The Cougars will open their home season this Saturday against Idaho State in the first of three straight games in the Marriott Center. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
GAME #2 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (0-1)
IDAHO STATE BENGALS (1-1)
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006
Marriott Center (22,700)
7:35 p.m. MT
BYU, Dave Rose (20-10 in second season; same overall)
ISU, Joe O'Brien (1-1 in first season; same overall)
35th meeting, BYU leads 28-6 (The Cougars won the last meeting, 90-66, on Dec. 29, 2003 at the Cable Car Classic)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6:30 p.m. pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
Live audio and live stats broadcasts are available on the basketball schedule page at BYUCougars.com
BYU BEGINS THREE-GAME HOMESTAND AGAINST IDAHO STATE SATURDAY
The BYU Cougars will play the first of three straight home games Saturday night when they face the Idaho State Bengals at 7:30 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The game will not be televised but can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City. BYU currently owns the nation's seventh-longest active homecourt winning streak at 14 games. The Cougars lost their season opener Wednesday, 82-69, at No. 5 UCLA while the Bengals are 1-1 so far this season after losing, 59-56, to No. 16 Marquette in overtime on Monday and beating Maine, 66-57, on Tuesday.
FANS ATTENDING FOOTBALL GAME CAN GET BASKETBALL TICKET FOR $2
Fans who attend the 2 p.m. BYU football game Saturday against New Mexico in LaVell Edwards Stadium can purchase a ticket to the BYU-Idaho State basketball game for $2 by showing their football ticket stub.
BYU will host Portland on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. MT in the Marriott Center. The game will not be televised.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- Cougar head coach Dave Rose guided BYU to a 20-9 record and an NIT appearance last season in his first year at the helm after eight years as BYU's lead assistant. He was named the Mountain West Conference and USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year. Rose coached his team to a second-place MWC finish -- one game behind league-champion San Diego State -- while turning a 9-21 team into a 20-9 success that proved to be the second-best improvement among all Division I programs.
-- BYU was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason MWC media poll.
-- BYU's roster this season includes a solid core of returning players, including six seniors and Trent Plaisted, the MWC Freshman of the Year last year. One of nine returning lettermen, Plaisted was named a Freshman All-American after leading BYU in both scoring (13.6) and rebounding (6.9) one year ago.
-- Players on the roster who are seeing their first action for BYU this year include junior redshirt Vuk Ivanovic (Jr., 6-10, C/F), sophomore Gavin MacGregor (6-9, F/C) and junior transfer Ben Murdock (6-2, G). Freshmen Jonathan Tavernari (6-6, G/F), Jordan Cameron (6-5, G/F) and Brock Zylstra (6-6, G/F) are expected to redshirt the season.
LOOKING AT IDAHO STATE
The Bengals return two starters and five letterwinners from last year's team that finished 13-14 overall and 4-10 in the Big Sky. Senior guard David Schroeder headlines the group of returnees after earning first-team All-Big Sky recognition last year, ranking fifth in the league in scoring at 15.4 points per game and 15th in rebounding with 4.6 boards per game. In the Bengals' first two games of this season, the 6-foot-2 Idaho native is averaging 15.0 ppg on .524 shooting to go along with 5.5 rpg. Junior guard/forward Logan Kinghorn is ISU's second returning starter after posting 6.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 2.0 apg in 2005-06. Kinghorn brought down seven rebounds in each of the Bengals' first two games this year while averaging 7.5 ppg. The Bengals also return senior guard Akbar Abdul-Ahad, who averaged 5.9 points and 3.2 assists per game last year and has scored in double figures in both games this season while averaging 13.5 points and 6.0 assists per contest. ISU will be without the services of last year's top scorer Slim Millien, who recorded 15.5 ppg, and Tim Henry, who was third on the team with 14.6 ppg. Top rebounder Kasey Winters (6.9 rpg) also graduated following the 2005-06 campaign. As a team, the Bengals are averaging 61.0 ppg on .464 shooting from the floor, including a .388 mark from three-point range, while holding opponents to 58.0 ppg on .320 shooting from the field. Three-time national Junior College Coach of the Year Joe O'Brien takes the helm of the Bengal program this season, bringing a 313-117 record in 13 seasons at the junior college level to Idaho State.
IDAHO STATE POSSIBLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 04 Logan Kinghorn 6-5 215 Jr. 7.5 7.0
C 42 John Ofoegbu 6-9 245 Sr. 8.0 3.5
G 03 Akbar Abdul-Ahad 6-0 175 Sr. 13.5 4.5
G 30 David Schroeder 6-2 195 Sr. 15.0 5.5
G 31 Matt Stucki 6-5 185 So. 4.0 2.5
LAST OUTING -- Bengals Cruise to 66-57 Win Over Maine
MILWAUKEE (11-14-06) --- David Schroeder became Idaho State University's all-time three-point king, draining in a pair of threes in the first half as part of a 19-point night as the Bengals picked up their first win under new head coach Joe O'Brien with a 66-57 win over Maine in the consolation game of the CBE Classic's Marquette Regional. The Bengals (1-1) were in control throughout the game over Maine (0-3) who was picked second in the America East preseason poll. Idaho State bolted to a 17-3 lead after three straight three-pointers, two by Austin Kilpatrick off the bench, and one by Matt Stucki.Ã½Maine never got within two possessions the rest of the game. David Schroeder tied Jeff Gardner's school record of 136 threes with a triple at the 6:20 mark to push ISU's lead to 26-14, and he promptly broke the record with 1:26 to go, nailing a straight away three with 1:26 left in the half. The second half was the one that Schroeder dominated however, hitting five shots and scoring 13 points overall. The Bengals played a second straight solid defensive game, holding Maine to .351 shooting, and outrebounding the Black Bears 36-33. Idaho State hit 6-of-9 free throws down the stretch, which was necessary as the Black Bears hit three straight threes in just 16 seconds to cut the lead down to just six at 63-57 with 34.6 left, but Schroeder, who missed the front end of the one-and-one with 6.8 left against Marquette, hit three freebies to keep Main at bay. The Bengals took care of the ball in much better fashion, dishing out 16 assists to just 13 turnovers, nearly half as many as Monday night when they committed 25 against Marquette.Ã½ ISU also survived a hot night off the bench from Maine's Mark Socoby, who went for a game-high 24 points.Ã½ Along with Schroeder, only Akbar Abdul-Ahad was in double figures as the Bengal point guard scored 10.Ã½ Abdul-Ahad had seven assists and just two turnovers.Ã½Schroeder nearly had a double-double with nine rebounds, and Logan Kinghorn and Nicholas Rhodes both grabbed seven boards. ISU, which was also just 2-for-5 from the line against Marquette, was 11-for-14 against Maine.
BYU VS. IDAHO STATE SERIES NOTES
BYU owns a 28-6 all-time series lead over Idaho State, including a 12-2 mark in Provo and a 4-0 record in the Marriott Center. The Cougars have won the last three meetings in the series after the Bengals won 94-87 in 1977 to stop a 15-game BYU winning streak over ISU. BYU won the last outing, 90-66, at the Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara, Calif., on Dec. 29, 2003. BYU and Idaho State have met once before to open the Cougar home season, a 102-84 BYU win on Nov. 26, 1976. Despite a losing record in Provo, the Bengals do have fond memories of the Marriott Center dating back to a March 16, 1977 NCAA West Regional Semifinal game in which they beat UCLA, 76-75 to advance to the Elite Eight.
BYU's LAST OUTING -- COUGARS KEEP IT CLOSE BUT FALL AT NO. 5 UCLA
LOS -- The BYU Cougars kept it close but faded at the end at No. 5 UCLA Wednesday night, losing 82-69 in their season-opener. After leading by as many as nine in the first half and hanging tight in the second half, BYU allowed the Bruins to end the game on an 18-7 run to seal the win. Senior Keena Young led the Cougars with 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 shooting from the free-throw line while also pacing BYU with four rebounds. Junior Sam Burgess tied his career high with nine points on 3-for-3 shooting from three-point range in his first action since 2004-05, while Mike Rose was also a perfect 3-for-3 from long range for nine points. Jimmy Balderson and Lee Cummard also each added nine as the Cougars shot .578 from the field, including .667 (10-of-15) from behind the arc. UCLA was led by sophomore Luc Richard Mbah a Moute with game highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Bruins shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded the Cougars 31-21, including a 14-3 advantage on the offensive glass. After UCLA jumped out to a 6-0 early lead, a layin from Young got BYU on the scoreboard at the 16:50 mark. But the Cougars continued to struggle early as the Bruins pulled down seven rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, while BYU committed six turnovers in the first five minutes of the game, resulting in a 10-2 UCLA lead. However, after a BYU time-out, a dunk from Trent Plaisted sandwiched between back-to-back Bruin turnovers sparked a 12-2 Cougar run that saw BYU take its first lead of the game at 14-12 on back-to-back three-pointers by Burgess. UCLA tied the game on the next possession, but Austin Ainge came off the bench and buried another three-pointer to stretch the lead to 17-14. UCLA regained the advantage at 18-17, but the three-pointer continued to fall for the Cougars as Rose entered the game and drained his first attempt and then Ainge and Rose each buried one to give BYU a 26-20 lead and force a UCLA time-out. The break didn't slow BYU down, however, as Rose came out of the time-out with yet another long-range bomb, the Cougars' seventh of the half, to extend the lead to 29-20. After a 5-0 Bruin spurt cut the lead to four points at 29-25, the two teams traded buckets until a three-point play and a three-point make from Cummard on either side of a UCLA layin gave the Cougars a 39-31 lead. But BYU failed to score in the final 2:41 of the half, allowing the Bruins to cut the deficit to 39-36 at the break. Young got the Cougars going in the second half much as he did in the first with a layin on BYU's first possession, but UCLA roared back with 10 straight points to take its first advantage since leading 12-11 at the 13:02 mark of the first half at 43-41. UCLA's Collison buried a three-pointer on the next Bruin possession, starting a flurry of three-point makes by both teams, but a BYU turnover on the fastbreak as the Cougars were about to tie the game preserved the two-point UCLA lead at 49-47, which the Bruins extended to 54-47. Jimmy Balderson got on the scoreboard with a three-point play to cut the lead to 54-50 but was answered with a three-point make by the Bruins. However, a 6-0 run over the next minute of play, including four more points from Balderson, got BYU within one point at 59-58. After a pair of UCLA free throws, Vuk Ivanovic scored his first points in a Cougar uniform to again cut the lead to one with 8:15 left to play in the game. But the Bruins kept their composure and put together a 10-2 run from there to take their largest lead of the game at 71-62 with just under three minutes to play. The UCLA pressure continued the rest of the way as the Bruins recorded the 82-69 win.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "We executed our game plan really well and got ourselves in a position to win the game, but weren't able to get it done. There were a lot of 50/50 plays, but UCLA was a little bit quicker in going and getting it done. I think we've got a lot of different pieces. We just need to get it going for a full 40 minutes."
-- "Trent (Plaisted) handled double-team really well. That's one of the reasons we got so many open shots in the first half; he was able to get the pass out. Sam, Mike and Austin all came in and hit some big shots for us. It's a good sign to get good play from our bench. Trent is going to get double-teamed a lot, but as our shooters hit more shots, teams will have to pick their poison."
UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland
-- "BYU is going to do a lot of good things this year. This was a very difficult home opener. BYU is probably the toughest team any top-25 team in the country is playing in their home opener."
-- "If there's a better shooting team in the country, I'd like to see them. This was a hard-fought win over a very good team."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Sam Burgess -- 9 points (tied), 1.000 three-point percentage (tied), 3 three-pointers made (tied).
-- BYU is now 72-33 all-time in season openers and 14-15 when opening on the road. The Cougars are also now 7-3 in openers since Dave Rose has been at BYU.
-- With the loss against No. 5 UCLA, BYU is now 11-11 all-time against the Bruins.
-- The Cougars are now 0-1 this season when leading at the half. BYU was 14-0 last year when holding the halftime advantage.
-- With a .667 mark (10-for-15), BYU shot over 60 percent from three-point range for the first time since Nov. 26, 2005, when the Cougars shot .647 (11-for-17).
-- BYU has now made a three-pointer in 300 straight games dating back to Nov. 22, 1996.
-- Two BYU players were perfect from three-point range on the night as Sam Burgess and Mike Rose each went 3-for-3 from long-range.
-- Junior Burgess saw his first regular-season action since the 2004-05 season at the 18:24 mark of the first half, making back-to-back three-pointers to cap a 12-2 Cougar run and give BYU its first lead of the game at 14-12. Burgess redshirted last year after averaging 2.1 points per game the prior season.
-- Plaisted recorded his first dunk of the season and the 34th of his career at the 14:45 mark in the first half, sparking a 12-2 BYU run.
-- Junior Vuk Ivanovic saw his first action in a BYU uniform at the 9:26 mark of the first half after redshirting last season. He scored his first points as a Cougar with a layup with 8:15 left to play in the game.
-- After falling behind 10-2 early, the Cougars put together a 27-10 run featuring seven straight three-pointers to take a 29-20 lead. Mike Rose buried three long-range makes during the run while Burgess and Austin Ainge each added two three-point buckets.
-- BYU went 8-for-9 (.889) from three-point range in the first half, marking the Cougars' best three-point shooting half since Jan. 15, 2002 when BYU made 3-for-3 in the second half against UNLV. BYU was 14-for-21 (.667) from the field in the half.
-- After Young began the second half with a layin on BYU's first possession, UCLA went on a 10-0 run, taking its first lead since 12-11 at the 13:02 mark in the first half. The spurt was part of a larger 18-6 Bruin run.
COUGARS DOWN HIGHLY RANKED DIVISION II MONTEVALLO IN FINAL EXHIBITION
PROVO -- BYU played its final exhibition game Wednesday defeating the University of Montevallo, 92-63. Cougar center Trent Plaisted finished the night with 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting while grabbing nine rebounds, spoiling the Falcons' hopes of upsetting the Cougars. "The biggest impression for me was we got to guard something different than we see in practice everyday," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "That was evident from all the fouls we got, but it was good for us." The Cougars opened the game on a 14-4 run with Plaisted connecting on his first four shots. Montevallo fought back and tied the game 28-28 at the six-minute mark. "Trent Plaistead is really good," said Montevallo head coach Danny Young. "He'll be in the NBA someday." BYU got a lift from its bench with five minutes left in the half when freshman guard Jonathan Tavernari hit a three to put BYU up 33-28. On the next defensive possession Tavernari grabbed the rebound and pushed it up the floor to senior captain Jimmy Balderson who hit a floating jumper to extend BYU's lead to 35-28. The Cougars finished the half with senior guard Rashaun Broadus hitting a mid-range jumpshot as time expired to put BYU up 45-35. "BYU is well coached," said coach Young. "They are very physical and very deep." The Cougars maintained their 10-point advantage until junior Sam Burgess connected from long-range at the 14-minute mark in the second half followed by back-to-back three-pointers from Broadus to extend the Cougar lead to 18 points at 66-48. Tavernari's hot hand continued in the second half as he nailed back-to-back three pointers and gave BYU its biggest lead to that point at 77-56. Coach Rose then got good minutes out of his reserves as they held the Falcons to only seven points in the final seven minutes. "There are a lot of guys that can contribute," said Coach Rose. "We got some good chemistry from a few different lineup." The Cougars had the advantage down low as they scored 33 points in the paint and had six blocks to the Falcons' 12 and 1, respectively.
COUGARS DEFEAT BROCK UNIVERSITY IN EXHIBITION OPENER
PROVO -- BYU opened its exhibition season with a 90-49 trouncing of Brock University on Thursday night in the Marriott Center. Cougar center Trent Plaisted scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, as BYU put an end to the Badgers' four-game winning streak. The Cougars dominated all facets of the game, shooting 51 percent from the field and 53 percent (8-of-15) from beyond the arc while holding Brock, a team averaging 83.8 points a game, to 25 percent shooting. BYU also outrebounded the Badgers, 54-33. "BYU has size and athleticism," Brock head coach Ken Murray said. "They push the ball, and they have some guys that can jump through the roof. They're a very athletic team." Plaisted wasted no time showing why he was named a Freshman All-American last season. The 6-foot-11, 245-pound sophomore scored on a put-back off of a Lee Cummard miss, flushed down a lay-up in transition and then hit a 10-footer from the right baseline enroute to a quick 11-0 Cougar lead. BYU's early advantage ballooned into a 22-2 lead before Badger forward Chris Keith nailed a three-pointer, making it 22-5 with just under 12 minutes to go. Cougar senior Mike Rose answered back with a long-distance shot of his own sparking an 11-2 Cougar run. BYU led 43-14 at halftime. The early offensive assault gave Rose an opportunity to take a look at his freshmen and transfers, as the second-year coach gave all available players time on the court. "The first group of guys we had were the [veterans], so they know the game plan," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "The second group came out and was pretty successful." The second half saw more of the same with BYU taking a 59-22 lead with 16 minutes left to play. Mike Rose knocked down two consecutive treys, and team captain Keena Young added four points and two assists during a 16-8 run. Young finished with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting in only 16 minutes of action. On the night, BYU outscored Brock 51-10 in points in the paint and 15-0 in fastbreak points. The Cougars got it done on the defensive end as well forcing the Badgers into 20 turnovers and nabbing 13 steals.
AINGE, BALDERSON, YOUNG NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS
Coach Rose and the Cougar coaching staff have announced this year's team captains, calling upon seniors Austin Ainge, Jimmy Balderson and Keena Young to lead this year's team. "I'm proud of the way these three players have developed and of their dedication to our team," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "They are totally commitment to this program and have earned the respect and confidence of their teammates. They will provide us with good leadership as we work together as a team to achieve our goals." Ainge, a co-captain of last season's team, proved a valuable asset off the bench in 2005-06 after starting at the point guard spot and receiving All-Mountain West Conference honorable mention as a sophomore. Last season he ranked 11th in the MWC in assists while helping BYU lead the league in both scoring and assists. Balderson also provided a spark off the bench for the Cougars last season as he scored in double figures in 11 of the last 13 games and was the only player in the conference averaging more than 10 points per game off the bench with a 10.2 scoring average. Young led BYU in rebounding as a sophomore before becoming an All-MWC Third Team pick last year after starting the last 14 games of the year and ranking second on the team in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and third in scoring (10.3 ppg).
BYU IN SEASON OPENERS
With a loss at No. 5 UCLA on Wednesday in its season opener, BYU now has a 72-33 record in season openers for a .686 winning percentage. BYU is 55-15 (.786) when opening at home, 14-15 (.483) when opening on an opponent's floor and 3-3 (.500) when opening on a neutral floor. In the 10 seasons since Dave Rose first came to BYU as an assistant, the Cougars are 7-3 in season openers with a 4-1 mark at home, 2-1 tally in away games and 1-1 record on neutral floors. Last year BYU lost at home to Loyola Marymount, 83-71, the Cougars' only home loss of the year.
BYU IN HOME OPENERS
BYU is 80-24 (.769) all-time in home openers, including a 24-11 (.686) mark in the Marriott Center. The Cougars have not won their home opener since Nov. 21, 2003 when they defeated Southern Utah, 88-54, losing 67-64 against California on Nov. 27, 2004 and 83-71 to Loyola Marymount on Nov. 18, 2005. BYU and Idaho State have met once to open the Cougar home season, a 102-84 BYU win on Nov. 26, 1976.
BYU SCHEDULE INCLUDES NATIONAL RUNNER-UP UCLA, MICHIGAN STATE AND SETON HALL
The BYU men's basketball nonconference schedule includes dates with 2006 NCAA Tournament runner-up UCLA of the Pac-10 Conference, 2005 Final Four participant Michigan State of the Big Ten Conference and 2006 NCAA qualifier Seton Hall of the Big East Conference. In all, the Cougars' non-league slate includes 14 games against teams from 10 different conferences prior to beginning Mountain West Conference play.
"We are excited about our schedule," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We look forward to the challenge of playing some of the best teams in the country and believe the BYU Holiday Classic will be a great event for our fans. This should be a balanced, competitive schedule that will help us prepare for the conference. We hope to continue to improve as a team and build on the success our program achieved last season."
BYU will play Michigan State of the Big Ten on a neutral court at The Palace of Auburn Hills -- home of the Detroit Pistons -- on Dec. 9. The Spartans, who finished 22-12 last season, will play BYU at the Delta Center in 2007. New to BYU's schedule this season is the BYU Holiday Classic, which will be conducted the last weekend of December to conclude non-league play. With a four-team field that includes Big South Conference foe Liberty (Dec. 28), Mid-Continent Conference champion Oral Roberts (Dec. 29) and Big East Conference contender Seton Hall (Dec. 30), BYU fans will see teams from across the nation convene in Provo to compete with doubleheader games each day of the exempt tournament. Seton Hall and Oral Roberts were both NCAA Tournament participants last season. The Pirates will be the first Big East team to visit the Marriott Center since 1990 when St. John's played in the Cougar Classic, although BYU's last three NCAA Tournament opponents -- Syracuse in 2004, Connecticut in 2003, and Cincinnati in 2001 -- are Big East teams. The Cougars and Pirates will meet for the first time since an 82-80 Seton Hall overtime win at the Queen City Invitational on Dec. 29, 1958.
UCLA, Michigan State, Seton Hall, Oral Roberts, Portland, Liberty, Idaho State, San Jose State and Western Oregon are new to the schedule for 2006-07, while Lamar, Boise State, Weber State, Utah State and Southern Utah are repeat opponents from last season. Liberty is the lone first-time opponent for BYU. The Cougars own a 228-123 (.650) all-time record against their 2006-07 nonconference opponents and lead or are tied in the overall series against each program. BYU will play a minimum of nine games against teams that qualified for last year's NCAA Tournament.
The MWC season begins in Provo against reigning MWC Champion San Diego State and culminates against in-state rival Utah in the Marriott Center -- the first regular-season finale between the Cougars and Utes since the 1995-96 season.
"Our league will be very competitive this year," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "Seven of the nine teams return at least three starters and five return four or more. We are looking forward to the upcoming season. I think our fans will be treated to some outstanding basketball in the Marriott Center this year."
The Cougars will play 30 regular-season games in 2006-07 prior to the MWC Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas March 6-10.
The Mountain West Conference's 2006-07 men's basketball television schedule will feature an unprecedented 99 games on national and regional television, including 65 of the 72 conference contests and all eight MWC Championship matchups. The television coverage provided by the MWC broadcast partners in 2006-07 is more than triple the national and regional telecasts MWC men's basketball has received in previous years. Seventy-five games will be shown on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.), with 17 to be broadcast nationally on College Sports Television (CSTV) and seven on VERSUS (formerly OLN). BYU will have 18 regular-season games televised as part of the 2006-07 MWC television schedule, including three games on CSTV, one on VERSUS and 14 on the mtn. With the exception of a road game at TCU, BYU's entire conference schedule will be televised in 2007. BYU's nonconference games featured in the MWC broadcast schedule include home dates with Southern Utah (Nov. 24, 8 p.m. MT), San Jose State (Dec. 6, 7 p.m. MT) and Utah State (Dec. 16, 4 p.m. MT). While not part of the MWC television package, BYU's regular-season opener at 2006 NCAA runner-up UCLA on Nov. 15 will be televised on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket, while the BYU-Michigan State matchup on Dec. 9 at The Palace at Auburn Hills will be carried on ESPN2 and BYU's game at Boise State on Nov. 29 will be aired on KBOI in Boise. Additional games on the BYU schedule could also be televised but have not yet been announced.
IN THE SEVEN YEARS OF THE MWC ...
- BYU has had five 20-win seasons, leading all MWC schools along with Utah. UNLV has had three, Wyoming three, New Mexico, San Diego State and Air Force two and Colorado State none.
- BYU has had the league's top RPI three times, been second once and third on three occasions. The Cougars were third last year (67) behind Air Force (50) and San Diego State (56).
- BYU has played the toughest schedule on average of any team in the MWC (average strength of schedule rating the past seven years is 66, Utah is next at 78). BYU has had the league's toughest schedule in two of the past three seasons.
- BYU has the second-most overall wins in the seven years of the MWC (137, Utah leads at 155).
- BYU is also second in conference wins (60, Utah has 69).
- BYU has the second-most MWC regular-season titles (two) along with Wyoming (Utah leads with four).
- BYU is one of six MWC teams to win the MWC Tournament title.
BYU AND MWC IN POSTSEASON
BYU has earned an invite to a postseason tournament in six of the seven years of the MWC, joining Utah in leading all MWC teams. BYU is second to Utah in NCAA appearances since the formation of the MWC (BYU has made three NCAA and three NIT while Utah has made five NCAA and one NIT). UNLV has received five invites (one NCAA, four NIT). New Mexico has received four (one NCAA, three NIT) while Wyoming has three (one NCAA, two NIT), San Diego State has three (two NCAA, one NIT) and Air Force has three (two NCAA and one NIT). Colorado State has been to one NCAA Tournament. TCU's first year was last season.
SEVEN MWC TOURNAMENTS, SIX DIFFERENT CHAMPIONS
San Diego State became the first team in the MWC to win the Tournament title twice with its victories in 2002 and 2006. New Mexico's win in 2005 marked the sixth Tournament winner in the first six years of the event. The only teams not to win an MWC title are Wyoming, Air Force and TCU, who made its MWC debut last season.
MWC TEAMS IN THE NCAA
In the first seven years of the MWC, eight of the nine conference members have advanced to the NCAA Tournament at least once. TCU is the lone team not to advance but the Horned Frogs played in the MWC for the first time last season. New Mexico became the last of the other MWC teams to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament by winning the 2005 MWC Tournament. 2006 MWC-Champion San Diego State received the league's automatic bid last season while Air Force was selected as an at-large team (BYU was the other postseason MWC team last year, advancing to the NIT).
INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS AT BYU
- Including incoming freshman Jonathan Tavernari, 26 international players have played basketball at BYU.
- The Cougars have had an international player on their varsity roster in 35 of the past 55 years.
- In the last five years, BYU has rostered six international players, including four on this season's team -- Jimmy Balderson (Canada), Vuk Ivanovic (Serbia) and Fernando Malaman and Jonathan Tavernari (Brazil).
- Foreign players at BYU have received eight all-conference citations, two conference player of the year awards (Timo Saarelainen -- 1985, Rafael Araujo -- 2004) and eight All-America citations (Kresimir Cosic -- 1972 and 1973, Rafael Araujo -- 2004).
- According to a book about basketball in Finland by Mikko Simon, BYU has the distinction of being the first NCAA Division I school to have an overseas player on its roster when Timo Lampen, a native of Lahti, Finland, took the court for the Cougars in 1960-61.
- BYU also boasts the first foreign All-American in Kresimir Cosic, whose BYU jersey was retired on March 4. The Zadar, Yugoslavia, native played on the Cougar varsity team from 1971-73 and earned six All-America citations and three first-team All-Western Athletic Conference awards. He is the only BYU player to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Cosic passed away in 1995.
- During the 2005 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, CBS Television analyst Billy Packer singled out Cosic during a discussion of the quality of international players now playing college basketball. Said Packer, "Kresimir Cosic, who played for BYU, was really the first great international player to play basketball in the United States."
BYU head coach Dave Rose has announced his intention to redshirt BYU's three freshmen this season - Jonathan Tavernari (6-6, G/F), Jordan Cameron (6-5, G/F) and Brock Zylstra (6-6, G/F).
"All of these guys are good players," said Rose. "We're just trying to find the best team chemistry and roles for everyone. The experienced guys are so far ahead of the freshmen, especially in executing our defensive systems. Right now, it just looks like they're the group that has risen above the rest, and we'll go with them."
de TOLEDO TO PLAY PROFESSIONALLY
BYU men's basketball recruit Luiz de Toledo has decided to pursue a professional basketball career instead of playing college basketball, BYU coach Dave Rose announced on August 10.
"Luiz has decided to play professionally in Brazil this season," Rose said. "As a coaching staff, we had looked forward to working with him at BYU, but we respect his decision and wish him the very best."
A native of Araraquara, Brazil, de Toledo signed a National Letter of Intent last November and was expected to enroll at BYU this fall before making the decision to turn professional. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward recently completed his senior season at Modesto Christian High School in Modesto, Calif.
COUGARS HELP CHILDREN WITH CANCER
For the eighth year, the BYU men's basketball team will join the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation in an effort to raise money for families who have children with cancer and participate in the Foundation's annual Christmas party for those families. The Foundation will be collecting monetary donations and any unwrapped toys through the first three weeks of December. Toys can be dropped off at the nearest Far West Bank location, at Harmon's Down Town Auto Center located in Provo or at the men's basketball office located next to the Ticket Office at the Marriott Center. Monetary contributions will also be accepted at the men's basketball office. One hundred percent of all donations to the Foundation will go directly towards the Christmas party for more than 90 families who have children with cancer living primarily in Utah County. A large portion of the money donated will purchase hundreds of toys that will enable these parents to have gifts under the Christmas tree for their children. In addition to all of these toys, there is food, free entertainment, such as games and ornament decorating, and local celebrities including Santa, Cosmo and the BYU men's basketball team. This is the eighth year BYU coaches, players and their families have volunteered for the Christmas party. BYU head coach Dave Rose will serve as honorary chairman for the second year. "This has always been a cause I feel strongly about," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "It has been such a positive experience for the coaches, players and families and is a tremendous opportunity for community members to be involved in brightening the holiday season for these children." Cheryl Rose, vice chairman of the Foundation and wife of coach Rose, discussed the challenges these families face financially and how the Foundation hopes to help these families now and in the future. "For many of these families, it is financially impossible to always have food on the table, a roof over their heads or even have Christmas," Cheryl Rose said. "We want to create a Christmas experience that they will never forget and hopefully in the future help families meet those basic needs that they can't on their own." Rose says that asking for donations has usually been difficult for her, but with such a meaningful cause it has been easy. It has enriched her life, which is something she hopes others will enjoy by contributing to these families. "It's a privilege for me to associate with these families," she said. "They are such an example to me. Even with all that they've been through, they have such a strength and passion for life. It's almost selfish on my part to be involved because I get so much out of it." This year's Christmas party will be held Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the LaVell Edwards Stadium Cougar Room. Parents will be invited to the Cougar Room on Dec. 19 to choose the gifts their children will receive. The gifts will then be distributed at the party. For more information about donating to the Children With Cancer Christmas Foundation, contact Cheryl Rose at (801) 375-5768. Those interested can also visit the Foundation's website at www.christmas-foundation.org. "The support we get from the community makes this event possible," Cheryl Rose said. "We couldn't serve these children without the donations of time, money and gifts we receive."
COUGAR CROWDS RANKED NO. 2 IN MWC ATTENDANCE
An average of 11,069 fans packed the Marriott Center last season for each BYU home game, second only to New Mexico's 13,387 average in the Mountain West Conference. A total of 20,732 fans attended BYU's last home game during which former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic's jersey was retired. The mark is BYU's highest since March 1, 2004. The Cougars went 14-1 at home last year including wins in their last 14 straight home contests, which ranks eighth in the nation. BYU celebrated its 500th game in the Marriott Center on Feb. 22 and owns a 386-116 (.769) record there.
The Cougars had several winning streaks last season, including their longest since the 2003-04 season at six straight victories. The streak was tied for the seventh-longest active winning streak in the nation. BYU's prior victory streaks last year included one four-game streak, two three-game streaks and two two-game streaks. BYU won 10 of its last 13 games.
BOUNCE BACK COUGARS
With its 20-9 overall record, BYU suffered consecutive defeats only once last season, the last two games, having bounced back from each prior loss with a victory. BYU alternated wins and losses in the first five league games before winning four straight games, two of which came on the road. The Cougars lost their next game but rebounded to win six straight before losing again.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
BYU was 12-0 last season when holding opponents under 70 points and 8-9 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes averaged 71.7 points per game. BYU was also 17-4 when scoring 70 or more points and 3-5 when falling below the 70-point mark. The Cougars led the MWC in scoring, averaging 76.2 ppg, and scored 100 points in conference play for the first time since Feb. 10, 1994 in their home game against league-champion San Diego State.
BYU's first game of the year saw three seniors and two sophomores in the starting rotation in senior Rashaun Broadus, sophomore Lee Cummard, senior Jimmy Balderson, senior Keena Young and sophomore Trent Plaisted. While all five started games last year, the UCLA game marked the first regular-season contest in which all five started together. The same starting rotation began BYU's second exhibition game on Nov. 8 against Montevallo. Overall last year, nine players started while Coach Dave Rose used eight starting lineups. True freshman Jackson Emery started the last six games, the first starts of his career. Broadus started the last 12 games after missing the first Wyoming game (team rules violation) and the next two starts. Young made his 14th straight start of the season at Houston. Plaisted started each game while Brock Reichner started every game but the first and the last, due to illness. Broadus started 26 games, Fernando Malaman 15 games, Cummard 14 games, Balderson 10 games and Austin Ainge four games. The majority of BYU's starting lineups featured two freshmen (Plaisted and Cummard or Emery). Five Cougars who started between seven and 23 games on the 2004-05 team (Ainge, 23 starts; Balderson, 16 starts; Young, 15 starts; Derek Dawes, 13 starts; Mike Rose, 7 starts) spent more time coming off the bench last season.
With a win against New Mexico to conclude the regular season, the Cougars achieved their 29th 20-win season in 2005-06. BYU has averaged 20 wins every 2.7 years (BYU has played 78 seasons in which it has played at least 20 games in a season). BYU coach Dave Rose is the fifth Cougar head coach to reach 20 wins in his first season at the helm. He joins G. Ott Romney (20-10 in 1928-29), Stan Watts (22-12 in 1949-50), Ladell Anderson (20-11 in 1983-84) and Roger Reid (21-9 in 1989-90). Both Watts and Reid achieved six 20-win seasons in their BYU coaching careers while Romney posted five and Rose's predecessor, Steve Cleveland, achieved four.
20-win Seasons at BYU
Stan Watts had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 23 years of coaching
Roger Reid had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
G. Ott Romney had 5 seasons of 20 wins in 9 years of coaching
Steve Cleveland had 4 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Ladell Anderson had 3 season of 20 wins in 6 years of coaching
Frank Arnold had 3 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Floyd Millet had 1 season of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Dave Rose has 1 season of 20 wins in 1 year of coaching
KING OF THE GLASS
Redshirt freshman Trent Plaisted pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds at TCU on Feb. 25, 2006, the most by a Cougar since Gary Trost recorded 18 on Dec. 19, 1991. The mark is a Mountain West Conference record among freshmen in league play and is the most ever by a BYU freshman. Only 14 Cougars have ever pulled down more rebounds in a game.
FROM THE FIELD
BYU had one of its best scoring nights of the year against San Diego State on Feb. 22, 2006 as the Cougars scored 100 points for the first time since Jan. 11, 2005 in overall play and the first time since Feb. 10, 1994 in conference play. The Cougars' 59 second-half points were their most points in a half since scoring 59 in the second half against Santa Clara on Dec. 31, 2004. The Cougars also shot 59.4 percent from the floor overall, their best mark in MWC play last season, and 75.9 percent (22-for-29) in the second half, their best shooting half since shooting 82.4 percent (14-for-17) in the second half against AFA on Feb. 23, 2004.
The Cougars' 82-69 loss at UCLA after leading 39-36 at the half marked the first time since the 2004-05 season that BYU has lost when leading at the half. BYU was 14-0 when leading at the half, 5-9 when trailing and 1-0 when tied last year. Of the 14 games in which they led at the half, the Cougars led by double digits six times. BYU was more impressive in the second half. The Cougars outscored their opponents in the second period of play in all but eight games last year. BYU averaged 4.8 more second-half points than its opponents after a slight 0.24 edge in the first half.