GAME 7 - BYU Hosts San Jose State Wednesday

Keena Young leads the Cougars in points and rebounds this season after recording his second double-double of the year at Weber State. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

GAME #7 FAST FACTS

BYU COUGARS (4-2, 0-0 MWC)

vs.

SJSU SPARTANS (1-6, 0-0 WAC)

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006

Marriott Center (22,700)

Provo, Utah

7:05 p.m. MT

Coaches:

BYU, Dave Rose (24-11 in second season; same overall)

SJSU, George Nessman (7-31 in second season; same overall)

Series:

9th meeting, BYU leads 7-1 (SJSU won the last meeting, 76-74 in OT on Feb. 20, 1999 in San Jose)

TV:

The mtn. (Tim Neverett - play-by-play, Steve Wolf - color analysis)

Radio:

KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)

Web:

Live audio and live stats are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/

BYU HOSTS SAN JOSE STATE WEDNESDAY

After picking up their first road win with an overtime victory at Weber State, the Cougars (4-2) return home to host San Jose State Wednesday night in the Marriott Center. The 7 p.m. game will be televised live on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.) while the radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City and via the Internet at KSL.com. The Cougars are currently tied for the nation's sixth-longest active home victory streak at 17 games. The Spartans (1-6) are coming off their first win of the year, an 80-63 home victory over Cal Poly.

UP NEXT

BYU will hit the road for the fourth time this year with a contest against No. 25 Michigan State on Saturday. The 3 p.m. ET game will be played at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich., as part of the Dick's Sporting Goods Spartan Clash. It will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

COUGAR QUICK HITS

-- Cougar head coach Dave Rose guided BYU to a 20-9 record and an NIT appearance last season in his first year at the helm after eight years as BYU's lead assistant. He was named the Mountain West Conference and USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year. Rose coached his team to a second-place MWC finish -- one game behind league-champion San Diego State -- while turning a 9-21 team into a 20-9 success that proved to be the second-best improvement among all Division I programs.

-- BYU was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason MWC media poll behind reigning champion San Diego State.

-- BYU's roster this season includes a solid core of returning players, including six seniors and Trent Plaisted, the MWC Freshman of the Year last year. One of nine returning lettermen, Plaisted was named a Freshman All-American after leading BYU in both scoring (13.6) and rebounding (6.9) one year ago. 2006 All-MWC Third Team forward Keena Young leads BYU this year in scoring (17.3) and rebounding (6.5). Senior Austin Ainge leads BYU with 3.5 assists per game.

LOOKING AT SAN JOSE STATE

The Spartans are 1-6 so far this season having just won their first game, an 80-63 victory over Cal Poly, on Sunday. Their six losses have all come away from home with an 0-5 record in true road games and an 0-1 mark on a neutral court. SJSU returns six letterwinners including one starter from last year's team that finished 6-25 overall and 2-14 in the WAC. Sophomore forward Tim Pierce leads the team in scoring this year at 12.7 points per game. The Arizona State transfer is also pulling down 3.1 rebounds per game. Senior Menelik Barbary, the Spartans' lone returning starter, is second on the team in scoring at 10.0 ppg while averaging 5.1 boards per contest. The 6-foot-10 center has started in five of seven games and leads the team shooting .492 from the floor. Junior guard Jamon Hill, a transfer from San Jose City College, dishes out a team-best 2.7 assists per game and is third on the team in scoring with 9.9 ppg. Junior forward Kerry Woolridge leads the Spartans on the glass with 6.3 rpg but has not played in the last four contests while junior forward Harry Brown is close behind at 6.0 rpg. As a team, the Spartans are averaging 61.6 ppg on .367 shooting from the floor while allowing opponents to score 72.9 ppg on .445 shooting. SJSU holds a slight 38.9-38.0 rebounding edge over its opponents. Spartan head coach George Nessman is 7-31 in his second season with SJSU.

SJSU's PROBABLE STARTERS

Pos. No Name HT WT CL HOMETOWN PPG RPG APG

G 20 Kevin Buggs 6-1 200 Fr. Compton, Calif. 3.7 2.7 1.9

G 24 Jamon Hill 5-11 175 Jr. Hayward, Calif. 9.9 3.6 2.7

F 01 Tim Pierce 6-7 210 So. Oakland, Calif. 12.7 3.1 0.7

F 22 Harry Brown 6-6 255 Jr. Baltimore, Md. 6.7 6.0 0.3

F 44 Lance Holloway 6-8 215 Jr. Oakland, Calif. 2.7 4.1 0.6'

'blocked shots per game

SJSU's LAST OUTING -- Spartans Win Home Opener Over Cal Poly

SAN JOSE -- Guard Darion Goins came off the bench to score a game-high 16 points leading San Jose State University to its first victory of the season, 80-63, over Cal Poly. Goins, a 6-foot-3 freshman, matched his season scoring high, made 4 of his 6 three-point tries and was one of four Spartans to score in double figures. Starting forwards Tim Pierce with 12 and Harry Brown with 10 and reserve center Menelik Barbary with 11 also were in double figure scoring for San Jose State (1-6). The Spartans had played their first six games of the season on the road. "Sure it helps being home. There's about a 70 percent plus home team success rate in Division I. I think every team shoots better and I know we're a good shooting team and our guys know that. We're a really good shooting team in practice," said San Jose State coach George Nessman, whose team shot a season-best 45.1 percent from the field and made 11-of-23 three-point attempts. Cal Poly (4-3) trailed the entire game and was behind 37-28 at halftime. The Mustangs got as close as six points, 45-39, with 15:57 to play. "It was a real confidence booster for us. All the cylinders were working for us today," said guard Kevin Buggs, who added eight points in his third start of the season. The Spartans also outrebounded the Mustangs, 47-28. Forward Tyler McGinn and guard Dawin Whiten each scored 11 points for Cal Poly.

SERIES NOTES

The Cougars and Spartans have met eight times in the history of the series dating back to 1948 with BYU holding a 7-1 advantage. SJSU picked up its lone win in the last meeting between the two teams, getting the Cougars 76-74 in overtime on Feb. 20, 1999 in San Jose. The two squads last met at the Marriott Center on Jan. 21, 1999 with BYU recording a 75-44 victory. Both 1999 meetings came when the two schools were WAC members.

BYU SERIES RECORD VS. SAN JOSE STATE

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 7-1

BYU Record in Provo: 5-0

BYU Record in San Jose: 0-1

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 2-0

BYU Record Under Dave Rose: 0-0

BYU Record in Overtime Games: 0-1

Last Overtime Game: BYU lost 74-76 in 1999

Longest BYU Win Streak: 7 (1948-99)

Longest San Jose State Win Streak: 1 (1999-present)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 15, 92-77 in 1969

Largest SJSU Margin of Victory: 2, 76-74 in 1999

Most Points Scored by BYU: 92 in 1969

Most Points Scored by San Jose State: 77 in 1969

Date Opponent Score W/L

12-17-48 San Jose State 60-47 W

12-18-48 San Jose State 73-67 W

3-21-51 vs. San Jose St.# 68-61 W

12-20-61 San Jose State 54-60 W

(SJSU forfeited the game)

12-13-69 San Jose State 92-77 W

12-29-94 at San Jose State+ 74-61 W

1-21-99 San Jose State 75-44 W

2-20-99 at San Jose St. (OT) 74-76 L

#NCAA (Kansas City)

+Cable Car Classic

QUOTING COACH ROSE

"George (Nessman's) team is very athletic. I've known George for years ever since we were both junior college coaches. His team will be up-tempo, fast, athletic, big, long and really pressure us defensively. Their struggle has been on the offensive end. Hopefully we can put a game plan together and guard them. We need to do a better job defensively and contest more shots."

BYU VS. THE WAC

San Jose State is the second WAC opponent the Cougars will play this season. BYU lost at Boise State, 72-68, last Wednesday. In addition to SJSU, BYU will play one more WAC team when the Cougars host Utah State on Dec. 16. The Cougars have a 208-128 (.619) all-time record against WAC squads.

BYU NOTES

BYU's LAST OUTING -- COUGARS WIN WILD ONE WITH OVERTIME VICTORY AT WEBER STATE

OGDEN -- The BYU men's basketball team pulled off a wild one Saturday night at the Dee Events Center as the Cougars knocked off Weber State, 73-69, in overtime thanks in part to a career night from Keena Young. Young recorded a career high with 27 points to go along with a season-best 11 rebounds, marking his second double-double of the year. Lee Cummard also scored in double figures with 12 points while Rashaun Broadus got into double-digits for the first time this year with 10. Young also tied for the team lead in assists as he and Austin Ainge each recorded three dishes. Young got BYU on the board with a layin at the 17:45 mark and then kept the Cougars in the game with four more points leading to a 6-6 tie with 15:40 left to play. After BYU found itself trailing 13-10, Broadus tied it up with the Cougars' first three-pointer of the night. The two teams traded buckets from there leading to a 19-17 Wildcat lead. Finally, after the eighth tie of the contest at 19-19, Trent Plaisted put BYU out in front with a pair of free throws. Cummard then made good on a steal at midcourt to stretch the lead to 23-19. The Wildcats kept pushing and got within one at 26-25 until a putback dunk from Plaisted followed by a layin from Jimmy Balderson gave BYU its largest lead of the game to that point at 30-25. WSU added a bucket before the buzzer but went into the locker room trailing 30-27. The Wildcats began the second half much as they did the first with a bucket to get things going, but Lee Cummard answered with a three on the other end to preserve the BYU lead at 33-29. After another tie at 34-34, it was Young who got the Cougars back on top with back-to-back scores, his first buckets since the opening minutes of the game. The Wildcats answered with a three-pointer to get within one at 37-38, but Young followed with another layin for the Cougars. The cycle was repeated once more to preserve a 42-40 Cougar lead. However, the Wildcats converted a three-point play on the ensuing possession to take their first lead since the 19-17 mark at 43-42 with 14:52 left to play. WSU's hot hand from downtown continued as the Wildcats drained three more three-pointers sandwiched around two BYU buckets to take a 52-47 lead. Balderson got BYU involved in the three-point frenzy with a bucket to tie the game for the 12th time at 52-52 with 10:33 left to play, and then Broadus took Balderson's lead and gave the Cougars a 55-52 advantage with a long-range make of his own. But the lead was short-lived as the Wildcats' seventh three-pointer of the half tied the game once again at 57-57 with 7:46 remaining. Young once again gave BYU a 61-58 lead at the 3:52 mark. But a pair of Wildcat free throws and a jumper off of an offensive rebound produced yet another lead change to put WSU up 62-61 with 2:19 left. The two teams traded turnovers as the clock wound down until Young tied it up at 62-62 with a free-throw make at the 1:22 mark. Young drew a foul on the next Cougar possession and drained both attempts from the charity stripe to give BYU a 64-62 lead with 41 seconds left to play. The Cougars then geared up for a defensive stop on the other end but instead got whistled for a foul, allowing the Wildcats to sink a pair of free throws, producing the game's 15th tie at 64-64. With 13 seconds left on the clock, Broadus brought the ball down the court but couldn't get it inside, instead having to settle for a long bomb that didn't go down as time expired, sending the game into overtime. Cummard got BYU started off right in the extra period with a three-point play, but WSU knotted the score at 67-67 two minutes later. But Young wasn't done as he pulled off a three-point play of his own with 1:50 left in overtime to regain a 70-67 BYU advantage. A turnaround jumper by the Wildcats with just under a minute to play got WSU within one. The Cougars took the ball down the court and tried in vain for 34 seconds to get off a shot but couldn't until Broadus lobbed one up from underneath the basket as the shot clock was winding down, getting a goal-tending call and the 72-69 BYU lead. Plaisted iced it with a free throw, giving the Cougars the 73-69 win.

WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose

-- "The game of basketball is a process of learning how to win close games. The more that happens, the more confidence these guys get. These are the kind of wins we can build on."

-- "There are a lot of things we need to work on, but we can learn a lot from this game. This was a big win for us in terms of the way it happened. We got down, had to come back and had to overcome adversity. And we showed ourselves that we can do it."

-- "Keena (Young) is getting better and better in the low post. I liked that our guys kept going to him. There are lots of ways we can get the ball in to him. As he got better tonight, our guys just kept feeding him."

-- "Weber State is a good team. Randy Rahe has done a great job in a short period of time. We knew it would be a battle."

Weber State Head Coach Randy Rahe

-- "I thought overall our execution was as good as it's been in our half-court offense. When we execute we get good looks."

-- "I'm really, really proud of our guys. They play hard, that's what they do. They play with a lot of energy, and they play with enthusiasm and they enjoy the game."

BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING

-- Individual Career High: Keena Young - 27 pts (most by a Cougar since Dec. 13, 2003 -- Rafael Araujo - 28)

-- Young recorded his second double-double of the season and fifth of his career with 27 points and 11 rebounds on the night. He has now scored in double figures in every game this season, the only Cougar to do so.

-- With 10 points, including a bucket to help seal the win with 21 seconds left to play in overtime, Rashaun Broadus reached double-figure scoring for the first time this year.

-- BYU's win at Weber State marks its first road win of the year. The Cougars had previously lost at UCLA and at Boise State.

-- With the win, the Cougars have bounced back from both of their two losses this year with victories, winning three straight after losing at UCLA and rebounding from a loss at Boise State Wednesday with the win at Weber State.

-- The game marked the second time this season the Cougars have had to play an extra period, including an 84-78 win over Idaho State on Nov. 18. Prior to this year, BYU had not played more than one overtime game in a season since the 2001-02 campaign.

-- The Cougars have now won their last five overtime games with their last loss coming on March 14, 2003 against Colorado State at the MWC Tournament (80-86).

-- BYU's 30-27 halftime lead marked the fourth time this season the Cougars have held their opponents under 30 points in the first half and the fifth time BYU has scored 30 or more points in the first period of play. The Cougars are outscoring opponents by an average of 4.8 points in the first half.

-- Young scored the first six points of the game for the Cougars and then scored nine straight for BYU over a period of 2:24 in the second half.

-- True freshman Jonathan Tavernari made an immediate impact upon entering the game midway through the first half as he recorded the first two steals of his BYU career and made good on the first one with a fastbreak bucket.

-- Plaisted posted his third dunk of the season with 1:12 left in the first half, bringing his career total to 36.

WINNING STREAKS

With wins against Idaho State, Portland and Southern Utah, BYU put together a three-game win streak this season, which ended with a loss at Boise State. The Cougars had several winning streaks last season, including their longest since the 2003-04 season at six straight victories. That streak was tied for the seventh-longest active winning streak in the nation. BYU's prior victory streaks last year included one four-game streak, two three-game streaks and two two-game streaks. BYU won 10 of its last 13 games last year.

WINNING ON THE ROAD

BYU's win at Weber State marked the Cougars' first road win of the year. BYU is now 1-2 on the road this year with a loss at current No. 1 UCLA and last Wednesday's setback at Boise State. The victory over the Wildcats snapped a three-game road losing streak dating back to last year's season-ending defeat at Houston in the NIT and a five-game nonconference road losing streak since defeating Washington State last year in Spokane Arena on Nov. 22, 2005. BYU finished last year 6-8 away from home, including a 4-4 mark during MWC play.

BOUNCE BACK COUGARS

The Cougars have bounced back from each of their two losses this season with wins, including a victory Saturday at Weber State after their loss at Boise State on Wednesday. BYU recovered from its season-opening loss at then No. 5 UCLA (now ranked No. 1 in the polls) with three straight wins. Last year with its 20-9 overall record, BYU suffered consecutive defeats only once -- the last two games of the year, having bounced back from each prior loss with a victory.

MAGIC NUMBER: 70

This year the Cougars are allowing 68.7 points after six games. BYU is 3-0 when opponents score less than 70 points this year and 1-2 when they score 70 or more. BYU is 4-0 when it scores 70 or more points and 0-2 when scoring less than 70. Last year BYU was 12-0 when holding opponents under 70 points and 8-9 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes averaged 71.7 points per game last year. BYU was also 17-4 when scoring 70 or more points and 3-5 when falling below the 70-point mark. The Cougars led the MWC in scoring last year, averaging 76.2 ppg, and scored 100 points in conference play for the first time since Feb. 10, 1994 in their home game against league-champion San Diego State.

JUST A LITTLE LONGER

The Cougars have already played two overtime games this season, winning 84-78 against Idaho State on Nov. 18 and 73-69 at Weber State on Dec. 2, marking the first time since the 2001-02 season that BYU has played multiple extra period games in one year. The Cougars have won five straight overtime games dating back to March 14, 2003, an 86-80 setback against Colorado State at the MWC Tournament. BYU is 50-44 (.532) all-time when playing past regulation.

REDSHIRTS

BYU men's basketball coach Dave Rose announced Nov. 23 that 6-foot-6 freshman forward Jonathan Tavernari would not redshirt this season. Tavernari saw his first action on Nov. 24 when the Cougars hosted Southern Utah in the Marriott Center. A native of Sao Bernardo, Brazil, Tavernari did not play in BYU's first three regular-season games as a potential redshirt while a review of his two years of high school in the United States was being conducted by the NCAA. Freshmen swingmen Jordan Cameron and Brock Zylstra are expected to redshirt this season.

COUGAR CROWDS RANK NO. 2 IN MWC ATTENDANCE

BYU's attendance average of 8,638 through three games ranks second in the Mountain West Conference, behind New Mexico's 14,256 average. An average of 11,069 fans filled the Marriott Center last season for each BYU home game, second only to the Lobos' 13,387 average in the MWC. A total of 20,732 fans attended BYU's last home game during which former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic's jersey was retired. The mark is BYU's highest since March 1, 2004.

AINGE, BALDERSON, YOUNG SERVE AS TEAM CAPTAINS

Coach Rose and the Cougar coaching staff have announced this year's team captains, calling upon seniors Austin Ainge, Jimmy Balderson and Keena Young to lead this year's team. "I'm proud of the way these three players have developed and of their dedication to our team," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "They are totally commitment to this program and have earned the respect and confidence of their teammates. They will provide us with good leadership as we work together as a team to achieve our goals." Ainge, a co-captain of last season's team, proved a valuable asset off the bench in 2005-06 after starting at the point guard spot and receiving All-Mountain West Conference honorable mention as a sophomore. Last season he ranked 11th in the MWC in assists while helping BYU lead the league in both scoring and assists. Balderson also provided a spark off the bench for the Cougars last season as he scored in double figures in 11 of the last 13 games and was the only player in the conference averaging more than 10 points per game off the bench with a 10.2 scoring average. Young led BYU in rebounding as a sophomore before becoming an All-MWC Third Team pick last year after starting the last 14 games of the year and ranking second on the team in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and third in scoring (10.3 ppg).

CONSISTENT COUGAR

BYU's most consistent player this year has been senior forward Keena Young, who is the only Cougar to score in double figures in every game and was the catalyst for BYU in two road games last week, leading the Cougars in points, rebounds and assists. He leads BYU and ranks seventh in the Mountain West Conference in scoring at 17.3 points per game while adding a team-best 6.5 rebounds per game, ranked fifth in the league. The senior co-captain has led BYU in scoring twice and rebounding four times, including a 27-point, 11-rebound performance at Weber State for his second double-double of the season. His 27 points marked the most by a Cougar since Dec. 13, 2003 (Rafael Araujo - 28).

VETERAN LEADERSHIP

Senior Austin Ainge has started the last four games at the point. He is averaging a team-best 3.5 assists, which ranks fifth in the MWC, and leads BYU in three-pointers (12) while shooting .632 from three-point range, fourth in the league, and .560 from the floor. He scored 14 points -- all in the second half -- to fuel BYU's furious comeback attempt at Boise State.

OUT OF THE GATE

Trent Plaisted stayed out of foul trouble at Weber State, playing a season-best 35 minutes. He was slowed with two quick fouls at Boise State. Playing in foul trouble nearly the entire night, he finished with eight points and four rebounds against the Broncos. He has made a difference for the Cougars when he gets off to a quick start. After being slowed for two straight games by an ankle injury, Plaisted made it quickly known he was feeling better against Southern Utah, scoring 10 of BYU's first 12 points against the Thunderbirds on the way to a 19-point, 12-rebound performance in 27 minutes of action. Plaisted made 9-of-12 shots while scoring from many different locations, including a jumper from just inside the three-point arc. In addition to leading the Cougars in scoring and rebounding on the night, he added two steals and one assist toward the win. His double-double against Southern Utah was his first of the year and seventh of his career. "Trent (Plaisted) is really working hard," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "He suffered a setback with that sprained ankle, but his effort is improving. Trent's got a lot of different things on his mind; he wants to play the best he can, and he wants to do what he can to help our team win. As long as he keeps playing hard, things will work out well for him."

FOR STARTERS

BYU has used three different starting lineups so far this year and the same starting rotation in the last three games. Austin Ainge has started at the point for Rashaun Broadus the past four games and Vuk Ivanovic made his first career start in place of injury-slowed Trent Plaisted in the post vs. Portland. Starting the first two games were senior Rashaun Broadus, sophomore Lee Cummard, senior Jimmy Balderson, senior Keena Young and sophomore Trent Plaisted. While all five started games last year, the UCLA game marked the first regular-season contest in which all five started together.

BYU BASKETBALL ON TELEVISION

BYU's game on Wednesday vs. San Jose State will be broadcast on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.). The Mountain West Conference's 2006-07 men's basketball television schedule features an unprecedented 99 games on national and regional television, including 65 of the 72 conference contests and all eight MWC Championship matchups. The television coverage provided by the MWC broadcast partners in 2006-07 is more than triple the national and regional telecasts MWC men's basketball has received in previous years. Seventy-five games will be shown on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.), with 17 to be broadcast nationally on College Sports Television (CSTV) and seven on VERSUS (formerly OLN). BYU will have 18 regular-season games televised as part of the 2006-07 MWC television schedule, including three games on CSTV, one on VERSUS and 14 on the mtn. With the exception of a road game at TCU, BYU's entire conference schedule will be televised in 2007. BYU's nonconference games featured in the MWC broadcast schedule include home dates with Southern Utah (Nov. 24, 8 p.m. MT), San Jose State (Dec. 6, 7 p.m. MT) and Utah State (Dec. 16, 4 p.m. MT). While not part of the MWC television package, BYU's regular-season opener at 2006 NCAA runner-up UCLA on Nov. 15 will be televised on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket, while the BYU-Michigan State matchup on Dec. 9 at The Palace at Auburn Hills will be carried on ESPN2, BYU's game at Boise State on Nov. 29 will be aired on KTVB in Boise and the matchup with Weber State will be carried in Utah on KJZZ-TV.

DEFENDING THE HOME COURT

With 17 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars are currently tied for the sixth-longest active home victory streak in the nation. BYU has won its first three home games this season after going 14-1 at home last year including wins in their last 14 straight home contests.

Active Homecourt Winning Streaks (As of Monday, December 4, 2006)

Wins Team This year Next home game

44 Gonzaga 4-0 Saturday

26 Connecticut 7-0 Wednesday

20 Air Force 3-0 Wednesday

20 Iowa 3-0 Tuesday

19 Akron 1-0 Saturday

17 BYU 3-0 Wednesday

17 George Washington 2-0 Tuesday

17 Memphis 4-0 Wednesday

15 Texas 4-0 Dec. 16

HALFTIME REPORT

BYU has led at the half in five of the team's first six games. The Cougars' 82-69 loss at UCLA after leading 39-36 at the half marked the first time since the 2004-05 season that BYU has lost when leading at the half. BYU was 14-0 when leading at the half, 5-9 when trailing and 1-0 when tied last year. Of the 14 games in which they led at the half, the Cougars led by double digits six times. BYU was more impressive in the second half. The Cougars outscored their opponents in the second period of play in all but eight games last year. BYU averaged 4.8 more second-half points than its opponents after a slight 0.24 edge in the first half.

COUGARS HELP CHILDREN WITH CANCER

For the eighth year, the BYU men's basketball team will join the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation in an effort to raise money for families who have children with cancer and participate in the Foundation's annual Christmas party for those families. The Foundation will be collecting monetary donations and any unwrapped toys through the first three weeks of December. Toys can be dropped off at the nearest Far West Bank location, at Harmon's Down Town Auto Center located in Provo or at the men's basketball office located next to the Ticket Office at the Marriott Center. Monetary contributions will also be accepted at the men's basketball office. One hundred percent of all donations to the Foundation will go directly towards the Christmas party for more than 90 families who have children with cancer living primarily in Utah County. A large portion of the money donated will purchase hundreds of toys that will enable these parents to have gifts under the Christmas tree for their children. In addition to all of these toys, there is food, free entertainment, such as games and ornament decorating, and local celebrities including Santa, Cosmo and the BYU men's basketball team. This is the eighth year BYU coaches, players and their families have volunteered for the Christmas party. BYU head coach Dave Rose will serve as honorary chairman for the second year. "This has always been a cause I feel strongly about," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "It has been such a positive experience for the coaches, players and families and is a tremendous opportunity for community members to be involved in brightening the holiday season for these children." Cheryl Rose, vice chairman of the Foundation and wife of coach Rose, discussed the challenges these families face financially and how the Foundation hopes to help these families now and in the future. "For many of these families, it is financially impossible to always have food on the table, a roof over their heads or even have Christmas," Cheryl Rose said. "We want to create a Christmas experience that they will never forget and hopefully in the future help families meet those basic needs that they can't on their own." Rose says that asking for donations has usually been difficult for her, but with such a meaningful cause it has been easy. It has enriched her life, which is something she hopes others will enjoy by contributing to these families. "It's a privilege for me to associate with these families," she said. "They are such an example to me. Even with all that they've been through, they have such a strength and passion for life. It's almost selfish on my part to be involved because I get so much out of it." This year's Christmas party will be held Dec. 20. Parents will be invited to choose the gifts their children will receive on Dec. 19. The gifts will then be distributed at the party. For more information about donating to the Children With Cancer Christmas Foundation, contact Cheryl Rose at (801) 375-5768. Those interested can also visit the Foundation's website at www.christmas-foundation.org. "The support we get from the community makes this event possible," Cheryl Rose said. "We couldn't serve these children without the donations of time, money and gifts we receive."

OFF THE BENCH

One of BYU's strengths is the overall depth of the team. BYU's bench has outscored Cougar opponents in four of the first six games this year by three points per game on average. Last year BYU got more scoring production off the bench than its opponents in 24 of 29 games.

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