Jimmy Balderson scored a career-high 24 points in BYU's last outing agaisnt Colorado State, an 86-84 win in Fort Collins. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
GAME #26 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (18-7, 10-4 MWC)
COLORADO STATE RAMS (15-12, 4-10 MWC)
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Marriott Center (22,700)
7:05 p.m. MST
BYU, Dave Rose (18-7 in first year; same overall)
CSU, Dale Layer (85-90 in sixth year; 252-177 in 15 years overall)
BYU leads, 79-45, after winning the first meeting in Fort Collins this season, 86-84
None (Delay broadcast Thursday on BYUTV at 10 p.m. MST and KBYU at 11:30 p.m. MST)
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 COLORADO STATE WEDNESDAY
BYU (18-7, 10-4 MWC) returns home to face Colorado State (15-12, 4-10 MWC) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Cougars, currently in third place in the Mountain West Conference, have won eight of their last nine games overall and 12 straight games in the Marriott Center this season. The Rams have won three of their last four games, including two straight on the road, and are currently eighth in the league. BYU recorded an 86-84 win at Colorado State earlier this year. Wednesday's game will not be televised live but will be delay broadcast Thursday on BYUTV at 10 p.m. MST and KBYU at 11:30 MST. The game can be heard live on KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a 6 p.m. MST pregame show.
BYU will play its final regular-season game against New Mexico on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. Former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic's jersey will be retired in a special halftime ceremony. The game will be a SportsWest Productions telecast broadcast on KSL Channel 5 in Utah. Upper bowl tickets will be available for $3 at the Marriott Center Ticket Office and at the Provo Macey's location.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- Cougar head coach Dave Rose is 18-7 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 third in the MWC with a 10-4 conference record.
-- BYU is 18-7 overall, including 12-1 at home having won 12 straight in the Marriott Center, which is tied for 10th in the nation. The Cougars are 5-6 away and 1-0 at a neutral site. BYU scores an MWC-leading 76.8 ppg and shoots .462 from the field, including .384 from long range, and .711 from the line. Cougar opponents average 71.6 points on .448 shooting, .350 from three and .703 from the line. BYU pulls down 35.8 rebounds per game, third in the league and 2.1 more than its opponents. The Cougars dish out 16.3 assists per game, leading the MWC.
-- Redshirt freshman forward/center Trent Plaisted leads BYU in scoring (13.6) followed by senior guard Brock Reichner (10.8). Plaisted is also the Cougars' top rebounder with 6.8 rebounds per game, which is fifth in the MWC, 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 (2.8), who is ninth. Broadus is second in assist/turnover ratio (1.52).
LOOKING AT COLORADO STATE
The Rams are currently 15-12 overall and 4-10 in the Mountain West Conference having won three of their last four games. CSU has gone 9-5 at home, 4-6 on the road and 2-1 on a neutral court this season. The Rams return three starters and five letterwinners from last year's 11-17 team that finished 3-11 in the MWC, tied for seventh with BYU. Last year's Newcomer of the Year, sophomore Jason Smith is first on the team and third in the league in scoring, averaging 16.7 ppg on 52.5 percent shooting from the floor. The 7-0 forward also pulls down 7.4 rebounds per game, fourth in the MWC. Junior forward Michael Harrison is second on the team in scoring with 12.0 ppg on a league-leading 64.3 percent shooting. Harrison is third on the team in rebounding, pulling down 4.8 boards per contest, and has recorded 58 blocks on the year. Junior point guard Cory Lewis, who has played in and started every game but one this year, is third on the team in scoring at 10.3 ppg while leading the MWC in assists per game (4.4). Lewis also contributes 3.5 rebounds per contest while leading the team with 42 steals on the year. Sophomore guard Sean Morris is fourth on the team in scoring with 9.4 ppg while adding 1.3 rpg. Morris' brother Micheal, a senior guard, is third on the team in rebounding with 4.6 boards per game. Overall, CSU averages 75.9 points per game, second in the MWC behind BYU, on 49.4 percent shooting from the field, which leads the league. The Rams are third in the conference in three-point shooting (.386) and second in free-throw shooting (.725). Ram opponents average 72.4 points per contest on 43.0 percent shooting from the the field, 35.8 percent from beyond the arc and 73.5 percent from the free-throw line. CSU outrebounds its opponents 34.0-32.3. Head coach Dale Layer is 85-90 in his sixth year at CSU and 252-177 in 15 years overall.
CSU'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 14 Jason Smith 7-0 230 So. 16.7 7.4
F 13 Freddy Robinson 6-5 205 Jr. 5.7 2.2
F 55 Michael Harrison 6-9 215 Jr. 12.0 4.8
G 4 Cory Lewis 6-0 170 Jr. 10.3 3.5
G 33 Stephan Gilling 6-2 195 Fr. 7.4 1.0
CSU'S LAST OUTING -- Rams Hold Off Cowboys in Laramie
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Colorado State withstood an 18-7 Wyoming run in the final 3:30 of the game as the Rams earned an 80-78 victory in Laramie Saturday night. The win marks CSU's first win in Wyoming since 2000 and is the Rams' second-straight road win. CSU led by 13 points with a 73-60 advantage with three and a half to go in the game when Wyoming used a 10-2 run to get within five with 1:22 left in the contest. The Rams kept the Cowboys five points out when Micheal Morris hit one of two free throws to give CSU the 79-73 lead with 31 seconds to go. Wyoming made a layin followed by one of two foul shots by CSU's Cory Lewis to put the Ram lead at 80-75 with 23 seconds left. Wyoming's Brandon Ewing then made an improbable three while being fouled with eight seconds to go to pull the Pokes within two. After Ewing missed his foul shot Freddy Robinson pulled down the rebound and was fouled sending him to the free throw line with six seconds to go. Robinson then saw two free throws go in and out giving Wyoming the final shot of the game. The Cowboys found Brandon Ewing in the corner for a potential game-winning three that Cory Lewis blocked giving the Rams the two-point victory. Harrison's 28 was a game-high whth Robinson adding a season-high 18 while Lewis came up with 10. Wyoming's Brad Jones led his team with 20 points while Ewing added 16. CSU was 27-of-48 from the floor (.563) including 13-of-19 in the second half. The Rams hit 22-of-33 free throws in the game and were outrebounded 40-32 in the game. CSU committed 18 turnovers, 11 in the second half, while tying a school record with 12 blocked shots, five by Stuart Creason.
Saturday's game will be the 125th meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1938. BYU leads the series 79-45. The Rams hold a 32-27 advantage in Fort Collins while the Cougars own a 51-10 record in Provo. BYU recorded an 86-84 win in Fort Collins earlier this season. Last year, the two teams split the season series with each school defending its homecourt. In 2004, BYU swept the regular-season series for the second consecutive year, beating the Rams in Fort Collins and again in Provo. CSU has a 3-1 advantage in neutral court games. Before losing at CSU last season, BYU had won the last two games in Fort Collins, ending a six-game losing streak in Moby Arena dating back to 1994. The Cougars have won eight of the last 11 games overall. BYU has won six straight in Provo since CSU swept the series in 1998, winning in Provo, 55-44, on Jan. 22. The two teams did not meet in 1999.
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. COLORADO STATE
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 79-45
BYU Record in Provo: 51-10
BYU Record in Fort Collins: 27-32
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-3
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 1-0
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 4-3* (1-1 Hm, 3-1 Rd, 0-1 Neutral)
*1-0 in 2OT (1971, won 98-92 in Ft. Collins)
Last Overtime Game: 2003, CSU 86, BYU 80
at MWC Tournament in Las Vegas
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
QUOTING BYU COACH DAVE ROSE ...
"Colorado State's personnel is a little different than when we played them last. Robinson is really helping them. He has stepped up the last four of five games. They have gotten a lot better in the half court defensively. Their size can cause us problems."
"They have been in a lot of close games over the course of the year and then you finally win one and it gives you a lot of confidence. I think that if you hit a big shot and you win a big game, your team gets a lot of confidence. Their win at Utah has helped their confidence."
"We're just trying to win the next game. Last year we didn't finish games off like we wanted to but this year we're doing a much better job of that. The thing I worry about the most is our effort and our effort has been excellent. I'm very proud of how our guys have approached each week and each game."
RECENT SERIES OUTINGS
BYU's FIRST OUTING THIS YEAR AT COLORADO STATE -- Balderson, Reichner Lead BYU To Road Win
FORT COLLINS -- The Cougars snapped their seven-game MWC road losing streak Saturday night with an 86-84 win over Colorado State in Moby Arena thanks to big nights from Jimmy Balderson and Brock Reichner. Balderson finished with a career-high 24 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor while Reichner added 23 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 mark from the free-throw line before fouling out. Trent Plaisted added 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds, and Fernando Malaman contributed 10 points. BYU started the game slow, making just one of its first eight shots while watching the Rams drain seven of their first eight and jump out to a 17-6 lead. Reichner single-handedly kept the Cougars in the game, scoring BYU's first 10 points until Malaman stroked a three-pointer at the 12:21 mark. The Cougars recorded six turnovers in the first 4:40, resulting in 11 CSU points. With his team, down 11, junior Austin Ainge entered the game at the point guard spot and got the Cougar offense clicking, as BYU went on a 30-11 run over the next seven minutes to take a 36-28 lead. The run featured 12 points from Balderson and two dunks from Plaisted, including a spectacular one-handed slam off of an alley-oop pass from Austin Ainge on the fastbreak. The Rams attempted a comeback late in the first half as they held BYU to just one field goal in 5:42 to take a 39-38 advantage. But the lead was short-lived as the Cougars scored five of the next six points to take a 43-41 lead into the locker room at the half. Colorado State made the first bucket of the second half to retake the lead, but Balderson made quick work of the Rams from there, scoring six points during a 12-4 run to give BYU a 55-47 lead. Colorado State battled back at the free-throw line with a 9-2 spurt featuring five makes from the stripe to cut the lead to just one point at 57-56. But the Cougars answered right back with an 13-2 run to take their largest lead of the game at 70-58 with 10 minutes to play. However, BYU went cold from the floor from there, going 7:21 without a field goal and allowing the Rams to take their first lead since the opening bucket of the half at 78-77 with 2:56 left to play. With the fans going wild, Reichner stroked a three-pointer on the other end to give the Cougars an 80-78 advantage. The Rams threatened again with two free-throw opportunities but could not convert the second shot, allowing Rashaun Broadus to drain a three-pointer off the fastbreak for a four-point cushion with just under two minutes to play. Colorado State sank two free throws but Balderson converted a layin to maintain BYU's lead. But Colorado State was not going down easily, stroking a three-pointer on its next trip down the floor to cut the lead to one point with 55 seconds left to play. A turnover by Balderson gave the Rams the chance play for the win with 33 seconds left but a missed jumper and a subsequent rebound by Malaman with 14 seconds to play took the wind out of the Rams' sails.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "Jimmy really stepped up tonight, and Brock played like a leader and settled things down. Trent made the big plays we needed. Those are the guys that we need to play well in order to win, and they did for us tonight. They made the big plays when we needed them."
-- "Trent's dunk was spectacular. When Austin let that pass go, I thought it would be our eighth or ninth turnover. I never thought he would make the dunk. To see it go down like that was amazing. It was one of the best dunks I've ever seen in my experience at any level."
-- "This has been a big week for our team. We got down early tonight, but we've shown that we have the character to overcome challenges and have good results. Both teams played hard tonight and left everything out there on the floor. I'm just proud of our guys for finishing it off and getting the win."
Colorado State Head Coach Dale Layer
-- "I thought we played with great intensity. We had two good looks at the end and they didn't go down."
-- "I like our effort. I thought we got better tonight. It's a disappointing loss, but hopefully we'll get better from it."
-- "I thought Ainge handled (the defensive pressure) well. He was the guy who penetrated and set other people up."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Jimmy Balderson - 24 points; Brock Reichner -- 4 steals.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Most Steals -- 17; Highest Field Goal Percentage Allowed in a First Half - .650.
-- The Cougars' win at CSU snaps a seven-game MWC road losing streak dating back to Feb. 5, 2005.
-- BYU's 57 percent mark from three-point range marks the first time in conference play that the Cougars have shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc. BYU shot over 40 percent from three-point range in five of its 11 nonconference games.
-- With a 51 percent mark from the field, BYU had its best shooting night in conference play and its best since a 64.5 percent performance against Eastern Washington.
-- BYU's 43 first-half points against Colorado State marks just the third time this season that the Cougars have scored at least 40 in the first half.
-- The Cougars' two-point halftime lead (43-41) at CSU marks the first time in five games that BYU has had a lead at the half. On the season, the Cougars are 9-0 when leading at the half and enjoy an average halftime lead of 10.7 points.
-- Junior Jimmy Balderson followed up a 10-point outing against TCU with a career-high 24 points at CSU, marking the eighth time this season he has scored in double figures and the 17th time in his career. Balderson entered the CSU game averaging 7.6 ppg.
-- Trent Plaisted threw down his 19th and 20th dunks of the season on back-to-back slams in the first half, including a one-handed throwdown off an ally-oop pass from Austin Ainge, and added his 21st dunk of the year in the second half. As a team, the Cougars have recorded 31 dunks on the year.
-- Senior walk-on Brock Reichner, who entered the game averaging 10.2 points per contest, scored BYU's first 10 points of the game until Fernando Malaman hit a three-pointer with 12:21 left in the first half. Reichner finished with 23 points before fouling out.
-- Reichner also went 7-for-7 from the free-throw line against the Rams, bringing his consecutive free-throws made streak to 19.
-- The Cougars began the game 1-for-8 from the field while allowing the Rams to make seven of their first eight shots and jump out to a 17-6 lead.
-- After allowing the Rams to record 11 of their first 14 points off of Cougar turnovers, BYU outscored Colorado State 19-2 off of turnovers, including 16 straight, to finish the first half with a 19-13 advantage.
-- Junior Austin Ainge made an immediate impact upon entering the game at the 15:19 mark of the first half with BYU down 17-6. With Ainge at the point, the Cougars went on a 30-11 run over the next seven minutes.
- After taking a 36-28 lead with 7:12 left in the first half, BYU made just one basket in the next 5:42, allowing CSU to go on a 10-2 run and take a 39-38 lead.
- After enjoying their largest lead of the game at 70-58, the Cougars did not make a basket from the field for 7:21, allowing CSU to take a 78-77 lead.
LAST YEAR IN FORT COLLINS -- Late Surge Falls Short Against Rams
FORT COLLINS -- BYU's Austin Ainge caught fire early and never cooled off in leading the Cougars with a career-high 25 points, but Colorado State's bench lifted the Rams past BYU 74-67 at Moby Arena. CSU's bench overwhelmingly outscored the Cougar bench, 47-8. "We need our bench to score more," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "And we have to make shots on the road if we want to win." Ainge got the Cougars off to a quick start, connecting on a long range three-pointer and two free throws to take a 5-0 lead. BYU's early lead quickly disappeared as the Rams capitalized on Cougar turnovers and a dismal 18.9 percent first-half shooting performance. BYU's leading scorer Mike Hall was held scoreless in the opening period. The Rams ran away with a 10-0 run late in the first half to take a 32-22 lead into the locker room. In the second half, the Cougars jumped on the Rams with a quick 6-0 spurt and continued to crawl back, eventually taking a 43-42 lead at the 11-minute mark. But the Rams regained the lead for good on a lay-up by freshman 7-footer Jason Smith, who scored a career-high 19 points. With under a minute left to play, Ainge brought the Cougars within three on back-to-back three-pointers, but the Rams sharp free-throw shooting gave CSU the victory and continued its unbeaten record at home this season. "It came down to execution on both sides of the floor," Cleveland said. "Chris (Miles) and Jared (Jensen) both played well in the second half offensively and defensively." BYU finished the game shooting 35 percent from the field. Mike Hall contributed 11 points while Jared Jensen scored nine points and equaled a career-high 10 rebounds. Miles added eight points and a career-best seven rebounds while assisting in holding CSU's leading scorer Matt Nelson to just 11 points. BYU is now 0-10 when scoring less than 70 points. At 6-11 overall and 0-2 in the Mountain West Conference, BYU will continue the Front Range road swing on Monday in Laramie when the Cougars and Cowboys tip-off in a nationally televised 10 p.m. (MST) tilt on ESPN.
LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- Cougars Edge Rams, 50-49
PROVO -- The Cougars found a little love on Valentines Day as they ended their two-game skid with a 50-49 victory over Colorado State in the Marriott Center. Senior Mike Hall led BYU with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor and 4-of-5 accuracy from the line. Sophomore Austin Ainge added 10 points, a game-high five assists and a team-best six rebounds. BYU's Derek Dawes, Chris Miles and Jared Jensen teamed to make CSU 7-footer Matt Nelson, who entered the game ranked sixth nationally in field goal percentage, work hard for his 10 points as Nelson made only 4-of-14 attempts from the field. Nelson pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to record a double-double, while fellow 7-footer Stuart Creason led the Rams with 11 points. The Rams' third 7-footer, Jason Smith, came off the bench to add four points and five rebounds. BYU forward Keena Young scored four points and grabbed four rebounds while giving up six inches to his opponent during 13 minutes on the floor. The Cougars opened the game with a sluggish start as CSU scored nine straight points to lead the Cougars 9-0. BYU wouldn't score in the first five minutes until an Ainge floater gave BYU its first points. The floater would spark a streak of scoring for the Cougars as they battled to pull within one. The streak was capped by a Hall steal and follow by a trailing Ainge to put the score at 13-12 or the Rams. Ainge would tie the game at 19 with a deep three pointer with 2 minutes left in the half. After a CSU miss, Ainge pushed the floor and dished to Hall who got fouled. He made the free throws and BYU had their first lead at 21-19. From there, the Cougars would go on a 6-2 run to end the half as BYU took a 27-21 halftime lead to the locker room. The Cougars opened up the second half with an immediate three by Jimmy Balderson, and BYU took its largest lead of the game a minute later at 31-21 on a Derek Dawes free throw. But Colorado pushed back, mainly by the play of their brother guard combo. The Morris', Michael and Sean, whittled the nine point lead down to two at 34-32. But the house would come down with a poster dunk by Hall, giving BYU a two-point lead and some badly needed momentum. Young took an Ainge miss and put it back to help extend the Cougars' lead. The Cougars were unable put the pesky Rams away. After a Cougar turnover, Colorado State scored a two-point bucket by Nelson to cut the lead to one with 25 seconds remaining. The Rams had the chance to pull out the victory after another BYU turnover but couldn't score on either of their last second attempts, allowing the Cougars to hold on for their third conference win of the season. The win gives Cleveland the most Mountain West Conference wins (48) and moves him into fourth place on BYU's all-time victory list with 138.
BYU's LAST OUTING -- Cougars Victorious in Final Road Game
FORT WORTH -- The Cougars completed the season series sweep of TCU Saturday night and doubled their win total from last year with an 81-72 win over the Horned Frogs in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. BYU has now won eight of its last nine games beginning with an 89-80 overtime win against TCU in Provo, a game some have dubbed the "Marriott Center Miracle." The Horned Frogs have lost nine straight beginning with that game. The Cougars' current four-game winning streak has improved their record to 18-7 overall and 10-4 in the Mountain West Conference. In a first half reminiscent of the first matchup of the season between the two teams, the Cougars started out slow, missing their first five shots before Rashaun Broadus drained a three-pointer 2:35 into the game. TCU, meanwhile, who entered the game as the league's worst shooting team, made 4-of-5 to start. The BYU shooting drought did not last long, however, as the Cougars made five of their next six baskets to take an early 14-10 lead. Down 20-16, TCU put together a 10-0 run as BYU did not score from the field for 3:29. A technical foul called on Jimmy Balderson helped spark the Horned Frogs, who also recorded two emphatic dunks during the Cougars' scoreless stretch. From there, BYU put together a 12-2 spurt of its own to end the half and retake the lead at 32-28. The Horned Frogs overcame 14 first-half turnovers and a 7:01 scoring drought from the field to end the half by holding BYU to just 36.7 percent shooting in the first period of play. BYU opened up its largest lead of the game to that point at 39-32 just two minutes into the second half thanks to four points from Broadus and a three-pointer from Brock Reichner. The Horned Frogs fought back with a 13-5 run to wrestle the lead away from the Cougars at 45-44. However, Balderson, making his first appearance of the second half, drained a three-pointer to spark a 7-0 BYU run that gave the Cougars a 51-45 advantage. Keena Young, who had a quiet first half after posting a career-high 20 points against SDSU, took over the game from there, recording seven straight points for BYU to help the Cougars maintain a six-point cushion. The two teams went back and forth over the next four minutes until four straight free throws gave the Cougars a 10-point lead at 68-58. TCU refused to go down without a fight, however, preventing BYU from pulling away by making shots down the stretch to keep the Cougars on their toes. A three-pointer with a minute to play brought the Horned Frogs to within six at 76-70 and brought back memories of BYU's 11-3 run in the last minute of play to erase an eight-point deficit and force overtime in the first game between the two teams this season. But it was not to be for TCU as the Cougars showed why they are the league's hottest team in notching the 81-72 win. Plaisted put on a show against the Horned Frogs, leading BYU with 17 points and 18 rebounds, the most by a Cougar since Gary Trost pulled down 18 on Dec. 19, 1991. He was joined in double figures by Broadus with 16 points, Young with 15, Balderson with 11 and Lee Cummard with 10 points. Fourteen of Young's 15 points came in the second half. Austin Ainge came off the bench to lead BYU with six assists.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "The game was kind of dysfunctional as far as flow when you consider all the free throws and the clock malfunctions. We were playing a little out of character, especially in the first half. The pace of how we played in second half was much better. It really helped us play better."
-- "This game was really important for us. We wanted to go into the final week of the season in a position to get a piece of the Mountain West Conference Championship. We had to win tonight to do that. This win was big for our players and for our program at this point."
-- "Trent was terrific tonight. From the get-go, he was active and tracking down balls. His six offensive rebounds were really huge for us. He's a special athlete."
TCU Head Coach Neil Dougherty
-- "We weren't able to guard without fouling. Forty free throws is a large number. You've got to give them credit, they got us out of position. Plaisted is the best freshman in the conference.
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Trent Plaisted -- 18 rebounds; Jackson Emery -- 2 steals (tied).
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Most Free Throws Made -- 25 (tied); Most Free Throws Attempted -- 40.
-- With an 18-7 overall record, this season, BYU has doubled its win total from last year when the Cougars suffered a disappointing 9-21 season to end five straight postseason appearances.
-- BYU has now won its last four games and eight of its last nine.
-- With the win, the Cougars are now 13-0 when leading at the half, 16-0 when leading with five minutes left to play and 17-0 when leading with one minute left.
-- BYU is 15-3 when scoring 70 or more points and has reached the 70-point threshold in the last four games, all wins.
-- With the victory at TCU in their final regular-season road game, the Cougars finished the year 5-6 overall on the road and 4-4 in Mountain West Conference play. Including neutral court games, BYU is 6-6 away from the Marriott Center this year. The Cougars' four league road wins included victories at Colorado State, New Mexico, Wyoming and TCU. BYU's win at The Pit ended the Lobos' 21-game home win streak.
-- Just one game after shooting 59.4 percent against the league-leading San Diego State Aztecs, the Cougars shot just 36.7 percent in the first half against TCU, their fourth-worst first-half mark of the season. BYU has shot under 40 percent in the first half just four times in conference play with two of those outings coming against TCU.
-- Trent Plaisted recorded his fifth double-double of the season against TCU, finishing with 17 points and a and MWC freshman record 18 rebounds, topping his previous career mark of 16 rebounds set in the earlier meeting between the two teams this season. Plaisted reached double figures in both categories in the first half with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
-- Plaisted's 18 rebounds are the most by a BYU player since Dec. 19, 1991 when Gary Trost recorded 18. Only 14 players have ever recorded more rebounds.
-- After going scoreless from the field in the first half, scoring just one point from the free-throw line, Keena Young came on strong in the second half, scoring 14 points in the second period of play, including seven straight points for BYU to help the Cougars maintain a six-point cushion over the Horned Frogs in the middle of the half. Young has scored in double figures in the last five games.
-- Fernando Malaman recorded his first block in the last five games. Malaman leads the Cougars with 25 blocks this season and is eighth in the league averaging 1.0 blocks per game.
-- Lee Cummard scored in double figures for just the second time this season with 10 points. Cummard recorded 13 points against Wyoming.
-- Jimmy Balderson reached double figures in scoring with his second dunk of the year in the closing seconds of the game, finishing with 11 points. Balderson has scored in double figures in eight of the last nine games, all BYU wins.
SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR BYU VS. NEW MEXICO
Upper bowl tickets to BYU's last regular-season game on Saturday vs. New Mexico will be available for the discounted price of $3 at the Marriott Center Ticket Office and at the Provo Macey's location. "Macey's is an outstanding supporter of BYU Athletics," said BYU Director of Marketing Emily Deans. "We appreciate their willingness and excitement to help us fill the Marriott Center on what is sure to be a very special night." Former great Kresimir Cosic's jersey will be retired at halftime.
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 18-7 overall record, BYU has yet to suffer consecutive defeats this season, having bounced back from each 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 have matched their longest winning streak of the year with wins vs. UNLV, at Wyoming, vs. San Diego State and at TCU. BYU's prior victory streaks this year include one four-game streak, two three-game streaks and two two-game streaks. BYU has won eight of its last nine games.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
BYU is 10-0 this season when holding opponents under 70 points and 8-7 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes are currently averaging 71.6 points per game. BYU is also 15-3 when scoring 70 or more points and 3-4 when falling below the 70-point mark. The Cougars lead the league in scoring, averaging 76.8 ppg, and scored 100 points in conference play for the first time since Feb. 10, 1994 in their home game against league-leader San Diego State.
Overall this year, nine players have started while Coach Dave Rose has used seven starting lineups. True freshman Jackson Emery has started the last two games, the first starts of his career. Junior Rashaun Broadus has started the last eight games after missing the first Wyoming game (team rules violation) and the next two starts. Junior Keena Young made his 10th straight start of the season at TCU. Trent Plaisted has started each game while Brock Reichner has started every game but the first. Rashaun Broadus has started 22 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.
BYU AT THE POINT
BYU's Rashaun Broadus (3.9 apg) and Austin Ainge (2.8 apg) rank third and ninth, respectively, among Mountain West Conference players in assists per game this season while helping the Cougars lead the MWC in team assists at 16.3 apg. Broadus and Ainge have combined for 121 assists compared to 67 turnovers in BYU's 18 wins while totaling 42 assists and 29 turnovers in the Cougars' seven defeats. Broadus has 68 assists and 41 turnovers in the wins with 25 assists and 20 turnovers in the losses. Ainge boasts 53 assists to 26 turnovers in the victories while totaling 17 assists and 9 turnovers in defeats. With his overall 93 assists to 61 turnovers, Broadus ranks second in the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.52). As a team, BYU has made an assist on 60 percent of its field goals this season. In conference play, Broadus has 37 assists and 33 turnovers while Ainge has 30 assists and 24 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 (13.6) leads BYU in scoring while fellow post players Keena Young (10.0) and Fernando Malaman (7.1) are third and sixth, respectively. Plaisted (13.6) and Young (12.2) rank first and second, respectively, in league games. Overall, Young (.531) and Plaisted (.523) rank sixth and eighth, respectively, among the MWC's top players in field goal percentage. Malaman (.525) would be tied for seventh but is one field goal short of the 75 required to be ranked. Derek Dawes is shooting .415 from the floor and .743 from the line. Young makes a strong .780 from the line. Malaman is second on the team with a 44.4 percent success rate (16-of-36) 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 10.8 ppg, including a team-high 48 threes on 49.0 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 fourth in scoring at 9.8 ppg with 25 treys. Freshman Lee Cummard started in place of Balderson in 14 games until the last two games and is averaging 5.1 points in 15.1 minutes while shooting 46.4 percent from the floor. Jackson Emery is shooting 41.7 percent from the floor and has made 12 triples while averaging 3.0 points in 9.7 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 last Saturday and has started the last two games, his first collegiate starts. Junior Mike Rose plays 9.2 minutes in the rotation on the wing, averaging 3.3 points, including 18 treys, in his 21 appearances.
BYU's 76.8 points per game are coming in a variety of ways as the Cougars outscore their opponents in every statistical category on the season. BYU has scored 59 more points in the paint this season, outpacing its opponents underneath in 12 games, tying in three and being outscored in 10. The Cougars have also capitalized on opponent miscues in their 25 games to date, scoring 32 more points off of turnovers while outscoring foes in that category in 13 games, tying in one and being outscored in 11. BYU enjoys a 65-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 six games this year with a 242-161 margin.
NCAA SELECTIONS AND THE MWC
The MWC 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 losing to 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 FIELD
BYU had one of its best scoring nights of the year against San Diego State 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 this 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 Air Force on Feb. 23, 2004.
Jimmy Balderson has played a significant role in helping the Cougars win eight of their last nine games. Balderson has scored in double figures in all eight wins while scoring just five points in BYU's lone loss at Utah during the streak. He is averaging 13.9 points per game over the last nine contests.
KING OF THE GLASS
Redshirt freshman Trent Plaisted pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds at TCU, 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.
BYU is 13-0 when leading at the half, 4-7 when trailing and 1-0 when tied. Of the 13 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. BYU averages 4.9 more second-half points than its opponents after a slight 0.17 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 an 18-7 record to date under Rose's tutelage, including a 10-4 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 THREE NATIONAL FRESHMAN HONORS
BYU redshirt freshman forward/center Trent Plaisted has received national recognition for his play. 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, and received ESPN's Dick Vitale also named Plaisted his Diaper Dandy of the Week for his play the week of Feb. 6. He also was named the Rivals.com Freshman Player of the Week for his outings against San Diego State and at TCU, which included a BYU freshman-record 18 rebounds against the Horned Frogs.
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. Broadus helped the Cougars to a 2-0 conference record 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).
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, his first weekly and career honor. 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.
BYU TO RETIRE COSIC JERSEY
In an historic event, BYU will retire the uniform of former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic on March 4, 2006, during the final regular season home game against New Mexico. Cosic 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."
Cosic's No. 11 jersey will be retired, which means current BYU senior Brock Reichner will be the last player to wear No. 11 for the Cougars. Danny Ainge's No. 22 will also not be worn again by a Cougar.
The criteria considered to retire a jersey include the following:
-- First team All-American
-- Recipient of major national award
-- University graduate
-- Minimum 15-year waiting period
-- Significant accomplishments after BYU graduation (athletics, community, church)
-- Faithful member of LDS Church or other religious affiliation
Few players in BYU history have been able to capture the hearts of Cougar fans like Kresimir Cosic did from 1970-73. The 6-11 center from Zadar, Yugoslavia, entertained fans during his stellar career with his enthusiastic, guard-like play. Whether it was leading the fastbreak, dribbling between his legs or shooting a sky-hook, Cosic's enthusiasm and on-the-court antics endeared him to almost everyone who saw him play.
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.
His national and international accomplishments led to his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on May 6, 1996, making Cosic just the second Cougar to receive the prestigious honor, along with coach Stan Watts, and the only BYU player.
In September of 1992, Cosic was appointed as the Croatian Deputy Ambassador to the United States. On May 25, 1995, Cosic lost his battle against the toughest opponent of his career -- cancer. In the 46 years prior to his death, Cosic became one of the most influential and well-known of all European basketball players.
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 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 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.