BYU will play its 500th game in the Marriott Center Wednesday against league-leader San Diego State. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
GAME #24 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (16-7, 8-4 MWC)
SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (18-7, 11-2 MWC)
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006
Marriott Center (22,700)
7:07 p.m. MST
BYU, Dave Rose (16-7 in first year; same overall)
SDSU, Steve Fisher (99-104 in seventh year; 283-186 in 15th season overall)
BYU leads, 38-19, after SDSU won the first meeting in San Diego this season, 88-61
SportsWest Productions telecast on KPNZ-TV, Channel 24 / Cable 8 in Utah and Cox 4 in San Diego (Eddie Doucette, play-by-play; Blaine Fowler, game analysis)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. MST pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
Live audio and live stats broadcasts are available at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/
BYU HOSTS LEAGUE-LEADER SAN DIEGO STATE WEDNESDAY
BYU (16-7, 8-4 MWC) hosts league-leader San Diego State (18-7, 11-2 MWC) Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The game will be the 500th Cougar contest played in the Marriott Center since becoming the Cougars' home in 1971-72. The Cougars have won six of their last seven games and are currently tied for third in the Mountain West Conference standings. San Diego State has won 10 of its last 11 games, including five straight road victories. The Aztecs handed BYU its worst defeat (88-61) of the season in the first meeting this year in San Diego. Wednesday's game will be a SportsWest Productions telecast available in Utah on UPN-Z24. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a 6 p.m. pregame show.
BYU makes its final league road trip to TCU Saturday in a 7 p.m. CST start (no live TV).
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- Cougar head coach Dave Rose is 16-7 in his first year at the helm after eight years as BYU's lead assistant.
-- The Cougars were picked to finish last in the Mountain West Conference in the league's preseason media poll. BYU is currently tied for third in the MWC with an 8-4 conference record.
-- BYU is 16-7 overall, including 11-1 at home having won 11 straight in the Marriott Center, which is tied for 13th in the nation. The Cougars are 4-6 away and 1-0 at a neutral site. BYU scores an MWC-leading 75.6 ppg and shoots .456 from the field, including .379 from long range and .720 from the line, second in the league. Cougar opponents average 70.8 points on .446 shooting, .347 from three and .709 from the line. BYU pulls down 35.7 rebounds per game, 2.2 more than its opponents. The Cougars dish out 16.1 assists per game, second in the MWC.
-- Redshirt freshman forward/center Trent Plaisted leads BYU in scoring (13.5), followed by senior guard Brock Reichner (10.9). Plaisted is also the Cougars' top rebounder (6.3) followed by junior forward Keena Young (6.0). Junior point guard Rashaun Broadus is third in the MWC in assists (3.9) followed by junior Austin Ainge (2.7), who is tied for 10th. Broadus is second in assist/turnover ratio (1.63).
LOOKING AT SAN DIEGO STATE
San Diego State, the preseason league favorite, is in first place in the standings with an 11-2 Mountain West Conference record. The Aztecs are 18-7 overall. The Aztecs return four starters and six lettermen from last year's 11-18 team that finished sixth in the conference standings at 4-10. This year's team is 11-2 at home and 6-4 away with a 1-1 neutral-court record. SDSU has won 10 of its last 11 games, including five straight conference road wins. SDSU's two league losses have been at Air Force and most recently at home vs. Utah. Junior guard Brandon Heath, who was selected to the preseason All-MWC team, leads the Aztecs and the league in scoring, averaging 18.3 ppg on 44.5 percent shooting from the field in a team-leading 34.9 minutes per game. Heath, a second-team All-MWC selection last season, also adds 3.0 rebounds per game and has recorded 37 steals on the year. Marcus Slaughter, a junior forward, averages a double-double for the Aztecs with 17.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Named the Top Returning Player in this year's preseason poll, Slaughter is second in the league on the boards and is third in scoring. Mohamed Abukar, a 6-10 transfer from Florida, was selected as the Top Newcomer in the preseason poll and is averaging 13.5 points and 4.2 rebounds for the Aztecs. Due to transfer rules, the junior forward was not eligible for competition until mid-December but has played in 15 games and started 14 since returning to the court. True freshman Kyle Spain is the Aztecs' fourth-leading scoreer averaging 9.9 ppg to go along with 6.1 rpg, which is second on the team. Spain, who has been coming off the bench since a suspension for violating team rules, is shooting 50.7 percent from the floor, including 54.2 percent from three-point range. As a team, SDSU shoots .471 from the floor, including .405 from behind the arc, and .718 from the free-throw line, while Aztec opponents are shooting .433 from the field, .343 from three-point range and .680 from the line. SDSU outscores its opponents 73.4 - 66.4 and has a significant edge on the glass, pulling down 34.7 rebounds to its opponents' 30.6 boards per game.
SDSU'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 34 Mohamed Abukar 6-10 216 Jr. 13.5 4.2
F 42 Marcus Slaughter 6-9 220 Jr. 17.1 10.6
G 1 Brandon Heath 6-4 198 Jr. 18.3 3.0
G 3 Richie Williams 5-9 158 Fr. 5.8 2.3
G 21 Matt Thomas 6-3 200 So. 1.5 1.1
SDSU'S LAST OUTING -- Aztecs Take Down Frogs At Cox
Brandon Heath scored 20 points including six 3-pointers as San Diego State rallied to beat Texas Christian 83-71 Saturday night. With the victory the Aztecs (18-7, 11-2) maintained their two-game lead over Air Force in the Mountain West with three conference games to play. San Diego State has won 10 of its last 11 and 14 of its last 17. The loss was the seventh in a row and 13th in 14 games for TCU (5-21, 1-11). San Diego State trailed by 11 points early in the second half but outscored TCU 34-17 over the final 7:30. Heath drained two of his 3-pointers during a 14-8 run as the Aztecs went ahead to stay 63-62. Marcus Slaughter had 19 points and nine rebounds for San Diego State, Mohamed Abukar added 17 points and seven rebounds and Richie Williams had 13 points and six assists. Nile Murry, who led TCU with 22 points, made two of three free-throws making it a one point game at 65-64 with 4:11 left. But San Diego State went on a 22-7 run to finish the game. Blake Adams had 11 points for TCU and Brent Hackett and Judson Stubbs had 10 apiece. Hackett left the game early in the second half with a shoulder injury after a collision with Williams, but will likely be back in the lineup Wednesday at Colorado State. Murry had eight points late in the first half to lead TCU to a 40-35 halftime lead. The Horned Frogs scored the first six points of the second half for their biggest lead of the night 46-35.
BYU owns a 38-19 advantage over the Aztecs in a series that dates back to 1941. The Cougars are 15-15 in San Diego and 23-3 in Provo. BYU has won 11 of the last 17 games and owns an 8-6 advantage since the inception of the MWC, but the Aztecs have won the last three games, including a sweep of the season series last year for the first time since 1985. The three straight Aztec wins mark the longest SDSU victory streak in the series since the Aztecs won the first three games (1941-1977). Last year, Chris Walton scored as time expired to give the Aztecs a 59-57 win, their first in Provo since 1996. The two teams split the 2004 season's games with each squad winning in its home arena. SDSU defeated the Cougars 65-61 in San Diego on a last-second bucket and a disputed technical foul call. One month later, the Aztecs forced overtime in Provo, but fell 83-69 as Cougar Mike Hall blocked the game-winning shot with 2.7 seconds left in regulation and then sparked BYU on a 16-0 overtime run to seal the Cougar victory.
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. SDSU
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 38-19
BYU Record in Provo: 23-3
BYU Record in San Diego: 15-15
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-1
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 0-1
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 3-2 (1-1 Rd, 2-1 Hm)
Last Overtime Game: 2004, BYU won in Provo, 83-69
Longest BYU Win Streak: 11 (1990-95)
Longest SDSU Win Streak: 3 (1941-77, and 2005-present)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 40, 106-66 in 1982
Largest SDSU Margin of Victory: 27, 88-61 in 2006
Most Points Scored by BYU: 123 in 1980
Most Points Scored by SDSU: 104 in 1977
QUOTING BYU COACH DAVE ROSE ...
"San Diego State played one of its best games against us and we kind of played into that. We really lost our composure and turned the ball over and they turned our turnovers into points. We didn't execute offensively well enough and then we had troubles on defense in transition because of our turnovers. We've gotten better the last seven or eight games at handling the pressure. We will need to come ready to play on Wednesday."
RECENT SERIES OUTINGS
BYU's FIRST OUTING THIS YEAR IN SAN DIEGO -- AZTECS PROVE TOO MUCH FOR COUGARS
SAN -- The Cougars started strong but could not keep up with the Mountain West Conference's hottest team as BYU fell 88-61 to San Diego State Saturday night in Cox Arena. Keena Young was, once again, a bright spot for the Cougars in his first start of the season as he tied his career high with 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting while contributing a team-high nine rebounds. Young has scored 16 in three of the last five games. Trent Plaisted's scoring troubles on the road came to an end as he reached double figures with 12 points for the first time in MWC road play. Brock Reichner recorded 11 points while adding a career-high six boards. The two teams battled it out in the opening minutes, with a three-pointer from Brock Reichner giving BYU its largest lead of the game at 9-6. From there, the Aztecs went on a 6-0 spurt sparked by Marcus Slaughter to take their first lead of the game at 12-9. Slaughter scored 11 straight for SDSU to keep the Aztecs ahead as BYU continued to play tough and fight for the lead, trailing by just two points at 21-19. However, two consecutive turnovers from Rashaun Broadus bolstered the confidence of the Aztecs and sparked an 8-0 run. Keena Young put a stop to the BYU scoring drought with a jumper at the 5:45 mark but it was not enough to get the Cougars going as SDSU put together an 11-0 run from there to take a 40-21 lead. BYU managed just two baskets in the last 8:19 of the first half as the Aztecs outscored the Cougars 21-4 to take a 42-24 lead into the locker room. BYU came out confident in the second half, having outscored opponents in the second period of play in all but two games this season, and got two quick baskets, including Trent Plaisted's 15th dunk of the season. But the Aztecs were ready for the push and responded accordingly, doubling up the Cougars' makes for the first five minutes of the half to build a 65-39 lead. True freshman Jackson Emery entered the game at the 12:00 minute mark and made an immediate impact with a steal and a three-point make but could not spark BYU at either end of the floor. The Cougars continued struggling to find the hoop and could not stop the 1-2 punch of Slaughter and Brandon Heath, who rank first and third, respectively, in the conference in scoring and combined for 43 points. With the loss, BYU falls to 10-6 on the season and 2-3 in conference play while San Diego State improves to 12-6 overall and takes sole possession of first place in the MWC with a 5-1 record. The Cougars have now lost seven straight league road games dating back to last season.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose:
-- "This is obviously a setback. But there are times when you get really discouraged with your team and this is not one of them. This team fought hard. We weren't very good tonight, but there's a lot of basketball left to play and this team is going to get better."
-- "Keena Young has really come on strong for us in the last six weeks. He is a consistent low-post scorer who has good moves and a lot of energy. He was good tonight and is going to keep getting a lot of minutes."
-- "In the first five or six minutes of the game, we were right on target with what we needed to do to win this game. But then we got into foul trouble and committed turnovers and just got stagnant, which allowed them to get going."
-- "You have to give credit to San Diego State. They're a good team that has proven that they're the ones everyone has to shoot for. They've got young, talented players. Everyone in the league is going to have to figure out a way to stop the Aztecs."
-- "Tonight, it seemed like everything we tried to do, they did just a little bit better than us. We just have to work hard and get better. We'll see these guys again at our place and we'll see what happens then. That will be a great opportunity for us."
San Diego State Head Coach Steve Fisher
-- "I've been on the other side of a game like this when playing BYU. It can happen. If it happens, it usually happens on your home territory. We just have to keep things up, keep digging, not think that we are better than we really are and should just enjoy this win tonight."
BYU NOTES FROM THE FIRST OUTING THIS YEAR IN SAN DIEGO
-- Keena Young made his first start of the season at San Diego State as BYU coach Dave Rose went with his fifth different starting line-up of the year. Austin Ainge, making his second straight start, Brock Reichner, Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted rounded out the starting five.
-- Individual Career Highs: Brock Reichner -- 6 rebounds.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Largest Margin of Defeat -- 27; Fewest Steals -- 2; Fewest Opponent Turnovers -- 8; Most Opponent Steals -- 13.
-- With the loss, BYU has lost three straight to the Aztecs and three straight in Cox Arena. The Cougars have only dropped three straight to SDSU once in the history of the series with BYU losing the first three games in the series, twice in 1941 and then the next meeting in 1977.
-- The 27-point loss is BYU's worst loss of the season and its largest margin of defeat since falling by 31 (39-70) at Air Force on Feb. 21, 2005. It is also the largest margin of defeat ever against the Aztecs.
-- The Cougars' 18-point deficit at SDSU is their second-largest halftime deficit of the year (down 19, 23-42, at Air Force).
-- BYU was outscored in the second half by nine points, the largest second-half deficit for the Cougars this season. Overall this year (in 23 games), BYU has only been outscored in the second half six times.
-- Keena Young tied his career high with 16 points in three of the last five games. (since set new career mark of 17 points vs. UNLV).
-- Rashaun Broadus checked into the game with 12:20 left in the first half, his first action since playing at UNLV. Broadus sat out against Wyoming serving a one-game suspension for violating team rules. Broadus finished with two points and two rebounds.
-- True freshman Jackson Emery made an immediate impact upon coming into the game with 12 minutes left in the second half, recording a steal and then draining a three-pointer on the other end. Emery averages 3.3 points in 10.2 minutes per game.
-- After falling behind 9-6 early, the Aztecs went on a 6-0 spurt to take their first lead of the game. Marcus Slaughter scored the last four points of the run and continued his hot shooting from there, scoring 11 straight points for the Aztecs, seven of which came from the free throw line.
LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- COUGARS LOSE HEARTBREAKER TO SDSU
PROVO -- BYU's men's basketball team lost to the San Diego State Aztecs 59-57 on the final shot to open Mountain West Conference play Saturday in the Marriott Center. The Cougars started the game strong with a lot of energy, jumping on the Aztecs with a 10-0 run. Behind quick scoring from senior Mike Hall and aggressive play from freshman Chris Miles, BYU took control of the game early, leading 28-19 at the half. However, with turnovers plaguing the Cougars in the second half and almost no offense in critical situations, SDSU clawed their way back to take the lead 42-40 with 10:31 remaining in the game. "We didn't have a real good offense tonight," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "It's unfortunate that we didn't score more." BYU closed the gap, but crucial mistakes resulting in turnovers by the Cougars in the waning moments allowed SDSU to capitalize. With one second left and the scored tied at 57, the Aztecs' Chris Walton hit the falling away game-winning shot. "The players are hurting and if you've never played the game, you won't understand," Cleveland said. Hall led the Cougars in scoring with 16 points, while Jared Jensen added 10. Five different Cougar players had six or more rebounds; Jensen (7), Hall (6), Mike Rose (6), Austin Ainge (6), and Garner Meads (6), contributing to a season-high total of 47. Until this game, BYU had been 5-0 when leading with five minutes remaining in the game. "What you'll remember from this game is the mistakes in the last minutes," Cleveland said. With the loss BYU falls to 5-10 on the season while the Aztecs move to 7-7. BYU next plays Montana State-Billings to finish out non-conference action January 11 at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center.
LAST YEAR IN SAN DIEGO -- AZTECS TRIP UP COUGARS
SAN -- A heroic effort by senior Mike Hall was not enough to lift the Cougars past the Aztecs as BYU fell 66-58 in Cox Arena Monday night. Cougar guard Mike Hall delivered a career-high 24 points, including 4-4 shooting from beyond the arc and Jimmy Balderson added 14 points, hitting BYU's four other three-pointers in the game. It was a shaky start for both the Cougars and the Aztecs in the first half. Fortunately for BYU, Keena Young's eight first-half points and astounding play by Hall kept the Cougars on top until the eight-minute mark when the Aztecs made a run to overtake the Cougars and head into halftime with a 33-26 advantage. Early turnovers led to another rocky start for the Cougars in the second half, allowing the Aztecs to extend their lead to 12 points. BYU crawled back with a 13-0 run to take a 40-39 lead at the 14 minute mark, but the Cougar advantage was quickly taken away by the Aztecs. Hot shooting from beyond the arc by BYU kept the game within reach, but the Cougars could not recover from costly turnovers and missed free throws down the stretch. The Cougars shot 46 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc and 57 percent from the free throw line. The Cougars were also outscored in the paint by the Aztecs, 14-34. BYU has now dropped its sixth game in MWC play and is currently tied for sixth in the league standings with a 2-6 record. The Cougars return home for two games when they match up against Wyoming and Colorado State. The Cougars and Cowboys will meet Saturday at 7 p.m. while tipoff for BYU-CSU is set for Monday at 8 p.m. Both games will be televised by SportsWest Productions.
BYU's LAST OUTING -- Emery Sparks BYU Win at Wyoming
LARAMIE -- True freshman Jackson Emery had a career game for BYU as the Cougars got another hard-fought victory over Wyoming, 74-68, in the Arena-Auditorium. Emery scored a personal-best 13 points, making 3-of-4 treys, in 17 minutes of play on Saturday. BYU (16-7, 8-4 MWC) had a big first half and held off the charging Cowboys (12-14, 5-8). With the win, BYU remains in a third-place tie in the Mountain West Conference standings. The Cowboys made a 6-2 run to cut the BYU lead to 21-18 with 7:41 left in the first half. The teams matched runs once again with the Cougars scoring six in a row to build a nine-point advantage before Wyoming's Brandon Ewing answered with seven consecutive points by himself. The Cowboys were helped out by BYU turnovers. Keena Young and Emery helped the Cougars score five unanswered points as the see-saw tilted back in BYU's direction. Emery scored five points in the last 38 seconds of the half, including a three-pointer from the corner with seven seconds remaining, to give the Cougars a 43-35 at the break. BYU shot 54.5 percent from the field in the first half, including 3-for-5 from behind the three-point line. The Cougars came out flat early in the second half and the Cowboys took advantage, cutting the lead in half and forcing an early BYU time out. Wyoming's Justin Williams played physical, blocking shots and scoring points early in the half as the Cowboys cut the lead to two at 45-43 with 15:53 left in the game. BYU countered with Emery, who nailed consecutive three pointers to put the Cougars back up by eight points. Moments later, Trent Plaisted hit a hook shot to give BYU a game-high, 10 point lead. Wyoming scored five in a row to cut the lead back down to five. After Broadus hit a foul shot, Wyoming scored seven consecutive points to give it a 55-54 lead with 10:35 remaining, its first advantage since a 12-10 lead early in the game. Down two at 62-60, the Cougars went on a 5-0 run to regain the lead. BYU kept the lead, holding on to a 67-66 advantage with two minutes remaining when Broadus followed his own miss -- one of Williams' 11 blocked shots on the day -- with a layin to give the Cougars a three-point lead with under one minute left. His offensive rebound on the play was BYU's 20th, the most by the Cougars this season. The Cowboys' Ewing missed two foul shots with 35 seconds left and Young made two on the Cougars side after a foul. Reichner made one free throw and Plaisted added two more in the final seconds to secure BYU's third road win of the MWC season. Young led BYU with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to record his second double-double of the year. Plaisted (12 points) and Balderson (11 points) joined Young and Emery in double figures for BYU. Williams pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds while nearly recording a triple-double with 11 blocks (tied Wyoming record) and eight points.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I loved the fight that we had in all of our kids. We had a great week of practice and it showed today by how we didn't quit. It was a game of runs but we fought hard and made plays. We got some good play from our bench. It's a determined team right now."
-- "It showed that we had determination today by the rebounding numbers. Wyoming is a great rebounding team and we were able to our rebound them by 11. I am very proud of our kids. We scored a lot of points by getting second shots."
-- "Jackson (Emery) had a great game for us. He always works hard and he is a big reason why we were able to jump to a lead in the first half. Jackson made several huge plays down the stretch in the first half."
Wyoming Head Coach Steve McClain
-- "It's tough to win a game when you don't shoot free throws and get outrebounded like we did today."
-- "We guarded their stuff well enough. We had some trouble with transition defense and we had trouble with rebounding the basketball."
-- "We have enough fight in us. There's only one choice -- keep fighting. Maybe a ball will bounce our way one time."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Head coach Dave Rose has used the same starting lineup in the last six games, going with Rashaun Broadus, Brock Reichner, Lee Cummard, Keena Young and Trent Plaisted in the starting five. BYU is 5-1 with this starting lineup.
-- Individual Career Highs: Keena Young -- 12 rebounds; Jackson Emery -- 13 points, 4 field goals made, 3 three-point field goals made; Brock Reichner -- 1 block (tied).
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Offensive rebounds -- 20; Total rebounds in an MWC game -- 45 (tied, also vs. TCU); Most blocked shots by an opponent -- 13; lowest second-half field-goal percentage -- .265; fewest assists -- 6.
-- BYU led 43-35 at the half, equaling the most first-half points in a conference road game this season (also at Colorado State). BYU improves to 11-0 this season when leading at the half. For the first time this season, BYU has scored 40 or more points in the first half in back-to-back games (40 vs. UNLV). The Cougars have led at the break four times in conference play with their eight-point advantage against Wyoming being their largest (+4 vs. Utah, +2 at Colorado State, +6 vs. UNLV).
-- BYU outrebounded the MWC's top rebounding team, 45-34, including a season-high 20 offensive rebounds against the Cowboys (19 vs. TCU). BYU's 45 rebounds tied its largest total in a conference game this year (also TCU) and is just one board shy of the team's top effort this season (46 vs. Weber State).
-- Keena Young pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds and scored 15 points to record his second double-double of the year and third of his career. His prior two double-double games both game against Air Force.
-- Jackson Emery scored a career-high 13 points, including five points in the final minute of the first half to give BYU an eight-point advantage at the break. He made a career-best three treys on four attempts.
-- Lee Cummard received a technical foul after reacting to a charging foul called on him with 2:45 left in the first half. Cummard is the first BYU player to receive a technical this season.
-- BYU and Wyoming both committed 15 turnovers during the game but the Cougars were able to take advantage on two more possessions, scoring 17 points off of turnovers compared to the Cowboys' 13. BYU is now a perfect 12-0 this year when making more points off of turnovers than its opponent.
-- BYU is now 6-1 this year in games decided by six points or fewer.
BYU swept the season series against the Cowboys this year. BYU improves to 94-69 all-time against Wyoming, with the Cowboys advantage in Laramie now being 53-28.
-- Wyoming shot 47.3 against BYU, the lowest percentage shot against the Cougars in a league road game this year. Despite facing strong shooting efforts from its opponents on their home courts, BYU is 3-4 on the road in league games. BYU last won three conference road games in 2004, when the Cougars won their final three away games during a nine-game winning streak (3-4 on the road in MWC in 2004).
Austin Ainge's wife Crystal gave birth to a seven-pound, 11-ounce baby boy on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Austin and Crystal have named their son Andre Austin Ainge. Ainge is one of six married players on the team this season. Brock Reichner and his wife Chanell made BYU Coach Dave Rose a grandfather with the birth of their daughter, Annie Rose Reichner, last year.
BOUNCE BACK COUGARS
With its 16-7 overall record, BYU has yet to suffer consecutive defeats this season, having bounced back from each loss with victory. BYU alternated wins and losses the first five league games before winning four straight games, two of which came on the road. The Cougars started their fifth winning streak of the year with their win at Wyoming. BYU's prior victory streaks this year include one four-game streak, two three-game streaks and two two-game streaks. BYU has won six of its last seven games.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
BYU is 10-0 this season when holding opponents under 70 points and 6-7 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes are currently averaging 70.8 points per game. BYU is also 13-3 when scoring 70 or more points and 3-4 when falling below the 70-point mark. The Cougars lead the league in scoring, averaging 75.6 ppg.
Overall this year, eight players have started while Coach Dave Rose has used six starting lineups. Junior Rashaun Broadus has started the last six games after missing the first Wyoming game (team rules violation) and the next two starts. Junior Keena Young made his eighth straight start of the season Saturday vs. Wyoming. Trent Plaisted has started each game while Brock Reichner has started every game but the first. Rashaun Broadus has started 20 games, Fernando Malaman 15 games, Lee Cummard 14 games, Jimmy Balderson nine games and Austin Ainge four games. The majority of BYU's starting lineups have featured two freshmen (Plaisted and Cummard). Five Cougars who started between seven and 23 games on last year's team (Ainge, 23 starts; Balderson, 16 starts; Young, 15 starts, Derek Dawes, 13 starts; Mike Rose, 7 starts) have for the most part been coming off the bench this season. Coach Rose has used the same starting lineup in the last six games with Broadus, Reichner, Cummard, Young and Plaisted (5-1 record).
BYU AT THE POINT
BYU's Rashaun Broadus (3.9 apg) and Austin Ainge (2.7 apg) rank third and tied for 10th, respectively, among Mountain West Conference players in assists per game this season while helping the Cougars rank second in the MWC in team assists at 16.1 apg. Broadus and Ainge have combined for 104 assists compared to 55 turnovers in BYU's 16 wins while totaling 42 assists and 29 turnovers in the Cougars' seven defeats. Broadus has 60 assists and 32 turnovers in the wins with 25 assists and 20 turnovers in the losses. Ainge boasts 44 assists to 23 turnovers in the victories while totaling 17 assists and 9 turnovers in defeats. With his overall 85 assists to 51 turnovers, Broadus ranks second in the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.63). As a team, BYU has made an assist on 60 percent of its field goals this season. In conference play, Broadus has 29 assists and 24 turnovers while Ainge has 21 assists and 21 turnovers. Ainge tied his career high with 8 assists in BYU's third game of the season against Southern Utah. Broadus recorded a career-best 9 assists against Lamar and then tied that mark while Ainge added 4 to fuel BYU to a season-high 29 assists vs. Eastern Washington.
BYU IN THE POST
Trent Plaisted (13.5) leads BYU in scoring while fellow post players Keena Young (9.3) and Fernando Malaman (7.2) are fourth and sixth, respectively. Plaisted (13.3) and Young (11.3) rank first and third, respectively, in league games. Overall, Young (.533), Malaman (.527) and Plaisted (.525) rank fourth, seventh and ninth, respectively, among the MWC's top players in field goal percentage. Derek Dawes is shooting .415 from the floor and .743 from the line. Young makes a strong .797 from the line. Malaman is second on the team with a 45.5 percent success rate (15-of-33) from behind the three-point arc.
BYU ON THE WING
Senior Brock Reichner has started all but the first game of the year at 2-guard and is second on the team in scoring at 10.9 ppg, including a team-high 46 threes on an MWC-leading 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Junior Jimmy Balderson is coming off the bench after starting the first nine games at small forward and is third in scoring at 9.4 ppg with 21 treys. Freshman Lee Cummard has started in place of Balderson the last 14 games and is averaging 5.1 points in 15.5 minutes while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor. Jackson Emery is shooting 43.4 percent from the floor and has made 12 triples while averaging 3.0 points in 8.7 minutes. A solid defender who often helps guard the opponent's top perimeter player, Emery scord a career-high 13 points, including three treys, at Wyoming Saturday. Junior Mike Rose plays 9.9 minutes in the rotation on the wing, averaging 3.6 points, including 18 treys, in his 19 appearances.
BYU's 75.6 points per game are coming in a variety of ways as the Cougars outscore their opponents in every statistical category on the season. BYU has scored 43 more points in the paint this season, outpacing its opponents underneath in 10 games, tying in three and being outscored in 10. The Cougars have also capitalized on opponent miscues in their 23 games to date, scoring 29 more points off of turnovers while outscoring foes in that category in 12 games, tying in one and being outscored in 10. BYU enjoys a 62-point advantage in second-chance points as BYU has outscored opponents in that category in 14 games. The Cougars' largest advantage, however, comes on the fastbreak as BYU has only been outscored on the break in five games this year, with a 221-145 margin.
BYU PLAYS 500TH GAME IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER WEDNESDAY
The Cougars will play their 500th game in the Marriott Center when they face the San Diego State Aztecs on Wednesday. BYU has called the Marriott Center home since 1971, compiling a 383-116 (.768) record in 35 seasons. Over eight million fans have cheered the Cougars to victory during that time in the nation's third-largest on-campus arena. BYU has won its last 11 home games, which is tied for the 13th-longest active streak in the nation.
NCAA SELECTIONS AND THE MWC
The Mountain West Conference is currently ranked eighth as a league in RPI. Since the first year of the MWC in 1999-2000, the No. 8 RPI conference has received a combined 10 at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament for a combined average of 1.7 at-large bids per season. The MWC has ranked as high as No. 6 in the RPI in 2002-03 and as low as No. 11 last season. The only No. 8-ranked RPI league to not receive an at-large bid was the MWC in 2000-01, when automatic-qualifer BYU was the only team to be invited to the Tournament. In 2002-03 when the MWC earned the No. 6 RPI in the nation, three MWC teams, including two at-large, were invited to the NCAA Tournament. In the last six years, that is the only season the No. 6-rated RPI conference has had less than four teams invited to the Tournament. That season, UNLV had a mid-40s RPI and was not invited after losingto Colorado State in the MWC Tournament title game.
YEAR No. 8-RPI LEAGUE (Teams in NCAA) MWC RPI RANK (Teams in NCAA)
99-00 WAC (2 teams, 1 at-large) MWC No. 9 (2 teams, both at-large)
00-01 MWC (1 team, 0 at-large) same
01-02 C-USA (3 teams, 2 at-large) MWC No. 7 (3 teams, 2 at-large)
02-03 C-USA (4 teams, 3 at-large) MWC No. 6 (3 teams, 2 at-large)
03-04 MWC (3 teams, 2 at-large) same
04-05 MVC (3 teams, 2 at-large) MWC No.11 (2 teams, 1 at-large)
FROM THE LINE
The Cougars are shooting .774 from the free-throw stripe in MWC play, which ranks second in the league, and .720 overall, also rated second. BYU has shot 80 percent or above from the line in five league games while reaching that mark just twice in the Cougars' 11 nonconference contests. No team in the MWC's first six seasons has shot 80 percent or better in conference play.
BYU is 11-0 when leading at the half, 4-7 when trailing and 1-0 when tied. Of the 11 games in which they have led at the half, the Cougars have led by double digits six times. BYU has been more impressive in the second half this season. The Cougars have outscored their opponents in the second period of play in all but seven games this year, although they have been in a deficit the last three games. BYU averages 4.8 more second-half points than its opponents after a slight 0.04 edge in the first half.
COACH ROSE RECEIVING NATIONAL NOTICE
BYU head coach Dave Rose is starting to receive national notice for the outstanding job he is doing during his first season guiding the Cougars. In a Feb. 12 column on ESPN.com, Pat Forde lists Rose among the top-three first-year coaches in the nation this season. Among the nearly 40 first-year coaches in college basketball this year, Forde names the 10 he feels are doing the best job, ranking Rose No. 3 overall. Picked to finish last in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason poll of MWC media members, BYU has earned a 16-7 record to date under Rose's tutelage, including an 8-4 conference mark. Last year, BYU finished with a 9-21 record to end five straight postseason berths. Tennessee's Bruce Pearl topped the list, followed by Virginia's Dave Leitao. Cincinnati's Andy Kennedy is fourth, followed by the MWC's Jeff Bzdelik of Air Force.
PLAISTED EARNS TWO NATIONAL FRESHMAN HONORS
BYU redshirt freshman forward/center Trent Plaisted received national recognition for his play against New Mexico and Air Force. Plaisted was named the Nivea for Men Fresh Face Player of the Week by CBS.Sportsline.com, an honor handed out to top performers in this year's national freshman class. ESPN's Dick Vitale also named Plaisted his Diaper Dandy of the Week for his play that same week (Feb. 6).
BROADUS SHARES MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS -- FEB. 6
COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU guard Rashaun Broadus and San Diego State guard Brandon Heath were named Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Co-Players of the Week. This is the first weekly honor of the season and career for Broadus. A 6-0 guard from Mililani, Hawai'i, Broadus helped the Cougars to a 2-0 conference record last week with wins at New Mexico (77-71) and at home vs. Air Force (65-59). He scored a game-high 15 points (13 in the second half) and dished out a game-best six assists (zero turnovers) vs. the Lobos. He also added three rebounds in his 33 minutes on the floor as the Cougars ended UNM's 21-game home winning streak, which was the fourth longest in the country. Against Air Force, Broadus scored 13 points, grabbed three rebounds, and added two assists and two steals. He once again came up big in the second half for BYU, scoring 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field, including 2-of-3 from behind the arc. On the week, Broadus nearly doubled his scoring average (14.0 points per game), while also averaging 4.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. He shot 50.0 percent from the field (10-for-20) and 41.7 percent from three-point range (5-for-12), while tallying an assist-to-turnover ration of 4.0 (eight assists, two turnovers). Broadus' honor marks the second straight MWC Player of the Week award for the Cougars following Trent Plaisted's recognition last week.
PLAISTED NAMED MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK -- JAN. 30
COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU forward/center Trent Plaisted was named Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 30. This is the first weekly honor of the season and career for Plaisted. A 6-11 freshman from San Antonio, Texas, Plaisted led the Cougars to conference wins over TCU (89-80 OT) and Colorado State (86-84) last week, establishing career highs in eight different categories in the process. Against TCU, he recorded his second career double-double, scoring a career-high 22 points and pulling down a career-best 16 rebounds. Plaisted, who entered the game shooting 66.7 percent from the free throw line, knocked down all eight of his shots from the stripe while also tying a personal-best in blocked shots (two). Against Colorado State, he scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, setting career highs in assists and steals (three each) along the way. For the week, Plaisted averaged 18.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game, while shooting 51.9 percent (14-for-27) from the field and 90.0 percent (9-for-10) from the free-throw stripe. He leads BYU in scoring (13.1 points per game) and rebounding (5.6 rebounds per game) this season, ranking 10th in the conference in both categories.
INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS AT BYU
- A total of 25 international players have played basketball at BYU.
- The Cougars have had an international player on their varsity roster in 34 of the past 54 years.
- In the last five years, BYU has rostered five international players, including three on this season's team -- Jimmy Balderson (Canada), Fernando Malaman (Brazil) and Vuk Ivanovic (Serbia & Montenegro).
- Brazilian Luiz de Toledo has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for BYU next season.
- 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 1961.
- BYU also boasts the first foreign All-American in Kresimir Cosic, who will have his BYU jersey 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 TO RETIRE COSIC JERSEY
In an historic event, BYU will retire the uniform of the late Kresimir Cosic on March 4, 2006, during the final regular season home game against New Mexico. The former Cougar great becomes the second BYU men's basketball player to have his jersey retired, joining Danny Ainge. "Cosic was a great ambassador for both BYU and the game of basketball," said BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe. "His accomplishments on and off the basketball court have impacted the lives of many worldwide. This honor is a well-deserved tribute to a great man." During his career at BYU, Cosic used his versatile inside-outside game to lead the Cougars in scoring (23.3 points per game) and rebounding (12.8 rebounds per game) as a junior and again as a senior (20.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg). His unselfish attitude also helped him to lead his team in assists. He ranks second on BYU's all-time rebounding list with 919, an average of 11.6 per game, and fourth all-time with a 19.1 career scoring average while recording a BYU-record 47 double-doubles. Behind the play of Cosic, the Cougars won two WAC titles and reached the NCAA Regional Tournament in 1971 and 1972. Cosic was a three-time first-team All-WAC selection and earned All-American accolades following his junior season. He likely would have been a four-year award winner but freshmen were not allowed to play on varsity. Upon graduation, Cosic became very involved with basketball throughout Europe. He played on four Olympic teams with his native land of Yugoslavia, winning a gold medal in 1980 and two silver medals in 1968 and 1976. He ended his career as the all-time Croatian scoring leader and went on to coach the Yugoslavian National Team for many years. In September of 1992, Cosic was appointed as the Croatian Deputy Ambassador to the United States. He and his family lived in Washington D.C where he performed his diplomatic duties in the same excellent manner in which he played basketball.
BYU REDSHIRTS: SAM BURGESS, VUK IVANOVIC
Junior guard Sam Burgess is redshirting this season. The 6-foot-3 guard from Alpine, Utah, is one of nine juniors on the roster this year. Fellow junior Vuk Ivanovic will also redshirt while he sits out the season due to NCAA transfer rules.
TRANSFERRED: DAVID BURGESS
David Burgess, a 6-foot-10 redshirt freshman center, announced on Dec. 15 that he was transferring from BYU to complete his eligibility. BYU granted his request for a release. Burgess appeared in three of seven games this year, averaging 0.7 points and 1.7 rebounds. Said Burgess, "I thoroughly enjoyed my time at BYU and I think Coach Rose is an unbelievable coach but his system just isn't a good fit for me personally. When I signed, Coach Cleveland's system was a half-court offense, which fits me better as a player. I was excited for Coach Rose to be named the coach and I worked hard to lose some weight and try to prepare myself for his system but it's just not the best fit for me." Burgess has since announced he will transfer to Gonzaga.
BYU HEAD COACH DAVE ROSE
Dave Rose was named to succeed Steve Cleveland as BYU Men's Basketball Head Coach on April 11, 2005. He has started to receive national notice for the outstanding job he is doing during his first season guiding the Cougars. In a Feb. 12 column on ESPN.com, Pat Forde listed Rose as one of the top-three first-year coaches in the nation this season. Among the nearly 40 first-year coaches in college basketball this year, Forde named the 10 he feels are doing the best job, ranking Rose No. 3 overall. Picked to finish last in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason poll of MWC media members, BYU has earned a 16-7 record to date under Rose's tutelage, including an 8-4 conference mark. ESPN analyst Bob Valvano calls BYU "one of the great surprise teams in the country" this season. Rose, who served the past eight seasons as Cleveland's lead assistant in Provo, was promoted to BYU's head job two days after Cleveland announced his resignation to take the head-coaching position at Fresno State. A tireless worker, gifted motivator and strong strategist, Rose served as associate head coach the past five seasons and takes over the BYU program with 22 years of coaching experience, including 10 seasons as a head coach at the junior college and high school levels.
BYU BASKETBALL ON KSL NEWSRADIO
(102.7 FM and 1160 AM)
The "Voice of the Cougars" is KSL Newsradio 1160's Greg Wrubell. He is in his 10th season as the play-by-play voice of BYU basketball. Wrubell, also the voice of BYU football, is joined by former Cougar lettermen Mark Durrant and Russell Larson (for select broadcasts) as color analysts. Durrant has been part of the KSL broadcast team for nine years while Larson is in his first season as an analyst. In addition to live coverage of every Cougar game, the following programs can be heard each week on KSL Newsradio.
COACH ROSE ON KSL NEWSRADIO ...
- Coach's Corner with Dave Rose
Mondays at 8:45 a.m.
- The Dave Rose Show
Mondays from 7-8 p.m.
THE DAVE ROSE SHOW ON KSL-TV
BYU coach Dave Rose's weekly television show airs on Sunday evenings at 11 p.m. on KSL-TV, channel 5 in Salt Lake City. The show will resume airing at the conclusion of the 2006 Winter Olympics.