BYU (2-0) returns to the road this week after winning its home-opener Saturday against Arizona State. The Cougars, who opened the year with a road win at San Diego, go back to California to face UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday. The Gauchos of the Big West Conference are 2-0 entering a road game at No. 23 USC on Monday. The BYU-UC Santa Barbara game is not being televised but can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 with Greg Wrubell calling the play-by-play action and Brian Santiago providing commentary. BYU returns to Utah but stays on the road to finish the week with an in-state game in Logan on Saturday against Utah State.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2001
BYU (2-0) at UC Santa Barbara (2-0)*
The Thunderdome (6,000)
Santa Barbara, Calif.
8 p.m. MT
* UCSB plays Monday at Southern California
BYU, Steve Cleveland (69-57 in fifth year; same overall)
UCSB, Bob Williams (44-42 in fourth year; 233-142 in 13th year overall)
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time - 7 p.m. MT
Play-by-Play - Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst - Brian Santiago
Web: Live audio available at www.KSL.com
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 190 So. 20.0 2.5
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Sr. 13.5 6.5
C 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 245 Fr. 5.0 3.0
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Jr. 19.5 11.5
G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Sr. 6.5 7.0 *apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 20 Daniel Bobik 6-6 205 So. 9.5 3.0
G 22 Jimmy Balderson 6-6 200 Fr. 3.0 5.0
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 So. 0.5 3.5
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 So. 0.0 1.0
G 12 Shawn Opunui 5-11 175 Fr. 0.0 0.0
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 0.0 0.0
C 42 Jon Carlisle 6-10 260 So. -- --
Scouting UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara is 2-0 entering a game with No. 23 USC Monday night. UCSB is 2-0 for the first time since the 1994-95 season. The Gauchos opened the year with a 51-42 win over Westmont College at home and had an impressive 69-49 road victory at San Francisco Saturday. It was UCSB's first 20-point nonconference road win since 1992. The Gauchos played good defense, allowing only six Don points in the first eight minutes of the second half to kill any USF momentum.The Gaucho defense limited USF to 26.4 percent shooting from the field. UCSB dominated the boards, outrebounding the Dons 43-28. UCSB had four players in double-figures. Branduinn Fullove (6-4, So. G/F) led the way with 22 points and seven rebounds. He was 9-10 from the free throw line. Mark Hull (6-7, Jr., F) had 15 points and five rebounds, making 7-of-10 shots from the field. Jacoby Atako (6-1, So., G) finished with 11 points and a team-high five assists. Nick Jones (6-4, So., G) had 10 points while Casey Cook (6-8, So., F) had five points and a team-high eight rebounds. USCB managed without much help from key senior post players Adama Ndiaye (6-9, Sr., F), who had only five points because of limited playing time due to foul trouble, and Mike Vukovich (6-9, Sr., F), who was scoreless in 13 foul-plagued minutes. As a team, the Gauchos shot 44.4 percent from the floor, including an impressive 6-of-9 (66.7%) from three-point range.
This will be the fourth meeting in the series, which BYU leads 3-0. The Cougars will make their second appearance in Santa Barbara. They won the first meeting in December 1999 in a defensive battle. The Cougars shot only 30 percent from the floor but managed to come away with a 57-48 win. BYU is 2-0 in Provo, including last year's 67-53 win in the Marriott Center.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 3-0
BYU Record in Provo: 2-0
BYU Record at UCSB: 1-0
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 2-0
Longest BYU Win Streak: 3 (1979-2000)
Longest UCSB Win Streak: 0
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 22, 87-65 in 1979
Largest UCSB Margin of Victory: N/A
Most Points Scored by BYU: 87 in 1979
Most Points Scored by UCSB: 65 in 1979
Date Opponent Score W/L
12-14-79 UC-Santa Barbara* 87-65 W
12-29-99 at CS-Santa Barb. 57-48 W
11-25-00 UC-Santa Barbara 67-53 W
UCSB Quick Facts:
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Colors: Blue and Gold
Home Arena: The Thunderdome (6,000)
Conference: Big West
Athletic Director: Gary Cunningham
Head Coach: Bob Williams
Alma Mater: San Jose State (1976)
Best time to call: 9 a.m. to noon
Office Phone: (805) 893-2141
Overall Record (Years): 233-142 (13th)
Record at School (Years): 44-42 (4th)
Assistant Coaches: Marty Wilson, David Campbell, Mark Amaral
Overall Record: 13-15
Conf. Record/Finish: 9-7/4th
Final Ranking/Post Season Finish: NA
Letterman Returning/Lost: 9/3
Starters Returning/Lost: 5/0
Key Returning Starters (last year's stats)
Nick Jones, 6-4, 185, So., G (9.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
Mark Hull, 6-7, 200, Jr., F/G (13.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
Branduinn Fullove, 6-4, 210, So., F/G (12.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.2 apg)
Basketball Contact: Bill Mahoney
Office: (805) 893-3428
Fax: (805) 893-4537
Press Row: (805) 893-4361 or 4516
Athletics Web Site: www.UCSBgauchos.com
Hansen Off to Fast Start
Â• Shooting guard Travis Hansen recorded his first-ever double-double with 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead BYU to a win over Arizona State Saturday. His 18 points is his second-highest career point total. He had a career-best 21 points at San Diego in BYU's season-opener, along with eight rebounds.
Â• Hansen's 15 rebounds is the most ever by a BYU guard and the most by a Cougar since Justin Widauer, a center, grabbed 15 boards for BYU at Texas Christian in the 1996-97 season. The athletic Hansen was all over the court, grabbing five offensive boards and 10 defensive rebounds. Three of his defensive rebounds came in the final two minutes after Arizona State had trimmed BYU's lead to only three points at 73-70. Hansen was fouled after two of those rebounds and made all four free throws to help put the game away.Hansen finished the night going 6-6 from the free throw line.
Â• Hansen went 2-6 on threes, with both makes giving BYU key momentum. His first three helped BYU get out of the gate early, pushing BYU's lead from 4-2 to 7-2. His second three pointer gave BYU its first double-digit lead at 57-47 at the 13.04 mark in the second half. Hansen is averaging 19.5 points and a MWC-best 11.5 rebounds per game so far this season. He is sixth in scoring average among MWC players.
Bigelow Big in Win over Arizona State
Â• Mark Bigelow scored a season-high 31 points in BYU's win over Arizona State Saturday. This is the second time Bigelow has totaled more than 30 points. His career high is 33 points at Washington State as a freshman during the 1998-99 season.
Â• Bigelow made shots from long-range, mid-range and inside. He shot 52.9 percent from the floor, going 9-17, including 4-of-8 three-point attempts. He missed only one free throw in 10 attempts to shoot 90 perent from the charity stripe. Bigelow contributed all over the court with four assists (second to point guard Matt Montague's six) and three rebounds to go along with his sharp shooting.
Â• Bigelow hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to increase the Cougar lead from five points to eight (37-29) at the break. After ASU scored two quick buckets to get within four points in the first minute of the second half, Bigelow scored 11 of BYU's next 13 points, including two old-fashioned three-point plays, to push the Cougar margin back to eight points. Bigelow is averaging 20 points per game, third in the MWC. He played a season-high 37 minutes against ASU after playing only 23 minutes before fouling out at San Diego.
Nielsen Stepping into New Role
Senior Eric Nielsen will play a larger offensive role for BYU this year. He had a career-high 19 points vs. ASU Saturday (his previous best was 17 against Utah in the 2000 MWC tournament in Las Vegas). He went 8-11 from the floor. His eight field goals made was a new personal best. Last year the most shots he took in a game was eight, when he averaged only 3.8 shot attempts per game. He ranks third all-time at BYU in career field goal percentage and is making 61.1 percent of his shots so far this year (11-18). He made two big buckets from the post late in game to stave off an ASU comeback attempt.
Senior Leader at the Point
Senior point guard Matt Montague leads all MWC players in assists (7.0 apg). He scored 11 points and had a game-high eight assists at USD and two points and six assists vs. ASU. Montague reached double-digit points only once last year in 33 games, scoring 12 points at the University of San Francisco.
Bobik Getting Time
After averaging 10 minutes off the bench last year while playing in 28 of 33 games, sophomore Daniel Bobik will get more playing time this season. Playing a sixth-man role, he played 33 minutes and scored 12 points with four rebounds and two assists at San Diego and played 19 minutes with seven points and two rebounds vs. ASU. He scored 10 points in the first half at USD to give the Cougars an offensive spark. His season high in minutes last year was 20 vs. Florida International.
In the Middle
Freshman center Jared Jensen got his first career start vs. Arizona State Saturday. He played 15 minutes and had four points, two rebounds and one assist. Sophomore center Dan Howard started at USD, the the first time in 19 career appearances, but played only seven minutes, with one rebound. He did not play against ASU.
Home Winning Streak
BYU extended its home court winning streak to 21 games with its win over Arizona State Saturday. BYU owns the sixth longest home-court streak in the nation. BYU went a perfect 15-0 in the Marriott Center last season.
The Cougars shot 45.5 percent from the floor and 80.6 percent from the line vs. ASU. BYU shot 45.5 percent from the floor at USD and 77.1 percent from the free throw line. After two games, BYU is shooting 78.8 percent from the line this year, tops among MWC teams. BYU led the nation in free throw shooting last year at 78 percent.
On the Boards
BYU's 42-26 rebounding advantage was the third worst margin suffered in ASU head coach Rob Evan's coaching career and his worst in 94 games at ASU. In the first two games, BYU averages 39.5 rebounds while allowing 28.5.
BYU won its season-opener for the fifth straight year. The Cougars are 3-0 at home and 2-0 on the road in season-openers under coach Steve Cleveland. Both road wins have been in San Diego. Before Saturday's win over the University of San Diego, the Cougars defeating San Diego State in Cleveland's BYU debut in 1997. With the win over ASU, BYU has now won its last four home openers and is 4-1 in home-openers under Steve Cleveland.
For the Record
The Cougars have started the year with a 2-0 record for the third straight season. BYU has never gone 3-0 under Steve Cleveland. They will try to win their third straight game on Wednesday at UC Santa Barbara.
Gone are Big Three/Vranes Won't Return
Having lost the services of MWC Player of the Year Mekeli Wesley and all-conference guards Terrell Lyday and Trent Whiting, the Cougars have some significant shoes to fill in 2001-02. Wesley led the team in scoring (17.2) and rebouding (5.5) while earning honorable mention All-America honors. Lyday was first-team All-MWC while scoring 16.4 points per game and Whiting earned second-team all-conference accolades while contributing 14.2 points per contest. Michael Vranes, the team's top perimeter defender and third leading scorer as a sophomore, was unable to comeback from a foot injury that sidelined him all of last season. He was a two-year starter and would have played significant minutes this year.
Jared Jensen, a 6-foot-9 forward, earned the 2001 Deseret News Mr. Basketball Award after scoring 25.8 points and pulling down 13 rebounds per game this past season at Fremont High School (Utah). Shawn Opunui, 5-foot-11 , averaged 21.7 points and 6.1 assists as an all-state point guard at Orem High School (Utah) in 1999 before leaving for an LDS Church mission. Additional newcomers include freshman Jimmy Balderson from Magrath, Alberta, and transfers Ricky Bower from the University of Wisconsin, Jake Shoff from Weber State University and Jon Carlisle from the University of Utah. Bower and Shoff will redshirt next season because of transfer rules while Carlisle, who returned from a mission earlier this year, is eligible to play as a sophomore but may redshirt will working to return to playing condition.
Missing in the Post
Coach Steve Cleveland has lost the services of three post players who would have been significant contributors this year, although two could return for part of the season. Sophomore forward Jacob Chrisman, a professional pitching prospect on BYU's baseball team, decided to redshirt to play a full baseball season but has just returned to basketball practice and could still play this year. Redshirt freshman Jesse Pinegar will be out until December and possibly longer after having surgery on his left (non dominant) shoulder in June. Sophomore center Derek Dawes decided this summer to go on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2001-02 Schedule Notes
SEVEN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS, including Pac-10 champion Stanford, and 12 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year highlight BYU's 2001-02 men's basketball schedule. Other conference champions include Creighton of the Missouri Valley Conference, Utah State of the Big West, Cal State Northridge of the Big Sky, 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. Pepperdine placed second in the WCC behind NCAA qualifier Gonzaga and earned a 22-9 record, including an NIT win in Laramie over Wyoming. The Waves enter their first year under former NBA player and coach Paul Westphal. New Mexico also advanced in the NIT, losing in the second round to Pepperdine. Including two exhibition contests, BYU has 29 games, including 17 in the Marriott Center, on its schedule. The MWC tournament is Mar. 7-9, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
BYU vs. STANFORD -- The Cougars will face Stanford, who advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last year with a 31-3 record, on ESPN in game two of the annual Las Vegas Showdown at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Dec. 22. Host UNLV will play Texas in the first game on ESPN2.
OPPONENTS WINNING PERCENTAGE -- BYU's 13 nonconference opponents earned a combined 234-156 (.600) record last year for an average record of 18-12. Instate rivals Utah State, Utah, Southern Utah and Weber State combined for an 87-38 record, winning nearly 70 percent of their games and earning two NCAA and one NIT berth. Nine teams who qualified for a postseason (five NCAA, four NIT).
NONCONFERENCE -- BYU will play seven nonconference opponents who were on the Cougars' schedule last year and six that are new to the schedule, including two first-time opponents. BYU had a 5-2 record last year against the seven teams it will play again this season, with home wins over UC Santa Barbara, Utah State, Idaho and Southern Utah and a road win at Weber State. The two losses both came during the first road trip of the season at San Francisco and Arizona State. Stanford, Creighton, Pepperdine, Cal State Northridge, San Diego and Fort Lewis are all new opponents this year, with San Diego and Fort Lewis playing BYU for the first time. BYU faces teams from seven different conferences in 2001-02, including three West Coast Conference teams in San Diego, San Francisco and Pepperdine; three Big Sky teams in Cal State Northridge, Weber State and Idaho; two Pac-10 teams in Stanford and Arizona State; two Big West teams in Utah State and UC Santa Barbara; and one team each from the Missouri Valley Conference (Creighton), Mid-Continent Conference (Southern Utah), and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (Fort Lewis).
RADIO/TELEVISION -- 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 12 BYU games are part of the SportsWest Productions' package.
2001-02 SEASON OUTLOOK
With the loss of four starters from last year's 24-9 Mountain West Conference championship team, coach Steve Cleveland has some significant holes to fill in 2001-02.
Senior forward Eric Nielsen is the lone starter returning from last year but Mark Bigelow, the 1999 WAC Freshman of the Year, returns after serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Three others -- senior guard Matt Montague, junior forward Travis Hansen and sophomore forward Bart Jepsen -- have starting experience.
Bigelow, who returned from an LDS Church mission in June, was BYU's top scorer (15.0) and rebounder (6.3) as a swingman before departing on a mission to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He has grown an inch to 6-foot-7 and has been working on getting back into basketball condition since his return.
Nielsen provides senior leadership as a three-year starter. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds last season and will take on a larger role in 2001-02. Senior point guard Matt Montague adds valuable leadership on the court having led the team in assists during each of his three previous seasons. Travis Hansen should play a significant role in 2001-02 as a scorer, rebounder and defender. The athletic forward earned a starting assignment last year before being injured. Bart Jepsen started nine times as a freshman in 1998. He redshirted last year to recover from a broken leg sustained during his two-year mission.
Two recruits -- forward/center Jared Jensen and point guard Shawn Opunui -- will likely get the opportunity to play significant roles in their freshman campaigns. Jensen, a 6-foot-9 physical player, earned the 2001 Deseret News Mr. Basketball Award after scoring 25.8 points and pulling down 13 rebounds per game last season at Fremont High School (Utah). The 5-foot-11 Opunui averaged 21.7 points and 6.1 assists as an all-state point guard at Orem High School (Utah) in 1999 before leaving for an LDS Church mission.
Even though the Cougars lose three starters from the perimeter, including all-conference guards Terrell Lyday and Trent Whiting, the Cougars should be strong on the outside this year. Hansen, Bigelow and Daniel Bobik will likely split up most of the minutes on the wings. Bigelow is a proven player and Hansen has the ability to be a top scorer. Bobik, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, showed signs of his potential with season highs of 16 points, six rebounds and three assists last year in a reserve role. Freshmen Jimmy Balderson, a 6-foot-6 guard from Alberta, Canada, could also earn time. He averaged 34 points in high school last year.
At the point, Montague will see the majority of the minutes. Montague is an experience leader with 57 starts while averaging 25.8 minutes in 92 career games. He has led the Cougars in assists during each of his three seasons. Opunui is an explosive athlete who has the potential to earn significant playing time. A penetrator who can create scoring opportunities for his teammates, he is also a solid scoring threat from outside and can get above the rim to finish. Terry Nashif, an all-state point from Vancouver, Wash., is a quick, intelligent freshman who could also contribute.
Cleveland's biggest uncertainties are in the post. Gone is MWC MVP Mekeli Wesley, the team's leading scorer and rebounder. In addition, three other players who would have played a strong role inside this season will be gone for all or part of the year. Reserve center Derek Dawes (6-11 sophomore) decided this summer he will leave on an LDS Church mission and two-sport athlete Jacob Chrisman (6-8 sophomore) announced during the summer his intention to redshirt basketball this year to concentrate on baseball. With baseball team workouts now complete, he has just this week started practicing with the basketball team. There is the possibility he could play this season. Forward Jesse Pinegar (6-9 redshirt freshman) is still out after shoulder surgery in June. He may return in December. Nielsen will play the 4-position. A good shooter, he shot 61 percent from the floor on mostly mid-range jumpers last year. Pinegar, a versatile and talented offensive scorer with three-point range, and Jepsen, a strong rebounder and defender, will likely see most of the minutes while Nielsen is not on the court. If Chrisman decides to play he could be a significant contributor.
Jensen and Dan Howard (7-0 sophomore) will get a chance to prove themselves at the center position. Jensen is an effective scorer with his back to the basket and could get time on the court at both post positions. Carlisle, a 6-10 transfer who last played on Utah's Final Four team in 1998 as the primary backup to current Cleveland Cavaliers center Michael Doleac, has the talent to be a strong contributor but will likely redshirt while trying to get backinto playing shape after returning from his LDS church mission. Jepsen could also prove a factor at center. At 6-foot-9, he is a physical player who runs the floor well and is a solid rebounder and defender.
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. Heath Schroyer, who had served alongside Cleveland, Rose and Call the past four seasons in Provo, left to accept an assistant position at Wyoming. Brian Santiago, Cleveland's administrative assistant the past four seasons, is BYU's assistant athletic director responsible for game operations.
STEVE CLEVELAND ( 69-57 in fifth season)
Steve Cleveland enters his fifth season at the helm of the Cougars in 2001-02. In his four 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.