. Ricky Bower nailed four treys off the bench and ended the game with 13 points, a new

career high. Jeremy Brown led the Bengals with 13 points, including two three-pointers. Orem native Scott Henry added 10. Idaho State shot 52 percent in the second half and 43.4 percent for the game, but BYU's size was too much as the Cougars out rebounded the Bengals 43-19.

UP NEXT FOR BYU

BYU will take a single-game road trip face San Diego State Monday. The game will be televised at 8 p.m. MST (7 p.m. PST) by SportsWest Productions on KSL-TV in Salt Lake City.

COUGAR BRIEFING

Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars earned an 11-4 non-conference record. Hansen leads the team in scoring (15.3) and assists (2.7) and is second in rebounding (4.5), Bigelow is second in scoring (12.1) and the team's top three-point shooter (27-60), while Araujo has come on strong as the third-leading scorer (11.5) while leading the team in rebounds (8.9). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds while making 61.2 percent from the floor. With more talent on the bench, Coach Steve Cleveland has nine players averaging double-digit minutes this year. Junior guard Ricky Bower leads the way off the bench, averaging 6.6 points and shooting 45.5 percent from behind the arc. BYU is 7-0 at home and 4-4 away from the Marriott Center, including a 3-1 neutral record and 1-3 road mark.

PLAYER PERSONNEL

BYU coach Steve Cleveland is using a larger rotation this year with a deeper bench. Nine of the 13 players are averaging double-digit minutes. Cleveland has used four starting lineups, including changes in the last two games. He has used the same starting five in 12 of 15 games. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts came out of a possible redshirt season after 13 games, playing at Weber State. Freshmen guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba will redshirt.

BYU STARTING LINEUP (RECORD)

Woodberry, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo (9-3)

Woodberry, Bower, Bigelow, Hansen, Araujo (1-0)

Nashif, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo (1-0)

Woodberry, Hansen, Bigelow, Shoff, Araujo (0-1)

WHO'S HOT

Junior center Rafael Araujo led BYU in scoring (18.0), rebounds (9.5) and steals (3.0) in last week's two games. He shot 53.8 percent (14-26) from the floor and 66.7 percent (8-12) from the line. He added two assists (1.0 apg). Araujo recorded his fourth double-double of the year with a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds against Idaho State Saturday. While helping BYU build a 34-23 halftime advantage, Araujo twice intercepted Bengal passes and dribbled the full length of the court for hammer dunks. The athletic, 6-foot-11 center finished the game with four steals and one assist while going 8-for-12 from the floor (.667) and 1-of-2 from the line in 30 minutes. He was one rebound shy of another double-double at Weber State Wednesday when he scored a team-leading 19 points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. He added two steals, one block and one assist in 29 minutes. He went 6-of-14 (.429) from the floor and made a career-high seven free throws, going 7-of-10 (.700) from the line. On the year, Araujo leads all MWC players in rebounds with an 8.9 average. He is third on BYU's team in scoring at 11.5 points per game. An NJCAA All-American transfer out of Arizona Western, Araujo has recorded four double-doubles in his last six games and has scored in double figures in eight of the last nine games, including six straight. He has scored 17 or more points in five of those six games. He has seven double-figure rebounding games this year. In the last six games, he is averaging 17.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

CONFERENCE OPENERS

BYU has won its Mountain West Conference opener all three years, defeating San Diego State at home the past two seasons and upsetting UNLV in Las Vegas in 2000. BYU is 4-1 in conference openers under Steve Cleveland, with a 2-1 road record and 2-0 home mark.

COACH CLEVELAND's RADIO SHOW

BYU coach Steve Cleveland joins Sports Final host Bill Riley live each Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. on KSL Newsradio 1160 to talk Cougar basketball. The Steve Cleveland Show gives Cougar fans an opportunity to hear the coach discuss recent games and upcoming opponents. Bill Riley can be heard on Sports Final week nights from 7-9 p.m.

COACH CLEVELAND's TV SHOW

BYU coach Steve Cleveland joins SportsBeat Sunday anchor Tom Kirkland each Sunday evening at 11:15 p.m. for the Steve Cleveland Show live on KSL-TV, channel 5. Coach Cleveland reviews the past week's games while looking ahead to the next outing. The 15-minute program also includes a feature on a BYU player. Assistant coach Andy Toolson will appear with Kirkland this coming Sunday as Cleveland will be in San Diego for Monday's game against the Aztecs.

STREAKS

BYU ended its only losing streak this year, two games, with its win over Idaho State Saturday. BYU had two three-game losing streaks last year. BYU owns the nation's longest homecourt winning streak at 43 games. The Cougars have won 34 straight home games over a non-conference opponent and 17 consecutive vs. Mountain West Conference teams. The Cougars won five straight games overall to open this season, the longest overall streak since winning eight straight games last year in preseason. The Cougars have lost their last four games away from the Marriott Center, including its last three contests on an opponent's home court. BYU's loss at Creighton ended a string of four consecutive BYU wins away from the Marriott Center. It was the team's best streak away from home since BYU's 2001 NCAA team won five consecutive games (2 away, 3 at the MWC tournament) in March 2001. BYU has made a three-point shot in 194 consecutive games since going 0-9 in a 75-67 loss to CS Fullerton on Nov. 22, 1996.

SHOOTING, REBOUNDING SUCCESS

BYU has out shot 12 of 15 opponents this year (except USF, OSU, Weber State) and outrebounded 11 (except Creighton,USU, USCB). BYU is shooting .477, including .384 on threes, while limiting opponents to .400 shooting from the floor and only .266 on threes. BYU averages 35.7 boards to its opponents' 31.7. BYU has shot 45 percent or better in 10 games this year (losing only once at Creighton), including a string of six straight until shooting a season-low 36.5 percent at USF. BYU rebounded to shoot 58 percent (SUU) and 54.2 percent (Pepperdine) in its next two games. BYU shot 58.3 percent vs. Idaho State on Saturday, the fifth time this year, and fourth time at home, that BYU has shot better than 50 percent. BYU has shot 54 percent or better in each of its last three home games. BYU out boarded Idaho State 43-19 on Saturday.

FROM THE LINE

BYU topped 80 percent (20-25) free throw shooting for the fifth time this year vs. Oklahoma State. BYU shot a season-high 85.2 percent from the line vs. UCSB, going 23-27. The Cougars have shot better than 70 percent in all but four games, a season-low 55.0 percent (11-20) vs. San Diego, 65.4 percent vs. Pepperdine, 65.7 percent at USF and 66.7 percent vs. Idaho State Saturday. Individually, seven Cougars are shooting 75 percent or better from the line. John Allen is a perfect 16-16 while Ricky Bower is shooting 89.5 percent (34-38). BYU is shooting 73.2 percent as a team.

DEFENSIVE NOTABLES

BYU has held nine opponents to 42 percent or lower shooting, and has held five opponents below 35 percent shooting. BYU held Pepperine, coming in shooting 47.1 percent, to its second-lowest percentage of the year at 34.5 percent. BYU held UCSB, a team that came in after seven games shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent on threes, to 36.5 percent and 26.1 percent on threes. BYU has held nine of its 15 opponents this year to 60 points or less. BYU is 49-3 under Steve Cleveland when holding opponents below 60 points. BYU held USD to a BYU-opponent low of 49 points. On the year, BYU's defense yields a combined 63.4 points per game.

70-POINT BAROMETER

BYU is 11-0 this year when holding opponents below 70 points but 0-4 when the opposition reaches the 70-point mark. In the five-plus season Steve Cleveland has been BYU's coach, the Cougars are 78-15 (.839) when holding opponents below 70 points. BYU's winning percentage drops off substantially when BYU opponents have scored between 70-79 points. BYU's record is 16-33 (.327) in those games during the Cleveland era.

NATION'S LONGEST HOME WINNING STREAK

BYU has a 43-game homecourt winning streak. The streak, which is a school record topping the 24 straight won between March 1994 and January 1996, is the longest current streak in the nation. BYU went 16-0 at home last season and was 15-0 the prior year. BYU has had a perfect home record seven times since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season. The past two years, however, marks the first time it has happened in back-to-back seasons. Last year's team tied the BYU single-season record with 16 home wins and was only the fourth Cougar squad to win more than 14 home games in a season. The 1987-88 Ladell Andersen squad went 16-2 in the Marriott Center. BYU's last home loss was on Feb. 17, 2000 when New Mexico edged the Cougars 78-74. BYU has won 17 straight at home over MWC teams since starting the victory streak with an 83-80 win over UNLV on Feb. 19, 2000. BYU has defeated 34 straight nonconference opponents in the Marriott Center since starting the streak with a 61-59 win over Utah State on Jan. 2, 1999. The last non-league foe to win in Provo was the California Bears, who edged BYU 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998.

BYU ON THE ROAD

BYU is 1-3 on the road this year, having lost its last three road games. Counting neutral court games, BYU is 4-4 away from the Marriott Center. With its three wins at the Paradise Jam -- BYU achieved its first win streak away from home since the end of the 2001 season. With BYU's victory at ASU, the Cougars ended the 11-game road losing streak it had last year and stopped seven straight losses on a Pac-10 opponent's home floor dating back to its win over ASU in 1989. Last year BYU won only twice away from home with a neutral court 81-76 upset over No. 13 Stanford at the Las Vegas Showdown on Dec. 22, 2001 and a season-opening win at San Diego, 70-59, on Nov. 17, 2001.

NEUTRAL COURT RECORD

BYU is 12-8 on a neutral court under Steve Cleveland. Last year BYU was 1-1 on a neutral floor. BYU is 3-1 this year. Prior to the Paradise Jam, BYU's last neutral court game was a 62-51 loss to San Diego State at the 2002 MWC Tournament. BYU's prior neutral win was over No. 13 Stanford, 81-76, at the Las Vegas Showdown. BYU has won seven of its last 10 neutral contests.

BYU ON TELEVISION

The Cougars will be featured in 16 television broadcasts in 2002-03, including five times as part of the Mountain West Conference television package with ESPN. BYU appeared on ESPN2 vs. Oklahoma State in the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City on Jan. 4 and will meet Utah on ESPN "Big Monday" on Feb. 24. BYU appears three times on ESPN+Plus, hosting Utah Jan. 25 and New Mexico Feb. 1 before facing reigning MWC champion Wyoming in Laramie on Feb. 8. In addition to the ASU game on Fox Sports Net and the St. Bonaventure game broadcast locally in the Virgin Islands, BYU will be featured in nine SportsWest Production telecasts this year. The Mountain West Conference television agreement with ESPN will provide 32 national and regional television broadcasts on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+Plus in 2002-03, including 14 appearances on ESPN, two on ESPN2, two on ABC and 12 on ESPN+Plus as the featured "Mountain West Conference Game of the Week". ESPN+Plus games in Utah are aired on KJZZ-TV, channel 14. An additional 20 MWC games are scheduled to be aired on SportsWest as point-to-point broadcasts by local affiliates, while local institutional packages will add a minimum of another 19 games in 2002-03. For the fourth consecutive season every game of the EAS Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship will be televised by ESPN or ESPN+Plus.

NATIONAL POLLS

BYU has not received any votes the past two weeks after suffering its third loss of the year vs. Oklahoma State and fourth at Weber State. Two BYU opponents are in the top-25, with Creighton ranking 13th in the Associated Press Poll and 14th in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, while Oklahoma State is rated 24th in both polls. UNLV is tied for 39th in the coaches poll.

RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS

BYU is the top-rated team in the Sagarin Ratings released Monday, ranking 36th followed by Utah at No. 40, UNLV at 46 and Wyoming at 55. As a conference, the Mountain West has been rated as high as 6th but is now ranked 7th as the Pac-10 jumped into the No. 6 ranking. BYU entered the week as the top-rated MWC team in the RPI computed by CBS Sportsline and second-rated MWC team in the RPI compiled by Collegiate Basketball News. BYU is rated No. 26 by CBS Sportsline, with UNLV at 28, Utah at 32 and Wyoming at 60. By Collegiate Basketball News, UNLV is the top-rated MWC team at 24, followed by the Couars at 28, Utah at 29 and Wyoming at 56.

BIGELOW REACHING, APPROACHING MILESTONES

Junior Mark Bigelow reached two milestones vs. Southern Utah. The 6-foot-7 swingman went 4-6 from behind the arc to move past Terrell Lyday into second place on BYU's career three-point list. Now with 136 career treys, Bigelow needs six more to surpass BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson, who holds the top mark at 141. Bigelow leads BYU with 27 threes this year and has made a combined 41.6 percent (136-327) in his two-plus seasons. Against SUU, Bigelow also became the 34th Cougar and only ninth junior to score 1,000 points during his career. Bigelow moved into 32nd place with his 11 points vs. Oklahoma State, surpassing current NBA official Bernie Fryer (1,031). He needs 4 points to move past Scott Runia, who shared the backcourt for three years with BYU's career scoring leader Danny Ainge (2,467).

MWC TEAMS OFF TO STRONG STARTS ENTERING CONFERENCE PLAY

During non-league play the Mountain West Conference has proven that the predictions are true of this being the best, top-to-bottom, the league has been in its four years. Frank Burlison, the respected national college basketball writer for Foxsports.com, was quoted by Steve Guiremand in the Las Vegas Sun, stating, "To me it's pretty clear-cut that (the Mountain West Conference) is the best conference in the West this year. It's better than the Pac-10." Entering this week, six of eight MWC teams have 10 or more wins and seven have at least nine wins. The league's worst record is New Mexico's 5-8 mark but the Lobos have one of the top players in the league in Ruben Douglas and showed at Tennessee in a closely contested defeat that they are not going to be push-overs. Five teams have 11 or more wins, including 12-2 Wyoming, who enters Wednesday's game at No. 14 Kansas with nine straight victories. Playing a greater percentage of non-conference road games than the Big East, SEC, Pac-10, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC, MWC teams achieved a 14-17 road record (45 percent) entering this week - the highest road winning percentage at this point in the league's history. The non-league road record ranks third nationally behind only the Big 12 (15-8) and ACC (6-6).

BYU VS. ITS CONFERENCE PEERS

BYU was picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference by the league's media members. BYU has a won 58 percent (418-299) of its games all-time vs. MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU has dominated the Mountain West in its first three seasons, winning 63 percent of all MWC titles.

CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF BYU BASKETBALL

BYU is celebrating 100 years of basketball. Since the first season of BYU basketball in 1903, BYU entered this season having achieved a 1438-926 (.608) overall record with 21 different coaches at the helm. The combined efforts of these men have provided the Cougars with 80 winning seasons in 100 years. BYU has won 25 conference titles and made 28 postseason tournament appearances with 19 NCAA bids and nine NIT berths. The Cougars won the 1951 and 1966 NIT titles and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1981, highlighted by Danny Ainge's length-of-the-court dash to defeat Notre Dame at the buzzer. Ainge was named the nation's top player as the John Wooden Award and Eastman Award winner. Twenty-three players have received All-America recognition while NBA teams have selected a Cougar 41 times in its annual draft. BYU has the nation's 11th longest rivalry, dating back to 1909, against the University of Utah. BYU and Utah have the 10th longest rivalry in terms of games played with 232 contests. Amazingly, the series is tied at 116-116. For more information on BYU's 100-year history, please consult the 2002-03 BYU media guide.

BYU AMONG TOP-40 All-TIME WINNINGEST BASKETBALL PROGRAMS

With its all-time record of 1438-926 (.608), 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 80 winning seasons in their 100-year basketball history and have made 28 postseason appearances, including 19 NCAA bids, and won 25 conference championships.

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