Upper bowl tickets for Saturday's game are $3. The Cougars play their regular-season finale on Senior Night and will retire the jersey of Cougar great Kresimir Cosic at halftime. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
GAME #27 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (19-7, 11-4 MWC)
NEW MEXICO LOBOS (17-11, 8-7 MWC)
Saturday, March 4, 2006
Marriott Center (22,700)
7:07 p.m. MST
BYU, Dave Rose (19-7 in first year; same overall)
UNM, Ritchie McKay (67-50 in fourth year; 150-139 in 10 years overall)
BYU leads, 68-50, after winning the first meeting in Albuquerque this season, 77-71
SportsWest Productions -- KSL Channel 5 in Utah; KRQE in Albuquerque; and ESPN Full Court (Tom Kirkland, play-by-play, Craig Hislop, 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 NEW MEXICO SATURDAY
BYU (19-7, 11-4 MWC) will conclude the regular season by hosting New Mexico (17-11, 8-7 MWC) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Cougars have won nine of the last 10 games, including the last five straight, and are currently tied for second place in the Mountain West Conference. The Lobos have won five of their last seven and are in fifth place in the league. BYU recorded a 77-71 win at New Mexico earlier this year, ending the Lobos 21-game home win streak. Saturday's game will be televised on KSL Channel 5 in Utah and on KRQE in Albuquerque by SportsWest Productions and is also available nationally via ESPN Full Court. It can also 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. Former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic's jersey will be retired in a special halftime ceremony.
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.
BYU will travel to the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. for the Mountain West Conference Tournament, which will begin on Thursday for the Cougars.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- Cougar head coach Dave Rose is 19-7 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 second in the MWC with an 11-4 conference record.
-- BYU is 19-7 overall, including 13-1 at home having won 13 straight in the Marriott Center, which is 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 .461 from the field, including .392 from long range, and .713 from the line. Cougar opponents average 71.5 points on .449 shooting, .353 from three and .704 from the line. BYU pulls down 35.7 rebounds per game, 2.0 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 (13.5) 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 (2.7), who is ninth. Broadus is second in assist/turnover ratio (1.47).
LOOKING AT NEW MEXICO
The Lobos are currently 17-11 overall and 8-7 in the Mountain West Conference having won five of their last seven games. New Mexico is 15-2 at home this season, 2-8 on the road and 0-1 on a neutral court. The 2005 MWC Tournament Champions are without the services of Third Team All-American and NBA First Round Draft pick Danny Granger but return two starters and eight letterwinners from last year's 26-7 team. Senior guard Mark Walters leads the Lobos and is fifth in the league averaging 15.9 points per game. The 2005 All-MWC Honorable Mention honoree also paces New Mexico in assists (84) and steals (61) while coming in second in rebounds with 4.6 per contest. His 2.18 steals per game ranks second in the conference. Senior forward David Chiotti is second on the team with 12.3 ppg on .535 shooting from the field, fourth in the league. Chiotti, a third-team All-MWC pick last season, leads New Mexico with 6.4 rebounds per game, which is seventh in the MWC. Chiotti has also recorded 23 blocks on the season, 11th in the conference. Sophomore guard/forward Tony Danridge is third on the team in scoring with 8.4 points per game while shooting .508 from the floor. Freshman forward Joel Box has recently come on strong for the Lobos and is third on the team in rebounding with 3.5 rpg while ranking fifth in scoring at 5.1 ppg. Overall, New Mexico averages 64.5 points per game on .452 shooting from the field, including .334 from three-point range and .681 from the free-throw line. The Lobos allow just 61.9 points per game, second in the MWC, on .436 shooting from the floor, .346 from beyond the arc and .728 from the charity stripe. New Mexico opponents outrebound the Lobos 32.1 to 29.7.
UNM'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 13 David Chiotti 6-9 250 Jr. 12.3 6.4
F 54 Joel Box 6-8 250 Fr. 5.1 3.5
G 5 Mark Walters 6-2 225 Sr. 15.9 4.6
G 3 Kris Collins 6-2 190 Sr. 5.2 2.0
G 22 Jeff Hart 6-1 160 Sr. 2.7 0.5
NEW MEXICO'S LAST OUTING -- Lobos Defeat UNLV, 47-39
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Mark Walters scored 15 points and Joel Box had a season-high 14 rebounds as New Mexico beat UNLV 47-39 Wednesday night. New Mexico (17-11, 8-7 MWC) won despite matching its season low point total. New Mexico missed 13 of its first 16 shots in the second half, yet never trailed in the final 20 minutes. UNLV (15-12, 9-6) was equally inept, with the 39 points matching the lowest point total in school history. On this night, the Runnin Rebels spent most of the game trying to run down their missed shots. Ditto for the Lobos, whose best scoring run was a 15-5 spurt over the final 8:28 of the first half for a 27-17 lead at the break. The Rebels put up several airballs in the closing minutes, hit just 15 of 62 shots (24.2 percent) and were 3-of-17 on 3-point shots. They even had trouble at the foul line, where they went 6-for-11. Louis Amundson was the only Rebel in double figures with 15 points, 11 of them in the second half. Amundson's seven straight points sparked a 14-4 UNLV run that got the Rebels within 36-34 with 5:42 left. New Mexico reserve guard Jeff Hart then hit a 3-pointer to end a scoring drought of more than five minutes for the Lobos. It also was New Mexico's first field goal in more than eight minutes. Ricky Morgan countered with a 3 for the UNLV to again make it a two-point deficit with 2:55 remaining, but the Rebels' only points the rest of the way were a pair of free throws by Jo' Van Adams with 51 seconds left. The Lobos got just enough offense in the final two minutes to stay on top. Walters and Kris Collins each hit two free throws and David Chiotti had two dunks, the last one with 9.4 seconds left on a pass off the backboard from Collins. Hart, a senior and former walk-on who got to start, matched his season high with 11 points.
This will be the 119th game in the series that started in the 1949-50 season. The Cougars lead the series 68-50 after winning 77-71 at The Pit earlier this season to end the Lobos' 21-game home win streak. BYU dropped two of three meetings last season, winning 68-53 at home but falling 91-72 at The Pit and 85-71 in the quarterfinals of the MWC Tournament in Denver. BYU had a four-game winning streak in the series halted with a season series split in 2004. The Cougars swept the season series in 2003 and defeated the Lobos in the opening round of the 2003 MWC Tournament. BYU has won 11 of the last 15 games in the series after New Mexico had won eight of the prior nine contests. BYU has won five straight over UNM in the Marriott Center. New Mexico's last win in Provo was a 78-74 win in 2000, which was BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center prior to starting its school-record 44-game nation-leading homecourt victory string that was ended in 2003 by Utah. BYU is 15-26 in The Pit.
RECENT SERIES OUTINGS
BYU'S FIRST OUTING AT NEW MEXICO THIS YEAR -- Cougars Snap New Mexico Win Streak
ALBUQUERQUE -- The Cougars' road victories kept coming Wednesday night as BYU snapped New Mexico's 21-game home win streak with a 77-71 victory at The Pit. BYU was not intimidated by the Lobos' win streak, the fourth longest in the nation, as the Cougars pounded out the win. BYU has snapped the three longest home winning streaks in New Mexico history, ending a 41-game streak in 1998 and a 24-game streak in 1975. Rashaun Broadus led the Cougars with 15 points while recording three rebounds, six assists and no turnovers, contributing to BYU's season-low-tying seven turnovers. Four other players scored in double figures as Jimmy Balderson scored 14 points, Trent Plaisted contributed 13, Keena Young added 12 and Brock Reichner posted 11 points. Young was BYU's high rebounder with nine boards on the night. After New Mexico took an early 4-0 lead, the Cougars responded with an 8-0 run, including Trent Plaisted's 22nd dunk of the year, to go up 8-4. New Mexico fought back with an 8-0 spurt of its own that saw Trent Plaisted, BYU's leading scorer, check out of the game with two fouls of his own. The Cougars' 4:03 scoring drought was finally ended with a jumper from Keena Young, who scored BYU's next six points. But it was not enough to stop the Lobos as New Mexico built a 26-16 lead. The Cougars responded with a bucket from Young and a three-pointer from Reichner at the 6:57 mark to cut the lead in half at 26-21. From there, the three-pointers began to rain down for the Lobos as four of their last six field goals of the half came from long range. BYU put together a little magic of its own with three-pointers from Fernando Malaman and Lee Cummard in addition to another Plaisted dunk and six free throws to maintain the five-point deficit, heading into the locker room down just 42-37. Both teams came out hot offensively in the second half as BYU made three of its four shots and New Mexico made four of its first five. After seeing the Cougars fall behind 51-44, Jimmy Balderson drained a three-pointer to bring BYU within four. BYU took advantage of the momentum, draining back-to-back three-pointers to take the lead at 53-52, the Cougars' first advantage since 8-7 in the first half. BYU managed to take a 62-59 lead at the 10:30 mark on a reverse layin from Balderson but saw the slim margin disappear with a 5-0 Lobo spurt. The Cougars did not score from the floor for 6:19 as they watched New Mexico take a 67-63 lead with 5:07 left to play. Enter Reichner. BYU's walk-on senior scored eight straight points from there, including two drained three-pointers, to give the Cougars a 71-67 lead with just 2:28 remaining. With 32 seconds left to play, Broadus drove to the hoop and drained the layin that put the nail in the coffin for the Lobos, leading to the 77-71 win.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I'm just really, really proud of our players. They're in a position right now where their confidence is high and their resolve to do things right and play together and compete together is great."
-- "I think that the competitive spirit of the guys and their resolve to win has been key for us during this stretch. There were a couple times in the timeout tonight when I didn't even need to say anything. Everyone was involved and engaged and working together to get the win."
-- "Our emphasis tonight was to make them get the ball out of the post and make big shots from the outside. They made some from three-point range in the first half, but we made some adjustments at halftime and did a much better job of guarding the three-point shot."
-- "One of the big keys in this game was not only how we guarded them but that we didn't turn the ball over. We got down in the first half when they scored off of our turnovers. We only had one in the second half, which was a huge factor."
New Mexico Head Coach Ritchie McKay
-- "BYU did a great job of executing their game plan and they are a hot team in the conference. Obviously, they played better than we did and were successful in winning the game. This is the third time they have broke our (homecourt victory) streak and hopefully we'll pay them back when we get to Provo."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING AT NEW MEXICO
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Fewest Turnovers -- 7 (tied); Free-throw Percentage - .917 (11-for-12).
-- The Cougars' victory at New Mexico snaps the Lobos' 21-game home win streak, the fourth longest in the nation. BYU snapped a 41-game Lobo home win streak in 1998 and a 24-game home win streak in 1975.
-- BYU's wins at New Mexico and at Colorado State mark the first time since 2004 that the Cougars have won back-to-back Mountain West Conference road games.
-- The Cougars' won the game despite being down 42-37 at halftime, marking the first time this season that BYU has come back from a halftime deficit to win a game on the road.
-- Three-pointers were big for New Mexico as the Lobos made 7-of-15 (.467) from beyond the arc against BYU on the night. In the last three games of the series. UNM has made 38-of-53 (.566) from long range.
-- New Mexico shot 57.1 percent in the first half, marking the fourth time in the last five games that BYU has allowed its opponents to shoot over 50 percent in the first period of play. Ironically, has BYU won the four games in which opponents shot over 50 percent in the first half (vs. Wyoming, vs. TCU, at CSU and at New Mexico) and lost the one game in which the Cougars held their opponent under 50 percent (at SDSU).
-- Five Cougars scored in double figures for the second time this season and the first since Jan. 18 against Wyoming as Rashaun Broadus scored 15 points, Jimmy Balderson scored 14, Trent Plaisted recorded 13, Keena Young added 12 and Brock Reichner contributed 11 points.
-- Trent Plaisted recorded his 22nd dunk of the year on BYU's second basket of the game and added his 23rd with 4:32 left in the half and his 24th midway through the second half. Jimmy Balderson also dunked with 16 seconds left in the game, bringing the Cougars' season total to 35. Plaisted has recorded eight slams in the last three games.
-- Keena Young scored 10 of 12 Cougar points during 8:51 of the first half, single-handedly keeping BYU in the game. Young finished the game with 12 points.
-- After New Mexico began the game with a 4-0 lead, the two teams traded 8-0 runs. BYU did not score for 4:03 during the Lobo spurt.
-- Neither team scored in the last 1:41 of the first half as New Mexico's last bucket came from three-point range with 2:42 left and Lee Cummard responded 1:01 later with a bucket of his own from long range.
-- BYU began the second half 5-of-7 from three-point range after going 3-for-8 in the first half. The Cougars finished the game 10-for-22 (.455) from long range.
-- After taking a 62-59 lead at the 10:30 mark in the second half, BYU did not score from the field for 6:19, allowing the Lobos to go on an 8-1 run.
- Brock Reichner came up big for the Cougars with BYU trailing 67-63. Reichner scored eight straight points, including two three-pointers, to the Cougars a 71-67 lead with 2:28 to play.
LAST YEAR IN ALBUQUERQUE -- LOBOS SHOOT BY COUGARS
ALBUQUERQUE -- It was a tough night for the Cougars in New Mexico as sharp shooting and phenomenal play by Danny Granger gave the Lobos a 91-72 victory in the Pit to avoid a Cougar season sweep. Granger led the Lobos with 20 points, three rebounds and five assists, as New Mexico connected on 31-of-50 shots to shoot 62 percent from the field. Despite the loss, the Cougars shot an outstanding 55 percent from the field, with center Jared Jensen scoring on nine of his 10 shots to finish the game with 20 points and five rebounds. It was all Lobos in the first half with Danny Granger leading the way. The first basket came from a deep three-pointer by Granger to begin a 7-0 run as New Mexico never trailed. Jensen carried the Cougars as long as he could, scoring 10 points on 4-4 shooting, but foul trouble took Jensen out of the game. Without Cougar forwards Garner Meads and Keena Young, who were both out due to injury, BYU had no answer for Granger. The senior forward finished the half with 12 points, including a 2-point basket at the buzzer. New Mexico went into halftime with a 54-35 advantage and the largest lead of the half at 19 points. The Cougars finished the half shooting 48 percent from the field, while the Lobos shot an astonishing 76 percent from the floor. The hot shooting continued for the Lobos in the second half, never allowing the Cougars to crawl their way back into the game. Cougar guard Brock Reichner got his first start of a half this season and delivered for the Cougars during his 17 minutes of play, hitting a deep three-pointer to give BYU its first points of the second half. Jensen continued to battle in the post, adding another 10 points. With the loss against the Lobos, the Cougars have now dropped their eighth league game and are currently in seventh place, one game ahead of the Colorado State Rams, with a 3-8 record.
LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- Dawes Leads BYU to First MWC Victory
PROVO -- A career night for sophomore center Derek Dawes sparked BYU to a 68-53 win over New Mexico Monday at the Marriott Center, the Cougars' first Mountain West Conference victory of the season. The win improved BYU's record to 7-13 overall and 1-4 in the MWC while the Lobos dropped to 14-5 and 1-3. Dawes set career-highs in points and blocks with 14 and five while he tied a career-high with 10 rebounds. It was also his first career double-double. Sophomore forward Keena Young tied his career-high with 14 points and added seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Mike Rose led all scorers with 21 points while senior guard Mike Hall added 16. Sophomore guard Austin Ainge also tied his career-high with eight assists. Alfred Neale was the high scorer for New Mexico with 12 points, the only Lobo in double figures. Mark Walters was second on the team with nine points. Neale was also the top Lobo on the glass, collecting six boards. For the game, BYU shot 44.8 percent (26-58) and limited the Lobos to 32.7 percent (18-55) shooting. The Cougars scored 17 points on 11 New Mexico turnovers and won the battle of the boards, 40-34. The Lobos took their only lead of the night when Troy DeVries hit a three pointer for the game's opening basket. After Dawes hit the Cougars' first basket, Young scored to give BYU the lead for good. Dawes was strong throughout the first period, scoring eight points, grabbing six rebounds and blocking two shots. He hit two free throws to give BYU its biggest lead of the half at 24-16. The Lobos cut into the Cougar lead as Neale ran off five consecutive points to cut the lead to 24-22. But BYU would not allow the Lobos to get any closer as the Cougars ended the half on a 9-3 run to go into the locker room up 33-25. Rose capped the run with a three-pointer in the waning seconds of the first frame. Young was the high man of the half, finishing with 11 points and four rebounds. Rose and Hall each contributed seven while Ainge dished out four assists. As New Mexico came out cold to start the second period, missing its first five shots, BYU kept pushing. Dawes kept the Cougar run alive with a dunk on the opening possession, and Ainge connected with Hall on a fast break layup moments later to extend the advantage to 12 at 37-25. Another layup by Dawes pushed the BYU lead to 14. With a 16-point cushion at 42-26, the Cougars opened the door for the Lobos to make a run. New Mexico took advantage, scoring 12 straight points to get back into the game at 42-38. However, Rose kept New Mexico at bay, connecting from beyond the arc to spark a 13-4 BYU run and adding back-to-back treys to put the Cougars up 55-42. The lead was enough for BYU to coast to the 68-53 win.
COSIC JERSEY CEREMONY AT HALFTIME
In an historic event, BYU will retire the uniform of former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic during halftime of 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."
SENIOR NIGHT SPOTLIGHTS BROCK REICHNER
#11 Brock Reichner Ã½ 6-4 Ã½ 205 Ã½ Sr. Ã½ Guard Ã½ Provo, Utah
-- BYU's lone senior and co-captain along with Austin Ainge
-- Has 16 double-digit scoring games this season, including 13 of the last 18
-- Started every game but the first one for the Cougars this season after playing in 12 games last season, including two starts.
-- Has led BYU in scoring three times, assists six times and steals nine times.
-- Leads the MWC in three-point percentage (.500), ranks fifth in three-point field goals made per game (2.13) and is tied for 16th in assists per game (2.40) in league play.
-- Senior leads BYU in minutes per game (29.9) in conference action, is second on the team in assists (2.40) and steals (1.0), third in scoring (11.3) and fourth in rebounding (3.1).
-- Ranks second on the team in scoring overall (10.8).
-- Is BYU's leading scorer on the road in conference play (12.8) while shooting .595 from three-point range to help the Cougars go 4-4 on the road in league action, their best road record since 2003.
-- Scored a career-high 26 points in 29 minutes at Utah State, matching Mike Rose (26 points Santa Clara, 12/31/04 and vs. Southern Utah, 11/21/03) for the most points scored by a Cougar since All-American center Rafael Araujo (28, 31, and 32 points in 2003-04) ... scored his 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-8 three-pointers, all career marks, while his six triples are the most by a BYU player since Mike Rose made six treys on Dec. 8, 2004 against Boise State.
-- Has achieved conference-season highs of 21 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and .800 shooting from the field.
-- His six three-pointers made at Utah is tied for second among MWC players in individual game highs in conference play.
-- Shooting .829 from the free-throw line in league action, including three perfect outings (7-for-7 at Colorado State, 4-for-4 vs. TCU, 2-for-2 vs. Colorado State).
-- Is 16-for-18 (.889) from the free-throw line in the last five minutes of conference games and a perfect 12-for-12 under two minutes.
-- Has helped last-place-predicted BYU to an 11-4 MWC record to date, including nine wins in the last 10 games.
PLAISTED MAKING HIS MARK IN FRESHMAN YEAR
Redshirt freshman Trent Plaisted has made a mark as one of the best players in the conference in his first year on the court for BYU. Below is a list of some of his accomplishments.
Ã½ As BYU's top scorer (13.4) and rebounder (8.3), Plaisted has helped last-place-predicted BYU to a second-place standing with an 11-4 record to date, including nine wins in the last 10 games.
Ã½ Has received National Freshman of the Week awards three times during league play (CBS Sportsline.com, ESPN-Dick Vitale, Rivals.com) and MWC Player of the Week honors once.
Ã½ Leads BYU in five categories as a freshman: points per game (13.4), rebounds per game (8.3), offensive rebounds (48), defensive rebounds (76) and blocked shots (13), is second in minutes per game (29.3) and is third in field-goal percentage (.474).
Ã½ Entering the final conference game on Saturday, Plaisted ranks in the top 15 among MWC players overall in six categories: 12th in scoring (13.4), third in total rebounds (8.3), offensive rebounds (3.20) and defensive rebounds (5.07), 10th in blocked shots (0.87) and 14th in free-throw percentage (.639). He also ranks 17th in field-goal percentage (.474)
Ã½ Ranks first among freshman with four double-double games in league play -- the third most double-double games among all MWC players -- averaging 16.8 points and 14.5 rebounds in those games.
Ã½ Ranks first among MWC freshman in rebounds (8.3), offensive rebounds (3.20) and defensive rebounds (5.07), is second in scoring (13.4), blocked shots (0.87) and field-goal percentage (.474), and third in free-throw percentage (.639).
Ã½ His 201 points is the most ever scored by a freshman center in league games in the history of the MWC, passing Andrew Bogut (182). He ranks second overall in points scored by an MWC freshman in league play.
Ã½ His 124 rebounds to date during league games ranks third all-time among MWC freshman players. With seven rebounds Saturday, he will move into seventh place on the single-season list among all MWC players.
Ã½ Set an MWC freshman record in league play with 18 rebounds at TCU -- the most rebounds ever by a BYU freshman. His 18 rebounds are also tied for fifth all-time among all MWC players during league play and are the most by any Cougar player since Gary Trost had 18 rebounds in 1991.
Ã½ Has scored in double figures in 13 of 15 conference games to date, including the last 12 straight outings.
Ã½ Has achieved conference-season highs of 22 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks.
COACH ROSE RECEIVING NATIONAL NOTICE
BYU head coach Dave Rose has received 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 19-7 record to date under Rose's tutelage, including an 11-4 conference mark. He has also been praised by ESPN's Doug Gottlieb for orchestrating BYU's impressive turnaround from last years' 9-21 mark.
ROSE NAMED MWC COACH OF THE YEAR BY COLLEGEINSIDER.COM
Rose has also been named the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. He has been praised numerous times by his colleagues in the MWC for the job he has done this season.
"Coach Rose has done a heckuva job. I think they have really found roles for their guys and they've really bought into those things. They're pretty darn good." -- Utah Coach Ray Giacoletti
"Dave has done a great job. I like the way they are playing. They are aggressive and they are active in every way. They have some size and they shoot it well. They are maybe the biggest surprise in the league this season. I like what Dave has done. I really like their team." -- UNLV Coach Lon Kruger
"I've always thought BYU was a very good team. Coach Rose and the coaching staff are good." -- Air Force Coach Jeff Bzdelik
MWC TOURNAMENT SEEDING
BYU will enter next week's Mountain West Conference Tournament as either a No. 2 or a No. 3 seed with several different potential first-round matchups. Below is a list of possibilities.
- Colorado St. def. Air Force, BYU def. UNM and Utah def. Wyoming = No. 2 BYU vs. No. 7 Wyoming
- Colorado St. def. Air Force, BYU def. UNM and Wyoming def. Utah = No. 2 BYU vs. No. 7 Colorado St.
- Colorado St. def. Air Force, UNM def. BYU and Utah def. Wyoming = No. 3 BYU vs. No. 6 Utah
- Colorado St. def. Air Force, UNM def. BYU and Wyoming def. Utah = No. 3 BYU vs. No. 6 Wyoming
- Air Force def. Colorado St., BYU def. UNM and Utah def. Wyoming = No. 3 BYU vs. No. 6 Utah
- Air Force def. Colorado St., BYU def. UNM and Wyoming def. Utah = No. 3 BYU vs. No. 6 Wyoming
- Air Force def. Colorado St., UNM def. BYU and Utah def. Wyoming = No. 3 BYU vs. No. 6 Utah
- Air Force def. Colorado St., UNM def. BYU and Wyoming def. Utah = No. 3 BYU vs. No. 6 Wyoming
UNLV and New Mexico will meet in the 4-5 game next week while TCU will face either Utah or Colorado State in Tuesday's play-in game with the winner advancing to meet league-champion San Diego State on Thursday.
BYU SEEDS AT MWC TOURNAMENT
BYU was the No. 7 seed at the MWC Tournament for the first time in 2005. BYU has been the sixth seed once (advanced to the finals in 2000), the fourth seed once (suffering a first-round exit with loss to eventual champion San Diego State in 2002), and the second seed three times (5-2 combined record in 2001, 2003 and 2004, including 2001 title).
FRUITS OF THE SEEDS
In the first six years of the MWC Tournament, the teams with the No. 2 seed boast the best overall record with a 10-4 mark. The No. 1 seeds have gone 7-5. The No. 4 teams have gone 7-6. The No. 6 seeds have a combined 6-5 record, the same mark as their first-round opponent No. 3 seeds. Fifth-seeded teams are 4-5. The teams with the worst seed, No. 8, have a 1-5 record while the No. 7 teams have never won a game, going 0-6. The tournament title has been won by the top seed once (UNLV in 2000); the second seed twice (BYU in 2001 and New Mexico in 2005); the third seed once (Utah in 2004); the fifth seed once (San Diego State in 2002); and the sixth seed once (Colorado State in 2004).
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)
BYU's LAST OUTING -- Cougars Get Wire-To-Wire Victory
PROVO -- BYU used big runs at the start of both halves to maintain the lead throughout and withstood several Colorado State rallies to earn a 77-69 win at home Wednesday. The Cougars improved to 19-7 overall and 11-4 in the Mountain West Conference while the Rams fell to 15-13 overall and 4-11 in the MWC. Despite being picked to finish last in the preseason media poll, the Cougars are now tied with Air Force for second place in the league. The win makes BYU 9-1 in its last 10 games and extends the Cougars' home win streak to 13. Rashaun Broadus led BYU with 13 points and four assists while four other Cougars scored in double-digits, including Trent Plaisted (10), Brock Reichner (12), Fernando Malaman (11) and Jimmy Balderson (12). Keena Young led the team in rebounds with six, and Malaman had a career-high four steals. As a team, BYU shot 43.1 percent (25-of-58) from the field, including 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) from three-point range. Michael Harrison led Colorado State with game-highs of 17 points and seven rebounds while Cory Lewis added 13 points, Stuart Creason 11 and Jason Smith 10. The Rams hit 48.2 percent (27-56) from the field but could not overcome 21 turnovers that the Cougars converted into 27 points. BYU jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a three by Reichner on the first possession of the game and then back-to-back hustle plays by Jackson Emery. With his team leading 3-0, Emery came out of nowhere and grabbed an offensive rebound and then dumped it off to Young who drove to the basket for a layup. Emery then stole a pass at the top of the key and took it himself for an easy bucket. After a Harrison basket, Broadus took over, scoring 11 of BYU's next 15 points during a 15-4 run that gave the Cougars a 16-point lead at 22-6, its biggest lead of the half. Broadus hit three treys and two free throws during the run, and Plaisted added the other four BYU points. Leading 31-17 with less than nine minutes to go in the half, the Cougars went cold and the Rams caught fire. Colorado State outscored BYU 17-6 to get within three at the half at 37-34. Cory Lewis scored five points during the run, including a three with 10 seconds left in the first period. The Cougars built their lead in the first half behind hot shooting from behind the arc, hitting 7-of-10 in the first period. Broadus was 3-for-4, and Balderson hit both of his attempts. BYU had no trouble regaining the momentum in the second half, scoring the first 11 points to push the lead back to double-digits at 48-34. Reichner scored four during the run, including two free throws following a technical foul on Colorado State coach Dave Layer. A bucket by Lewis stopped the run, but the Cougars added six unanswered to increase the lead to a game-high 18 at 56-34. The Rams made two runs late in the game, including a 12-3 spurt that cut BYU's lead to nine at 67-58 and a 7-0 run that made the score 73-67, but it was not enough as the Cougars held on for the win.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "We tried to keep Trent (Plaisted) out of foul trouble and keep him out on the floor because when he's out on the floor, things seem to run a lot smoother."
-- "Our effort was good all night. We stayed focused, especially at the start of the two halves."
-- "Colorado State is a good team, They're playing well right now. They ran some good sets. We were just up to the challenge."
Colorado State Head Coach Dale Layer
-- "BYU is a good team with great confidence. They made shots and were more aggressive than us, and that put us in a hole we couldn't get out of."
-- "Every time we would make a run BYU would hit big three-pointers. You can't beat a team on their home floor when they make 11-of-19 from the arc."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Fernando Malaman -- 4 steals.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Most Three-Pointers Made -- 11 (tied); Most First-Half Three-Pointers Made -- 7; Highest First-Half Three-Point Field Goal Percentage - .700 (7-for-10); Highest Free-Throw Percentage in a Half -- 1.000 (tied).
-- The Cougars' win over CSU moves them into a tie for second place in the Mountain West Conference with Air Force at 11-4 record. BYU was picked to finish last in the league in the preseason media poll. At 19-7 overall, the Cougars are one win away from achieving their 29th 20-win season.
-- With the victory over Colorado State, the Cougars have now won nine of their last 10 games and the last five straight.
-- The Cougars have also won their last 13 games in the Marriott Center.
-- BYU is now 14-0 when leading at the half, 17-0 when leading with five minutes remaining in the game, 18-0 when leading with one minute remaining and 11-0 when holding opponents under 70 points.
-- BYU's last win in March came on March 11, 2004, a 79-74 victory over Wyoming in the first round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
-- The Cougars led wire to wire against Colorado State, marking the first time in league play that BYU did not trail in a game. The Cougars never trailed in five nonconference games (at Washington State, vs. Lamar, Northern Kentucky, Eastern Washington, Tulsa).
-- BYU's seven first-half three-pointers are tied for being the most made by BYU in a half in league play (seven at New Mexico, second half) and are second overall (nine at Utah State, second half) in addition to being the most made by the Cougars in a first half this season. BYU's .700 first-half three-point field goal percentage is its highest in a first half this year and the third highest overall this season (.800 vs. San Diego State, second half; .750 at Utah State, second half).
-- The Cougars' .762 (16-for-21) free-throw percentage marks the first time since Feb. 8 at Utah that BYU has shot over 70 percent from the line.
-- BYU's 1.000 (6-for-6) free-throw percentage in the first half marks the fourth time this season that the Cougars have been perfect from the line in a half (14-for-14 vs. Lamar, 8-for-8 vs. TCU, 8-for-8 at New Mexico).
-- Fernando Malaman's three-pointer at the 14:08 mark of the second half gave the Cougars their largest lead in conference play this season at 18 points (54-36). The bucket capped a 17-2 BYU run to open the second half.
-- BYU's 11-0 run to begin the second half is its largest run since an 11-0 spurt on Jan. 28 at Colorado State. The Cougars had gone seven games without a 10-0 run.
-- With 10 points against CSU, Trent Plaisted has now scored in double figures in the last 12 games and 13 of 15 conference games.
-- Rashaun Broadus' 11 first-half points marks just the second time this season he has scored in double figures in the first half (10 vs. Utah).
-- Jimmy Balderson has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games, all BYU wins. He has been a perfect 6-for-6 from three-point range in the last three games.
BOUNCE BACK COUGARS
With its 19-7 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 are currently enjoying their longest winning streak of the year with five straight victories. BYU has not won six straight games since the 2003-2004 season. The Cougars' prior victory streaks this year include one four-game streak, two three-game streaks and two two-game streaks. BYU has won nine of its last 10 games.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
BYU is 11-0 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 71.5 points per game. BYU is also 16-3 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 three games, the first starts of his career. Junior Rashaun Broadus has started the last nine games after missing the first Wyoming game (team rules violation) and the next two starts. Junior Keena Young made his 11th straight start of the season vs. CSU. Trent Plaisted has started each game while Brock Reichner has started every game but the first. Rashaun Broadus has started 23 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 (2.7 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 126 assists compared to 73 turnovers in BYU's 19 wins while totaling 42 assists and 29 turnovers in the Cougars' seven defeats. Broadus has 72 assists and 46 turnovers in the wins with 25 assists and 20 turnovers in the losses. Ainge boasts 54 assists to 27 turnovers in the victories while totaling 17 assists and 9 turnovers in defeats. With his overall 97 assists to 66 turnovers, Broadus ranks second in the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.47). 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 (13.5) leads BYU in scoring while fellow post players Keena Young (9.9) and Fernando Malaman (7.3) are third and sixth, respectively. Plaisted (13.4) and Young (11.9) rank first and second, respectively, in league games. Overall, Young (.522) ranks sixth among the MWC's top players in field goal percentage while Plaisted (.520) and Malaman (.520) are tied for seventh. 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 43.6 percent success rate (17-of-39) 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 50 threes on 49.5 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 27 treys. Freshman Lee Cummard started in place of Balderson in 14 games until the last three games and is averaging 5.0 points in 14.8 minutes while shooting 46.0 percent from the floor. Jackson Emery is shooting 40.6 percent from the floor and has made 12 triples while averaging 2.9 points in 10.0 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 and has started the last three 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 43 more points in the paint this season, outpacing its opponents underneath in 12 games, tying in three and being outscored in 11. The Cougars have also capitalized on opponent miscues in their 26 games to date, scoring 46 more points off of turnovers while outscoring foes in that category in 14 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 15 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 248-167 margin.
With a win against New Mexico to conclude the regualr season, the Cougars can achieve their 29th 20-win season. BYU has averaged 20 wins every 2.7 years (BYU has played 78 seasons in which it has played at least 20 games in a season). BYU coach Dave Rose can become the fifth Cougar head coach to reach 20 wins in his first season at the helm. He would join G. Ott Romney (20-10 in 1928-29), Stan Watts (22-12 in 1949-50), Ladell Anderson (20-11, 1983-84) and Roger Reid (21-9 in 1989-90). Both Watts and Reid achieved six 20-win seasons in their BYU coaching careers while Romney posted five and Rose's predecessor, Steve Cleveland, achieved four.
20-WIN SEASONS AT BYU
Stan Watts had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 23 years of coaching
Roger Reid had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
G. Ott Romney had 5 seasons of 20 wins in 9 years of coaching
Steve Cleveland had 4 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Ladell Anderson had 3 season of 20 wins in 6 years of coaching
Frank Arnold had 3 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Floyd Millet had 1 season o 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
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.
Jimmy Balderson has played a significant role in helping the Cougars win nine of their last 10 games. Balderson has scored in double figures in all nine wins while scoring just five points in BYU's lone loss at Utah during the streak. He is averaging 13.7 points per game over the last 10 contests.
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.
BYU is 14-0 when leading at the half, 4-7 when trailing and 1-0 when tied. Of the 14 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 0.42 edge in the first half.
BYU 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 19-7 record to date under Rose's tutelage, including an 11-4 conference mark. Rose was recently named the MWC Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. 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.