BYU (17-9, 7-6 MWC) completes the regular season Saturday when it plays at Colorado State (11-17, 2-11) at 7 p.m. MST in Moby Arena. The game is a SportsWest Productions game being broadcast live on KSL-TV, channel 5, in Salt Lake City. The live radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160, beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. CSU is coming off a 72-62 loss to Utah Thursday.
BYU seeks to defend its MWC Tournament title next week in Las Vegas. The 2002 EAS Mountain West Conference Basketball Championship starts Thursday. MWC officials will release the bracket Saturday evening (apprx. 10:30 p.m.).
MWC Tournament Practice Schedule/Media Interviews
BYU practices Wednesday from 1-2:25 p.m. at Cox Pavilion, Gym #2. Coaches and players are available for interviews AFTER practice. The practice is open to the media. All subsequent game-day practices are closed. BYU's women's team holds its open practice on Tuesday from 4-4:55 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. The women's tournamen starts Wednesday and then resumes with the men on Friday.
GAME FACTS (BYU Game 27)
BYU (17-9, 7-6) at Colorado State (11-17, 2-11)
Saturday, March 2, 2002
Moby Arena [8,745]
Fort Collins, Colo.
7:07 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (84-66 in fifth year; same overall)
CSU, Dale Layer (26-30 in 2nd year; 193-117 in 11th year overall)
BYU leads, 73-42
SportsWest Productions (KSL-TV, channel 5, in SLC)
Air Time: 7 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Tom Kirkland
Game Analyst: Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live audio on KSL.com
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 190 So. 14.9 2.8
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Sr. 10.3 4.9
C 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 245 Fr. 9.0 3.6
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Jr. 15.5 6.5
G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Sr. 6.5 7.3 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 20 Daniel Bobik 6-6 205 So. 6.7 2.4
G 22 Jimmy Balderson 6-6 200 Fr. 4.2 1.4
C 42 Jon Carlisle 6-10 250 So. 1.9 1.5
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 So. 1.0 1.6
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 So. 1.5 1.8
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 0.5 0.6 apg
F 4 Jesse Pinegar 6-9 225 Fr. 0.3 0.5
Scouting Colorado State
Colorado State is 11-17 overall and 2-11 in conference play. The Rams have one starter and five lettermen back from last year's 15-13 team. Both of CSU's conference wins have been over Air Force. After defeating the Falcons (59-51) Monday in Colorado Springs, the Rams lost to Utah (72-62) Thursday night. The Rams have not gone down easily in their losses. CSU has seven losses by five points or less and 11 of its 17 defeats have been single-digit setbacks. Junior forward Brian Greene is one of the top performers in the conference this year. He ranks in the top 10 in eight statistical catagories league games. Overall he leads CSU at 16.1 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game. Greene has scored in double figures in 24 straight games for the Rams. He had 15 points and 7 rebounds vs. BYU in Provo. Freshman center Matt Nelson and junior guard Andy Birley also score in double figures at 13.2 and 11.7, respectively. As a team, CSU shoots .478 from the floor, including .382 on threes, and .665 from the line. They allow a .427 field goal percentage and a .370 three-point percentage.
COLORADO STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS
No. Name Info PPG RPG Note
33 Brian Greene F 6-8 225 Jr. 16.1 7.5
42 Matt Williams F 6-6 210 Fr. 6.3 4.1
54 Matt Nelson C 7-0 220 Fr. 13.2 4.7
2 Joe Macklin G 5-11 175 Jr. 3.9 3.4
11 Andy Birley G 6-4 190 Jr, 11.7 2.4
No. Name Info PPG RPG Note
3 Quantone Smith F 6-8 250 Jr . 4.0 2.0
4 Delbert Young G 6-2 180 Fr . 0.7 0.0
10 Jon Rakiecki G 6-3 195 Fr. 5.4 2.8
12 Todd Chapman G/F 6-5 190 So. 0.5
13 Freddy Robinson G/F 6-5 180 Fr. 3.3 1.6
20 Ronnie Clark G 6-5 210 So. 7.5 3.6
25 Matt Brown F 6-9 215 Sr. 4.4 3.3
34 Darian Burke F/ C6-10 250 So. 2.4
Coaches: Head Coach Dale Layer (Eckerd College Â‚80)
Assistant Coaches: Pat Eberhart (Adams State College Â‚86); Bill Peterson (Eckerd College Â‚79); Buzz Williams (Oklahoma City University Â‚94).
This will be the 116th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 73-42. BYU has won the last two games, in the series, both in Provo. The Cougars won the first meeting this year in Provo. BYU has won three straight in Provo since CSU swept the series in 1998. The two teams did not meet in 1999. CSU won 60-55 in Fort Collins last season and have won five straight over the Cougars in Moby Arena. BYU's last victory in Fort Collins was a 72-70 overtime win in 1993-94. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 3-4 against Colorado State. The series dates back to 1938.
Overall Series Record: 73-42
BYU Record in Provo: 49-10
BYU Record in Fort Collins: 23-30
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-2
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 3-4
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 Wyoming Margin of Victory: 25, 49-74 in 1958
Most Points Scored by BYU: 105 in 1972
Most Points Scored by CSU: 100 in 1996
RECENT MEETINGS WITH CSU
BYU Had Worst Shooting Night, Held On to Beat Colorado State in Provo
PROVO -- BYU held on for its 32nd consecutive win in the Marriott Center, narrowly escaping with a 57-52 win over physical Colorado State team. Mark Bigelow continued to resurface for BYU, leading the Cougars with 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including 4-of-7 from downtown. Bigelow's four long-range buckets are the most for him in conference play, just one short of his career high of five. Bigelow scored 20 for the first time since going for 20 against Southern Utah on Dec. 29. "Bigelow was the difference in my mind," Colorado State head coach Dale Layer said. "We would make some runs at them but he would come back, get a good look and make the big shot." The Cougars, rated third in the nation in free throw percentage, struggled from the line throughout the second half, shooting 11-for-20 from the stripe to keep the game close. BYU finished the game 21-of-31 from the line, only the second time this season the team has shot below 70 percent in a game. The team also overcame a poor night from the field, hitting a season-low 37.5 percent. Before the game, BYU's lowest percentage from the Marriott Center floor this year had been 42.9 percent, against San Francisco on Jan. 2 and also against UNLV on Jan. 15. The game was not decided until the final minute, when Bart Jepsen blocked a Brian Greene shot that would have put the Rams within one. After Jepsen's block, Eric Nielsen went to the line and sank two free throws with 22 seconds left, giving the Cougars the victory. "I thought, defensively, we did a very good job guarding them," associate head coach Dave Rose said. "Bart Jepsen was huge in the final minutes because he attacked the penetration. His blocked shot in the final minute was critical for us." For the second consecutive game, Matt Montague had double-digit assists, finishing with 11. The feat marks the first time in his career Montague has had back-to-back games with more than 10 assists. Travis Hansen also had a good night, finishing with 17 points on 5-9 shooting. Hansen and Bigelow tied for the team lead in rebounds with five apiece. The teams went into the break deadlocked at 30 but BYU responded in the second half, pushing its lead to as many as six points. The Rams made several runs to keep the score close but the Cougars responded with big buckets to maintain the lead. BYU never trailed in the second half and only trailed twice in the game. A Travis Hansen three with 1:30 left in the first half gave the Cougars a 28-26 lead and the team never trailed from there. The win pushes BYU's record to 9-0 when it holds its opponents to less than 60 points in a game.
BYU Falls 60-55 to Colorado State in Fort Collins Last Year
FORT COLLINS -- A cold shooting night from three-point range helped doom BYU as they fell to the Colorado State Rams 60-55 at Moby Arena in Fort Collins. BYU shot a season-low 6.3 percent on three-point attempts, going 1-16 from behind the arc. After missing their first 13 treys, Trent Whiting finally connected for the Cougars at the 4:50 mark of the second half to pull BYU even at 47-47. BYU, who had trailed the entire game, would never get over the hump in the final minutes, as the Rams were able to make the key shots to maintain their advantage. Following Whiting's trey, CSU's John Sivesind turned the momentum back to the Rams with his own three-pointer and then cut backdoor on the next possession after a Nate Knight miss to put the Rams up by five at 52-47. Mekeli Wesley, out with four fouls, was put back in the game and quickly brought BYU to within one with back-to-back buckets. The Cougars would get within one point two more times during the final moments, including a 56-55 deficit with only 34 seconds remaining. After two Sivesind free throws put the Rams up three with 11 seconds, Wesley was unable to connect on a heavily contested shot from behind the arc and CSU's Ron Grady added two more charity tosses to give the Rams the final 60-55 margin. BYU had four players reach double figures led by Whiting with 13 points. Wesley added 12, followed by Terrell Lyday with 11 and Travis Hansen with 10. Whiting added a career-high seven rebounds to share team-high honors with Wesley. BYU totaled only five assists on the night with no Cougar dishing out more than one pass that directly contributed to a basket. BYU trailed 35-29 at the half as CSU controlled the boards with 24 rebounds to BYU's 11. The Cougars changed their rebounding woes in the second half with 22 boards to CSU's 17 but the Rams were able to make the critical plays down the stretch. BYU finished the night shooting 37.7 percent from the floor and held CSU to nearly nine percentage points below its season average at 41.7 percent. CSU made 5-15 threes. The Rams had trouble pulling away from BYU in part because of a 55.6 percent shooting night at the line. Sivesind led CSU with 18 points while Grady added 13 and David Fisher 10. Brian Greene pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Colorado State Quick Facts:
Location: Fort Collins, Colo.
Colors: Green and Gold
Home Arena: Moby Arena (8,754)
Conference: Mountain West
Athletic Director: Jeffrey Hathaway
Head Coach: Dale Layer
Alma Mater: Eckerd College (1980)
Best time to call: Mornings
Office Phone: (970) 491-6232
Overall Record (Years): 193-117 (11th)
Record at School (Years): 26-30 (2nd)
Assistant Coaches: Pat Eberhart, Bill Peterson, Buzz Williams
Overall Record: 15-13
Conf. Record/Finish: 15-13/T5th
Final Ranking/Post Season Finish: NA
Letterman Returning/Lost: 5/5
Starters Returning/Lost: 1/5
Returning Starters (last year's stats)
Brian Greene, 6-8, 225, So., F (7.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
Basketball Contact: Gary Ozzello
Office: (970) 491-5067
Home: (970) 493-5574
Fax: (970) 491-1348
Press Row: (970) 491-3981
Athletics Web Site
BYU's MWC Finish/Tourney Seeding
BYU enters the final regular season game at CSU with the possibility of finishing as the Mountain West No. 3, No. 4 or No. 5 seed in next weeks MWC tournament in Las Vegas. BYU can tie for third or finish fourth or tied for fourth in the standings. BYU wins a two-way tie with UNLV, SDSU or UNM but can not win the tie-breaker in a three-way tie for fourth with SDSU an dUNM. BYU would get the No. 5 seed in that scenerio. BYU will likely face SDSU or UNM in the first round regardless of the seed it receives.
Final Week Notables
BYU is 7-2 overall the final week of the regular season under Steve Cleveland, including 4-1 in MWC play. BYU suffered its first road loss in the final week Thursday at Wyoming. BYU had finished the regular season on the road twice before Cleveland's first four years. BYU swept the trip on both occasions with wins at New Mexico and UTEP in 1998 and victories at New Mexico and Air Force last year. BYU finished the 1999 and 2000 seasons at home, going 3-1 with a loss to UNM and a win over UTEP in 1999 and victories over Air Force and San Diego State in 2000. After the loss at Wyoming Thursday, BYU finishes the regular season at CSU Saturday. The Cougars beat both teams in Provo in the first meetings this year. BYU has now lost five straight in Laramie, last winning on Feb. 10, 1996 (81-71). The Cougars have also dropped five straight in Fort Collins since last winning at CSU in overtime (72-70) on Feb. 5, 1994. The last time BYU swept the Front Range road trip since 1993.
LAST OUTING - Cougars Fall to Cowboys Thursday in Laramie
LARAMIE -- BYU suffered its sixth conference loss of the season with a 76-60 defeat to the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Wyoming dominated the boards throughout the night while handing BYU its ninth straight road loss. "You just can't give a team that many second chances," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "We fronted the post, but you really have to have a team effort to box those guys out." BYU's main scoring threats all had solid games for the Cougars. Travis Hansen led BYU with 16 points, followed by 14 points each from Mark Bigelow (6-of-10) and Eric Nielsen (5-of-9). All five Cowboy starters scored in double figures, led by Marcus Bailey's 18 points, as Wyoming played its best game of its last three outings. The Cougar bench out-scored the Pokes' bench, 12-9, but it rebounds made the difference in the game. Down only 34-29 at the half, BYU out shot Wyoming in the second half (45 percent to 42 percent) but lost the game on the glass, giving up 27 second-chance points for the game. The Cougars were out-rebounded 50-24 overall and 21-7 on the offensive boards. The 48 rebounds given up is the highest allowed by the Cougars this season, and the 24 boards grabbed by the Cougars istheir second-lowest total this sesason. In the two teams' first meeting in Provo this season, the Pokes only grabbed eight offensive rebounds. "One stat that just sticks out in my mind is the fact that we gave up 21 offensive rebounds," said BYU assistant coach John Wardenburg. "You can't give up 21 offensive rebounds and expect to win the game." Bigelow started the game with a hot hand, scoring eight of BYU's first 12 points. Eric Nielsen also made key baskets to help the Cougars build a 16-10 lead before Wyoming went on a 9-0 run to go up 17-16 with nine minutes left in the first half. After both teams traded several baskets, BYU went cold while Wyoming went on a 6-0 run. The Cougars only managed to score two points during a six-minute stretch near the end of the first half. Wyoming was able to make good on several second chance points coming from offensive rebounds. The Cowboys out-rebounded the Cougars 24-14 in the first half on its way to the 34-29 halftime lead. With the loss, BYU goes to 17-9 overall and 7-6 in conference play while the Pokes are now 19-7 and 10-3, respectively.
The Cougars shoot 47.4 percent from the floor. BYU is shooting 49.3 percent in its 17 victories and 44.2 percent in its nine losses. The Cougars are shooting .498 at home and .445 on the road. BYU has shot at least 45 percent in 17 games this year. BYU has shot 50 percent or better six times this year (last time was 55.9 percent vs. Air Force in Provo).
From Three-Point Range
BYU is shooting 39.6 percent on threes (tied for 19th nationally). BYU was only 3-12 vs. Wyoming Thursday. After making a season-low two threes vs. UNM, going 2-10 to end a string of six straight games with at least five threes, BYU responded with 8 treys vs. Air Force while shooting its second-best percentage at .615, going 8-13. BYU made a seaon-best 636 percent (7-11) vs. Stanford. BYU equaled a season-high 11 treys vs. Southern Utah on Dec. 29. BYU made eight three pointers in the first half (season best) against SUU. The Cougars also had 11 three pointers against Idaho. BYU attempted a season-high 22 threes vs Southern Utah. Mark Bigelow made five treys vs. SUU. Bobik has also made five threes in a game, going 5-7 vs. Idaho. Mark Bigelow has made a team-high 55 threes (.417) and made a three in 23 of 26 games this year (also set a BYU-record 22 straight games dating back to his freshman season). Travis Hansen has made 31 treys (.437) and Daniel Bobik has made 25 (.379). Matt Montague has made 14 (.318), and Eric Nielsen 11 (.579) and Jimmy Balderson 10 (.303).
One-Two Scoring Punch
Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow are BYU's one-two scoring punch. Both players have had a 30-point scoring game with Bigleow totaling 31 vs. Arizona State and Hansen having a 30-point performance at Pepperdine. Hansen surpassed Bigelow as the team's leading scorer after his 19 points vs. Air Force. Hansen averages 15.5 and Bigelow 14.9. Bigelow has reached double figures in 22 of 26 games and Hansen has been in double-digits in 20 of 26 games. The only game this year when neither player reached double-digit points was at UNM.
Other Scoring Options
The Cougars have three players scoring in double figure points. After leaders Travis Hansen (15.5) and Mark Bigelow (14.9), senior Eric Nielsen averages 10.3 ppg and has scored a career-high 29 points vs. Stanford. He has scored in double-digits in 12 of his last 14 starts and 12 of the last 15 games, including 14 points vs. Utah and Wyoming in the last two games. In addition, freshman center Jared Jensen is averaging 9.0 ppg and had a career-high 20 points at Air Force. Reserve guard Daniel Bobik is adding 6.7 ppg off the bench and has twice scored highs of 17 points. Freshman guard Jimmy Balderson has reached double figures three times with a high of 19 points while point guard Matt Montague has reached double digits six times, including a season-high 13 points at Utah and vs. AFA.
In the first 11 games this year BYU started with a 9-2 record as Mark Bigelow shot 46.9 percent, Travis Hansen 46.0 percent, and Daniel Bobik 45.2 percent. BYU was 3-4 over the next seven games, however, as Bigelow went 24-71 (.338) Hansen 31-83 (.373), and Daniel Bobik 14-40 (.350). Their shooting touch returned with home wins over Wyoming and CSU as Bigelow made 15-24 (.625) Hansen 13-21 (.619) and Bobik 2-4 (.500). In the last five home wins, Hansen went 30-53 (.566), Bigelow is 25-47 (.532) and Bobik 4-9 (.500). In wins this year, Bigelow is shooting .478 and averaging 16.3 ppg, Hansen .475 and 15.0 ppg and Bobik .413 and 6.8 ppg. In losses, Bigelow's number drop to .374 and 12.3 ppg while Hansen's percentage falls to .405 but his average is up to team-leading 16.6 ppg. Bobik has shot better in losses (.442) with similar average (6.6 ppg).
Numbers at the Line
BYU is shooting 76.7 percent from the line for the year (7th nationally). Last year, BYU led the nation at 78 percent from the line. BYU's worst percentage was at UNM, making only 7-12 free throws (.583). BYU shot only 66.7 percent vs. CSU. BYU was only 21-32 (.656) vs. AFA, and 13-19 (.684) vs. Utah (only four games below 70 percent). Daniel Bobik made 27 consecutive free throws before missing (3-4) at Utah. His string of successes spanned 17 games, last missing in the second game vs. Arizona State. The BYU record is 32 set by Michael Smith. Travis Hansen reaching 23 straight this year until missing on his fourth attempt at home vs. SDSU. Bobik is tied for 14th nationally at 90.5 percent.
Six Seeing Majority of Minutes
Six players play the majority of the minutes for BYU coach Steve Cleveland. Only Daniel Bobik averages double-digit minutes off the bench. Four starters, Matt Montague, Eric Nielsen, Mark Bigelow and Travis Hansen average more than 30 minutes a game, with Montague playing a team-high 37.3 minutes per outing. Forward Bart Jepsen and guard Daniel Bobik are the only reserves to play in every game but both have seen less minutes in recent games. Jon Carlisle and Dan Howard have been seeing time in the post and Jimmy Balderson on the perimeter. Howard has gotten much more time in the last five games.
Montague is BYU Energizer, Keeps on Going, and Going
Senior point guard Matt Montague averages a team-leading 37.3 minutes per game. While playing nearly the entire game, he sixth nationally in assists (7.3). In MWC play, he also averages 7.3 assists. He leads the league in assist/turnover ratio. He is also averaging a career-best 6.5 ppg and 4.1 rpg. Montague equaled his season-high with 13 points vs. Air Force (also at Utah on 1/28/01). He passed Danny Ainge at Wyoming Saturday as BYU's all-time assist leader (542 assists).
BYU had a three-game winning streak halted at Wyoming. (BYU has won five of its last eight). BYU had a season-best eight-game winning streak halted at Pepperdine. The eight straight wins was the longest streak since the 1992-93 team won 13 in a row. BYU has won 35 consecutive home games. With the loss at Wyoming, BYU has lost nine straight road games (not including the Stanford win on a neutral court) since opening the season with a win at the University of San Diego. BYU's longest losing streak of the year is three games, its first in Mountain West play and its first three-game slide since February 1999 when BYU lost at Fresno State, San Jose State (OT) and vs. New Mexico in Provo as a member of the WAC. Including this year, the Cougars have had nine two-game losing streaks since losing the three straight in 1999. BYU's road losses include Utah State (OT), UCSB, Pepperdine (OT), UNM, AFA, Utah UNLV (at the buzzer), SDSU and Wyoming.
Hoping to Avoid Rare Road Winless Season in Conference
BYU is 0-6 in conference play on the road this year. Since the beginning of the Western Athletic Conference in 1962, BYU has only had three winless road campaigns: 0-5 in 1967-68 (13-12 overall); 0-7 in 1969-70 (8-18 overall) and 0-8 in 1996-97 (1-25 overall).
Home Winning Streak
BYU has a 35-game home court winning streak. The streak, which is a school record topping the 24 straight won between March 1994 and January 1996, is the longest current streak in the nation. BYU finished 15-0 at home for the second straight season. BYU has had a perfect home record eight times since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season. This is the first time it has happened in back-to-back seasons. BYU's last home loss was on Feb. 17, 2000 when New Mexico edged the Cougars 78-74. BYU has won 17 straight at home over MWC teams.
Hitting the Glass
BYU has had the rebounding edge in 15 of 26 games, earning a 13-2 record when winning the battle of the boards. Overall, BYU averages 33.3 rebounds while its opponents grab on average 30.8. BYU gave up a high of 48 rebounds to Wyoming Saturday, including 21 offensive boards. BYU held AFA to only 15 boards (a BYU opponent season low). The Cougars have been out rebounded nine times overall this year (3-6 in those games). BYU has been out boarded in eight of 13 MWC games. BYU got some key rebounds late vs. UNM last Saturday to help seal its comeback despite being out boarded 32-25. Allowing some offensive rebounds late had hurt the Cougars in recent closely contested road losses at UNLV and SDSU. BYU's low on the glass was 23 at Air Force. BYU out boarded Fort Lewis, 47-17, for its season high. BYU's 42-26 rebounding advantage over ASU was the third worst margin suffered by ASU coach Rob Evan's in his coaching career and his worst at ASU. Shooting guard Travis Hansen leads the team (6.5) and point guard Matt Montague is third at 4.1. Forward Eric Nielsen is second at 4.9. Hansen has had highs of 17 and 15 rebounds.
BYU ranks second in the conference in field goal percentage defense (.420), first in three-point percentage defense (.299) and third in scoring defense (64.0). After holding San Diego State to 37 percent shooting and UNLV to 39 percent at home to open MWC play, BYU yielded 53.6 percent to the Lobos at The Pit and 54.3 percent to Air Force -- the two highest highest percentages allowed by BYU this year. The Cougars stepped up their defense against Utah, who was shooting 60 percent from three-point range over the first four MWC games. BYU held the Utes to 42 percent overall, including 22 percent on threes. Wyoming shot 45 percent, CSU 42.6 percent, UNLV 46.7 percent and SDSU 48.2, UNM 45.3 and Utah 48.9 and Wyoming 43.3 in the last seven games. Only three teams have shot better than 50 percent against BYU (at AFA, .543; at New Mexico, .536; at Utah State, .509). The Cougars have held nine opponents this year below 40 percent shooting while nine teams have shot better than 45 percent against BYU.
Biggest Crowd in Two Years
Attendance vs. San Diego State in the MWC opener was 19,411, the largest Marriott Center crowd since Jan. 15, 2000 when 22,580 showed up to see BYU play Utah. The largest crowd last season was 19,098, also against Utah. Unlike many schools, BYU's announced attendance is actual attendance instead of paid attendance. The 2002 Olympics had a significant impact on attendance this year.
Nielsen Named Academic All-District
BYU senior forward Eric Nielsen was named to the 2002 Verizon Academic
All-District VIII men's basketball team, released last week. Two-time honorees Dan Dickau of Gonzaga and Predrag Savovic of Hawaii join Nielsen on the five-man team along with Jason Humbert of Eastern Washington and Michael Preston of Pacific. Four of this year's five honorees play on teams currently in the top three of their respective conferences. BYU, 16-8 overall, is currently tied for third in the Mountain West Conference at 6-5. The District VIII team was voted on by CoSIDA members from within the District VIII states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, and the province of British Columbia. The all-district first-team selections advance to the national ballot for consideration. The 2002 Verizon Academic All-America team will be announced March 7. An All-MWC Academic member and a Cougar Club Scholar Athlete, Nielsen has a 3.26 GPA in Civil Engineering.
Hansen Named MWC Player of the Week on Jan. 7
COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU junior forward Travis Hansen has been named the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week after averaging a double-double last week in BYU's two games. Hansen, from Orem, Utah (Utah Valley State College) averaged 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds while BYU defeated San Francisco and lost in overtime at Pepperdine. The Cougar guard shot 48 percent from the field (13-of-27) and was perfect from the free throw line (14-of-14). "Travis is very deserving," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "He had a special performance at Pepperdine. He just competed like a lion. He was a warrior out there who carried us on his shoulders." In the 84-70 win vs. San Francisco, Hansen scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds, had two assists, one block and one steal in 27 minutes. Against Pepperdine, he collected his team-leading third double-double of the year with 30 points and 17 rebounds in the 82-79 overtime loss. He went 10-of-19 from the floor and 10-of-10 from the line while adding two assists and one steal in 42 minutes. He set career highs during the game in points, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made, free throw percentage, and minutes played. Hansen's 17 boards tops his previous high of 15 rebounds set earlier this year and are the most by a Cougar since Brett Applegate had 17 rebounds in December 1983. This is Hansen's first player of the week honor of his career and the second awarded to a Cougar this season. BYU senior forward Eric Nielsen earned the honor on Dec. 24. "It's an nice honor for me and the team," Hansen said. "I think it reflects how we have played as a team during the preseason. Obviously it would be a lot sweeter had we won the game at Pepperdine, but it is something to build upon entering our conference games."
Nielsen Earns MWC Player of the Week Award after Stanford Victory
COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU senior forward Eric Nielsen was named the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week Monday after leading the Cougars to an 81-76 upset of 13th-ranked Stanford Saturday at the Las Vegas Showdown. It was Nielsen's first player of the week honor of his career. Nielsen, from Freemont, Calif. (Irvington HS) scored a career-high 29 points after making 11-of-16 shots from the floor (68.8 percent), including 2-for-2 from three-point range. He was also a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line and grabbed six rebounds, while dishing out two assists. Nielsen's two treys marked a career best and equaled the total number of threes he's made in te past two years combined. Nielsen scored 17 points in 18 first-half minutes, keeping BYU within one at intermission, 41-40. He added 12 points in the second half and helped the Cougars outrebound Stanford, holding the Cardinal nine boards their season average. Nielsen also set career highs with the 16 field goal attempts, 11 field goals made and free throw percentage (1.000).
Bigelow Sets Three-Point Mark vs. UNLV in Provo
Against UNLV, Mark Bigelow connected from behind the arc for the 22nd straight game dating back to his freshman season, a new BYU record. His streak ended with three misses at New Mexico. Terrell Lyday previously held the record with 21, all coming in the 1999-2000 season. Lyday's 21 games is still the single-season consecutive games record for BYU. Bigelow also achieved the third-longest single season mark at 15 games. BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson is second on the single-season list. Toolson made a three in 29 of 30 games as a senior in 1990, with streaks of 16 and 13 games. Toolson didn't make a three vs. Wyoming.
Cleveland in Conference Play
After the loss at Wyoming, Cleveland's conference (WAC/MWC) record is 34-35. Taking over after BYU's 1-25 season, Cleveland improved BYU's conference record in each of his first four seasons and has exceeded many expectations with only one starter returning this year. Cleveland has been at .500 four times, including twice this year (1-1, 2-2, 29-29, 34-34). He has had a winning mark twice (1-0, 2-1). Cleveland has a 23-17 (.575) MWC record.
Montague is New BYU Assist Leader
Senior guard Matt Montague passed Danny Ainge Saturday at Wyoming to become BYU's all-time assist leader. He broke a tie with Ainge on his first assist (a bucket by Eric Nielsen) vs. Wyoming. He is currently the leader in career average, just ahead of Ainge, and has BYU's best single-season average at 7.3, which is currently sixth nationally. He needs 16 assists to pass Nate Call as the single-season total assists leader. He has also dished out 15 assists in a game twice this year, just one off the BYU mark of 16 set by Mike May in 1976.
BYU Assist Leaders
Total Assists - Career
1. Danny Ainge 539
Matt Montague 542
3. Nathan Call 528
4. Marty Haws 502
Assists by Average -- Career
1. Matt Montague 4.59
2. Danny Ainge 4.57
3. Nathan Call 4.09
Total Assists -- Season
1. Nathan Call (1992) 204
2. Matt Montague (2002) 189
3. Nathan Call (1991) 164
4. Danny Ainge (1978) 158
Assists by Average -- Season
1. Matt Montague (2002) 7.3
2. Nathan Call (1992) 6.4
3. Danny Ainge (1978) 5.3
Assists in a game
1. Mike May (1976) 16
2. Matt Montague (2002) 15 (twice)
BYU in Nonconference
BYU achieved double-digit nonconference wins for the third straight season with a 10-3 mark this year. Last year BYU was 11-4 entering MWC play and went on to a 24-9 record. In 1999-2000 the Cougars were 11-2 and finished 22-11. BYU has defeated 26 straight nonconference opponents in the Marriott Center. The last non-league foe to win in Provo was the California Bears, who edged BYU 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998. BYU has a 32-6 home record against nonconference teams under Steve Cleveland. BYU is 25-0 vs. non-MWC teams at home since the conference was founded in 1999. The Cougars are the only MWC team with an unbeaten home nonconference mark.
Tough MWC Conference
BYU's seven Mountain West opponents have combined (as of March 1) to win 60 percent of their games this year. The league was predicted to be stronger top to bottom from last season. BYU was picked sixth in the preseason poll with Wyoming and Utah considered the top two teams to win the title this year.
BYU Opponent Records
Of the 20 opponents BYU will face this year, 14 have winning records as of March 1. Six teams have a losing record. Eight of BYU's nine losses (except Air Force) have come against team's with winning records. Overall, BYU's opponents have combined to win 59.1 percent of their games with the nonconference teams having won 59 percent and MWC teams just under 60 percent.
BYU vs. Postseason Teams/Conference Champs
BYU is 6-3 vs. 2001 conference title holders and 7-5 against teams that earned postseason berths last year with losses at Utah State, Pepperdine, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming and wins over Creighton, Stanford, CS Northridge, Southern Utah , Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah. On this year's schedule, BYU has played seven conference champions, including Pac-10 champion Stanford, and has 12 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year. In addition to Stanford, last year's champions included Creighton of the Missouri Valley Conference, Utah State of the Big West, Cal State Northridge of the Big Sky (playing in Big West this year), Southern Utah of the Mid-Continent Conference and fellow co-champions Utah and Wyoming of the Mountain West Conference. Pepperdine and New Mexico also advanced to post-season play in the NIT tournament.
BYU's win this year over then No. 13 Stanford in Las Vegas was the Cougars' first win over a top-20 team since upsetting No. 15 New Mexico (83-62)i n The Pit in February 1998. Last year BYU lost to No. 13 USC, 70-67, at the Yahoo Sports Invitational in Laie, Hawaii, after leading by 18 at the half, 41-23. BYU played at No. 4 Arizona on Dec. 1, 1999 but lost 86-62 after a late Arizona run in the final eight minutes. BYU took No. 11 Arizona to overtime in Provo on Nov. 24, 1998, before losing 78-74. BYU nearly won in regulation, but Arizona's Jason Terry hit a three-pointer to send the game to overtime.
All BYU games will be carried live on the Cougar Sports Radio Network, originating from KSL Newsradio 1160 AM in Salt Lake City. BYU is featured six times this season in the Mountain West television package with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Regional Television (ESPN+Plus) and ABC. The Cougars play twice on ESPN and four times on ESPN+Plus. An additional 13 BYU games are part of the SportsWest Productions' package and KBYU will produce two games for taped-delay broadcast. In all 21-of-27 regular season games are slated for television broadcast. BYU also appeared on Fox Sports West 2 against Pepperdine and Fox Sports Arizona vs. Arizona State.
Coaching Staff Additions
Former BYU player Andy Toolson and Pine View High School (St. George, Utah) coach John Wardenburg were hired as assistant coaches in May. Toolson joins Cleveland's staff after an 11-year professional career in Europe and the NBA, while Wardenburg comes to BYU with 11 years of coaching experience at the high school and junior college level. Former assistant coach Nathan Call was named director of basketball operations. Associate Head Coach Dave Rose remains in that capacity.
Sagarin Ratings (as of March 1)
BYU is currently ranked 50th and is the second-rated team in the Mountain West Conference in the Sagarin ratings. BYU has the second-highest rated schedule (42nd). The MWC is the 7th ranked conference. Below is a list of MWC teams in order of ranking. To see the latest Sagarin Rankings go to: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin.htm
Rk. Team Sched Rank
39 Utah 60
50 BYU 42
53 Wyoming 123
70 San Diego State 49
71 UNLV 84
79 New Mexico 106
149 Colorado State 80
175 Air Force 72
RPI Report (as of March 1)
According to the CollegeRPI.com rankings, BYU is ranked 38th nationally in RPI, the second-rated MWC team behind Utah at 19. The Mountain West Conference is rated 7th among the 32 conferences (and five independents).
San Diego State 53
New Mexico 54
Colorado State 174
Air Force 179
BYU in MWC Statistics (as of March 1)
Category All Games Conf. Only
Scoring Offense 5th 5th
Scoring Defense 3rd 3rd
Scoring Margin 3rd 3rd
FT Percentage 1st 2nd
FG Percentage 4th 3rd
FG % Defense 2nd 3rd
3-FG Percentage 2nd 3rd
3-FG % Defense 1st 1st
Rebound Offense 6th 6th
Rebounding Defense 3rd *4th *went from 1st to 4th after Wyoming game
Rebound Margin 5th 6th
Blocked Shots 5th 2nd
Assists 5th 4th
Steals 8th 8th
Turnover Margin 6th 4th
Assist/Turnover Ratio 2nd 2nd
Offensive Rebounds 7th 6th
Defensive Rebounds 3rd 6th
3-FG Made 3rd 4th
Individual (overall games)
Â• Matt Montague leads the MWC in assists and assist/turnover ratio. He is 13th in defensive rebounds, 10th in steals, and tied for 18th in rebounding.
Â• Mark Bigelow 9th in scoring, 6th in free throw percentage, and 4th in three-pointers per game and 8th in three-point percentage.
Â• Travis Hansen is 8th in scoring, 8th in rebounding, 5th in defensive rebounds, tied for 4th in three-point percentage, 9th in free throw percentage and tied for 15th in three-pointers per game.
Â• Eric Nielsen is tied for 7th in field goal percentage, 11th in defensive rebounds, 12th in total rebounds and 12th in blocks.
Â• Daniel Bobik would lead all MWC players in free throw percentage (.905) but doesn't shoot enough to qualify for the rankings.
Â• Jared Jensen is No. 1 in FG percentage, is 5th in FT percentage and tied for 13th in off. rebounds.
Â• Jon Carlisle is 13th in blocked shots.
BYU in National Statistics (as of March 1)
Â• BYU is 7th in the nation in free throw shooting percentage (.767), tied for 19th in three-point percentage.
Â• Matt Montague is 6th in assists (7.3) and Daniel Bobik is tied for 14th in FT% (.905).
MATT MONTAGUE / 6-0 Â• 190 Â• senior Â• point guard
Â• Montague provides leadership at the point having started 83 times and played in all 118 games in his fourth year. He has led the team in assists during each of his four seasons.
Â• He averages a MWC-best 7.3 assists (6th nationally). He tops the MWC in assist/TO ratio. He has two of the nation's top seven assist games. He had15 assists vs. Wyoming and Idaho - the most assists by a Cougar since Mike May set the school record with 16 vs. Niagara in 1976. He just passed Danny Ainge as BYU's all-time assist leader.
Â• He recorded double-digit assists in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, with 15 (vs. Wyo.) and 11(vs. CSU). He has had 10 or more assists in six games this year and nine times in his career. He had a season-low 3 assists Thursday at Wyoming.
Â• He has reached double figures points in six games this year, including a season-high 13 points (vs. AFA, at Utah).
Â• He averages career highs of 6.5 ppg, 7.3 apg and 4.1 rpg. He made a career-best 8 FTs to seal the win over Stanford.
Â• He had a season-high 8 rebounds at home vs. SDSU. At 6-foot, he is third on the team in rebounding average at 4.1.
Â• He has made 13 threes in the last 15 games, hitting on 13-31 attempts (.419), after making only 1 trey (1-13, .077) in BYU's first 11 games. His trey vs. Utah last Saturday with a minutes left set up the game-winning shot.
TRAVIS HANSEN / 6-6 Â• 210 Â• junior Â• guard/forward
Â• Hansen played a supporting role in his first season at BYU last year and missed part of the year with injury.
Â• This year he is BYU's leading scorer (15.5) and rebounder (6.5).
Â• He averaged a team-leading 18.0 ppg last week. He shot 52.6 percent from the floor, including 66.7 (4-6) percent on threes, and 75 percent from the line. He has scored 16 or more in eight of the last nine games, including three games with 20 or more points. He had 16 at Wyoming Thursday. The exception was his 7 points at SDSU, where he played a season-low 18 minutes due to foul trouble.
Â• He has led BYU in scoring a team-leading 12 times overall this year, including the last four straight games.
Â• He had his team-leading fourth double-double of the year vs. Utah with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Against Pepperdine he had career highs of 30 points and 17 rebounds. He set career highs during the game in points, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made, free throw percentage, and minutes played. Hansen is the second Cougar to score 30 points in a game this year (Mark Bigelow 31 vs. ASU). Hansen's 17 boards tops his previous high of 15 rebounds this year and is the most boards by a Cougars since Brett Applegate had 17 rebounds in December 1983. Only 20 Cougars have ever had more than 17 boards in a game. No Cougar guard has ever totaled more boards in a single game.
Â• He has reached double-digit points in 12 of 26 games, including eight of the last nine.
Â• He played a key defensive role against Casey Jacobsen of Stanford; often guards the best perimeter player.
MARK BIGELOW / 6-7 Â• 190 Â• sophomore Â• guard/forward
Â• Bigelow was BYU's leading scorer (15.0) and rebounder (6.3) in 1998-99 before going on a two-year LDS Church mission to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He is still working to regain his pre-mission conditioning and strength.
Â• He has led BYU in scoring much of the year and is now second at 14.9 ppg. He has scored at least 13 points in 20 of 26 games. He has five 20 or more points games this year, including a BYU season-high 31 vs. ASU. He had a string of 14 straight double-digit games before only 4 points at UNM. He also had 4 points at Utah, taking a season-low one three-point attempt. He had his season low in points vs. AFA, going 1-4 for three points on a trey.
Â• After averaging 18.3 ppg over the first 11 games (9-2 record) and shooting .469 from the floor, Bigelow slumped to 24-71 (.338) over the next seven games (3-4 record), including 8-32(.250) on threes while averaging 11.7 ppg over that stretch. He rebounded vs. Wyoming going 8-12 for 19 points. In the last seven games, he has continued to shoot better, going 38-76 (.500) from the floor and and 16-36 (.444) on threes. BYU is 5-3 in those games.
Â• Bigelow made two three-pointers vs. UNLV in Provo to set a BYU record with 22 consecutive games with a trey. He has made two or more threes in 15 games, including a career-equaling 5 treys vs. Southern Utah. He had four threes vs. CSU, a conference-season high. He went 3-5 on threes vs. Utah Saturday.
ERIC NIELSEN / 6-9 Â• 215 Â• senior Â• forward
Â• A four-year starter, Nielsen is the only starter back from last year's NCAA team. His 55.2 career field goal percentage (339-614) is fifth all-time at BYU (No. 1 Alan Taylor, .574; No. 2 Gary Trost, .566, No. 3 Jared Miller and Russell Larson, .556). Nielsen and teammate Matt Montague were all freshmen members of the 1996-97 BYU team that finished 1-25. Since returning from his mission, Nielsen has played three seasons for coach Cleveland, helping the Cougars earn a combined 63-29 (.685) record to date, including two postseason tournament berths.
Â• Nielsen is third on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg), second in rebounding (4.9 rpg) and field goal percentage (.529).
Â• He hit the game-winner vs. Utah, scoring 14 points. He had 14 points at Wyoming Thursday.
Â• He has scored in double figures in 12 of the last 15 games. He has reached double digits 16 times this year.
Â• He had a season-high 9 rebounds vs. AFA. He took only two shots in the game, scoring a season-low 2 pts.
Â• Nielsen fouled out for the first time this year at Utah (with 8:36 remaining). He had fouled out of 26 of 92 games (every 3.5 games) over his first three seasons (10 times as a freshman, 7 times as a sophomore and 9 times last year).
Â• He scored a career-high 29 points vs. Stanford, taking a career-high 16 attempts while making a new-best 11 shots.
Â• He missed his only start at Air Force because he was ill. He did not attempt a shot for only time this year (3 pts).
Â• An Academic All-MWC and Cougar Scholar Athlete, Nielsen was named to the 2002 Verizon Academic All-District VIII team this year. He maintains a 3.26 GPA in Civil Engineering.
JARED JENSEN / 6-9 Â• 245 Â• freshman Â• center
Â• Jensen earned the 2001 Utah Deseret News Mr. Basketball Award after scoring 25.8 points and pulling down 13 rebounds per game this past season at Fremont High School.
Â• He is fourth on the team overall at 9.0 ppg. In MWC games, he is fourth on the team at 9.6 ppg.
Â• He shoots a team-leading and MWC-best 59.7 percent. He has 12 double figure games this year.
Â• He has played 20-plus minutes in 15 games. After 8 straight 20-plus outings, he played a season-low 7 minutes at Utah and has only had three 20-minute games in the last eight. He had 14 points vs. AFA and 9 points vs. Utah.
Â• He did not score for the third time this year at Wyoming (also at Utah, at Pepperdine). At Utah, he got in foul trouble and played limited minutes because of matchups.
Â• He had perhaps the best game of his young career at Air Force when he scored a career-high 20 points, going 6-10 from the floor and 8-9 from the line. He also added 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
Â• Jensen had his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds vs. CS Northridge. He also had a career-best 10 boards vs. Creighton. He made a career-best free throw percentage vs. AFA Monday, going 8-8.
DANIEL BOBIK / 6-6 Â• 205 Â• sophomoreÂ• guard
Â• Last year Daniel Bobik averaged 3.5 points and 10.4 minutes while playing in 28 of 33 games as a freshman. Bobik plays the sixth-man role this year, although he has seen less time in recent games.
Â• Bobik is fifth on the team in scoring (6.7). He has scored in double digits in seven games, including two MWC games. He had 10 at Utah and 11 at New Mexico. At UNM, he went 4-6 from the floor, a career-best .667 percentage, with 11 points. He scored on back-to-back ally-oop layins. He reached double digits in three straight games with a career-high 17 against Idaho, 10 against Stanford and 17 again vs. CS Northridge.
Â• He had a career-best 8 rebounds vs. Creighton.
Â• He played 20 minutes once in the last eight games (at SDSU). He played a season-low 5 vs. Utah last Saturday. He averages 19.2 minutes overall. He played a career-high 33 minutes with 12 points and four rebounds in the season-opener at USD.
Â• He did not take a shot for the first time this year vs. UNM.
Â• Five of his seven double figures games have been on the road, including 12 at USD, 10 vs. Stanford in two wins.
Â• With Eric Nielsen sick, he got his only start at Air Force, playing 21 minutes, taking only 1 shot, scoring 2 points.
Â• He shoots a MWC-best 90.5 percent (tied for 14th nationally) from the line and had a string of 27 straight free throws until missing his last attempt at Utah (all-time BYU record is 32 by Michael Smith). The streak extended over 17 games (began vs. ASU). He set career bests in all three free throw categories, going 8-8 vs. CS Northridge.
BART JEPSEN / 6-9 Â• 235 Â• redshirt sophomore Â• forward
Â• Jepsen redshirted last season after returning from an LDS Church mission. He is a rebounder and defender who can run the floor well. Before a two-year LDS Church mission, Jepsen started nine times while playing 27 games as a freshman in 1997-98 in Cleveland's first season.
Â• Jepsen has appeared in every game this year off the bench, joining Bobik as only reserves to play in every game.
Â• He blocked Brian Greene's shot with seconds left to help BYU preserve its three-point lead over CSU at home. It was his third blocked shot of the year.
Â• After playing double-digit minutes in five of first seven games, he has only played 10 or more minutes in four of the last 19 games, but played a season-high 22 minutes at UNLV (also played 22 minutes at Utah State).
Â• Jepsen tied his career high in scoring with seven points and field goals made (3), coming off the bench to give the Cougars a big lift in 19 minutes vs. SDSU in Provo. His two dunks in the first half helped give BYU momentum, taking a lead it never lost throughout the entire second half. His 3-4 shooting night was also a career-best percentage.
Â• His rebound high is 6 vs. Arizona State.
JESSE PINEGAR / 6-9 Â• 220 Â• redshirt freshman Â• forward
Â• Pinegar has played in six games since being cleared by doctors in December (due to shoulder surgery in June). It was his first action since his junior year of high school. He sat out his senior year of high school after shoulder surgery and then redshirted last season at BYU. He injured his shoulder again this summer and had surgery in June.
Â• Pinegar scored the first points of his collegiate career vs. Southern Utah. He scored with about a minute to play on running one-hand baseline jumper. He played a season-high seven minutes with 1 rebound and 1 assist vs. Fort Lewis in his first career appearance.
Â• He had not appeared in any conference games until playing one minute vs. AFA on Monday. He had not appeared in 11 straight contests until his late duty on Monday.
Â• Pinegar redshirted last year after coming to BYU as one of the Cougars' top recruits and the first of BYU's top-20 recruiting class to commit to the Cougars. He was rated the top center in the West as a junior and sat out his senior year of high school after shoulder surgery. A skilled offensive player, he was expected to play a role for BYU this season but again injured his left (non dominant) shoulder in June. He is a mobile, athletic player, who has excellent range beyond the three-point line. He made significant strides in the weight room last season before the injury.
Â• He no longer has pain in his shoulder but remains behind in his conditioning and strength and, consequently, will likely not factor into any regular rotation this season.
DAN HOWARD / 7-0 Â• 225 Â• sophomore Â• center
Â• The tallest player on the roster, he has a nice touch for a big man. He is a career 16-23 (.696) from the floor in his two seasons, including 8-12 this year.
Â• Howard has appeared in 17 games overall this season. Last year, Howard played in 14 games in limited action.
Â• He has played his most significant time in the last five games. He had 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks at Wyoming in 14 minutes. He had an important dunk and rebound late, along with a free throw vs. Utah last Saturday. He played 10 minutes vs AFA with 5 boards, and 12 minutes, including a nice tip-in follow to help BYU come back on UNM, last Saturday. At SDSU he had career highs in points (8), rebounds (7), steals (1) and minutes (19) and equaled his career bests in field goals (3), field goal attempts (3), field goal percentage (3-3, 1.000), free throws (2), and free throw percentage (2-2, 1.000). While his offensive numbers were good, his biggest contribution was on the defensive end. He was able to significantly slow down SDSU's Randy Holcomb, who had a huge first half for the Aztecs. Howard's action in the past two games is his first extended minutes in games still in question since playing a season-high 12 minutes at San Francisco last season.
Â• He started the season-opener at USD, the only start of his career. He played seven minutes, with one rebound.
Â• He played 2 minutes vs. Stanford with one rebound.
Â• He had 4 points and 5 boards vs. Fort Lewis and had 3 rebounds and 2 blocks vs. Idaho. He played a 13 minutes in each game.
Â• He has played double-digit minutes seven times this year, including the last five straight games.
JON CARLISLE / 6-10 Â• 250 Â• sophomore Â• center
Â• Carlisle is from Salt Lake City and last played on Utah's Final Four team in 1998 as the primary backup to current Cleveland Cavaliers center Michael Doleac. He averaging 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game.
Â• He continues to work to get back into playing shape, having taken off 40 pounds since returning from his mission. He is a talented post player who has the tools to be a strong contributor in the future. He has been a spark in the post at times, giving the Cougars a solid effort during his limited time.
Â• Carlisle has played in 21 games, including the last 20 straight. He has grabbed a rebound in 16 of 21 games and has scored in 12 of his 21 games.
Â• He is 14-29 (.483) from the floor.
Â• After three straight scoreless games, he scored 5 points and had 2 rebounds in 8 minutes vs. UNM. He recorded his first steal of the year and equaled a season-high 4 field goal attempts. He had 2 points vs. AFA.
Â• He played a season-high 19 minutes vs. Wyoming in Provo, scoring a career-high 8 points.
Â• At Utah, he had two blocks, one rebound and dove on the floor to create a BYU possession resulting in a Matt Montague layin in only seven minutes.
Â• He has played double-digit minutes five times, including 11 at Wyoming Thursday. He played 14 minutes vs. Stanford, more than doubling his previous high while making a significant contribution to the victory, playing 10 minutes in the first half with Jared Jensen in foul trouble.
Â• He had four points and season-high four boards in 13 minutes at UNM. He also had 4 boards vs. SDSU.
JIMMY BALDERSON / 6-6 Â• 200 Â• freshman Â• guard
Â• Balderson averaged 34 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists at Magrath High School in Alberta, Canada, where he shot 54 percent from the floor and 91 percent from the line. He has excellent range from the three-point line and good size. He plans to leave in the spring on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Â• Balderson shoots 49 percent from the floor and 30 percent on threes. Half of his attempts are three-pointers.
Â• He had 8 points in seven minutes at SDSU last Monday. He scored six points in five minutes vs. Wyoming in Provo on a three-pointer and a spectacular oldfashion three-point play on a reverse layin. He did not score at Wyoming.
Â• Balderson has played in 23 games. He played a season-high 23 minutes at Air Force, with 14 points, 6 rebounds. His 14 points at Air Force is his highest total vs. a Division I team.
Â• He has reached double figures three times. In addition to 14 points at AFA, he scored 11 points in 13 minutes vs. Southern Utah and totaling a career-high 19 points to lead all BYU scorers against Fort Lewis in 22 minutes. He went 8-10 from the floor vs. Fort Lewis. He also had career highs in rebounds (7) and steals (3), sharing team-high honors.
Â• He hit the game-tying trey from the left corner to force overtime at Pepperdine in his only minute of action.
Â• He has been able to score when he has gotten the playing time. He has played double-digit minutes in seven games, averaging 9.0 points in 16.0 minutes in those games.
Â• He had a string of 14 consecutive made free throws come to an end at SDSU, going 4-5 from the line. He missed the first of three attempts after being fouled on a three-point attempt with 1.7 seconds remaining.
TERRY NASHIF / 5-10 Â• 165 Â• freshman Â• guard
Â• Nashif is a freshman who served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after his senior year in 1999 at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash. A smart player who can put down the three-pointer, he is an excellent distributor of the ball.
Â• Nashif is the only true point guard backing up Matt Montague since the loss of Shawn Opunui to injury.
Â• With starter Matt Montague playing nearly the entire game, Nashif has usually only seen very limited action.
Â• He has played in 18 games, but has played only one minute in eight of those games.
Â• He equalled his season high playing 10 minutes vs. Southern Utah, recording a high of 3 rebounds. He played 10 minutes against Fort Lewis, and had 2 points and 3 assists.
Â• He recorded a career-high 3 points, going 3-6 from the line, playing five minutes vs. CSUN.
Â• He played 4 minutes at Wyoming Thursday, setting a career high with 4 points. He went 4-4 from the line, a career-best percentage and also a new best in free throws made. It was the first time he has scored since the Cal State Northridge game (11 scoreless appearances in between).