BYU (18-7, 7-3 MWC) travels to take on the Air Force Academy (11-13, 2-9 MWC) Saturday at 4 p.m. MST. The game is a SportsWest Productions telecast that will air on KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and also can be viewed over the Church Satellite System or pay-per-view via ESPN FULL COURT. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing analysis. Live audio is available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and on KSL.com and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
The Cougars enter the weekend tied for second place in the Mountain West Conference standings along with Wyoming. Coming off its loss at Utah, BYU is 4-1 at home and 3-2 on the road in league play. The Falcons are in last place but have suffered numerous close defeats, including their 74-70 loss at UNLV on Monday. Air Force begins three straight home games to end the regular season. The Falcons are 2-2 at home and 0-7 on the road in league games.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
BYU will bus to Albuquerque to play its final regular season road game against New Mexico in The Pit Monday at 7 p.m. The game will be aired on KSL-TV in Utah (SportsWest). New Mexico enters a Saturday game with MWC-leader Utah with a 3-8 conference record (9-15 overall).
GAME #26 FAST FACTS (MWC GAME #11)
BYU (18-7, 7-3 MWC) @ AIR FORCE (11-13, 2-9 MWC)
SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2003
CLUNE ARENA (6,002)
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, COLORADO
4:07 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (103-76 in sixth year; same overall)
AFA, Joe Scott (28-53 in third year; same overall)
BYU leads, 40-8; Last: BYU won 65-33 in Provo on Feb. 3, 2003
SportsWest Productions (KSL-TV in Utah; KXTU in Colorado Springs)
Satellite: Telstar 5 TRANSPONDER K19 (also via Church Satellite System)
Pay-per-view: ESPN FULL COURT
Play-by-Play: Tom Kirkland
Game Analyst: Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 3 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live audio links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) and on KSL.com and byuradio.org or via BYU Radio on Dish Network.
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 13.6 3.9
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.4 3.6
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 10.9 8.6
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.4 4.8 2.7 apg
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 6.1 2.2 2.3 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 6.1 1.7
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.6 2.6
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 So. 2.3 1.6 2.1 apg
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 3.0 1.5
G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 2.4 1.4
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.6 0.7
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.3 0.7
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.2 0.9
AIR FORCE ACADEMY FALCONS
Air Force is 11-13 overall and 2-9 in the MWC. The Falcons have dropped below the .500 mark with its two road losses last week at SDSU and UNLV. It is the first time since a season-opening loss to Louisville that the Falcons have been sub .500. Air Force returns home to host the final three regular season games of the season, beginning with Saturday's BYU game at Clune Arena. Air Force is 8-2 at home which is the best home record since the 1987-88 campaign, when the Falcons began 9-1. The Falcons have been tough at home this year. The team's six-game home winning streak to start the season marked the first time in school history AFA won its first six Division I home games. The Falcons won those six home games by an average of 22.2 points. Unlike the cold-shooting-plagued 10-point first half the Falcons experienced in Provo this year, they usually get it going in Clune Arena. As an example, Air Force set a pair of new school shooting records against Colorado State Feb. 15. The Falcons made 13-of-15 shots in the first half, the best percentage (86.7) for one half in school history. Air Force finished the game shooting 71.9 percent (23-32) from the field, the best percentage ever for a conference game. The Falcons hope Clune Arena helps them bring a different result than what occurred on their road swing through Utah when AFA had its lowest total for consecutive games in school history. AFA's 33 points (at BYU) and 35 (at Utah) are No. 3 and 4, respectively, on AFA's list for fewest points scored in one game. Air Force is coached by Joe Scott (Princeton, 1987), who is in his third season with the Falcons. He has a 28-53 record in his tenure at Air Force. Scott came to AFA from his alma mater, Princeton, where he was an assistant coach from 1993-2000. The Falcons are currently ranked No. 1 in the country in scoring defense (57.5 ppg) and is tied for 8th in turnovers per game (11.6). Air Force is 13th in the nation in three-pointers made per game (8.6) after most of the season in the top two. AFA is 20th in the nation in three-point percentage (.392). Sophomore guard Tim Keller is third in the nation in three-point percentage (47.7 percent) in the latest rankings. He leads the Falcons in scoring at 15.6 ppg, followed by junior forward Joel Gerlach at 11.9. Senior center Tom Bellairs is the top rebounder (4.4 rpg) and assist man (3.1 apg) and adds 6.1 ppg. He is the fifth player in school history to record 800 points and 600 rebounds in a career. Bellairs is No. 3 on the MWC's all-time rebounding list, behind Wyoming's Josh Davis (795) and UNLV senior Dalron Johnson (781). Junior swingman A.J. Kuhle adds 8.9 ppg and 3.0 apg.
AIR FORCE COMING OFF CLOSE DEFEAT AT UNLV MONDAY
Marcus Banks scored 31 points to lead UNLV past Air Force, 74-70, Monday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Banks scored 12 of 14 points for the Rebels during a stretch late in the game to hold off an Air Force rally. Trailing 51-41 with just over 10 minutes remaining, the Falcons slowly and steadily cut into the UNLV lead and got as close as two points, 69-67, with 19 seconds remaining. Dalron Johnson hit four consecutive free throws from their to push the lead back to six points, 73-67, with 5.5 seconds remaining. AFA's Tim Keller hit a late three-pointer and JK Edwards of UNLV hit a free throw in the final seconds to make up the final margin. Keller and Gerlach each scored 21 points to lead Air Force. Tom Bellairs chipped in with his 13th career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Falcons finished the game hitting 54.8 percent from the field and hit a season-high for a conference game 11 three-pointers. Johnson added 17 points and a game-high eight rebounds for the Rebels. Jermaine Lewis added 15 points, all in the first half as the Rebels withstood a red-hot start by Air Force. The Falcons hit their first seven and eight of their first nine field goals to start the game. Despite the hot shooting, the Falcons were unable to build a lead larger than two points. The team closed the half hitting 57.9 percent from the field while allowing 55.6 percent shooting. "We were a better team tonight than we were on Saturday in San Diego," Air
Force head coach Joe Scott said. "We played Air Force basketball tonight. When we do that we have a chance to win. The road is tough. Most the teams in our league win at home. We just had now answer for Banks. He's a tough player." The Falcons fell to 11-13 overall and 2-9 in the conference. The loss marks the first time AFA has fallen two games below .500 on the year.
AIR FORCE'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG APG
G/F 10 A.J. Kuhle 6-4 185 Jr. 8.9 2.8 3.0
F 33 Joel Gerlach 6-6 195 Jr. 11.9 2.8 0.9
F/C 32 Tom Bellairs 6-7 220 Sr. 6.1 4.4 3.1
G 11 Tim Keller 6-3 180 So. 15.6 2.5 2.4
G 22 Vernard Jenkins 5-9 177 Sr. 4.1 1.1 2.6
BYU has won six of the last seven games in the series. The Cougars held the Falcons to only 33 points in winning by the third largest margin in the series history at 65-33 in Provo during the first meeting this year. The 33 points is the fewest scored by the Falcons in the series. AFA scored 40 points in a loss in 1982. The two teams split last year's series, both winning at home. AFA's win at Clune Arena last January ended a BYU four-game winning streak in the series. BYU has won seven of the last 10 outings since winning a series-best 15 straight over the Falcons from 1990-96. BYU has won the last 12 games in the Marriott Center since a 79-78 Falcon win in 1989 (Cleveland is 4-0 in Provo). Air Force has won three of the last four at USAFA (Cleveland is 1-3 at Air Force). AFA has never won back-to-back games in the series since the first two games in 1961 and 1963.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 40-8
BYU Record in Provo: 20-3
BYU Record in Colorado Springs: 17-5
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 3-0
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 7-3
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 2-0 (1-0 Rd, 1-0 Ntrl)
Last Overtime Game: 1989, won at AFA, 89-88
Longest BYU Win Streak: 15 (1990-96)
Longest Air Force Win Streak: 2 (1961-63)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 35, 103-68 in 1993
Largest Air Force Margin of Victory: 19, 80-61 in 1998
Most Points Scored by BYU: 110 in 1965
Most Points Scored by Air Force: 93 in 1987
LAST MEETING -- COUGARS DOWN FALCONS 65-33 IN PROVO
PROVO, Utah (February 3,203) -- Head coach Steve Cleveland records his 100th win at BYU in a 65-33 route over the Air Force Academy Monday night. Cleveland is now 100-74 in his sixth seasons. BYU held the Falcons to just 21.6 percent shooting on the night (11-of-51) and gave up a season-low 33 points to control the Falcons and earn the win. AFA's 10 first-half points was the lowest half of scoring ever in the Marriott Center. BYU improved to 15-4 overall (4-1 MWC) behind Travis Hansen. The senior guard led BYU in scoring with 16 points while grabbing five rebounds in just 23 minutes. Cleveland emptied his bench to allow other players to get minutes. All 13 Cougars played and all but two got on the board. Rafael Araujo was one point away from another double-double. The big man ended the game with nine points and 12 boards in 18 minutes. The Cougars shot a season-high 71.4 percent from behind the arc to gain an early lead on the Falcons, who tried countering the size of the Cougars by playing their slow-paced motion offense. Air Force made just four field goals in the first half and BYU took advantage by taking a 30-10 lead into the locker room. In the second half, the cold shooting continued for the Falcons and BYU blew the game wide open. The Cougars took their largest lead of the game of 37 points on a layup by Jake Shoff with 3:55 to play. The Cougars kept the Falcons off the boards all night and out-rebounded AFA 55-21. Tim Keller and Antoine Hood scored nine points each to lead the Academy. Keller dropped five threes on BYU last year at Colorado Springs in the Air Force win. With the loss, Air Force drops to 10-9 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE FIRST MEETING THIS YEAR ...
"I thought we did a nice job of containing their back cuts and contesting shotS. There were 10 or 15 shots they missed that they will hit at their place. It will be a different game at Air Force."
LAST YEAR AT AFA - FALCONS BOMBED COUGARS WITH THREES
USAFA -- BYU was blind-sided by a hungry Air Force team in a 74-64 loss at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The Falcons began the game with a full-court press and bombarded the Cougars with 13 three-pointers on their way to their first conference win of the season. Air Force (7-10, 1-3) put BYU on its heels early with its fast and furious long-range shooting, dropping seven three-pointers on the Cougars in the first half alone. Tim Keller came off the bench to burn Brigham Young with 5-of-5 three-point shooting in the first half. BYU (12-5, 2-2) actually shot better percentages in all shooting categories in the first half, going 10-15 from the floor and 3-5 from beyond the three-point arc. But the Falcons shot nearly twice as much as the Cougars. The Falcons went 16-29 from the field, including 9-16 three-point shooting in the first half. At the start of the second half, the Cougars turned to Jared Jensen. Jensen scored seven of BYU's first nine points as BYU rallied back early in the second half. For the game, Jensen notched game highs in scoring with 20 points and seven rebounds. The freshman center's 20 points is a career high. BYU freshman guard Jimmy Balderson also made an impact, scoring 14 points and grabbing 6 rebounds off the bench for the Cougars. His 14 points is the most he has scored against a division one opponent. Balderson recorded career highs in three-pointers made and attempted with 2-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. But their efforts would not be enough to stop the scrappy Falcons -- a team that lost its last two games to Utah in overtime and to New Mexico by three points. Two true freshmen scored more than half of BYU's points with Jensen's 20 points and Balderson's 14 points.The Cougars made 19-of-23 (82.6%) shots from the stripe. BYU's shooting guards struggled. Travis Hansen fouled out with five points on 2-of-7 shooting. In his first career start, sixth man Daniel Bobik took and made only one shot.
WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AT AFA LAST YEAR ...
"Why we would come out and play with this kind of energy, I'm not sure. Not only was there a lack of defensive intensity, but there was also a lack of defensive court sense and awareness. It was like a clinic for them. Once they got their confidence, then they could make their threes even when they were contested. I thought Jimmy Balderson came off the bench and earned the right to play, and that's what he did. He gave us a huge lift. We'd already given them all their confidence in the first half. They were hungry. They found a way to win tonight and we did not. We didn't have the energy until the last eight or nine minutes."
BYU'S LAST OUTING -- COUGARS UNABLE TO UPEND STREAKING UTES
SALT LAKE -- In a match-up of the two top teams in the Mountain West Conference on ESPN's Big Monday, Utah (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) got 44 points from Tim Frost and Nick Jacobson to continue its streaking play with a 71-64 win over BYU at the Huntsman Center. The loss drops the Cougars to 18-7 overall and 7-3 in the MWC, while Utah improves to 21-4 and 9-1 with a two game lead over BYU and Wyoming. "It's never nice to lose, but I like the fact that we put ourselves in a position to win tonight," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "We had three or four opportunities to tie or win the game, but we didn't execute when we needed to." Held to a 42 percent from the field and 26 percent from behind the arc, the Cougars stayed in the game by forcing the Runnin' Utes into 20 turnovers, one off their season high. BYU scored 23 points off the Utah turnovers, but Utah's stifling defense held the Cougar triumvirate of Rafael Araujo, Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow to 38 points on 13-of-34 shooting. After Utah scored first to take a 2-0 lead, BYU reeled off a 7-0 run to take its largest lead of the game, but the Utes turned around with a quick 6-0 run of their own to retake the lead at 8-7. The two teams would battle for the lead as the first half unfolded, but the Utes started to pull away on threes by Frost, Richard Chaney and Nick Jacobson. The shot by Jacobson with 2:04 remaining in the first half saw the Utes lead bulge to nine points, 31-22. BYU would clamp down on the final four Utah possessions of the half, though, and went into the locker room on a 4-0 run to trail at the break 31-26. "I was proud of our effort defensively and offensively, especially in the second half," Cleveland said. "We didn't have our best offensive night, but it wasn't for a lack of effort." Utah, which improved to 64-2 in home conference games over the past nine seasons, came out in the second half with a 12-4 run to enjoy its largest margin at 43-30. BYU would chip away with timely baskets, but the Utes would seemingly answer almost every Cougar challenge. Bigelow hit a trey at 12:26 to draw the Cougars within eight at 43-35, but Jacobson would answer with his own three at 12:04. After a Frost jump hook put the Utes up 51-40, the Cougars stormed back with a 7-0 run, behind two free throws by Hansen, a free throw by Kevin Woodberry and baskets from Araujo and Luiz Lemes to narrow the gap to four at 51-47 and forcing the Utes into a timeout. Utah would then extend its lead back up to nine at 60-51, but a triple by Woodberry would draw the Cougars to within four again at 63-59. On the ensuing Utes possession Woodberry and Ricky Bower teamed up to strip Jacobson of the ball. Woodberry had a clear path to the basket but was fouled by Jacobson, sending him to the line where he made 1-of-2 free throws. The Ute lead was cut to three, but the Cougars couldn't get any closer as Utah sealed the game by making free throws down the stretch. With the win Utah extended its MWC record by winning its ninth consecutive conference game, and also extended its home winning streak to 16 games. The Utes shot 44 percent from the field and three-point line as well as 92 percent from the free-throw line. "We can't dwell on this loss, because we've got the biggest weekend of the year coming up," Cleveland said.
UTES TAKE TWO-GAME LEAD IN TWO DIFFERENT WAYS
With its win over BYU Monday, Utah takes a two-game lead over BYU and Wyoming in the MWC standings. The win also gives Utah its first two-game lead (118-116) in the overall series against BYU that began in 1909. Utah has led the series only three times overall but each time has by a single game until its win Monday.
Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars (18-7) earned an 11-4 non-conference record and are tied for second place with Wyoming at 7-3 behind No. 22 Utah (9-1) in the MWC standings. Hansen leads the team in scoring (16.4) and assists (2.7) and is second in rebounding (4.8); Bigelow is second in scoring (13.6), third in rebounding (3.9) and the team's top three-point shooter (55-122); while Araujo is the third-leading scorer (10.9) and top rebounder (8.6). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.4 points and 3.6 rebounds while JC transfer Kevin Woodberry starts at the point averaging 6.1 points and 2.3 assists. Coach Cleveland has more talent on the bench this year. Wisconsin transfer junior guard Ricky Bower leads the reserves, averaging 6.1 points and shooting 44 percent from behind the arc. The Cougars shoot .467 from the floor, .402 on threes (No. 6 nationally) and an MWC-best .747 from the line. BYU is among the top MWC defensive teams, allowing .405 shooting, including .312 on threes. BYU scores 72.5 ppg while allowing 64.1. BYU is 11-1 at home and 7-6 away, including a 3-1 neutral record and 4-5 road mark. Cleveland has used five starting lineups. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts came out of a possible redshirt season after 13 games, playing at Weber State. Freshmen guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba will redshirt.
Ã² Travis Hansen has scored in double figures a team-leading 24 times this year, including 21 straight games, and has led BYU in scoring 14 times, including the seven of the last eight games.
Ã² A solid defender, Kevin Woodberry's offensive number are up since returning to the starting lineup. In his first 14 starts prior to losing the job he shot .329, including .286 (16-56) on threes, and .514 on the line while averaging 6.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.4 apg and 1.4 spg. Starting again in the last five games he is shooting .412 (14-34), including .435 (10-23) on threes, while averaging 8.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.4 apg and 2.8 spg. His free throw shooting of .500 (4-8) is the only area he hasn't improved.
Ã² Jared Jensen has gone 4-for-5 from the floor in each of the last two games. He has shot 50 percent or better in 20 of 25 games this year. He shoots .588 on the year, which would rank as the seventh best single-season percentage in shool history if he finishes the season at that percentage.
HANSEN ACHIEVED SCORING MILESTONE MONDAY AT UTAH
Travis Hansen became BYU's 35th 1,000 point scorer with his first bucket at Utah Monday, despite an injury-shortened first season as a sophomore. Mark Bigelow became the 34th Cougar and only ninth junior to reach 1,000 career points earlier this year vs. Southern Utah. He is now ranked 18th on BYU's career scoring list.
TRAVIS HANSEN EARNS NABC All-DISTRICT 13 FIRST TEAM HONORS
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced Tuesday the NABC Division I All-District Teams recognizing the country's best men's collegiate basketball student-athletes. Selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC, these student-athletes represent the finest basketball players across the country. The 150 student-athletes, from 15 districts, are now eligible for the NABC Division I All-American Team to be announced at the conclusion of the 2002-2003 NCAA men's basketball season. BYU senior guard Travis Hansen earned District 13 First Team honors, along with New Mexico's Ruben Douglas, Utah's Britton Johnsen, Weber State's Jermaine Boyette and Colorado State's Brian Greene. Second team members include Uche Nsonwu-Amadi and Donta Richardson of Wyoming, Tony Bland of San Diego State, Carl English of Hawaii and Kirk Snyder of Nevada. Hansen earns the honor for the first time. The last Cougar to earn first-team honors was Mekeli Wesley in 2001. BYU's Terrell Lyday was a second-team selection in 2001. Other MWC players earning NABC honors this year were UNLV's Marcus Banks (first team) and Dalron Johnson (second team), who were recognized out of District 15.
BYU TO RETIRE DANNY AINGE JERSEY ON MARCH 8 AT BYU-CSU GAME
In a historic event, BYU will retire the uniform of former Cougar great Danny Ainge on March 8, 2003, during the final regular season home game against Colorado State. Ainge becomes the first BYU men's basketball player to have his jersey retired. Many of Ainge's former coaches and teammates are expected to be in attendance at the game. During the ceremony, Ainge's No. 22 jersey will be hung from the Marriott Center rafters, where it will be on permanent display. To commemorate the event, the first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a souvenir poster highlighting his accomplishments. Vintage Danny Ainge jerseys will also be for sale on the concourse level. Ainge's jersey, not his number, will be retired. Future players may still have the option to wear No. 22.
BYU received votes in the polls released Feb. 24. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, BYU is is 32nd with 11 points while Utah is rated 23rd with 99 points. In the Associated Press Poll, BYU is also 32nd with 10 points while Utah is ranked No. 22 (334 points). Two other BYU opponents are in the top-25 of both polls. Oklahoma State is rated 16th (AP) and 17th (ESPN/USA Today) while Creighton is ranked 17th (AP) and 18th (ESPN/USA Today). Weber State is receiving votes in both polls (T33rd AP, 36th ESPN/USA Today). Wyoming received one point (T44th) in the AP Poll.
RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS
BYU has the highest RPI ratings of any team not ranked in the top 25 polls. BYU had been the top-rated MWC team throughout the year in the Sagarin and RPI rankings until its loss at UNLV when Utah took over as the top-rated MWC team. In the RPI computed by CBS.Sportsline.com after Tuesday's results, BYU has a No. 17 rating while Utah is No. 8. In the RPI compiled by Collegiate Basketball News, BYU is 18th and Utah is No. 7. The Sagarin Ratings through Tuesday's results rank Utah 23rd and BYU 26th. As a conference, the Mountain West is rated 6th in RPI and 7th in Sagarin.
COUGARS PLAY TOP MWC SCHEDULE, AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST
BYU has achieved an 18-7 record playing the toughest schedule of any MWC team and among the tougest in the nation. BYU's schedule is rated ninth by Collegiate Basketball News and the 16th toughest in the nation by CBS.Sportsline.com's computer analysis. The Sagarin Ratings rank BYU's schedule No. 43. After BYU, the next toughest MWC schedule belongs to Utah (17th by Collegiate Basketball News, 36th by CBS Sportsline.com and 66th by Sagarin). Of the 22 teams BYU has played during the regular season schedule this year, 15 have a winning record after Tuesday's results and seven have losing records. This year's schedule features 17 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title. BYU's non-conference schedule included teams from 10 different conferences -- Pac-10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic.
BYU is 17-1 this year when holding opponents below 70 points but 1-6 when the opposition reaches the 70-point mark. In the five-plus season Steve Cleveland has been BYU's coach, the Cougars are 84-16 (.840) when holding opponents below 70 points. BYU's winning percentage drops off substantially when BYU opponents have scored between 70-79 points. BYU's record is 17-35 (.327) in those games during the Cleveland era.
AT THIS POINT ...
BYU is 7-3 in league with a 4-1 home record and a 3-2 road mark. BYU was 5-5 at this point last year and had a 6-5 after 11 games. BYU started 7-3 in 2001 and was 8-3 after 11 games on the way to share a share of the regular season title at 10-4 with Wyoming and Utah. BYU was 5-5 at this point and 5-6 after 11 games in 2000.
BYU has lost its last two road games. BYU has lost back-to-back games only once this year (vs. Oklahoma State and at Weber State). BYU's longest winning streak of the year is the five straight victories it recorded to open this season, the longest overall streak since winning eight straight games last year in preseason. The Cougars have won 34 straight home games over a non-conference opponents. BYU had its nation-leading 44-game home victory streak come to an end vs. Utah this year. BYU has made a three-point shot in 204 consecutive games since going 0-9 in a 75-67 loss to CS Fullerton on Nov. 22, 1996. Travis Hansen has scored in double figures in 21 straight games.
SHOOTING, REBOUNDING SUCCESS
BYU has outshot 18 of 25 opponents this year (except USF, OSU, Weber State, Utah (twice), CSU, UNLV). BYU has outrebounded 15 opponents (except Creighton,USU, USCB, SDSU(twice), Utah (twice), CSU). BYU has shot 45 percent or better in 18 games this year (losing only once twice at Creighton and vs. Utah). BYU had shot better than 45 percent in eight straight games until converting a season-low 34.5 percent at UNLV. BYU shot 41.5 percent at Utah in its last outing. BYU shot 58.3 percent vs. Idaho State, the fifth time this year, and fourth time at home, that BYU has shot better than 50 percent. BYU outboarded Idaho State 43-19, Air Force 55-21 and UNLV 47-31.
FROM THE LINE
BYU topped 80 percent free throw shooting for the eighth time this year by topping 90 percent shooting for the first time at CSU (19-21, .905). The Cougars have shot better than 70 percent in all but six games, with all but one of those six games being at home (.550 vs. San Diego; .652 vs. AFA; .654 vs. Pepperdine; .657 at USF; .667 vs. Idaho State; and .692 vs. SDSU). Seven Cougars are shooting 70 percent or better from the line, with five topping 80 percent. John Allen made his first 19 straight until missing his last attempt vs. Utah (19-20), while Ricky Bower is shooting 90.2 percent (46-51). Mark Bigelow made 19 straight free throws until missing his second attempt vs. SDSU. He is making 81.2 percent overall, including an MWC-best .909 (30-33) in league games. BYU is shooting a MWC-leading 74.7 percent as a team.
FROM LONG RANGE
Six Cougars are making 40 percent or better on their three-point attempts. BYU is 6th in the nation as a team, shooting 40.2 percent on three-pointers. BYU is 12-1 this year when shooting 40 percent or better from three-point range. The lone defeat was at Creighton, where BYU shot 41.2 percent. BYU has shot 50 percent or better in nine games, topping 60 percent once in the season-opening win vs. Toledo (8-13, .615).
BYU has held 14 opponents to 42 percent or lower shooting, and has held six opponents below 35 percent shooting, including holding Air Force to 21.6 percent, including 15.2 percent on threes. The Falcons came in ranked 8th in the nation in three-point shooting. BYU held Pepperdine, coming in shooting 47.1 percent, to its second-lowest percentage of the year at 34.5 percent. BYU held UCSB, a team that came in after seven games shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent on threes, to 36.5 percent and 26.1 percent on threes. BYU has held 10 opponents this year to 60 points or less. BYU is 50-3 under Steve Cleveland when holding opponents below 60 points. BYU held Air Force to only 33 points, the lowest output vs. BYU since the Cougars beat Princeton 51-32 on Dec. 31, 1982. BYU held the Falcons to a Marriott Center record 10 points in the first half. BYU lost at UNLV because of its offensive struggles but the Cougars played well defensively, holding the MWC's top scoring team to 61 points on its own court on 40 percent shooting, including 25 percent on threes. On the year, BYU's defense yields a combined 64.1 points per game.
COMBO GUARD MICHAEL ROSE SIGNS WITH COUGARS
During the early signing period in November, BYU signed Michael Rose, a 6-foot-1 combo guard out of Spring Woods High School in Houston Texas. A four-year starter, Rose averaged 16.3 points, five rebounds and three assists playing shooting guard as a junior. A preseason All Greater Houston First Team selection, Rose is playing point guard his senior season. He earned first-team All-District 21 5A honors the past two seasons and was the team MVP in 2002. He helped his team to second-place District 21 finishes the past two years. In is first season, he was named District 21 Freshman of the Year. Rose has played four years on the Houston Hoops summer AAU team that also features top-five recruits Ndidi Eby and Kendrick Perkins. As the team's starting shooting guard, Rose averaged 14 points and helped the team earn a No. 1 national rating for much of the summer. Rose possesses a strong academic resume, ranking second in his class of 365 seniors. He was recruited by Houston, St. Louis, Utah State, Colorado State, Texas Christian, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Illinois. He is the nephew of BYU Associate Head Coach Dave Rose.
BYU ON THE ROAD
BYU is 4-5 on the road this year, including a 3-2 MWC record, having lost its last two raod games. Counting neutral court games, BYU is 7-6 away from the Marriott Center.
BYU ACHIEVES RARE FRONT RANGE ROAD SWEEP
With its wins over Wyoming and Colorado State, BYU swept the Front Range road trip for the first time since the 1992-93 season when BYU won 70-63 at CSU and then 77-64 at Wyoming. BYU finished the 1992-93 season with a 25-9 record, tied for the WAC title and advanced to the NCAA tournament, going 1-1 with a win over SMU before a loss to Kansas. This year was also the first time since the 1992-93 Front Range sweep that BYU even won the first of the two games on the trip. Wyoming had won five straight times over BYU in Laramie and CSU had won six straight games over the Cougars in Moby Arena prior to this season. BYU's last victory in Laramie was in 1996 and its last in Fort Collins was in 1994.
BYU PLAYED MAJORITY OF NON-CONFERENCE GAMES AWAY FROM HOME
BYU played eight games away from home and seven in the Marriott Center during the non-conference schedule, earning an 11-4 overall record with a perfect 7-0 home mark and a 4-4 record away from Provo. Wyoming was the only Mountain West team to play as many road games during the preseason as BYU. The Cowboys were also the only MWC team to win more non-league games away from home, going 5-3. The Cougars earned their 4-4 record playing the toughest non-league schedule of any MWC team. Air Force played seven road games, going 3-4; Utah played six, going 3-3; SDSU, UNLV and CSU all played half as many road games as BYU, earning 3-1, 3-1 and 0-4 records, respectively. New Mexico played the fewest road games, going winless in three games away from The Pit.
BYU VS. ITS CONFERENCE PEERS
BYU was picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference by the league's media members. BYU has a won 58.5 percent (425-302) of its games all-time vs. MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU has dominated the Mountain West in its first three seasons, winning 63 percent of all MWC titles, including the 2001 men's basketball championship.
CLEVELAND'S CONFERENCE RECORD
BYU coach Steve Cleveland has a 41-39 conference record (WAC/MWC). He improved his conference (WAC/MWC) record above .500 at 38-37 with BYU's win over Air Force. Building since taking over BYU's 1-25 program, the Air Force win marked the first time since early in his first season that Cleveland has been above .500 in conference games overall. Cleveland improved BYU's conference record in each of his first four seasons and exceeded many expectations with only one returning starter on last year's team that finished fourth with a 7-7 record. Cleveland had a .500 conference record six times (1-1, 2-2, 29-29, 34-34, 36-36 and 37-37). Prior to the win over AFA, he had an overall winning conference record two other times (1-0, 2-1). In MWC games only, Cleveland is 28-21 (.571).
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF BYU BASKETBALL
BYU is celebrating 100 years of basketball. Since the first season of BYU basketball in 1903, BYU has achieved a 1445-929 (.609) overall record with 21 different coaches at the helm. The combined efforts of these men have provided the Cougars with 80 winning seasons in 100 years. BYU has won 25 conference titles and made 28 postseason tournament appearances with 19 NCAA bids and nine NIT berths. The Cougars won the 1951 and 1966 NIT titles and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1981, highlighted by Danny Ainge's length-of-the-court dash to defeat Notre Dame at the buzzer. Ainge was named the nation's top player as the John Wooden Award and Eastman Award winner. Twenty-three players have received All-America recognition while NBA teams have selected a Cougar 41 times in its annual draft. BYU has the nation's 11th longest rivalry, dating back to 1909, against the University of Utah. BYU and Utah have the 10th longest rivalry in terms of games played with 233 contests. Utah leads the series for only the third time with its win this year, holding a two-game edge for the first time at 118-116. For more information on BYU's 100-year history, please consult the 2002-03 BYU media guide.
BYU AMONG TOP-40 All-TIME WINNINGEST BASKETBALL PROGRAMS
With its all-time record of 1445-929 (.609), BYU is the ranked 40th all-time in winning percentage among all Division I basketball programs. In terms of total wins, BYU is in the top 25. The Cougars have had 80 winning seasons in their 100-year basketball history and have made 28 postseason appearances, including 19 NCAA bids, and won 25 conference championships.