Senior Mark Bigelow needs to score 10 more points to join the top-10 scorers all-time at BYU. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, UTAH -- After improving to 6-1 with its win over USC, BYU hosts instate foe Weber State (5-3) Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The game is being televised by SportsWest Productions on KSL-TV, channel 5, in Salt Lake City. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing analysis. Live audio and stats links are available on the basketball schedule page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com. Live audio is also available on BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
BYU travels to Logan to play instate foe Utah State Tuesday at 8 p.m. (KJZZ-TV)
The Cougars have won five straight, including a win over No. 25 Oklahoma State and the Pac-10's USC, on their way to a 6-1 start. They are the preseason favorite to win the Mountain West Conference this year, returning four starters from last year's 23-9 co-championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Four-year starter Mark Bigelow and fellow senior Rafael Araujo were both named to the Preseason All-MWC Team and are MWC Player of the Year candidates. Bigelow is the team's top returning scorer at 13.9 ppg while Araujo pulled down a team-best 8.9 rebounds last year. Senior guard Kevin Woodberry and junior forward Jared Jensen also return as starters for BYU coach Steve Cleveland. Key newcomers include junior transfer Mike Hall and freshmen Mike Rose and Garner Meads. Araujo is scoring 21.6 points and 11.4 rebounds to lead BYU after seven games. Hall adds 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds while Bigelow is scoring 12.4 points and 4.0 rebounds. Luiz Lemes leads the team in assists (5.1). As a team, the Cougars shoot .493 from the floor, including .391 on threes, and .725 from the line while scoring 78.0 points per game. BYU allows 60.4 points while the opposition has shot .429 from the field and .297 from behind the arc. BYU has a 9.3 rebound advantage.
GAME #8 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (6-1, 0-0 MWC) vs. WEBER STATE (5-3, 0-0 BIG SKY)
SATURDAY, DEC. 20, 2003
MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)
7:07 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (114-79 in seventh year; same overall)
WSU, Joe Cravens (82-44 in fifth year; 137-96 in ninth year overall)
BYU leads, 18-10. Last: Weber State won 75-69 on Jan. 8, 2003 in Ogden, Utah.
KSL-TV, channel 5, in Salt Lake City (SportsWest Productions)
Air Time: 7 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Tom Kirkland
Game Analyst: Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live stats and live audio links available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2003-04 schedule) and audio available via BYU Radio on Dish Network and byuradio.org.
WEBER STATE WILDCATS
Weber State returns five players and three starters from last year's 26-6 NCAA team that won the Big Sky Conference with a perfect 14-0 record. The Wildcats are off to a 5-3 start this year after defeating Portland (45-42) in Ogden Tuesday. In addition to its win over Portland, Weber State has home victories over Albertson College (79-49) and Warner Pacific (79-63). The Wildcats have won twice away from Ogden, earning victories at Southern Utah (82-68) and on a neutral floor against Texas State (74-63). Weber's three losses were to Utah State (66-60) in Ogden and road defeats at Southwest Missouri State (79-74) and at Nevada (74-62). All of the Wildcat losses were close games. In its last defeat at Nevada, Weber State had a 55-54 lead before Nevada went on an 11-0 run to take the momentum to a 12-point victory. Four Weber State players are scoring in double figures, led by Slobodan Ocokoljic at 17.1 ppg. Nic Sparrow adds 12.9 while Lance Allred and John Hamilton each contribute 10.8 ppg. Ocokoljic pulls down a team-best 7.6 rebounds per game. Allred started five games at center before missing two games due to illness. He returned, coming off the bench, in Tuesday's win over Portland. The Wildcats shoot .460 from the floor, including .338 on threes, and .678 from the line. They score 71.0 points while allowing 64.1 and have a 2.9 advantage on the boards. They allow opponents to shoot .449 from the floor and .328 on threes. Weber State head coach Joe Cravens is in his 5th season guiding the Wildcats. Cravens is 82-44 at Weber State, and 41-20 in Big Sky Conference games. In eight years as a head coach, Cravens has a 137-96 record.
SPARROW NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Weber State forward Nic Sparrow (6-4, 210 Sr. / North Ogden, Utah) was named the Big Sky Men's Basketball Player of the Week for games played Dec. 2-6. Sparrow averaged 17.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in leading the Wildcats to two wins last week. Sparrow had a season-high 22 points in Weber State's 82-68 win at Southern Utah. In the game Sparrow hit 5-of-5 three-point attempts and went 5-for-6 from the free throw line. Sparrow had 13 points in WSU's 73-64 win over Texas State and added 18 points and seven rebounds in a 79-74 loss to Southwest MissouriState. In the three games Sparrow was 16-of-25 from the field including 10-of-15 from the three-point line. For the season Sparrow is 6th in the Big Sky averaging 14.2 points agame to go along with 4.5 rebounds per contest.
WEBER STATE'S PROJECTED STARTERS (BASED ON LAST GAME)
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. HOMETOWN PPG RPG
F 2 Nic Sparrow 6-4 210 Sr. North Ogden,Utah 12.9 3.9
F 5 Slobodan Ocokoljic 6-8 235 Sr. Kraljevo, Serbia 17.1 7.6
C 50 Pat Danley 6-8 255 Sr. Gary, Indiana 7.4 4.4
G 55 Ryan Davis 6-1 185 Jr. Berkeley, California 4.4 1.4
G 22 John Hamilton 6-3 190 Sr. Greenfield, Indiana 10.8 3.6
G 4 Jamaal Jenkins 6-3 190 So. Arlington, Texas 3.5 1.2
C 41 Lance Allred 6-10 240 Jr. Salt Lake City, Utah 10.8 5.0
F 11 Troy Goodell 6-6 210 Jr. Layton, Utah 2.6 3.0
The Wildcats won last year's meeting between the two instate schools to end a three-game BYU winning streak in the series. BYU has won six of the last 10 outings and leads overall, 18-10. The Cougars are 14-0 in the Marriott Center against the Wildcats. Steve Cleveland's Cougars are 4-2 against Weber State. Weber State has a 1-3 record against BYU under Joe Cravens. BYU won the last contest in Provo on Dec. 5, 2001 by a final score of 65-47.
LAST YEAR VS. BYU -- BOYETTE SCORES 37 AS WILDCATS DEFEAT COUGARS IN OGDEN
OGDEN -- Dropping back-to-back games for the first time this season, the BYU men's basketball team lost its fourth road game of the year to Weber State, 75-69, Wednesday in Ogden, Utah. Down by as many as 19 points, BYU fought to come within five, but foul trouble and a slow start kept the Cougars from overtaking Weber State. BYU dropped to 10-4 on the season while Weber State improved to 10-5. Typical of their previous road losses, the Cougars struggled in the first half, scoring a season low of 20 points, but picked up the pace in the second half, outscoring Weber State 49-40. Weber State snapped BYU's three-game winning streak in the series between the two schools and improved to 10-4 against BYU in Ogden. The Cougars lead the the overall series 18-10. Showing consistent improvement over the season, junior center Rafael Araujo led BYU with 19 points and nine rebounds. Araujo has led BYU in scoring four of the last five games. Senior guard Travis Hansen added 12 points, but fouled out for the fourth time this season with 10:28 left in the game . Hansen has fouled out in each of BYU's losses. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts, who sat out the first 13 games with a knee injury and planned redshirt season, made his first appearance of the year, scoring six points before fouling out. Weber State senior guard Jermaine Boyette led all scores with 37 points, shooting 11-of-16 from the field and 15-of-17 on free throws. Speaking about Boyette, BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said, "We did a good job defensively on everybody except Jermaine. He did what he had to do, and he had a big night. If he didn't have a big night we would have won." In the second half, BYU went on a 20-8 scoring run, but Weber State managed to fend off the Cougars. Ricky Bower sparked two comebacks by hitting a pair of three pointers, one with 3:23 to go in the game that brought the score to 66-61. "In the second half we were down by 19, but we got more energy and became a better basketball team," Cleveland said. "If this basketball team will play 40 minutes that would make me really happy."
BYU-WEBER ST. SERIES BREAKDOWN
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 18-10
BYU Record in Provo: 14-0
BYU Record in Ogden: 4-10
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 4-2
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 2-2* (0-2 Rd, 2-0 Hm)
*BYU is 0-1 in 2OT games, lost in Ogden in 1983
Last Overtime Game: 1992, lost at Weber St, 77-83
Longest BYU Win Streak: 3, four times (1978-81, 85-
87, 89-91, 99-present)
Longest Weber State Win Streak: 1 (9 times)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 33, 104-71 in 1987
Largest Weber St. Margin of Victory: 21, 96-75 in 1976
Most Points Scored by BYU: 104 in 1987
Most Points Scored by Weber State: 97 in 1996
Date Opponent Score W/L
11-30-73 Weber State 77-76 W
12-6-74 at Weber State 63-76 L
12-20-75 Weber State 89-80 W
11-27-76 at Weber State 75-96 L
1-3-78 Weber State 81-76 W
12-23-80 at Weber State 85-78 W
12-81 Weber State 63-55 W
1-6-83 at Weber State (2OT) 81-84 L
1-7-84 Weber State (OT) 86-81 W
12-8-84 at Weber State 79-87 L
12-28-85 Weber State (OT) 88-86 W
12-18-86 at Weber State 84-69 W
12-11-87 Weber State* 104-71 W
12-1-88 at Weber State 78-80 L
11-28-89 Weber State 81-65 W
11-29-90 at Weber State 69-57 W
12-21-91 Weber State 81-68 W
12-8-92 at Weber St. (OT) 77-83 L
12-21-93 Weber State 92-79 W
12-21-94 at Weber State 74-86 L
12-12-95 Weber State 91-86 W
12-4-96 at Weber State 80-97 L
12-12-97 Weber State* 83-70 W
11-19-98 at Weber State 80-83 L
12-11-99 Weber State* 66-53 W
12-28-00 at Weber State 84-75 W
12-5-01 Weber State 65-47 W
01-08-03 at Weber State 69-75 L
THE OLD OQUIRRH BUCKET
The Old Oquirrh Bucket (named after the Oquirrh Mountains to the west of Salt Lake City) is the symbol of instate basketball supremacy in Utah. Each year the trophy is awarded to the instate college team (Utah, BYU, Southern Utah, Utah State and Weber State) which has the best won-loss record against in-state competition. In 2001, BYU posted a 4-1 record against instate schools and brought home the bucket for the first time since 1994. BYU went 3-2 in 2002 as Utah State took the Bucket, thanks to its OT win over BYU. It was USU's first Bucket since 1985. Utah won the Bucket in 2003. Following are the winners since the trophy was born in the 1974-75 season:
1974-75 Utah State
1975-76 Utah State
1976-77 Weber State
1982-83 Utah State
1983-84 Utah State
1984-85 Utah State
1985-86 Weber State
1992-93 Weber State
1999-00 Weber State
2001-02 Utah State
COUGARS ARE ON A ROLL
BYU has won five straight games to equal the longest victory streak it achieved last season. The Cougars had two five-game streaks last year and have had nine five-game streaks under Steve Cleveland. Only twice have the Cougars achieved their sixth straight win under Cleveland. The first coming in 2000-2001. BYU will go for its sixth straight win Saturday when it hosts instate foe Weber State. The Cougars last won six straight games during the 2001-02 season when they recorded a season-best eight-game victory streak, which included a win over No. 13 Stanford. This year BYU's current streak includes wins over No. 25 Oklahoma State and USC of the Pac-10 Conference.
BYU COMING OFF STRONG PERFORMANCES AT HOME
BYU won both games last week by more than 20 points. The last time BYU achieved back-to-back victories of more than 20 points was in 2001-02 when the Cougars defeated Fort Lewis by 48 points (101-53) followed by Idaho by 22 points (70-48). If the Cougars are able to achieve a third straight win of more than 20 points when it faces Weber State Saturday it would be the first such happening since the 1987-88 Cougars blew out Central Connecticut by 33 (109-76), defeated Hawaii by 31 (97-66) and downed San Diego State by 27 (92-65) during that team's school-record 17-game winning streak and assent to No. 2 in the national polls. Last week BYU shot well, making .536 from the field, including .500 (24-48) on threes. The Cougars held their opponents to .417 field goal and .286 (12-42) three-point shooting. BYU had a victory margin of 30 points in the two wins (88.5-58.5) over Western Oregon and USC. The 36-point win over Western Oregon was BYU's largest margin of victory since its 39-point win over Rice (95-56) on Nov. 30, 2002.
LAST OUTING -- ARAUJO DOMINATES AGAIN AS COUGARS DOWN USC 85-61
PROVO, Utah -- Senior Rafael Araujo led BYU to an 85-61 win over the University of Southern California of the Pac-10 Conference Saturday night at the Marriott Center. "It's tough to play here. We played against a tournament team tonight," USC head coach Henry Bibby said. "We haven't seen a player like Araujo. He draws so much attention and scores in so many ways. He can shoot the three, post up and is a good passer. There is no answer for him. He's an unbelievable player. You can't stop him one-on-one. He's too big, too smart and will take BYU a long way with Bigelow and other good players." Araujo, coming off Sporting News National Player of the Week honors, posted his fifth straight double-double of the season. The big man dominated the game and led BYU with 28 points (10-for-15) and 11 rebounds in 34 minutes of play. The NBA prospect showed his inside-outside abilities by shooting 2-for-5 from the 3-point line. "It was a solid effort and a good win," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "I was pleased with our effort and energy. We really defended them well and had very few breakdowns." After suffering from a shooting slump to begin the season, senior Mark Bigelow has broken out in the last two games. He recorded a season-high 17 points against USC on 6-for-10 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-4 from behind the 3-point arc. In the last two games, Bigelow has combined to shoot 57.8 percent from the field and 55.5 percent from behind the arc. Bigelow's season-high points moves him to No. 11 on BYU's career scoring list (1,399) to surpass current assistant coach Andy Toolson's 1,388 points (from 1985, 88-90). Fellow teammates Kevin Woodberry and Mike Rose added intensity and each contributed 11 points. Woodberry dished out four assists, went 2-of-2 from the free throw line and 3-of-4 from the floor, all from behind the 3-point arc. In nine minutes of play, Rose was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from 3-point land. Senior point guard Luiz Lemes had another strong outing. Called the team's unsung leader by his coach, Lemes grabbed a career-best eight rebounds and continued to find ways to get the ball inside to Araujo, dishing out eight assists on the night. BYU finished with 21 assists against the Trojans. Lemes is averaging just over five assists per game to lead the team. The Cougar defense held the Trojans to 25 percent shooting from the 3-point line and forced 19 turnovers. The BYU defense also held USC's leading scorer Desmon Farmer, who came in averaging 17.4 points per game, to only eight points. Thanks in part to some missed USC free throws, BYU broke the game open with a 19-1 run in the first half, including a 12-0 run that lifted the Cougars from a tie score to a 34-22 advantage with 4:54 to go in the half. Woodberry's third 3-pointer in the final minute before the half brought the 15,688 Cougar fans to their feet, helping BYU maintain a 14-point lead at the break. The Cougars carried on their intensity throughout the second half to get the win over the back-to-back PAC-10 Tournament finalists. BYU's win improves the team to 6-1 on the season and 3-0 at home, while USC drops to 3-3. BYU improves its series record against USC to 3-4.
COUGARS HOSTED CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER TUESDAY EVENING
The men's and women's basketball teams brought a little Christmas cheer this year to 82 families who have children with cancer. The basketball teams worked with the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation, a charitable organization, to host its annual Christmas Party for local families who have children with cancer. At the party, the children with cancer and their siblings were able to play games, have posters autographed by the men's and women's players, enjoy good food, and visit with Cosmo -- BYU's mascot -- and, of course, with Santa Claus. The children all received several gifts and the Pizza Factory provided food for all in attendance. Including volunteers and organizers, more than 500 people participated in this year's party. "This has been a very rewarding experience for me and for the young men on the team," said coach Steve Cleveland, who has been, involved along with the basketball team, the past six years. "This helps give our players some perspective, to see that there is much more than basketball. It is a good opportunity to serve others. The Foundation is working hard to help all the families they can. Seeing these kids smile and enjoy themselves at the party is a nice feeling for everyone involved, especially considering all these families go through on a daily basis."
BYU IN THE POLLS
BYU is listed 33rd in this week's Associated Press Poll, with 15 points among other receiving votes. BYU is listed tied for 35th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll with five points. BYU opponents receiving votes include Oklahoma State (30th coaches, T43 AP), North Carolina State (T35 with BYU in coaches, T36 AP), Boise State (T45 coaches, T47 AP) and Utah (T38 AP) .
COUGARS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
BYU center Rafael Araujo is ranked fourth in the nation in rebounds per game at 11.4 (former Dixie teammate of Kevin Woodberry, Jaime Lloreda of LSU, leads the nation at 12.7). Araujo is 18th nationally in scoring at 21.6 ppg. Freshman Mike Rose rates No. 3 in three-point field goal percentage having made 62.5 percent of his long-range attempts (Ben Reed of Western Michigan leads at 64 percent). Mark Bigelow is 38th in free throw percentage (.889). As a team, BYU is 17th in rebound margin (9.3), 21st in field goal percentage (.493) and 23rd in scoring margin (17.6).
ARAUJO TIES, SETS MWC DOUBLE-DOUBLE MARKS
Araujo has recorded five consecutive double-doubles, tying the Mountain West record held by former Wyoming Cowboy Uche Nsonwu-Amadi. Nsonwu-Amadi recorded five in a row from the last game of the 2001-02 season through his first four appearances in 2002-03. Araujo is the first MWC player to record five consecutive double-doubles in the same season. During his current five-game double-double streak, Araujo is averaging 26 points and 13.6 rebounds.
ARAUJO EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR (DEC. 7-DEC. 13)
BYU senior center Rafael Araujo captured Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week after leading the Cougars to victories over Western Oregon (92-56) and Southern California (85-61). Araujo is the first player since the inception of the MWC in 1999-2000 to earn the award on back-to-back weeks. This is Araujo's third career player of the week honor. In two games last week, Araujo, a Sao Paulo, Brazil (Arizona Western) native, averaged 21.5 points and 12.5 rebounds, while shooting 64 percent from the floor. He scored 15 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked two shots in just 25 minutes of action against Western Oregon. In the 14-point victory over USC, Araujo netted 28 points, 11 boards and two steals. He hit 10-of-15 field goals, including a career-best two three pointers.
ARAUJO EARNED ESPN NATIONAL PLAYER SUPPORTING CAST RECOGNITION (DEC. 7-DEC. 13)
BYU senior center Rafael Araujo was regognized as one of the nation's top performers last week as supporting cast mention to ESPN's weekly national player honor. Araujo was one of seven players singled out by ESPN for outstanding play. ESPN also acknowledged it was the second consecutive week Araujo deserved the honor, stating, "OK, we admit we messed up by not including Araujo last week in the supporting cast." Araujo was named national player of the week that week by both the Sporting News and Collegeinsider.com.
ARAUJO EARNED NATIONAL, CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS (NOV. 30-DEC. 6)
BYU senior center Rafael Araujo was named the National Player of the Week by The Sporting News and by Collegeinsider.com for the week of Nov. 30-Dec. 6 after recording two double-doubles in victories at Boise State (75-69) and against 25th-ranked Oklahoma State (76-71). He was also named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week. He averaged 31.5 points and 15.5 rebounds, while shooting 71.4 percent from the floor and 76.7 percent from the free throw line. In the win at Boise State, Araujo scored 31 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. He made 10-of-13 attempts from the field and earned 14 trips to the free throw line, knocking down 11. In the victory over Oklahoma State at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Araujo scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. He made 10-of-15 field goals and 12-of-16 free throws on the day and scored 26 of the Cougars' 40 second half points. His 17 rebounds, one shy of the entire OSU team, led the way for BYU as it dominated the boards against the Cowboys, 44-18.
ARAUJO IN 30-30 CLUB
Rafael Araujo scored back-to-back, 30 points games with his 31 points at Boise State and career-best 32 points against No. 25 Oklahoma State at the Delta Center. Araujo became the first Cougar to accomplish the feat since Terrell Lyday scored 35 points in a win at Utah State and followed that with a 30-point effort in a win at UNLV in January 2000.
BIGELOW POISED TO ENTER TOP 10 ON BYU SCORING LIST
Senior Mark Bigelow needs 10 points to pass Jay Cheesman (1,408 points from 1974-77) and move into the top 10 on BYU's all-time scoring list.He surpassed current BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson (1,388 points from 1985, 88-90) against USC after overtaking Roland Minson (1,375 from 1949-51) against Western Oregon. Bigelow has the chance to finish his career among the top four scorers in Cougar hoops history.
CLEVELAND APPROACHES MILESTONES
With BYU's six wins this season, Cougar head coach Steve Cleveland has moved into a tie with Ladell Andersen (114-71 record from 1983-89) on BYU's career coaching victories list. Cleveland has a 114-79 record in his seventh season and will move into fifth place by himself with BYU's next victory. Legendary Cougar coach Stan Watts has the most wins in school history with 372 triumphs from 1949-72. Ott Romney (1927-35) and Roger Reid (1989-96) both achieved 152 victories and Frank Arnold (1975-83) is fourth with 137 wins. Cleveland currently has the third-most wins in the Marriott Center with a 75-18 record in the Cougars' home arena. Reid has the most Marriott Center wins with 92, followed by Arnold with 81. Andersen is fourth with 71.
CLEVELAND GETTING IT DONE (2003 MWC COACH OF THE YEAR)
BYU coach Steve Cleveland was named MWC Coach of the Year in 2003. At 23-9 last year, BYU achieved its fourth straight postseason tournament invitation and third 20-win season in the last four years. Only eight BYU teams have ever achieved more victories in a season than last year's team. The BYU record for wins is 28 (9 losses) in 1951 when the Cougars won the national title as NIT champs. The 2002-03 season was Cleveland's third 20-win season in the last four years, including a 24-9 record in 2001. The only BYU coaches to have more 20-win seasons are Stan Watts (7) and Roger Reid (6). Cleveland joins Frank Arnold and Ladell Andersen with three 20-win seasons.
ROBERTS DISCONTINUES PLAYING, DRESSER ADDED TO ROSTER
Junior Marc Roberts decided to discontinue playing basketball due to continued struggles with tendonitis in his knees. He made the decision prior to the USC game. The walk-on guard appeared in 37 games with one start over his two-plus years with BYU, averaging 1.5 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.3 minutes per game. This year Roberts was averaging 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 8.6 minutes while playing in five of six games. With Ricky Bower and Austin Ainge still unable to play due to injuries, the Cougars have added another walk-on player, Mike Dresser, to the roster. Dresser is a 6-5, 195-pound freshman guard/forward from Sacramento, Caliif., who has been practicing with the team. He will wear jersey No. 15.
BIGELOW CONTRIBUTES WHILE FIGHTING THROUGH SHOOTING SLUMP
Preseason All-MWC selection Mark Bigelow got off to an uncharacteristly poor shooting start in BYU's first five games. He came into the year with career shooting percentages of 43 percent from the floor and 41 percent on threes but entering last week he had not made 40 percent of his attempts from the floor in any of BYU's first five games, shooting only 32 percent from the floor and 17 percent from three-point range overall. He broke out of his slump in BYU's victories over Western Oregon and USC. The four-year starter shot a combined 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from the floor and 55.6 percent (5-of-9) on threes, topping 50 percent shooting in both games. He shared team-high scoring honors with Rafael Araujo with 15 points vs. WOU (5-of-9 shooting) and totaled a season-high 17 points (6-of-10 shooting) in the victory over USC. He upped his percentages on the year to .391 and .281, respectively. Showing his leadership and determination, the team captain found a way to make big plays and help BYU win even during his shooting woes. In BYU's win over No. 25 Oklahoma State, Bigelow was just 4-for-12 from the floor, including 0-for-5 on threes, but he scored a 16 points and hit several key shots for the Cougars. He was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line, including four successful shots in the final moments to secure the win. Although he shot only 4-for-11 at Boise State, he scored 10 of his 15 points in the final seven minutes to secure BYU's road victory. Bigelow is BYU's all-time three-point leader and the team's top returning scorer from a year ago (13.9) with a career scoring average over 14 points per game.
ROSE PROVIDES LONG-RANGE THREAT
It didn't take long for freshman Mike Rose to put his name in the BYU record book. In his college debut, the true freshman guard out of Houston set a new BYU single-game record with eight 3-pointers while scoring a game-high 26 points to lead the Cougars to an 88-54 win over Southern Utah University. His 26 points is the most scored by a BYU freshman since Mark Bigelow totaled 33 points at Washington State in 1998. Rose's eight 3-pointers broke the BYU record of seven threes in a game, previously set by Nick Sanderson (1992) and Danny Bower (1998). Rose's performance behind the arc was just shy of tying the Marriott Center's record of nine 3-pointers in a game held by Utah State's Jay Goodman (1990). Rose also dished out six assists with only one turnover and added two rebounds and one steal in his 22 minutes off the bench. He made 61.5 percent of his 3-point attempts, going 8-of-13 from behind the arc, and finished 9-for-16 (.563) overall from the floor against Southern Utah's match-up zone. He scored 17 points in 11 first-half minutes on 6-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-7 on threes. He broke the school record with 7:01 left in the second half on a three taken several feet behind the arc. Rose played four minutes without taking a shot at Cal and went 1-for-2, missing his only three, in 13 minutes against UVSC. He was 0-for-4, taking two threes, at Boise State in 10 minutes. He did not play vs. Oklahoma State. He made 5-of-10 threes and scored 14 points in 18 minutes against Western Oregon and went 4-for-4, including 3-of-3 on threes, for 11 points in nine minutes vs. USC. Rose ranks third nationally in three-point field goal percentage (.625).
POST SCORING EQUALS WINS
When Rafael Araujo and Jared Jensen make major contributions BYU usually achieves victory. BYU is 4-0, all last season, when Araujo and Jensen both contribute 10 or more points in a game. The Cougars are 11-3, 5-0 this year, when Araujo leads the team in scoring and 10-3, 5-0 this season, when Araujo posts a double-double. BYU was 10-1 last year, 0-0 this season, when Jared Jensen scores double-digit points from his forward slot.
Facing No. 25 Oklahoma State, BYU played its first top-25 ranked team this season. The victory was BYU's first over a top-25 team since an 81-76 victory over No. 13 Stanford on Dec. 22, 2001 at the Las Vegas Showdown.
RECORD AGAINST TOP TEAMS
BYU is 1-1 this year against teams that qualified for postseason last year with its five-point win over Oklahoma State on a neutral floor and its one-point loss at Cal. BYU finished last season with a 7-2 record against teams that were conference champions the prior season. BYU went 12-6 last year against teams that qualified for postseason play in 2002. BYU played 12 games last year against eight teams that earned an invitation to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. BYU had a 5-7 record in those games (UConn 0-1, Arizona State 1-0, San Diego 1-0, Utah State 1-0, Colorado State 2-1, Weber State 0-1, Creighton 0-1, Oklahoma State 0-1, Utah 0-2). Seven of BYU's nine losses in 2002-03 came against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. UNLV and San Francisco were the two teams to beat BYU that didn't advance to the NCAA tournament.
IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
BYU is 4-0 at home this year and has won nine straight overall in the Marriott Center. BYU has won 53 of its last 54 games at home and is 48-1 over in the past four seasons. BYU finished last season 13-1 at home in 2002-03. Lone senior Travis Hansen concluded his three seasons as a Cougar having lost only once at home. BYU earned a 44-1 record in Hansen's three years at BYU -- the best three-year home record in school history. The second-best home record over three years was a 39-2 mark from 1979-81 in Danny Ainge's final three seasons. The 44-1 record over the prior three seasons is the school's best-ever three-year home record. BYU won a school-record 44 straight home games in the Marriott Center before losing to Utah, 79-75, on Jan. 25. The streak was the longest active streak in the country over part of last season and this season. BYU continues its string of nonconference home wins.
NONCONFERENCE VICTORY STREAK IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
The Cougars have defeated 38 straight non-conference opponents in the Marriott Center since starting the streak with a 61-59 win over Utah State on Jan. 2, 1999. The last non-league foe to win in Provo was the California Bears, who edged BYU 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998.
WINNING BASKETBALL TRADITION
With its all-time record of 1456-932 (.610), BYU is the ranked 40th all-time in winning percentage among all Division I basketball programs. In terms of total wins, BYU is in the top 25. The Cougars have had 81 winning seasons in their 101 years of basketball and have made 29 postseason appearances, including 20 NCAA bids, and won 26 conference championships.
CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...
At home 9-0
On the road 1-0
On a neutral floor 1-0
At home vs. Nonconference 38-0
At home vs. MWC 5-0
On the road vs. Nonconference 1-0
On the road vs. MWC 2-0
On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 1-0
On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1
BYU BASKETBALL ON KSL
The "Voice of the Cougars" is KSL Newsradio 1160's Greg Wrubell. He is in his eighth 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, or Brian Santiago, who was the WAC assist and three-point percentage leader at Fresno State. Durrant has been part of the KSL broadcast team for seven years while Santiago is in his third year providing analysis for select games. KSL Newsradio 1160 AM in Salt Lake City is the flagship of the Cougar Sports Network. Listen online to KSL at KSL.com.
CLEVELAND ON KSL ...
Coaches Corner -- Mondays at 8:40 a.m.
Steve Cleveland Show -- Wednesdays 7-8 p.m.
BYU STARTING LINEUPS RECORD
Lemes, Woodberry, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 1-1
Lemes, Woodberry, Hall, Bigelow, Araujo 2-0
Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Meads, Araujo 2-0
Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 1-0
BYU PICKED AS FAVORITE TO CLAIM 2004 MWC CROWN
Bigelow, Araujo selected to preseason All-MWC team
The Mountain West Conference released its men's basketball preseason media poll and all-conference team at the league's media day being held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. The league media selected BYU to claim the Mountain West Conference men's basketball title with 144 total points and 13 of the possible 19 first-place votes. Utah was picked second with 138 points and was the only other team to garner first place votes with six. Defending MWC Tournament Champion Colorado State came in third with 107 points, followed by UNLV fourth with 97. Wyoming placed fifth with 73 points, followed by San Diego State (55), New Mexico (36), and Air Force (35). BYU has earned a share of the conference titles in 2001 and 2003, but this is the first time in more than 10 years the Cougars have been the preseason MWC favorites. The Cougars and Utes shared the conference's regular season crown last season with 11-3 records. BYU went 23-9 overall and fell to Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Utah finished the 2002-03 season 25-8, defeating Oregon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Kentucky in the second round. The Mountain West Conference has sent six of its eight teams to the postseason each of the past two seasons and is the only league in the country to have sent 75 percent of its members to the postseason two straight years. BYU seniors Mark Bigelow and Rafael Araujo were selected to the preseason first-team All-MWC team. Other athletes picked were Utahs Tim Frost and Nick Jacobson, Air Force's Tim Keller and the top MWC returnee Matt Nelson from CSU.
COUGARS COMING OFF SUCCESSFUL SUMMER TOUR TO AUSTRALIA
Getting an early jump on the upcoming season, BYU participated in a six-game tour of Australia against professional teams in Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. "Four years ago when we went to Europe it helped us get a head start on the season," BYU Coach Steve Cleveland said. "This was a nice opportunity to implement our system and give the players some good experience. Everyone got a chance to play significant minutes." BYU earned the first of four consecutive postseason tournament berths under Cleveland in 2000 after its summer 1999 trip to England, Croatia and Italy. The NCAA allows a foreign tour once every four years. The team was also allowed 10 additional practice days to prepare for the trip. All of last year's returning players were allowed to make the trip, including redshirt freshmen Austin Ainge and Garner Meads. Newcomers Mike Hall and Michael Rose, along with returning missionary Derek Dawes, were not eligible for the trip. The Cougars played six games in seven nights, posting a 4-2 record. Senior Mark Bigelow led the team, scoring 21.6 points in 27 minutes per game. Senior center Rafael Araujo added 14.0 ppg and a team-high 7.7 rpg in 20 minutes of action. Redshirt freshman Garner Meads scored 9.3 ppg and pulled down 6.0 rpg. The tour also includes visits to the Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Manly Beach and the Great Barrier Reef.
BYU SCHEDULE INCLUDES ACC, BIG XII AND PAC-10 OPPONENTS
Potential matchups with six nonconference opponents that made the 2003 NCAA Tournament, including teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big XII Conference and Pac-10 Conference, and 15 overall contests against teams that qualified for postseason play last year highlight the 2003-04 BYU men's basketball schedule. "We look forward to what should be a very challenging schedule with more than half our games being against teams that qualified for postseason last year," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "We face some very talented teams during nonconference and every game is a battle during the Mountain West season."
COUGAR FANS SHOWING SUPPORT
After four games this year, BYU is ahead of last year's attendance pace with an average crowd of 13,358 compared to last year's 12,981 average after four games. Last year BYU averaged the 17th largest crowd in the nation at 14,468. The NCAA announced that BYU achieved the nation's largest average increase over the prior season in 2001-2002 (during the middle of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City). BYU's 22,702 attendance vs. CSU in its last home game last year was the largest crowd since 1992 and the 21st largest crowd in school history.
BYU LANDS TOP-20 RECRUITING CLASS
Four highly regarded high school recruits signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball at BYU during the November signing period. Rated one of the top-20 recruiting classes nationally and the third-best class in the West, BYU received official commitments from top prospects David Burgess (Irvine, Calif.), Lee Cummard (Mesa, Ariz.), Chris Miles (Provo, Utah) and Trent Plaisted (San Antonio, Texas).
BYU's lone departing senior in 2003, guard Travis Hansen, was selected 37th overall in 2003 NBA Draft and has signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks. BYU rates second among Mountain West Conference teams with 42 NBA Draft selections after UNLV's 49.
NCAA TOURNAMENT TRADITION
BYU appeared in its 20th NCAA Tournament with its at-large invite in 2003. BYU coach Steve Cleveland has guided the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament twice (in the last three years) in his six years at the helm since taking over a program that was 1-25 the season before his arrival. He has led BYU to postseason play in each of the last four years.
In 2002-03, BYU earned its fourth straight postseason berth and second NCAA bid in the last three years while claiming a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title for the second time in the last three years. Playing among the nation's toughest schedules, including 11 different conferences on its non-league slate, the Cougars finished the year with a 23-9 overall record, going 11-4 through the pre-conference schedule before earning a share of the MWC regular season title with Utah at 11-3. The Cougars went 1-1 at the MWC Tournament before losing to No. 5-seed Connecticut at the NCAA Tournament in Spokane, Wash. BYU went 13-1 at home and 10-8 away, including a 4-3 neutral record and 6-5 road mark. The Cougars had the MWC's top defense and also won the preseason Paradise Jam title in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. BYU was led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo. Hansen, one of two first-team All-MWC consensus players, led the team in scoring (16.8) and blocks (20) and was second in assists (2.4) and rebounds (4.8). Bigelow, a third-team All-MWC selection, was second in scoring (13.9), third in rebounding (3.7) and the team's top three-point shooter (63). Araujo, a third-team All-MWC pick, was the third-leading scorer (12.0) and top rebounder (8.9). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen, who received All-MWC honorable mention, added 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while JC transfer Kevin Woodberry averaged 6.3 points and 2.5 assists at the point.