Game 7 Notes - BYU Hosts San Diego Wednesday

After splitting its road trip at Arizona State and Creighton last week, BYU (5-1) hosts the University of San Diego (4-2) Wednesday at 7 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game is not being televised. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning at 6 p.m. MST with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing game analysis. A live internet audio link is available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com.

The Cougars are 5-1 after playing five of its first six games away from Provo. They are coming off a 64-60 victory at Arizona State and a 74-64 loss at Creighton, who at 6-0 moved up to No. 23 in the AP Poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll with the win and is ranked No. 2 in the national Sagarin ratings. Beginning with Wednesday's game against San Diego, BYU will play five of its next six games in the Marriott Center. The Cougars currently own the nation's longest homecourt winning streak at 37 games. BYU returns eight lettermen and three starters from last year's 18-12 NIT team, led by second-team All-Mountain West Conference guard Travis Hansen. BYU opened this season with three wins at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands to claim the 2002 title.

San Diego has four senior starters and three returning starters from last year's 16-13 team. The Toreros are 3-1 away from home this year and 2-1 on an opponent's homecourt, including a victory at preseason nationally ranked UCLA.

GAME # 7 FAST FACTS

BYU (5-1, 0-0 MWC) vs. SAN DIEGO (4-2, 0-0 WCC)

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2002

Marriott Center (22,700)

Provo, Utah

7 p.m. MST

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (90-70 in sixth year; same overall)

USD, Brad Holland (130-101 in ninth year; 153-132 in 11th year overall)

Series:

BYU leads, 1-0

Last Meeting: BYU won 70-59 in San Diego in last year's season-opener on Nov. 17, 2001

TV: None

Radio:

KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)

Pregame Air Time: 6 p.m. MST

Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell

Game Analyst: Mark Durrant

Web:

Live audio link available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) and via BYU Radio on Dish Network, or on-line at byuradio.org.

BYU's Probable Starters:

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG

F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 14.5 3.2 2.3 apg

F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 11.0 4.3

C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 6.3 8.3

G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.0 4.8 2.8 apg

G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 5.2 1.7 1.7 apg

BYU Reserves:

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG

G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 5.8 2.2 1.7 apg

F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 4.2 2.2

G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 3.0 2.2 1.3 apg

C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 2.5 1.0

F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.8 0.6

G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.7 0.8

F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 0.8 1.8

SAN DIEGO TOREROS

The University of San Diego Toreros are off to a 4-2 start this season, including a win at preseason nationally ranked UCLA. In his ninth year in San Diego, UCLA alumnus Brad Holland returns three starters and six lettermen from last year's 16-13 team that finished 7-7 in the West Coast Conference. The Toreros are 1-1 at home this year, 1-0 on a neutral court and 2-1 in away games. They have wins over Nevada (77-75 at home), UCLA (86-81 in OT at UCLA), UC Riverside (84-64 at Riverside), and IUPUI (81-74 at Purdue Boilermaker Invitational) with losses to Cal State Northridge Classic (64-61 at Northridge) and Purdue (95-65 at Purdue). The Toreros boast an experienced squad with four seniors starting along with one freshman. Eight players are averaging at least 17 minutes per game. Redshirt senior center Jason Keep scores a team-leading 17.7 points and adds. 8.0 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10, 290 force in the middle shoots 64.5 percent from the floor and is coming off a 24-point, 9-rebound outing at Purdue. Last year's returning starters Jason Blair (6-foot-7, 230, Sr., Forward), Roy Morris (6-foot-2, 182, Sr., Guard) and Matt Delzell (6-foot-2, 180, Fr., Guard) are adding 16.3, 14.2 and 6.5 points, respectively. Freshman guard Travis Smith (6-foot-3, 180) has started all six games, averagin 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds in 20.8 minutes. Blair is pulling down a team-leading 10.3 boards, 4.3 on the offensive glass, while averaging a double-double over the first six games. As a team, San Diego shoots 47 percent from the floor, 30 percent on threes, and 62.6 percent from the line while scoring 75.7 points. The Toreros are allowing 75.5 points, 44.4 percent shooting, including 37 percent three-point shooting. With Blair and Keep patrolling the glass, San Diego has out boarded its opponents by nine rebounds per game while pulling down 40.3 rebounds per contest. Coach Brad Holland is 130-101 in his ninth year with the Toreros.

SAN DIEGO'S PROBABLE STARTERS

POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG OTHER

F 34 Jason Blair 6-7 230 Sr. 16.3 10.3 10 pts, 11 rbs at Purdue

C 43 Jason Keep 6-10 290 Sr. 17.7 8.0 24 pts, 9 rbs at Purdue

G/F 14 Matt Delzell 6-2 180 Sr. 6.5 3.3 2.2 apg

G 10 Roy Morris 6-2 182 Sr. 14.2 1.8 team-leading 3.0 apg

G 3 Travis Smith 6-3 180 Fr. 3.3 2.2 2.5 apg

SERIES TIDBITS

This is only the second meeting between the two schools, with BYU winning last year in San Diego in the season-opener, 70-59. Last year's BYU win was the Cougars' only victory of the year on an opponent's homecourt.

SERIES BREAKDOWN

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 1-0

BYU Record in Provo: 0-0

BYU Record in San Diego: 1-0

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 1-0

BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A

Longest BYU Win Streak: 1 (2001-present)

Longest San Diego Win Streak: N/A

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 11, 70-59 in 2001

Largest San Diego Margin of Victory: N/A

Most Points Scored by BYU: 70 in 2001

Most Points Scored by ASU: 59 in 2001

Date Opponent Score W/L

11-17-01 at U of San Diego 70-59 W

SAN DIEGO General Info

Location: San Diego, Calif.

Founded: 1949

Enrollment: 6,943

Nickname: Toreros

Colors: Columbia Blue, Navy and White

Home Arena: Jenny Craig Pavilion

Conference: West Coast

Athletic Director: Tom Iannacone

Basketball Info

Head Coach: Brad Holland

Alma Mater: UCLA (1979)

Best time to call: Weekday mornings

Office Phone: (619) 260-4829

Overall Record (Years): 149-130 (11th)

Record at School (Years): 126-99 (9th)

Assistant Coaches: Brian Fish, Steve Flint, Sam Scholl

2001-2002

Overall Record: 16-13

Conf. Record/Finish: 7-7

Final Ranking/Post Season Finish: NA

2002-2003

Letterman Returning/Lost: 6/5

Starters Returning/Lost: 2/3

Returning Starters

Jason Blair, 6-7, 230, Sr., F (14.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg)

Roy Morris., 6-2, 182, Sr., G (5.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg)

Matt Delzell, 6-2, 180, Sr. G (3.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg)

Series History

Series Record: BYU leads 1-0

Last Meeting: Nov. 17, 2001

Result: BYU won 70-59

Media Relations

Basketball Contact: Ted Gosen

Office: (619) 260-4745

Home: (858) 486-3284

Email: tgosen@sandiego.edu

Fax: (619) 260-2990

Press Row: (619) 260-7555

Web Site: www.usdtoreros.com

LAST YEAR'S GAME RECAP

SAN DIEGO -- Travis Hansen poured in 21 points leading BYU to a 70-59 season-opening victory over the University of San Diego Toreros on Saturday night. The Cougars, who ended the prior season in San Diego at the NCAA tournament, started their 2001-2002 campaign in San Diego as well, this time against a member of the West Coast Conference. Early on, BYU struggled to get their offense going and got in early foul trouble before Daniel Bobik jump-started the Cougars with a pair of three pointers. At the half, BYU led by four points 27-23. The Cougars started strong in the second half jumping out to 10-point lead, 39-29, at the 14:14 mark. True freshman Jared Jensen helped lead the charge, but soon both he and teammate Mark Bigelow found themselves with four personal fouls. With the Cougars in foul trouble, they turned to Hansen and seniors Eric Nielsen and Matt Montague to carry the scoring. Nielsen scored eight points, including six in the second half, and Montague suddenly become an offensive threat hitting several runners in the lane and collecting 11 points. But it was the defense and offensive boards that propelled BYU to victory tonight. Hansen, who had a game-high eight rebounds, along with Nielsen owned the glass in the second half. After trailing the Toreros in rebounds the first half, 20-18, BYU ended the game with a 37-31 rebounding advantage. Success at the charity stripe was a key to the Cougar victory as the Cougars made 22-27 in the second half (81.5 percent) to San Diego's 9-20 (45 percent) shooting. Hansen continually got great position underneath and was repeatedly fouled. He was 9-for-15 from the line while shooting 6-of-11 from the field, including a big jumper with 3:20 left in the game. That jumper gave BYU a 10-point lead late in the contest after San Diego looked like they may make a late rally. BYU played solid defense and Montague did a great job of handling the Toreros' full-court press as the Cougars hung on for the 11-point victory. Three Cougars scored in double figures (Bobik-12, Hansen-21, Montague-11) and BYU shot 45 percent from the field while holding San Diego to just 34 percent shooting. Bigelow had nine points in 23 minutes in his first game since returning from his LDS mission. Cleveland earned his fifth consecutive victory in season openers at BYU.

WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY LAST YEAR ...

"I've never seen a game called so closely. Before we knew it we had five fouls, and we had to really adjust our playing style to what the officials were calling. We really picked up our intensity in the second half. Defensively, we were able to take them out of what they were trying to run. I think we also did a very good job on our free throw shooting, which is a real trademark of this team."

UP NEXT FOR BYU

After Wednesday's game vs. San Diego, BYU will face instate rival Utah State of the Big West Conference in the Marriott Center. The Aggies are off to a 5-1 start and won the preseason tournament in Hilo, Hawaii. Last year Utah State beat BYU, 90-81, in overtime in Logan.

COUGARS SUFFER FIRST LOSS AT CREIGHTON SATURDAY

OMAHA -- BYU could not overcome its season high in turnovers and the 26th ranked Creighton Bluejays took full advantage beating the Cougars 74-64 Saturday afternoon in Omaha. BYU enjoyed better shooting percentages than Creighton from the field (46% to 42%) , from the line (85% to 67%) and from behind the arc (41% to 25%), but killed themselves with turnovers. Pressing defense caused BYU problems all game and Creighton made the Cougars pay. The Bluejays also beat BYU on the glass, outrebounding BYU 14-7 on the offensive end. As a result, Creighton took 18 more shots than BYU and scored 25 points off of turnovers to BYU's 4. BYU got down early in the first half without the services of its leading scorer Travis Hansen, who was on the bench with quick fouls. Mark Bigelow scored 17 of his 21 points in the opening half on 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range to cut the lead to 36-32 at halftime. In the second half, BYU tied the game at 40, when Creighton went on an 21-6 run with the help of defensive pressure and three-point bombs to extend the lead to 61-46 with 8:29 to go. BYU narrowed the margin to 58-65 with 3:56 on a Ricky Bower three-pointer but that was as close as they got. Creighton was led by Kyle Korver's double-double, 19 points and 11 rebounds. Nate Funk scored a career high 14 points, while Kellen Miliner added 11 for the Bluejays. For BYU, Hansen finished with 11 points, Bower and Jared Jensen each added 9, and Rafael Araujo scored 6 points while grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds. The win runs Creighton's record to 6-0. BYU drops its first game of the season and comes home with a 1-1 split on the road trip, following the victory over Arizona State last Wednesday. BYU will face the University of San Diego on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Cougars put its home win-streak of 37 games on the line against San Diego then face the Utah State Aggies on Saturday night, tipoff is also at 7 p.m.

WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY ...

""You've got to give them [Creighton] credit, they are a very good team. They have been to the NCAA Tournament four years in a row. We played hard, we always do, but we didn't play as hard as Creighton did today."

NATIONAL POLLS

BYU received votes in the national polls (Nov. 25) for the first time since last season's eight-game winning streak that included a win over No. 13 Stanford. BYU received four votes (T-41st) in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. BYU recieved two votes (49th) in the lastest Associated Press Poll. This week BYU received one vote in the coaches poll (T-49th) but received no votes in the AP Poll. After beating BYU, Creighton moved up from 26th in both polls to 23rd in the AP poll and 24th in the coaches poll.

SAGARIN RATINGS

BYU is rated 20th nationally in the latest Sagarin ratings, updated after Sunday's results. The Cougars are the top-rated Mountain West Conferenc school, followed by UNLV, rated 46th, Utah 55th and Wyoming 78th. After beating BYU, Creighton is rated second in the nation in the ratings behind only Duke. San Diego is rated 104th and Utah State 79th. The Mountain West is rated eighth nationally as a league.

STARTING STRONG

After starting the season 2-0 for the fourth straight year, this year's team became the first team to start 5-0 since the 1991-92 team started 7-0. At 5-1, BYU has its best start since the 1999-2000 team was 5-1 after six games. BYU has been 4-2 the last two years. The 1999-2000 team started 7-1, with six of its seven wins coming at home. This year's team is 5-1 despite playing only one of its first six games in the Marriott Center. The Cougars will play five of their next six at home, however, starting this week with San Diego on Wednesday and Utah State Saturday.

STREAKS

The loss at Creighton ended a string of four consecutive BYU wins away from the Marriott Center. It was the team's best streak away from home since BYU's 2001 NCAA team won five consecutive games (2 away, 3 at the MWC tournament) in March 2001. The Cougars won five straight games overall to open the year, the longest overall streak since the Cougars won eight straight games last year during its non-league schedule.

COUGARS CRUISE TO VICTORY OVER RICE IN HOME-OPENER

Scoring 95 points against Rice Saturday, BYU improved to 8-0 under Steve Cleveland when the Cougars have scored 90 or more points. BYU defeated Rice 95-56 thanks to an 18-1 first-half run that blew the game open. Saturday's 39 point victory over Rice is the largest win for the Cougars since BYU defeated Fort Lewis College by 49 points on Dec. 12, 2001.

HANSEN STARTS SENIOR SEASON STRONG

BYU's lone senior, guard Travis Hansen, is off to a strong start in his final campaign. He leads BYU in scoring (16.0 ppg) and assists (2.8 apg) and is second in rebounding (4.8 rpg), despite being ejected with 8:48 to go in BYU's win over Kansas State. Hansen is shooting 55.6 percent (30-54) from the floor, 50 percent (5-10) from behind the three-point line (which was extended to the experimental rules distance of 20 feet, 6 inches at the Paradise Jam), and 81.6 percent (31-38) from the free throw line. He scored a season-high 23 points at ASU last Wednesday, including several big shots late to help the Cougars to the win.

RECORD DEFENSE

BYU set the Paradise Jam tournament record for fewest average points allowed by giving up only 59 points per game in its three tournament wins. The previous record was LaSalle's 62.7 points allowed over three tournament games last year. In the championship game, BYU held St. Bonaventure, who came into the title showdown having scored 91 and 89 points in its first two games, to 57 points and 28 percent shooting. BYU held Toledo to 34.6 percent shooting and 56 points and allowed only 40.4 percent shooting and 64 points by Kansas State. Combined, BYU's Paradise Jam opponents shot 33.9 percent from the floor, including 31.8 percent on threes.

MORE DEFENSE

BYU has held all five opponents to 42 percent or lower shooting, and has held three of its six opponents below 35 percent shooting (those above... Creighton .422, ASU .413, Kansas State .404). BYU held its first four opponents below 30 percent shooting in the second half this year. BYU has held four of its six opponents to 60 points or less (Kansas State 64, Creighton 74). BYU is 45-3 under Steve Cleveland when holding its opponents below 60 points. Against Rice the last game in the Marriott Center, BYU held 2002 WAC Freshman of the Year forward Michael Harris, who came in averaging 13.7 points and 10.3 rebounds, including a 14-point, 10-rebound night on 7-10 shooting at Stanford, to 11 points and four boards. ASU's freshman sensation Ike Diogu was held five points below his season average. Despite the loss, BYU held Creighton, a team that shot 54 percent from the floor and 51 percent on threes in its first five games, to 42 percent shooting from the floor and 29 percent three-point shooting on its home floor.

PLAYER PERSONNEL

BYU coach Steve Cleveland is expected to play a larger rotation this year with a deeper bench available. With junior forward Jake Shoff seeing his first playing time of the year against Kansas State, all 12 players who are expected to play this year have already received playing time. Shoff hadn't played in any of BYU's exhibtion contests or the opening game with Toledo due to back problems. He has had limited practice time as well since practices started in October. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts and guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba are planning to use the season to redshirt. Ainge broke his thumb during practice three days before BYU's season opener. He had surgery in Phoenix and isn't expected to practice for another 4-6 weeks.

WINNING THE STATS GAME WITH ONE EXCEPTION

BYU has outshot all six opponents this year and outrebounded five of six. Creighton pulled down two more boards than BYU Saturday. BYU shot 48.4 percent in last week's two games while its two opponents shot 41.7 combined. On the year, BYU is shooting 48.5 percent and its opponents 36.7. BYU has made 43.6 percent of its threes compared to its opponents' 28.3 percentage. BYU is averaging 72.2 while allowing 61.2 points. has 78 assists to its opponents 57, 23 blocks to 22 and 42 steals to 41. The only statistical category where the Cougars wish they had less than there opponents is the one area they aren't winning. BYU averages 17.7 turnovers to its opponents 14.7. With a season-high 23 turnovers commited at Creighton producing 25 Bluejay points, BYU could easily be unbeaten if they were closer to winning the turnover statistical column.

NATION'S LONGEST HOME WINNING STREAK

BYU has a 37-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 went 16-0 at home last season and was 15-0 the prior year. BYU has had a perfect home record seven times since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season. The past two years, however, marks the first time it has happened in back-to-back seasons. Last year's team tied the BYU single-season record with 16 home wins and was only the fourth Cougar squad to win more than 14 home games in a season. The 1987-88 Ladell Andersen squad went 16-2 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 28 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.

BREAKING THROUGH ON THE ROAD

While BYU entered this season with the nation's longest active home winning streak at 36 games (now 37), the Cougars also finished last season having lost their last 10 games away from the Marriott Center and their last 11 straight games on an opponent's home court, including three in overtime. This year, BYU has snapped both losing streaks. With its three wins at the Paradise Jam -- BYU's first win streak away from home since the end of the 2001 season, BYU ended the 10-game skid. With BYU's victory at ASU last week, the Cougars got the 11-game road losing streak off their backs. BYU also ended seven straight losses on a Pac-10 opponent's home floor dating back to its win over ASU in 1989. Last year BYU won only twice away from home. Last year's road wins were a neutral court 81-76 upset over No. 13 Stanford at the Las Vegas Showdown on Dec. 22, 2001 and a season-opening win at San Diego, 70-59, on Nov. 17, 2001.

CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF BASKETBALL

BYU is celebrating 100 years of basketball. Since the first season of BYU basketball in 1903, BYU entered this season having achieved a 1432-923 (.608) overall record with 21 different coaches at the helm. The combined efforts of these men have provided the Cougars with 80 winning seasons in 100 years. BYU has won 25 conference titles and made 28 postseason tournament appearances with 19 NCAA bids and nine NIT berths. The Cougars won the 1951 and 1966 NIT titles and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1981, highlighted by Danny Ainge's length-of-the-court dash to defeat Notre Dame at the buzzer. Ainge was named the nation's top player as the John Wooden Award and Eastman Award winner. Twenty-three players have received All-America recognition while NBA teams have selected a Cougar 41 times in its annual draft. BYU has the nation's 11th longest rivalry, dating back to 1909, against the University of Utah. BYU and Utah have the 10th longest rivalry in terms of games played with 232 contests. Amazingly, the series is tied at 116-116. For more information on BYU's 100-year history, please consult the 2002-03 BYU media guide.

HANSEN, BIGELOW EARN PARADISE JAM AWARDS

Leading BYU to the University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam title, Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow were named to the Paradise Jam All Tournament Team. Others selected to the team were Pervis Pasco of Kansas State, Nick Moore of Toledo, Terry Taylor of Virginia Tech and tournament MVP Marques Green of St. Bonaventure.

PARADISE JAM OFFERED OFF COURT MEMORIES

During their week in the Virgin Islands, the Cougars were able to do more than just win three games to claim the Paradise Jam title. While the coaches and players weren't able to fully take advantage of the beautiful beaches and other opportunities available on St. Thomas, the team was able to go on a Catamaran Tour, that included snorkeling, the day before its first game. One of the highlights of the trip was on Sunday. With BYU not practicing or playing that day, the entire team and extended traveling party attended church services at the local branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Cougar contingency helped boost the branch attendance from its usual 20-25 to 138. It was the largest group to ever attend church services in the branch. Later that evening, the entire team returned to participate in a church fireside. During the day, BYU coach Steve Cleveland, Travis Hansen, Mark Bigelow, Dan Howard, Terry Nashif and Ricky Bower all spoke and the entire team mingled and spent time with the local members. Many church members attended BYU's games during the week, giving the Cougars a nice fan base in the 3,000-seat Sports and Fitness Center. BYU, along with the other teams in the Paradise Jam, participated in the Paradise Jam Dockside Jamboree on the evening before the tournament began. The festival, located near the dock were cruise ships come to port, included local bands, steel drum bands, mocko jumbies, local food, arts, crafts and shopping. The players had opportunities to sign autographs and Coach Cleveland was able to talk about the team and university on a live radio program being broadcast remotely from the event.

BYU VS. ITS CONFERENCE PEERS

BYU is picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference. BYU has a won 58 percent (418-299) of its games vs. its MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU has dominated the Mountain West, winning 63 percent of the titles in the league's first three seasons.

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