BYU Makes its Third Straight Postseason Tournament Appearance when it Hosts UC Irvine Thursday in the NIT
BYU (17-11, 7-7 MWC) hosts UC Irvine (21-10, 13-5 BWC) Thursday at 7 p.m. MST in the first round of the 2002 National Invitation Tournament. The Cougars are making their third consecutive postseason tournament appearance and their second NIT bid in the past three seasons. The Anteaters shared this year's regular season Big West title with Utah State before being upset in the MWC semifinals by UC Santa Barbara. There is no live television coverage of Thursday's game. The live radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 (and on the web at KSL.com), beginning with an hour pregame show at 6 p.m.
The BYU-UCI winner will play the winner of Memphis-UNC Greensboro on Monday or Tuesday at a site yet to be determined.
NIT Tickets Available
Tickets for Thursday's NIT game are available at the Marriott Center ticket office or by calling 378-BYU1 or 800-322-BYU1. Tickets are being sold on a first-come-first-serve basis. Lower chair seats cost $14; upper chair $10; upper bench and faculty $8; and any student with a valid ID $5.
GAME FACTS (BYU Game 29)
BYU (17-11, 7-7 MWC) vs. UC Irvine (21-10, 13-5 BWC)
Thursday, March 14, 2002
Marriott Center [22,700]
7:05 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (84-68 in fifth year; same overall)
UCI, Pat Douglass (75-67 in 5th year; 451-185 in 21st year overall)
Series: BYU leads, 2-1
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. 14.8 2.8
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Sr. 10.4 5.1
C 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 245 Fr. 9.1 3.5
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Jr. 15.3 6.4
G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Sr. 6.5 7.1 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 20 Daniel Bobik 6-6 205 So. 6.4 2.3
G 22 Jimmy Balderson 6-6 200 Fr. 4.0 1.5
C 42 Jon Carlisle 6-10 250 So. 1.8 1.5
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 So. 1.8 2.1
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 So. 0.9 1.5
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 0.5 0.5 apg
F 4 Jesse Pinegar 6-9 225 Fr. 0.3 0.5
Scouting UC Irvine
The Anteaters, alma mater of BYU coach Steve Cleveland, earned their second straight Big West regular season title in 2002, sharing this year's honor with Utah State (13-5 record). UC Irvine is 21-10 overall and is led by two-time Big West Player of the Year Jerry Green (20.6 ppg). The Anteaters were upset by eventual tournament champion UC Santa Barbara in the semifinals of last week's Big West tournament in Anaheim, Calif. UCI has recorded back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history, as last year's team finished 25-5. This is the fourth time in the 37-year history of basketball at UCI that an Anteater team has reached 20 wins. Like BYU's Steve Cleveland, UCI head coach Pat Douglass is in his fifth year at the helm and has brought the program much success. UCI has won 60 gmeas over the last three seasons. The Anteaters rank 24th nationally in field goal percentage (.476) and Green is 29th nationally in scoring at 20.6 ppg. The Anteaters shoot 37.4 percent on threes and 68.4 percent from the line while scoring 69.8 ppg. They allow 64.9 ppg and a .418 shooting percentage, including a .351 three-point percentage. UCI has held opponents under 40 percent shooting 13 times this year while only five teams have been able to shoot 50 percent against the Anteater defense. UCI has played six teams also on BYU's schedule this season. The Anteaters went 7-4 against those opponents with a double-overtime win over Pepperdine, a loss at San Diego, a season split with fellow BWC co-champion Utah State, a split with CS Northridge, a 2-0 record over Idaho and a 2-1 mark vs. UC Santa Barbara. The Anteaters suffered a close loss at UCLA this year, falling 75-74. The Anteaters know what it is like to come to Utah facing a team with a lengthy home winning streak. In addition to playing BYU Thursday with its nation-best 35 straight home wins, UCI faced Utah State earlier this year in Logan and ended the Aggies 31-game win streak in the Spectrum on Green's buzzer-beating jumper (UCI won 76-66 on Jan. 10).
UC IRVINE'S PROBABLE STARTERS
No. Name Info PPG RPG
12 Stanislav Zuzak F, 6-10, 230, So. 8.3 3.8
13 Jordan Harris F, 6-5, 220, Jr. 12.4 6.9
55 Adam Parada C, 7-0, 245, So. 12.4 7.0
5 Jerry Green G, 6-3, 190, Sr. 20.6 4.1 apg
20 Mike Hood G, 6-4, 190, Jr. 8.4 2.7 apg
4 J.R. Christ C, 6-9, 245,Sr. 2.9 2.8
40 Matt Okoro F, 6-7, 225, So. 2.7 3.1
50 Dave Korfman C, 7-2, 275, Sr. 1.4 1.1
22 Aras Baskauskas G, 6-3, 190, So. 1.2 1.7
24 Jeff Hufford G, 6-4, 175, Fr. 0.3 0.5
30 Jesse Obrand G, 6-2, 185, So. 0.0 0.0
Head Coach: Pat Douglass (5th Season)
BYU leads the series 2-1. The first meeting was in Provo in the second round of the 1986 NIT. BYU is 2-0 in Provo in the series and 0-1 in Irvine. The two teams split a recent two-game series with UCI winning in Irvine, 82-75, on Dec. 22, 1998 and BYU earning victory, 77-66, in the last outing on Jan. 5, 2000.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 2-1
BYU Record in Provo: 2-0
BYU Record in Irvine: 0-1
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 1-1
Longest BYU Win Streak: 1 (1986 and current)
Longest UCI Win Streak: 1 (1998)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 13, 93-80 in 1986
Largest UCI Margin of Victory: 7, 82-75 in 1998
Most Points Scored by BYU: 93 in 1986
Most Points Scored by SDSU: 82 in 1998
Overtime games: 0
RECENT MEETINGS WITH UC IRVINE
Lyday's Second Half Helps Cougars Overcome Early Deficit
PROVO -- Led by Terrell Lyday's 22 points, BYU recovered from a 14-1 deficit against UC Irvine Wednesday to claim its 10th win of the year, 77-66. The Cougars were led by junior Terrell Lyday's 22 points, 19 coming in the second half. Mekeli Wesley added 18, Nathan Cooper 14 and Michael Vranes 11. "Irvine is a good team and we had to scratch and claw for everything we got," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "The thing I'm most proud of is that after we got down 14-1 our guys didn't quit. Some of our guys have had the flu and we didn't have a lot of energy but we played really well in the second half." BYU trailed the Anteaters at the half by only two points, 31-29, after starting the game in the hole 14-1. Lyday led a second half charge that gave the Cougars control of the game. Lyday was able to get to the foul line and hit 10-13 free throw attempts. He also went 2-4 from three-pointer range, extending the number of consecutive games he has made a three-poin er to 12. Vranes and Cooper were praised by Cleveland for their play. Cooper played a season-high 31 minutes and Vranes was forced to play some point guard because of ailing starting point guard Matt Montague, who played only 10 minutes and didn't record an assist for the first time this year. The Cougars out rebounded UC Irvine 29-27 and also out shot the Anteaters, 53 percent to 43 percent. Marek Ondera and Jerry Green led UCI with 20 and 16 points, respectively. BYU improved to 10-2 with the win while UC Irvine fell to 6-4.
Green leads Anteaters to Win in Irvine
IRVINE -- Jerry Green scored 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting to lead UC Irvine to an 82-75 victory over BYU. The win spoiled BYU coach Steve Cleveland's return to his alma mater. Cleveland played for the Anteaters from 1974-76. The Anteaters took a 34-28 lead at the half and held on ahs both teams put the ball in the basket in the final 20 minutes, with UCI outscoring the Cougars 48-47 for the 82-75 win. BYU was led by forward Silester Rivers, who did not take a shot in the first half but scored 20 points in the second half. He finished 5-6 from the floor and 10-13 from the line. Michael Vranes added 19 points, including a 6-of-9 night from three-point range, while Nathan Cooper tallied a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Mark Bigelow contributed 11 points, five rebounds and a team-leading five assists. The Anteaters shot 48.2 percent from the floor and a hot 47.6 percent on threes (10-21). BYU shot 43.2 percent from the floor and 43. 8 percent on threes. Green scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to hold off the Cougars. UCI improved to 3-5 with the win while BYU fell to 4-7.
BYU and UCI in NIT
This will be the second meeting between BYU and UCI in the NIT. The two teams also met in Provo in the second round of the 1986 NIT. That meeting was the first-ever game between the Cougars and Anteaters. BYU went on to win the game 93-80. BYU forward Jeff Chatman led five Cougars in double figures with 20 points. Center Tom Gneiting added 19 points for BYU, followed by guard Richie Webb with 17, guard Bob Capener with 12 and forward Alan Pollard with 10. Gneiting pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds as BYU shot 55 percent from the floor and 78 percent from the line. The Anteaters also shot well from the floor, making 51 percent of their attempts, but shot only 62 percent from the line. Johnny Rogers led UCI with 18 points, followed by Scott Brooks with 17 points, Mike Hess with 13 and Tod Murphy with 11. Murphy and Brooks went on to play in the NBA.
BYU in the NIT:
Appearances: 9 (including this year)
NIT Overall Record: 11-6
Neutral Record: 6-2
Home Record: 5-1
Road Record: 0-3
BYU's NIT Results
BYU 75, St. Louis 58
BYU 69, Seton Hall 59
*BYU 62, Dayton 43
Niagara 82, BYU 76
St. Francis (PA) 81, BYU 68
BYU 90, Temple 78
BYU 97, Army 60
*BYU 97, NYU 84
Washington 66, BYU 63 (at BYU)
BYU 67, SMU 63 (at BYU)
BYU 93, UC Irvine 80 (at BYU)
Ohio State 79, BYU 68 (at Ohio State)
BYU 74, Arizona State 67 (at BYU)
Fresno State 68, BYU 66 (at Fresno State)
BYU 81, Bowling Green 54 (at BYU)
BYU 82, Southern Illinois 57 (at BYU)
Notre Dame 64, BYU 52 (at Notre Dame)
* NIT Champions
Cougar Sports Network -- KSL Radio
The "Voice of the Cougars" is KSL Newsradio 1160's Greg Wrubell. He is in his sixth season as the play-by-play voice of BYU basketball. Wrubell, also the voice of BYU football, is joined by color analyst Mark Durrant, a four-year BYU basketball letterman who graduated in 1995 as a three-time Academic All-WAC forward. KSL Newsradio 1160 AM in Salt Lake City is the flagship of the Cougar Sports Network. Network Stations are located in:
Price, Utah KARB 98.3 FM
Cedar City, Utah KSUB 590 AM
St. George, Utah KDXU 890 AM
Manti, Utah KMXU 105.1 FM
Blanding, Utah KUTA 790 AM
Burley, Idaho KBAR 1230AM
Jerome, Idaho KART 1400 AM
Boise, Idaho KCID 1490 AM
Blackfoot, Idaho KOSZ 105.5 FM
Preston, Idaho KACH 1340 AM
Las Vegas, Nevada KSHP 1400 AM
** Listen to KSL on the web at KSL.COM.
BYU'S LAST GAME RECAP - BYU Eliminated in MWC Quarterfinals by SDSU
LAS -- The BYU men's basketball team lost 62-51 to San Diego State University in the first round of the 2002 EAS Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship Thursday afternoon. The first-round loss is the first for the Cougars in the history of the MWC tourney and its first since 1998. BYU made its way to the MWC championship game the two previous years of the tournament. "Sometimes when you start missing shots, you just lose your confidence," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "Defensively, we guarded them well and rebounded well, but we turned the ball over and didn't shoot well." BYU never led in the game but pulled within four points with a minute remaining, 55-51, after a 10-4 run before the Aztecs went on a 7-1 run of their own to finish the game. "We just came out flat and just struggled shooting tonight," said BYU senior guard Matt Montague. "You can't dig yourself in a hole the way we did tonight." Montague had four assists for the game, and is now only five away from breaking Nate Call's single-season assist record of 204. BYU's worst shooting percentage of the year came at an unfortunate time as they hit only 18-of-59 shots from the field (31 percent) and 3-for-17 from three-point range (18 percent), both season lows. The Cougars had six assists to 16 turnovers, a season-low for assists and their worst assist-to-turnover ratio of the season. Mark Bigelow led BYU's scoring efforts with 15 points, followed by Eric Nielsen who added 11 points along with 11 rebounds, his first double-double of the season and the first Cougar double-double in the history of MWC tourney. Travis Hansen had10 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars, helping BYU out rebound SDSU 45-34. BYU's 45 rebounds were the second highest total of the year and the most against a Division I opponent. SDSU used the first six minutes of the game to jump out to a 13-2 lead. Over the next six-minute stretch, BYU went on a 12-4 run to pull within three, 17-14, with 7:30 remaining in the first half. The Aztecs then scored seven unanswered points before BYU answered with four of its own to end the scoring for the first half with SDSU in the lead, 24-18. BYU's 18 first-half points were the fewest by a Cougar team in any half this season. The Cougars were led by Hansen's six first half points, while the team as a whole only made 7-of-28 from the field (25 percent). Their previous season low was 35.5 percent at UNLV on Feb. 9. Previous to today's game, BYU had played very well at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Cougars posted a 7-2 all-time record in neutral court games at the arena, including an 81-76 victory over then-No. 13 Stanford.
Five Cougars Recognized by MWC Coaches
BYU's Travis Hansen Selected to Second Team; Jared Jensen Shares Freshman Honors
The Mountain West Conference announced it's 2001-02 men's basketball awards last week, as chosen by the league's head coaches. BYU'sTravis Hansen was selected to the second team while Cougar center Jared Jensen shared Freshman of the Year honors with Wyoming's Jason Straight. In all, five BYU players were recognized this year as senior point guard Matt Montague, senior forward Eric Nielsen and sophomore guard/forward Mark Bigelow received honorable mention. Hansen, a junior guard from Orem, Utah (Mountain View HS and UVSC), is BYU's leading scorer (15.5) and rebounder (6.4). Jensen, a forward/center from West Haven, Utah (Fremont HS), led the MWC in field goal percentage in both league games (57.9 percent) and all games (60.3 percent), becoming the first freshman in conference history to achieve that distinction. He also scored 10.2 points and grabbed 3.4 rebounds per conference game. Jensen is the fourth BYU player to receive either Freshman or Newcomer of the Year honors in the five seasons Steve Cleveland has coached the Cougars.
MWC Postseason Awards
Player of the Year
Britton Johnsen, Utah
Freshmen of the Year
Jason Straight, Wyoming/Jared Jensen, BYU
Defensive Player of the Year
Marcus Banks, UNLV
Coach of the Year
Steve McClain, Wyoming
First-Team All-Mountain West
Marcus Bailey, Wyoming, 6-5, 190, Jr., G/F, Cheyenne, Wyo.
Ruben Douglas, New Mexico, 6-5, 200, Jr., G, Altadena, Calif.
Randy Holcomb, San Diego State, 6-9, 222, Sr., F, Chicago, Ill.
Britton Johnsen, Utah, 6-9, 213, Jr., F, Murray, Utah
Dalron Johnson, UNLV, 6-9, 205, Jr., Los Angeles, Calif.
Second-Team All-Mountain West
Marcus Banks, UNLV, 6-1, 195, Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.
Al Faux, San Diego State, 6-2, 178, Sr., Los Angeles, Calif.
Brian Greene, Colorado State, 6-8, 225, Jr., Thorton, Colo.
Travis Hansen, BYU, 6-6, 210, Jr., Orem, Utah
Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, Wyoming, 6-10, 260, Jr., F/C, Enugu, Nigeria
Third-Team All-Mountain West
Eric Chatfield, New Mexico, 6-3, 215, Sr., Queens, N.Y.
Josh Davis, Wyoming, 6-8, 235, Sr., F/C, Salem, Ore.
Nick Jacobson, Utah, 6-4, 194, So., Fargo, N.D.
Jeff Johnsen, Utah, 6-4, 204, Sr., Murray, Utah
Donta Richardson, Wyoming, 6-2, 170, Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Lamoni Yazzie (Sr., G)
Tom Bellairs (Jr., F)
Joel Gerlach (So., F)
Mark Bigelow (So., F)
Matt Montague (Sr., G)
Eric Nielsen (Sr., F)
Andy Birley (Jr., G)
Patrick Dennehy (So., F)
San Diego State
Tony Bland (Jr., G)
Lou Kelly (Sr., F)
Travis Spivey (Sr., G)
Cleveland Has String of Top Newcomers
Six players have earned conference newcomer honors in Steve Cleveland's five years as the Cougar coach, including four who have been singled out as either the conference newcomer or freshman of the year.
Â• Jared Jensen (2001-2002 MWC Co-Freshman of the Year)
Â• Trent Whiting (2000-2001 MWC Newcomer Team, 2nd Team All-MWC)
Â• Terrell Lyday (1999-2000 MWC Newcomer of the Year, All-Tournament Team)
Â• Mark Bigelow (1998-99 WAC Freshman of the Year, Newcomer Team, 2nd Team All-WAC)
Â• Mekeli Wesley (1997-98 WAC Newcomer Team)
Â• Ron Selleaze (1997-98 WAC Newcomer of the Year, Newcomer Team, 2nd Team All-WAC)
Montague is Career Assist Leader, Poised to Take Single-Season Mark
Senior guard Matt Montague passed Danny Ainge 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 7.1, which is currently tied for seventh nationally. He needs 5 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. Matt Montague 553
2. Danny Ainge 539
3. Nathan Call 528
4. Marty Haws 502
Assists by Average -- Career
1. Matt Montague 4.61
2. Danny Ainge 4.57
3. Nathan Call 4.09
Total Assists -- Season
1. Nathan Call (1992) 204
2. Matt Montague (2002) 200
3. Nathan Call (1991) 164
4. Danny Ainge (1978) 158
Assists by Average -- Season
1. Matt Montague (2002) 7.1
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's record when . . .
BYU leads at half 12-5
Opponent leads at half 3-6
Score tied at half 2-0
BYU leads with 5 minutes left 15-3
Opponent leads with 5 min. left 2-8
BYU leads with 1 minute left 16-1
Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-9
Score tied with 1 minute left 0-1
Game goes into overtime 0-3
BYU out rebounds opponent 13-3
Opponent out rebounds BYU 3-7
BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 1-1
BYU shoots 50 % or better 5-1
Opponent shoots 50 % or better 0-3
BYU out shoots opponent 14-4
Opponent out shoots BYU 3-7
BYU scores 60 or more points 16-8
Opponent scores below 60 points 10-0
vs. 2001 Conference Champions 6-3
vs. 2001 postseason teams 7-5
vs. 2002 top-20 ranked opponent 1-0
vs. 2002 postseason teams 8-9
vs. 2002 NCAA teams 5-6
vs. 2002 NIT teams 3-3
The Cougars shoot 46.7 percent from the floor. BYU is shooting 49.3 percent in its 17 victories and 43.0 percent in its 11 losses. The Cougars are shooting .498 at home and .445 on the road. BYU has shot at least 45 percent in 18 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 39.0 percent on threes (tied for 23rd nationally). BYU was 3-17 in its last outing from three. 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 season-best 63.6 percent (7-11) vs. Stanford at the Thomas & Mack Center. 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 made five threes in a game, going 5-7 vs. Idaho. Mark Bigelow has made a team-high 59 threes (.413) and made a three in 25 of 28 games this year (also set a BYU-record 22 straight games dating back to his freshman season). Travis Hansen has made 33 treys (.423) and Daniel Bobik has made 26 (.388). Matt Montague has made 15 (.319), and Eric Nielsen 12 (.480) and Jimmy Balderson 10 (.294). Hansen (.472) had the second-best three-point percentage among MWC players in league games.
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 averages 15.3 and Bigelow 14.8. Bigelow has reached double figures in 24 of 28 games and Hansen has been in double-digits in 22 of 28 games. The only game this year when neither player reached double digits was at UNM.
Other Scoring Options
The Cougars have three players scoring in double figure points. After leaders Travis Hansen (15.3) and Mark Bigelow (14.8), senior Eric Nielsen averages 10.4 ppg and has scored a career-high 29 points vs. Stanford. He has scored in double-digits in 14 of the last 17 games, including a double-double 11 points, 11 boards vs. SDSU in the last outing. In addition, freshman center Jared Jensen is averaging 9.1 ppg and had a career-high 20 points at Air Force. Reserve guard Daniel Bobik is adding 6.4 ppg off the bench, twice scored highs of 17 points, and starting point guard Matt Montague also adds 6.5 ppg and has reached double digits six times, including a season-high 13 points at Utah and vs. AFA. Freshman guard Jimmy Balderson has reached double figures three times with a high of 19 points.
Numbers at the Line
BYU is shooting 76.4 percent from the line for the year (tied for 6th 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 also shot only 66.7 percent vs. CSU, .656 vs. AFA, and .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. All six players averaging double-digit minutes are shooting 72 percent or better from the line.
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 but his playing time has dropped during the second half of conference play. Four starters -- Matt Montague, Eric Nielsen, Mark Bigelow and Travis Hansen average more than 30 minutes a game, with Montague playing a team-high 37.6 minutes per outing. Forward Bart Jepsen and guard Daniel Bobik are the only reserves to play in every game. 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 six games, including a starting assignment in place of Jared Jensen in the last two games. Howard also started the season-opener at the University of San Diego.
Montague is BYU Energizer, Keeps on Going, and Going
Senior point guard Matt Montague averages a team-leading 37.6 minutes per game. He has played 40 or more minutes in 10 games this year, including a full 45 in two of the three overtime games. He has played 39 minutes in an additional six games. He is tied for seventh nationally in assists (7.1). He also led the MWC in assist/turnover ratio. He is also averaging a career-best 6.5 ppg and 4.2 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 as BYU's all-time assist leader. With 2000 assists, he needs five assists to set the BYU single-season record.
BYU has lost its last three games, its second three-game losing streak this season and its second since the inception of the MWC. BYU's other three-game losing skid this year (at UNM, at AFA, at Utah) was its first 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. BYU's last four-game skid was also in 1999 (Fresno State, at UTEP, at UNM, Utah from Jan. 23 to Feb. 6). BYU had a three-game winning streak halted at Wyoming. 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. BYU has lost 10 straight road games (not including the Stanford win and SDSU loss on a neutral court) since opening the season with a win at the University of San Diego.
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 seven times since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season. This is the first time it has happened in back-to-back seasons. This year's team is only the fourth Cougar squad to win more than 14 home games in a season. The 1987-88 Ladell Andersen squad won a BYU record 16 games with two losses in the Marriott Center. 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. 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.
Hitting the Glass
BYU has had the rebounding edge in 16 of 28 games, earning a 13-3 record when winning the battle of the boards. Overall, BYU averages 33.5 rebounds while its opponents grab on average 31.2. BYU gave up a high of 48 rebounds to Wyoming, including 21 offensive boards. BYU held AFA to only 15 boards (a BYU opponent season low). The Cougars have been out rebounded 10 times overall this year (3-7 in those games). BYU was out boarded in nine of 14 MWC games. Allowing some offensive rebounds late hurt the Cougars in 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 had 45 boards vs. SDSU last week in the MWC tournament. 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 (6.4) and point guard Matt Montague is third at 4.2. Forward Eric Nielsen is second at 5.1. Hansen has had highs of 17 and 15 rebounds.
BYU ranked second in the MWC in field goal percentage defense (.420), first in three-point percentage defense (.303) and third in scoring defense (64.9). 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. 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 10 opponents this year below 40 percent shooting (SDSU at MWC tournament last week was the only time in the last 13 games) while 10 teams have shot better than 45 percent against BYU.
Biggest Marriott Center Crowd in Two Years was vs. San Diego State
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 Salt Lake City Olympics had a significant impact on attendance this year as BYU's conference attendance was down to 11.843 from last year's 15,608.
BYU Starting Lineup Record
Montague, Hanen, Bigelow, Nielsen, Jensen 16-8
Montague, Hanen, Bigelow, Nielsen, Howard 1-2
Montague, Bobik, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen 0-1
Top JC Center Signs with Cougars
Rafael Araujo, a 6-foot-11, 260-pound center at Western Arizona, in November signed an NCAA Letter-of-Intent to play at BYU. Considered one of the top five junior-college players in the country, Araujo was recruited by North Carolina, Illinois, UNLV and San Diego State among others. A physically strong athlete with great leaping ability, Araujo runs the floor well and has range on the perimeter. "We are thrilled to have Rafael decide to join the BYU basketball program," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "He is a great young man that people really enjoy being around. He's got legitimate NBA center size and has the potential to make a significant impact on the program. He's still got some things to learn, but he has all the tools to become an outstanding player at the Division I level." A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Araujo will enter BYU as a junior. He will enroll next fall.
BYU Record in March
BYU has been able to finish strong in each of Steve Clevelands first four seasons in Provo. BYU is 12-7 in March under Steve Cleveland, including an 0-2 mark this year. BYU is 11-5 over the last three years in March. BYU was 5-1 last March, with its lone loss coming in the NCAA tournament. Cleveland is 5-2 in the MWC tournament and 6-4 in conference postseason tournaments overall. Cleveland is 2-2 in national postseason tournaments, including a 2-1 NIT record.
BYU vs. 2002 Postseason Teams
BYU has played 11 teams this year that qualified for a postseason tournament. The Cougars have an 8-9 record vs. those teams this year. The Cougars have a 5-6 record vs. seven NCAA teams and a 3-3 record vs. four NIT teams.
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 last year's NIT tournament.
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.
Six MWC Teams Earn Postseason Invites
BYU's seven Mountain West opponents have combined (as of March 12) to win 59 percent of their games this year. The league, which was predicted to be stronger top to bottom from last season, is the seventh rated conference in the nation. BYU was picked sixth in the preseason poll but finished tied for fourth with San Diego State. The MWC had a record six teams earn a postseason tournament invite this year with Wyoming, Utah and SDSU going to the NCAA tournament and BYU, UNLV and New Mexico playing in the NIT.
BYU Opponent Records
Of the 20 opponents BYU will face this year, 13 have winning records as of March 12. Seven teams have a losing record. Nine of BYU's 11 losses (except CSU and Air Force) have come against team's with winning records. Seven of the 10 teams to beat BYU this year have at least 21 victories. Those 10 teams have combined for a 186-113 record (.622). Overall, BYU's 20 opponents have combined to win 58.7 percent of their games with the nonconference teams having won 58.4 percent and MWC teams 59.3 percent.
BYU's win this year over then No. 13 Stanford in Las Vegas was the Cougars' first win over a team in the top-20 poll 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 was featured six times this season in the Mountain West television package with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Regional Television (ESPN+Plus) and ABC. The Cougars played twice on ESPN and four times on ESPN+Plus. An additional 13 BYU games were part of the SportsWest Productions' package and KBYU produced two games for taped-delay broadcast. The Cougars appeared on ESPN+Plus in its opening game of the MWC tournament. BYU also appeared on Fox Sports West 2 against Pepperdine and Fox Sports Arizona vs. Arizona State. In all 22 of 28 games have been televised.
RPI Report (as of March 10)
According to the CollegeRPI.com and Collegiate Basketball News RPI rankings, BYU is ranked 52nd nationally in RPI, the fourth-rated MWC team. The Mountain West Conference is rated 7th among the 32 conferences (and five independents).
San Diego State 39
New Mexico 66
Colorado State 163
Air Force 198
Sagarin Ratings (as of March 10)
BYU is currently ranked 61st and is the fourth-rated team in the Mountain West Conference in the Sagarin ratings. BYU has the highest rated schedule (51st). 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
41 Utah 61
55 Wyoming 113
58 San Diego State 56
61 BYU 51
69 UNLV 89
82 New Mexico 97
132 Colorado State 81
172 Air Force 72
BYU in MWC Statistics (as of March 11)
Category Overall Conf. Only
Scoring Offense 5th 4th
Scoring Defense 3rd 3rd
Scoring Margin 3rd 3rd
FT Percentage 1st 2nd
FG Percentage 4th 3rd
FG % Defense 2nd 4th
3-FG Percentage 2nd 3rd
3-FG % Defense 1st 2nd
Rebound Offense 6th 6th
Rebounding Def. 4th 7th
Rebound Margin 5th 5th
Blocked Shots 6th T-2nd
Assists 5th 4th
Steals 8th 8th
Turnover Margin 7th 3rd
Assist/TO Ratio 3rd 3rd
Offensive Reb. 6th 6th
Defensive Reb. 3rd 6th
3-FG Made 4th 4th
Individual (overall games)
Â• Matt Montague leads the MWC in assists and assist/turnover ratio. He is 10th in defensive rebounds, tied for 8th in steals, and 17th in rebounding.
Â• Mark Bigelow 10th in scoring, 6th in free throw percentage, and 5th in three-pointers per game and 7th in three-point percentage.
Â• Travis Hansen is 8th in scoring, 7th in rebounding, 5th in defensive rebounds, 6th in three-point percentage, 9th in free throw percentage and 15th in three-pointers per game.
Â• Eric Nielsen is tied for 9th in field goal percentage, 9th in defensive rebounds, tied for 10th in total rebounds and 10th 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 13th in off. rebounds.
Â• Jon Carlisle is 13th in blocked shots.
BYU in National Statistics (as of March 11)
Â• BYU is tied for 6th in the nation in free throw shooting percentage (.764), and tied for 23rd in three-point percentage (.390).
Â• Matt Montague is tied for 7th in assists (7.1) 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 85 times and played in all 120 games in his fourth year. He has led the team in assists during each of his four seasons. He was named honorable mention All-MWC.
Â• He averages a MWC-best 7.1 assists (T-7th nationally). He also 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's school record of 16 vs. Niagara in 1976. He passed Danny Ainge at Wyoming as BYU's all-time assist leader.
Â• With 200 assists this year, he needs five assists to pass Nate Call (204) as BYU's single-season record holder.
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 at Wyoming. Ironically, it was the same game he set the career assist record at BYU.
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, 7.1 apg and 4.2 rpg. He has made 14 threes in the last 17 games, hitting on 14-34 attempts (.412), after making only 1 trey (1-13, .077) in BYU's first 11 games
TRAVIS HANSEN / 6-6 Â• 210 Â• junior Â• guard/forward
Â• Hansen is BYU's leading scorer (15.3) and rebounder (6.4).
Â• He has scored 15 or more points in nine of the last 11 games, including three games with 20 or more points.
Â• He has led BYU in scoring a team-leading 12 times overall this year, including four of the last six games. He has reached double-digit points in 22 of 28 games, including 10 of the last 11.
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 played a key defensive role against Casey Jacobsen of Stanford. He typically guards the opponent's best perimeter player.
Â• Hansen had the second-best three-point percentage in conference play (.472) among MWC players.
Â• Hansen was named second-team All-MWC by the league's coaches.
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.
Â• He has led BYU in scoring much of the year and is now second at 14.8 ppg. He has scored at least 13 points in 21 of 28 games. He has five 20 or more point 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• He averaged 18.3 ppg over the first 11 games (9-2 record).
Â• Bigelow made two three-pointers vs. UNLV in Provo to set a BYU record with 22 consecutive games with a trey.
Â• He has made two or more threes in 16 games, including a career-equaling 5 treys vs. Southern Utah. He had four threes vs. CSU in Provo, a conference-season high.
Â• He had a team-leading 15 points vs. SDSU in the last outing.
Â• He was named honorable mention All-MWC.
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 54.5 career field goal percentage (350-642) is tied for 10h all-time at BYU. Nielsen and Matt Montague were 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 63-31 (.670) record to date, including three postseason tournament berths.
Â• Nielsen is third on the team in scoring (10.4 ppg), second in rebounding (5.1 rpg) and field goal percentage (.513).
Â• He had his first double-double of the year (11 pts, 11 rbs) vs. SDSU last week. He also equaled a career high with 3 blocks. He has scored 14 points in five of the last eight games, including the three of the last four.
Â• He hit the game-winner jumper vs. Utah, scoring 14 points.
Â• He has scored in double figures in 14 of the last 17 games. He has reached double digits 18 times this year.
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 and 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. He was also named honorable mention All-MWC.
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• Jensen and Wyoming's Jason Straight were named MWC Co-Freshman of the Year by the league's head coaches.
Â• He is fourth on the team overall at 9.1 ppg. In MWC games, he was fourth on the team at 10.2 ppg.
Â• He shoots a team-leading and MWC-best 59.7 percent. He has 13 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 four 20-minute games in the last 10. Despite coming mpt starting for the first time since the season-opener, he had 18 points in 21 minutes at CSU. He had 2 pts in 14 minutes vs. SDSU last week.
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, 10 rebounds vs. CS Northridge. He also had a career-best 10 boards vs. Creighton. He has had a career-best free throw percentage twice, including his 8-8 at CSU.
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 the last 10 games.
Â• Bobik is tied for sixfth on the team in scoring (6.4). 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 10 games (at SDSU). He played a season-low 5 vs. Utah. He averages 18.5 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. He shot 2-4 last week, including 1-2 on threes.
Â• Five of his seven double-digit games have been on the road, including 12 at USD and 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 in Provo. 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 21 games. He played a season-high 22 minutes at UNLV and 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 Feb. 18.
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 20-29 (.690) from the floor in his two seasons, including 12-18 this year.
Â• Howard has appeared in 19 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 seven games since playing 17 minutes at SDSU. At SDSU he had career highs in points (8), rebounds (7), steals (1) and minutes (17) 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 had an important dunk and rebound late, along with a free throw vs. Utah to help BYU get a victory.
Â• Howard has started the last two games. He got his second start of the year at CSU, playing a career-high 22 minutes, while scoring four points and pulling down 5 rebounds. He took a career-high four shots (2-4). He also started the season-opener at USD, his first start of his career. He played seven minutes, with one rebound.
Â• In the last seven games he has played his first extended minutes in games still in question since playing a season-high 12 minutes at USF last season. He plays with energy and has been a valuable defensive and rebounding presence.
Â• He has played double-digit minutes nine times this year, including the last seven straight games.
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.
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 has worked all year 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 22 games, including the last 21 straight until not playing last week vs SDSU. He has grabbed a rebound in 16 of 22 games and has scored in 12 of his 22 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.
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. 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 47 percent from the floor and 29 percent on threes. Nearly half of his attempts are three-pointers.
Â• He had 8 points in seven minutes at SDSU. 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.
Â• Balderson has played in 25 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 totaled 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 played double-digit minutes in eight games, including 12 vs. SDSU last week.
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 19 games, but has played only one minute or less in nine 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 had 3 points, going 3-6 from the line, while playing five minutes vs. CSUN.
Â• He played 4 minutes at Wyoming last 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).
SHAWN OPUNUI / 5-11 Â• 170 Â• freshman Â• point guard
Â• Opunui could be out the remainder of the season with torn ligaments in his left thumb. He originally suffered ligament damage in his thumb while playing three minutes at Utah State on Dec. 1 and then reinjured his left thumb vs. Idaho (torn ligaments). Since getting his hard cast taken off, he has been wearing a removable splint and doing therapy.
Â• He played in four games.
Â• His only significant playing time was against Fort Lewis when he played 20 minutes. It was his first action in three games after injuring his thumb at Utah State. He dished out a career-best 10 assists and had career highs with six points, four rebounds and three steals. He had six assists in the first half in only seven minutes.
Â• Opunui averaged 21.7 points and 6.1 assists as an all-state point guard at Orem High School in 1999 before leaving for an LDS Church mission. Opunui shot nearly 91 percent from the free throw line, third best in state history, and 40 percent on three-point attempts. His 401 assists put him on the state's top-10 all-time list. He is an athletic point guard who has excellent open court passing skills and is an outstanding three-point shooter. He loves pushing the ball up the floor as a true point guard with great court vision.
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.
BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND (84-68 in fifth year)
Steve Cleveland is in his fifth season at the helm of the Cougars. In his five seasons at BYU, Cleveland has proven to be a first-rate recruiter, an excellent coach and player developer, and above all, a winner. Last year Cleveland guiding BYU to its first NCAA tournament bid since 1995, its first conference regular season title since 1993 and its first conference tournament championship since 1992. While rebuilding a program that finished 1-25 before his arrival, he has improved the Cougars each season, posting records of 9-21, 12-16, 22-11 and 24-9. The Cougars also improved upon an NIT season in 1999-2000 to earn an NCAA berth last year. The past two seasons both rank among of the school's best year's ever in terms of wins dating back to the Cougars first season in 1902. In fact, only five BYU teams have ever recorded more wins than last year's 24-9 team and only seven have improved upon the 22-11 record in 1999-2000.