Senior Jared Jensen and his teammates will face California Saturday in the team's home opener. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU (1-2) will play its home opener Saturday when the Cougars host the California Bears (2-1) of the Pac-10 Conference at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. There is no local television broadcast but the game is being televised by Comcast SportsNet in California.The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 or online at KSL.com. The Cougars returned Thursday from Hawaii after going 1-2 to open the year at the Maui Invitational with losses to No. 11 North Carolina and Stanford (listed 26th) and a win over Chaminade. California opened the year at home with wins over UC Riverside (78-61) and Southern (82-63) sandwiched between a loss to upcoming BYU opponent Saint Mary's (61-52).
UP NEXT FOR THE COUGARS
BYU returns to the road to face Utah State in Logan (KJZZ-TV) Wednesday at 7 p.m. followed by a trip to Los Angeles to play USC (Fox Sports Net 2) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
- Saturday's game vs. Cal is BYU's lone home game among its first six games of the season.
- BYU owns an active 40-game home victory streak over nonconference opponents. The last team to beat BYU in Provo was California in 1998 during BYU's last year in the Western Athletic Conference.
- BYU has won 62 of its last 63 home games overall, including a string 18 straight victories.
- Senior Jared Jensen has enjoyed his increased opportunities this year. After earning MWC Co-Freshman of the Year honors, he moved from center to power forward during All-American center Rafael Araujo's two years in Provo. Now with an improved jumper, Jensen has returned to the low post and has been the Cougars' most effective player, averaging a team-best 11.7 points while shooting 68.4 percent from the floor (13-of-19), and 75 percent from the line (9-of-12).
- Among BYU's newcomers, sophomore forward Keena Young was the most effective in Maui. He averaged 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds, scoring 14 points starting for injured Garner Meads vs. Chaminade.
- After shooting just 62 percent from the line in BYU's first two games, the usually good free-throw shooting Cougars responded by going 10-for-10 from the line vs. Chaminade to up their percentage to 70 percent on the year. It was the first perfect night by a Cougar team from the lline since 1955.
- The Cougars hope to improve their offensive production at home Saturday. BYU shot .393 from the floor, including .278 on threes, while scoring 60 points per game at the Maui Invitational.
BYU GAME #4 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (1-2) vs. CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS (2-1)
SATURDAY, NOV. 27, 2004
MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)
7 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (130-89 entering eighth year; same overall)
California, Ben Braun (155-95 in ninth season; 488-330 in 28th year overall)
Series: California leads, 6-4 (Last meeting: Cal 47, BYU 46, last year in Berkeley - Nov. 26, 2003)
TV: Comcast SportsNet (Dave McCann calls play-by-play with Craig Hislop adding commentary)
Radio: KSL 1160, BYU Radio Network (Greg Wrubell calls play-by-play with Mark Durrant adding commentary)
Web: Live stats and audio are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2004-05 schedule)
COMCAST TV COVERAGE IN CALIFORNIA
Comcast SportsNet will broadcast the game regionally in California. Following is the current coverage area and the Comcast channel locations:
Chico/Oroville*Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
DavisÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
FresnoÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
Grass ValleyÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 44
LodiÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
Los BanosÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â TBD
MarysvilleÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
MercedÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â TBD
ModestoÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
ParadiseÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
PlacervilleÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
Roseville Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
SacramentoÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
San AndreasÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
SonoraÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
StocktonÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
Tracy Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
VacavilleÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 68
VisaliaÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
Yuba CityÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Channel 34
NOTE: Channel assignments and coverage areas are subject to change.
LOOKING AT CALIFORNIA
California (2-1) returns three starters and nine lettermen from last year's 13-15 team that tied for fourth in Pac-10 play. The Bears opened the year at home with wins over UC Riverside (78-61) and Southern (82-63) sandwiched between a loss to upcoming BYU opponent Saint Mary's (61-52). The Bears first road game of the year is Saturday in the Marriott Center. Junior guard Richard Midgley leads the Bears in scoring after three games, averaging 16.0 points per game while sophomore swingman Marquise Kately adds 15.7 ppg as the two double-figures scorers for California. Both players have increased their scoring (Midgley averaged 10.6 ppg and Kately 10.5 ppg last season) with the September loss of last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Leon Powe to a season-ending knee injury. Powe averaged 15.1 ppg and 9.5 rpg last year and would have been Coach Ben Braun's fourth returning starter on this year's squad. The Bears suffered another injury blow in Tuesday's win over Southern as another returning starter, sophomore guard Ayinde Ubaka, broke a bone in his foot and will be out for up to eight weeks. Cal's top assist man (4.0 apg) also added 7.7 points over the first three games. Kately pulls down a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game. Cal's third-leading scorer comes off the bench as 6-foot-8 junior forward David Paris chips in 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in only 16 minutes per game. He is shooting 64 percent from the floor. Freshman F/C DeVon Hardin showed much of his potential with eight points and seven boards in just 14 minutes vs. Southern. As a team, the Bears are shooting .457 from the floor including a sizzling .593 from three-point range, and .649 from the line. Cal's opponents have shot .390 from the floor and .235 from behind the arc. The Bears average 70.7 ppg while allowing 61.7 and have a slight deficit on the boards (37.0 - 36.7). Ben Braun is 155-95 in his ninth season at Cal and is 488-330 in his 28th year overall.
CALIFORNIA'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 25 Marquise Kately 6-5 220 So. 15.7 7.0
F 3 Dominic McGuire 6-8 210 So. 4.0 5.3
C 0 Rod Benson 6-10 210 Jr. 5.3 2.3
G 15 Richard Midgley 6-2 200 Jr. 16.0 4.7
KEY PLAYERS OFF THE BENCH
F 14 Eric Vierneisel 6-7 200 Fr 4.7 2.0
G 20 Martin Smith 5-11 175 Jr 3.0 4.3(apg)
F 32 Kevin Langford 6-7 225 Fr 1.7 2.7
F/C 35 DeVon Hardin 6-10 225 Fr 3.5 5.3
F/C 55 David Paris 6-8 260 Jr 8.7 4.0
* Starting guard Ayinde Ubaka (6-3, So., 7.7 ppg, 4.0 apg) broke a bone in his foot during Cal's win over Southern Tuesday and will not play Saturday. He had surgery and is expected to be out for up to eight weeks.
LAST yEAR'S GAME -- COUGARS FALL ON LATE TIP-IN BUCKET AT CAL
Amit Tamir's tip-in with 5.8 seconds left gave Cal a 47-46 win, thwarting BYU's comeback effort at Haas Pavilion. The Cougars fought back from an eight-point deficit to take a 46-45 lead late in the game behind the scoring of JC transfer Mike Hall, who scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half.BYU had a chance to extend its one-point lead when senior guard Kevin Woodberry was fouled with 21 seconds left in the game, but Woodberry missed the front end of a one-and-one to set up Tamir's game-winning score. The Cougars' late-game run was sparked by Terry Nashif, who hit a three-pointer with 8:20 left in the game to cut the Bears lead to 43-38. Mark Bigelow would then hit a layup to bring the Cougars within three. Hall scored three baskets to cap off the Cougars' 11-2 run. A defensive game throughout, BYU shot 38 percent from the floor and held the Bears to a 33 percent success rate on their shots. BYU and Cal also had trouble holding onto the ball with BYU turning the ball over 21 times while Cal committed 18 turnovers. The Cougars' big men were limited by foul trouble throughout the night. Rafael Araujo, who finished the game with nine points and seven rebounds, was on the bench for most of the second half after fouling out with just over nine minutes left in the game. "We fought through it and put ourselves in a position to win the game," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "But we didn't lose this game in the final seconds. We lost this game in the first half with 13 turnovers." BYU falls to 1-1 with the loss while the Bears improve to 1-1.
CAL LAST NON-LEAGUE TEAM TO DEFEAT COUGARS IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
BYU has won its last 40 games over non-league opponents in the Marriott Center. The last non-league team to defeat BYU in Provo was Cal when the Bears edged the Cougars 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998.
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. ... California
Overall Series Record: California leads 6-4
BYU Record in Provo: 2-2
BYU Record at California: 0-3
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 2-1
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 0-3
BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A
Longest BYU Win Streak: 2 (1968-69; 1976-89)
Longest California Win Streak: 4 (1989-present)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 19, 98-79 in 1969
Largest California Margin of Victory: 27, 86-59 in 1957
Most Points Scored by BYU: 98 in 1969
Most Points Scored by California: 86 in 1957
Date Opponent Score W/L
3-15-57 vs. California# 59-86 L
12-26-68 vs. California' 82-74 W
12-5-69 California 98-79 W
12-6-69 California 75-77 L
12-30-76 vs. California* 75-70 W
2-14-89 California 87-74 W
12-23-89 at California 63-85 L
12-22-97 at California 64-68 L
12-19-98 California 70-71 L
11-26-03 at California 46-47 L
'Far West Classic
*All College Tournament
BYU IN HOME OPENERS
BYU is 55-14 (.797) when opening at home. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 6-1 in home openers since taking over the Cougar program. His team's have won their last six home openers since losing to Washington State (78-49) in his first season in Provo in the second overall game of the 1997-98 season. This will be the third time under Cleveland that the Cougars have opened at home vs. a Pac-10 school. BYU defeated Arizona State (82-70) in the 2001-02 home opener.
BYU's LAST OUTING - COUGARS DOWN CHAMINADE TO CONCLUDE MAUI INVITATIONAL
MAUI, Hawai'i (Nov. 24, 2004) -- BYU came alive offensively as four Cougars scored in double figures in their final game of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, a 77-56 win over host Chaminade. Only two BYU players had scored in double figures in the two previous games combined. "I thought that when the game was on the line, we got good play off the bench," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "Some guys stepped up and made some plays and we got some stops. I just like the contributions we got from everyone. We still have a long way to go before we become a good team but we made some progress." The story of the first half was scoring runs. Senior center Jared Jensen dominated early as he scored BYU's first seven points. A three by sophomore guard Mike Rose gave the Cougars a 10-2 lead. Chaminade took its turn next as the Silverswords scored 13 of the next 15 points to take a 15-12 lead. Despite the lapse, BYU finished the half strong with a 21-6 run to go into the locker room up 33-21. Jensen finished the first half with nine points. The second half was more of the same for the Cougars, as senior guard Mike Hall took his turn filling up the scoring sheet. He nailed two three pointers to extend the lead to 39-23 and put in four more points to put BYU up 47-31. The Silverswords made a few small runs late in the game to close the gap to 10 but were never able to cut the lead to single digits. Jensen was the leading scorer for BYU, finishing with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting and adding five rebounds. Sophomore forward Keena Young and senior guard Mike Hall posted identical totals of 14 points and six rebounds. Derek Dawes was solid off the bench, scoring 10 points and pulling down six boards. The Cougars improve to 1-2 with the win while Chaminade falls to 1-3. Junior guard Chris Reeves, who came into the game averaging 26.0 point per contest, was limited to just five by Hall. "I though defensively Mike Hall did a wonderful job," Cleveland said of his senior's play while recovering from an injured ankle. "It was the first time I've seen him play the way he can play."