After defeating New Mexico and Air Force at home, BYU (15-5, 4-1 MWC) travels to take on fellow-Mountain West Conference leader Wyoming (16-4, 4-1 MWC) Saturday at 1 p.m. MST at Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised by ESPN+Plus on KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City. 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 analysis. Live audio is available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and on KSL.com and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
BYU is 15-5 and shares the league lead with Wyoming and Utah at 4-1 after defeating New Mexico and Air Force. BYU is 7-3 over its last 10 games, going to the road where the Cougars are 5-4, including a 2-3 record on an opponent's homecourt. Wyoming is 16-4 and 4-1 in MWC play after suffering its first conference loss at San Diego State Monday. The Cowboys are 8-2 over the last 10 games and are 9-0 at home this year. Wyoming now owns the longest homecourt winning streak among MWC teams after BYU's 44-game streak came to an end vs. Utah and the Cowboys ended Colorado State's 14-game streak at Moby Arena on Jan. 25.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
BYU will stay on the Front Range to face Colorado State Monday evening at 7 p.m. MST at Moby Arena. CSU enters Saturday's game with Utah in fourth place at 3-2 in the league standings and 14-6 overall after a loss at UNLV Monday. The Rams split the road trip with a win at San Diego State. The BYU-CSU game Monday night is not being televised.
GAME #21 FAST FACTS (MWC GAME #6)
BYU (15-5, 4-1 MWC) vs. WYOMING (16-4, 4-1 MWC)
SATURDAY, FEB. 8, 2003
1:05 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (100-74 in sixth year; same overall)
Wyoming, Steve McClain (95-45 in fifth year; same overall)
BYU leads, 87-67; Last: Wyoming won 76-60 in Laramie on Feb. 28, 2002
ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City; KLWY-TV in Cheyenne and Casper)
Available via ESPN FULL COURT (pay-per-view)
Play-by-Play: Rich Waltz
Game Analyst: Irv Brown
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Times: Noon MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live audio links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) and 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. 13.2 3.9
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.3 3.5
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 11.7 9.1
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.0 5.0 2.7 apg
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 So. 2.7 1.8 2.2 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 6.9 2.0
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 5.6 2.0 2.3 apg
G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 3.4 1.8
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 3.2 1.5
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.6 1.9
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.7 0.8
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.4 0.7
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.2 0.9
BYU is 15-5 and shares the league lead with Wyoming and Utah at 4-1 after defeating New Mexico and Air Force. BYU is ranked fifth nationally in three-point shooting. BYU is 7-3 over its last 10 games, going to the road where the Couars are 5-4, including a 2-3 record on an opponent's homecourt. Wyoming is 16-4 and 4-1 in MWC play after suffering its first conference loss at San Diego State Monday. The Cowboys are 9-2 without preseason MWC Player of the Year Marcus Bailey, who is out for the year. The Cowboys are 8-2 over the last 10 games and are 9-0 at home this year. Wyoming now owns the longest homecourt winning streak among MWC teams after BYU's 44-game streak came to an end vs. Utah and the Cowboys ended Colorado State's 14-game streak at Moby Arena on Jan. 25. The Cowboys have won 11 straight at home dating back to a victory over BYU last year on Feb. 28, 2002 (76-60). BYU and Wyoming have split the season series the last four seasons they have played (didn't play in 1999 in last year of WAC). BYU has won three of the last four games including an MWC tournament win in 2001. The Cougars lead the all-time series 87-67, but Wyoming is 52-25 vs. BYU in Laramie.
MORE ON WYOMING
Wyoming (16-4, 4-1) is off to one of its best starts in school history this year. In fact, prior to Monday's loss at San Diego State, the Cowboys had earned the best record (16-3) through 19 games since the 1942-43 season when the University of Wyoming captured the NCAA Championship under Basketball Hall of Fame coach Everett Shelton. The 1942-43 NCAA Championship team of Wyoming posted an 18-1 start through 19 games and went on to post a 26-1 start on way to a 31-2 record. The Cowboys return five starters, including Chris McMillian, who missed last season because of an injury. The Cowboys lone starter lost from last year was power forward Josh Davis. However, Wyoming lost preseason MWC Player of the Year Marcus Bailey to injury in the ninth game. The Cowboys are 9-2 without Bailey. Monday, Tony Bland scored 18 points and Mike Mackell and freshman Evan Burns added 17 points apiece as San Diego State gave Wyoming only its second loss in the last 15 games with an 80-70 victory. Wyoming's only other loss in its last 15 games was at No. 12 Kansas on Jan. 15. The Cowboys never led after San Diego State took a 5-3 lead on Deandre Moore's 3-pointer with just 1:19 gone in the game. The Cowboys fell behind by as many as 16 points in the second half. David Rottinghaus and Uche Nsonwu-Amadi scored 14 points apiece for Wyoming, which was outrebounded 39-23. On the year, the Cowboys are averaging 75.3 ppg while allowing 68.6. They shoot 45.9 percent from the floor but only 31.5 percent on threes. They convert 69.7 percent from the line. Wyoming's opponents are shooting .428 from the floor and .347 on threes. The Cowboys are averaging 38.8 rebounds to their opponents' 32.7. Wyoming is led by Donta Richardson's 16.8 points and Uche Nsonwu-Amadi's 13.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
WYOMING'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 20 David Rottinghaus 6-5 195 Jr. 6.3 2.6
F 25 Joe Ries 6-8 225 Jr. 8.2 4.2
C 5 Uche Nsonwu-Amadi 6-10 260 Sr. 13.5 10.6
G 1 Donta Richardson 6-2 170 Sr. 16.8 3.1
G 3 Jason Straight 5-11 175 So. 9.3 2.4 3.2 apg
WYOMING SERIES TIDBITS
This will be the 155th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 87-67. BYU had three straight wins come to an end with Wyoming's win in Laramie in the last outing. The two teams have split the season series with home wins in 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1998. They did not meet in 1999. Wyoming swept the series in 1997 during BYU's 1-25 season to end four straight BYU wins in 1995 and 1996. Wyoming has won five straight over BYU in Laramie. BYU's last win in Laramie was an 81-71 triumph on Feb. 10, 1996. BYU has won four straight in Provo. Wyoming's last win in the Marriott Center was on Feb. 8, 1997 (72-60). The Cougars have won nine of the last 15 meetings dating to the 1994-95 season but the teams have split the last 10 games. After Utah (233 games) and Utah State (219 games), BYU has faced Wyoming the third-most times in its history. Steve Cleveland is 5-4 vs. Wyoming, including an 0-4 mark in Laramie.
WYOMING SERIES BREAKDOWN
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 87-67
BYU Record in Provo: 59-13
BYU Record in Laramie: 25-52
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 3-2
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 5-4
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
LAST GAME - COWBOYS DOMINATE BOARDS IN HOME VICTORY
LARAMIE -- BYU suffered its sixth conference loss of the season with a 76-60 defeat to the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Wyoming dominated the boards throughout the night while handing BYU its ninth straight road loss. BYU's main scoring threats all had solid games for the Cougars. Travis Hansen led BYU with 16 points, followed by 14 points each from Mark Bigelow (6-of-10) and Eric Nielsen (5-of-9). All five Cowboy starters scored in double figures, led by Marcus Bailey's 18 points, as Wyoming played its best game of its last three outings. The Cougar bench out-scored the Pokes' bench, 12-9, but it rebounds made the difference in the game. Down only 34-29 at the half, BYU out shot Wyoming in the second half (45 percent to 42 percent) but lost the game on the glass, giving up 27 second-chance points for the game. The Cougars were out-rebounded 50-24 overall and 21-7 on the offensive boards. The 48 rebounds given up is the highest allowed by the Cougars this season, and the 24 boards grabbed by the Cougars istheir second-lowest total this sesason. In the two teams' first meeting in Provo this season, the Pokes only grabbed eight offensive rebounds. "One stat that just sticks out in my mind is the fact that we gave up 21 offensive rebounds," said BYU assistant coach John Wardenburg. "You can't give up 21 offensive rebounds and expect to win the game." Bigelow started the game with a hot hand, scoring eight of BYU's first 12 points. Eric Nielsen also made key baskets to help the Cougars build a 16-10 lead before Wyoming went on a 9-0 run to go up 17-16 with nine minutes left in the first half. After both teams traded several baskets, BYU went cold while Wyoming went on a 6-0 run. The Cougars only managed to score two points during a six-minute stretch near the end of the first half. Wyoming was able to make good on several second chance points coming from offensive rebounds. The Cowboys out-rebounded the Cougars 24-14 in the first half on its way to the 34-29 halftime lead. With the loss, BYU goes to 17-9 overall and 7-6 in conference play while the Pokes are now 19-7 and 10-3, respectively.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY IN LARAMIE LAST YEAR ...
"You just can't give a team that many second chances. We fronted the post, but you really have to have a team effort to box those guys out."
LAST YEAR IN PROVO - HOT-SHOOTING COUGARS DOWN COWBOYS
PROVO -- Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow each scored 19 points to lead BYU to an 85-70 win over league-leading Wyoming. The Cougars shot 68 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from beyond the arc in the first half and 58.6 percent and 57.1 percent respectively for the game. BYU's sharp shooting allowed them to build a 12-point halftime lead. Hansen and Bigelow got plenty of support from Eric Nielsen's 12 points, seven rebounds and career-high three blocks and Jared Jensen's 10 points and two blocked shots. Matt Montague's 15 assists tied a career high he set this season against the Idaho Vandals on Dec. 15. The Cougar bench got into the act as well with Jimmy Balderson, Daniel Bobik and Jon Carlisle combining for 19 points. Carlisle had BYU career bests of 4-4 free throwshooting, eight points and 19 minutes played. BYU's 58.6 percent field goal shooting against the Cowboys was the first time the Cougars had shot over 50 percent since the Southern Utah game Dec. 29. The Cougars had only shot better from the arc when they played Stanford Dec. 22, going 7-of-11 for 63.6 percent. BYU was able to hold the Cowboys to 29 rebounds, 13 below the Pokes' season average. BYU was only out-rebounded by two against a Wyoming team that leads the nation in rebounding margin (+10.3). The Cougars' defense was also able to hold Wyoming to 70 points, 11 below its 81-point average (tied for 19th best nationally).
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"It's been a long couple of weeks but it was great to see the kids start making baskets. This was a very important game just for the whole mental framework of this team. I thought we got great play off the bench. They gave us offense and defense."
WHAT WYOMING COACH STEVE MCCLAIN HAD TO SAY IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"We caught them on a night when everything was going good and we couldn't do anything to stop that. That is a credit to Steve Cleveland, his staff and his players. I think we ran into a team coming off [three] losses that knew they had their backs against the wall. McClain. They had a game plan and it worked. I thought they had a solid defensive effort."
TOUGH FRONT RANGE ROAD SWING
BYU has not got a win on the Front Range road trip to Wyoming and Colorado State since defeating Wyoming in Laramie, 81-71, on Feb. 10, 1996. BYU has lost the last five games in Laramie and the last six games in Fort Collins. BYU's last win at Moby Arena was a 72-70 overtime win on Feb. 5, 1994. Last year BYU had a good opportunity to win in Fort Collins, but the Rams staged a late comeback after being down by 14 points with 10 minutes remaining to force overtime before earning the win.
BYU will stay on the Front Range to face Colorado State Monday evening at 7 p.m. MST at Moby Arena. Returning all five starters and nine lettermen from last year's team, CSU enters Saturday's game with Utah in fourth place at 3-2 in the league standings and 14-6 overall after a loss at UNLV Monday. The Rams split the road trip with a win at San Diego State. The Rams are 13-1 at home this year entering Saturday's game with Utah. CSU has won six straight over the Cougars in Moby Arena. BYU's last victory in Fort Collins was a 72-70 overtime win in 1993-94.The BYU-CSU game Monday night is not being televised.
CSU SERIES TIDBITS
Monday's game will be the 117th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 73-43. CSU won the last meeting, a 79-75 overtime victory on March 2 in Fort Collins. CSU has won six straight over the Cougars in Moby Arena. BYU's last victory in Fort Collins was a 72-70 overtime win in 1993-94. BYU has won three straight in Provo since CSU swept the series in 1998. The two teams did not meet in 1999. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 3-5 against Colorado State, including an 0-4 record in Fort Collins. The series dates back to 1938.
CSU SERIES BREAKDOWN
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 73-43
BYU Record in Provo: 49-10
BYU Record in Fort Collins: 23-31
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-2
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 3-5
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 4-2* (1-1 Rd, 3-1 Hm)
*1-0 in 2OT (1971, won 98-92 in Ft. Collins)
Last Overtime Game: 2002, lost 75-79 at Ft. Collins
Longest BYU Win Streak: 9 (two times 1985-89, 1991-94)
Longest CSU Win Streak: 7 (1960-70)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 39, 91-52 in 1939
Largest CSU Margin of Victory: 25, 74-49 in 1958
Most Points Scored by BYU: 105 in 1972
Most Points Scored by CSU: 100 in 1996
BYU'S LAST GAME -- COUGARS DOWN FALCONS 65-33
PROVO, Utah (February 3,203) -- Head coach Steve Cleveland records his 100th win at BYU in a 65-33 route over the Air Force Academy Monday night. Cleveland is now 100-74 in his sixth seasons. BYU held the Falcons to just 21.6 percent shooting on the night (11-of-51) and gave up a season-low 33 points to control the Falcons and earn the win. AFA's 10 first-half points was the lowest half of scoring ever in the Marriott Center. BYU improved to 15-4 overall (4-1 MWC) behind Travis Hansen. The senior guard led BYU in scoring with 16 points while grabbing five rebounds in just 23 minutes. Cleveland emptied his bench to allow other players to get minutes. All 13 Cougars played and all but two got on the board. "I thought we did a nice job of containing their back cuts and contesting shots," Cleveland said. There were 10 or 15 shots they missed that they will hit at their place. It will be a different game at Air Force." Rafael Araujo was one point away from another double-double. The big man ended the game with nine points and 12 boards in 18 minutes. The Cougars shot a season-high 71.4 percent from behind the arc to gain an early lead on the Falcons, who tried countering the size of the Cougars by playing their slow-paced motion offense. Air Force made just four field goals in the first half and BYU took advantage by taking a 30-10 lead into the locker room. In the second half, the cold shooting continued for the Falcons and BYU blew the game wide open. The Cougars took their largest lead of the game of 37 points on a layup by Jake Shoff with 3:55 to play. The Cougars kept the Falcons off the boards all night and out-rebounded AFA 55-21. Tim Keller and Antoine Hood scored nine points each to lead the Academy. Keller dropped five threes on BYU last year at Colorado Springs in the Air Force win. With the loss, Air Force drops to 10-9 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
HITTING THE ROAD
BYU will play six of its next seven games on the road, starting Saturday at Wyoming. The Cougars have a single home date with San Diego State on Monday, Feb. 17, sanwiched between two three-game road stretches. After playing Wyoming Saturday, BYU goes to Colorado State Monday and then to UNLV on Friday. After its home game with the Aztecs, BYU plays at Utah, Air Force and New Mexico before returning home for the final two games of the regular season against Wyoming and CSU. BYU is 5-4 away from the Marriott Center this year, including neutral court games.BYU is 2-3 on an opponents' homecourt, with a three-game road losing skid sanwiched between victories at Arizona State and San Diego State. BYU is 1-0 on the road in MWC play. With its three wins at the Paradise Jam -- BYU achieved its first win streak away from home since the end of the 2001 season.
Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars (15-5) earned an 11-4 non-conference record and are tied for first with Wyoming and Utah atop the MWC standings at 4-1. Hansen leads the team in scoring (16.0) and assists (2.7) and is second in rebounding (5.0), Bigelow is second in scoring (13.2), third in rebounding (3.9) and the team's top three-point shooter (45-95, .474), while Araujo has come on strong as the third-leading scorer (11.7) while ranking second in the MWC in rebounds (9.1). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.3 points and 3.5 rebounds and sophomore point guard Terry Nashif has started the last six games, setting career bests of 7 assists vs. UNLV and 11 points at San Diego State. Coach Cleveland has more talent on the bench this year. Wisconsin transfer junior guard Ricky Bower leads the reserves, averaging 6.9 points and shooting 47 percent from behind the arc. Kevin Woodberry, who has started in 14 games, adds 5.6 points and 2.3 assists. The Cougars shoot .477 from the floor, .416 on threes and an MWC-best .741 from the line. BYU is among the top MWC defensive teams, allowing .399 shooting, including .289 on threes. BYU scores 73.8 ppg while allowing 63.7. BYU is 10-1 at home and 5-4 away from the Marriott Center, including a 3-1 neutral record and 2-3 road mark. Coach Steve Cleveland has a deeper bench this year than he did last seaon. He has used five starting lineups, but primarily gone with two lineups. He used the same starting five in 12 games with Kevin Woodberry manning the point, but has inserted Terry Nashif at point in the last six 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
Nashif, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 4-1
Woodberry, Bower, Bigelow, Hansen, Araujo 1-0
Nashif, Bower, Bigelow, Hansen, Araujo 1-0
Woodberry, Hansen, Bigelow, Shoff, Araujo 0-1
Â• Junior swingman Mark Bigelow is making 3.2 threes on average in MWC games while shooting 51 percent from behind the arc. He is averaging 16.4 points in MWC games.
Â• Senior guard Travis Hansen has reached double figures in 16 straight games and led BYU in scoring 10 times, including the last three contests. He had 16 points and 5 boards in 23 minutes vs. Air Force Monday after totaling 19 points vs. UNM and recorded his second double-double of the year with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds vs. Utah. He is 13-for-19 from the floor in the last two games.
Â• Junior combo guard Ricky Bower is shooting 89.6 percent from the line, 46.6 percent on threes and 47.4 percent from the floor. The key reserve started vs. Air Force and had a season-best 5 assists while equaling a season-high 5 rebounds with 5 points. He scored a season-high 14 points vs. UNM, hitting four threes and had 10 points vs. Utah.
BYU did not receive any votes in the national polls, released Monday prior to BYU's win over Air Force. In this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, Utah is the top ranked MWC team, tied for 30th and Wyoming is 40th. In the Associated Press Poll, Wyoming is 34th and Utah is 35th. Two BYU opponents are in the top-25 of both polls. Oklahoma State is rated 11th (AP) and 12th (ESPN/USA Today) while Creighton is ranking 13th in both polls.
RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS
BYU is the top-rated MWC team in the Sagarin Ratings and RPI. The Sagarin Ratings through Monday's results rank BYU 28th followed by Utah at No. 34, with Wyoming at 56, UNLV at 61 and CSU at 100. As a conference, the Mountain West has been rated as high as 6th but is currently ranked 7th, with the Pac-10 in the No. 6 ranking. In the RPI computed by CBS.Sportsline.com after Monday's results, BYU has a No. 17 rating, followed by Utah at 22, UNLV at 46 and Wyoming at 51, with SDSU at 91 and CSU at 95. In the RPI compiled by Collegiate Basketball News, updated weekly after Sunday's results, BYU is 19th, Utah 24th, Wyoming 42nd, UNLV 51st and CSU 81st .
MWC AND NCAA STATISTICS
Entering Saturday's games, BYU is ranked 5th nationally in three-point shooting (.416). In MWC stats, BYU ranks first or second in seven categories. BYU is the top MWC team in Scoring Margin (+10.2), FT% (.741), 3-FG% (.416), FG% Defense (.399), 3-FG% Defense (.289) and is second in FG% (.477) and steals (6.60). In conference-only stats, BYU is the top MWC team in nine categories and is second in six others. BYU leads in Scoring Offense (77.0), Scoring Margin (+12.6), FT% (.765), FG% Defense (.398), 3-FG% (.512), Rebounding Offense (37.8), Assists (15.8), Assist/TO Ratio (1.22) and Defensive Rebounds (25.80). BYU is second in FG% (.478), 3-FG% Defense (.336), Rebounding Defense (30.0), Rebounding Margin (+7.8), Offensive Rebounds (12.0) and 3-FG Made (8.2). Individual highlights in all games include Travis Hansen ranking 4th in scoring (16.0), Rafael Araujo being second in rebounding (9.1) and Mark Bigelow (.474) and Ricky Bower (.469) claiming the top two spots in 3-FG%. In MWC-only stats, Hansen (18.0) and Bigelow (16.4) rank 3rd and 6th in scoring, Araujo is second in rebounding (9.4), Jared Jensen is tied for first in FT% (.913), Hansen tops 3-FG% (.700), Terry Nashif leads in Assist/TO Ratio (3.17) and is second in Assists (3.80), and Bigelow is second in 3-FG Made (3.6) and third in steals (2.0).
COUGARS PLAY TOP MWC SCHEDULE, AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST
BYU has achieved a 15-5 record playing the toughest schedule of any MWC team and among the tougest in the nation. BYU's schedule is rated 16th by Collegiate Basketball News and the 23rd toughest in the nation by CBS.Sportsline.com's computer analysis. The Sagarin Ratings rank BYU's schedule No. 50. After BYU, the next toughest MWC schedules belongs to Utah (35th by Collegiate Basketball News and 50th by CBS Sportsline.com and UNLV ( 81st by Sagarin). Of the 22 teams BYU will face on its regular season schedule this year, 16 have a winning record after Monday's play while four have losing records and two are at .500. BYU's opponents have combined to win 63 percent of their games thus far this year. Six teams currently sit atop their league standings. BYU's losses have come against Oklahoma State (17-2), Creighton (20-2), Utah (16-4), Weber State (16-5) and San Francisco (9-11). All but USF are in first place or tied for first in their respective conferences.
LOOKING AT THE 2002-03 SCHEDULE
This year's schedule features 17 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year and included playing in the University of The Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Touchstone Energy All-College Classic (Oklahoma City). BYU's non-conference schedule included teams from 10 different conferences. Overall, 12 teams earned postseason bids last season, seven advancing to the NCAA tournament and five playing in the NIT. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title and 12 placed in the top three in their league standings. The Cougars will play 14 regular season games in the Marriott Center. Excluding the MWC Tournament, BYU plays 15 road games, including 11 away contests and four neutral site games. The 2003 MWC Tournament takes place March 12-15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Pac-10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic are represented on the non-league schedule.
BYU is 14-0 this year when holding opponents below 70 points but 1-5 when the opposition reaches the 70-point mark. In the five-plus season Steve Cleveland has been BYU's coach, the Cougars are 81-15 (.844) 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 17-34 (.333) in those games during the Cleveland era.
AT THIS POINT ...
BYU is 4-1 for the first time in MWC play. At this point last year BYU was 2-3 in the MWC standings, with two home wins and three road losses. BYU was 4-3 at the half-way point with four home wins. BYU was 3-2 in 2001 on its way to a 5-2 record after the first half with five home wins. BYU started 3-2 in 2000 during the inaugural MWC season with two home wins and one road victory, opening with a win at UNLV. BYU finished the first half 4-3 in 2000 with four of the seven games being on the road.
CLEVELAND REACHES 100-WIN MILESTONE
BYU coach Steve Cleveland achieved his 100th victory at BYU with the Cougar win over the Falcons Monday. He is now 100-74 in his sixth season in Provo. Cleveland was nine games into his fourth season when he achieved his 50th win to even his record at 50-50. While it took 100 games to gain his first 50 victories due to the early rebuilding efforts of the 1-25 program he took over in 1997, Cleveland earned his next 50 victories in 74 games and a little over two seasons.
BYU has won its last two games after suffering a loss to Utah, which ended the Cougars' nation-leading 44-game homecourt victory streak. BYU has lost back-to-back games only once this year (vs. Oklahoma State and at Weber State). BYU had defeated 18 straight MWC teams at home prior to the loss to Utah. The Cougars have won 34 straight home games over a non-conference opponents. 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 won four straight away from home (3 neutral, 1 away) this year before losing their next four (3 away, 1 neutral) until winning at San Diego State last week. The four wins away from home 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 199 consecutive games since going 0-9 in a 75-67 loss to CS Fullerton on Nov. 22, 1996. Travis Hansen has scored in double figures in 16 straight games. Mark Bigelow has made a three in 10 consecutive contests.
SHOOTING, REBOUNDING SUCCESS
BYU has out shot 16 of 20 opponents this year (except USF, OSU, Weber State, Utah) and outrebounded 14 (except Creighton,USU, USCB, SDSU, Utah). BYU is shooting .477, including .416 on threes, while limiting opponents to .399 shooting from the floor and only .289 on threes. BYU averages 36.2 boards to its opponents' 31.3. BYU has shot 45 percent or better in 15 games this year (losing only once twice at Creighton and vs. Utah), 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, the fifth time this year, and fourth time at home, that BYU has shot better than 50 percent. BYU out boarded Idaho State 43-19 and Air Force 55-21.
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 58.4 percent (422-300) 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, including the 2001 men's basketball championship.
CLEVELAND'S CONFERENCE RECORD
BYU coach Steve Cleveland improved his conference (WAC/MWC) record above .500 at 38-37 with Monday's win over Air Force. Building since taking over BYU's 1-25 program, it is the first time since early in his first season that he has been above .500 in conference games overall. Cleveland improved BYU's conference record in each of his first four seasons and exceeded many expectations with only one returning starter on last year's team that finished fourth with a 7-7 record. Cleveland has had a .500 conference record six times (1-1, 2-2, 29-29, 34-34, 36-36 and 37-37). Prior to Monday, he had an overall winning conference record two other times (1-0, 2-1). In MWC games only, Cleveland is 25-19 (.568).
BYU AMONG TOP-40 All-TIME WINNINGEST BASKETBALL PROGRAMS
With its all-time record of 1442-927 (.609), 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.