BYU (5-2) hosts the University of Idaho (2-6) Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast taped-delay on KBYU-TV, channel 11, at 11 p.m. KSL Newsradio 1160 provides the live radio broadcast on the Cougar Sports Network. Greg Wrubell will provide the play-by-play call with Mark Durrant adding commentary. The Cougars are 4-0 at home this year and have a 24-game home winning streak in the Marriott Center. Idaho defeated Montana Saturday to earn its second win of the year before dropping its sixth game of the year in a four-point loss to Pacific (6-2) on Wednesday. A Marriott Center Birthday Party takes place Saturday, with concession deals and giveaways. The 1971-72 team returns and will be honored.
GAME FACTS (game 8)
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2001
BYU (5-2) vs. Idaho (2-6)
Marriott Center (22,700)
4:06 p.m. MT
BYU, Steve Cleveland (72-59 in fifth year; same overall)
Idaho, Leonard Perry (2-6 in first year; same overall)
Series: Series tied, 2-2
KBYU-TV, channel 11
Air Time: 11 p.m. MT (taped-delay)
Play-by-Play: Brett Richins
Game Analyst: Chris Twitty
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time - 3 p.m. MT
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Web: Audio available at www.KSL.com
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 190 So. 17.3 2.9
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Sr. 10.1 5.4
C 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 245 Fr. 7.3 2.9
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Jr. 17.0 8.0
G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Sr. 6.0 6.6 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 20 Daniel Bobik 6-6 205 So. 8.4 3.7
G 22 Jimmy Balderson 6-6 200 Fr. 5.8 2.8
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 So. 1.1 3.0
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 So. 0.8 1.4
G 12 Shawn Opunui 5-11 175 Fr. 2.0 3.7 apg
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 0.7 1.0 apg
C 42 Jon Carlisle 6-10 260 So. 3.0 2.5
F 4 Jesse Pinegar 6-9 225 Fr. 0.0 1.0
The Vandals are in their first season under head coach Leonard Perry. Three starters and seven lettermen return from last year's 6-21 team. Idaho is 2-6 this year after suffering a four-point defeat to Pacific, 52-48, Wednesday in Moscow. The Vandals are 2-4 at home this year and 0-2 on the road. Two of the Vandals' losses have come against Boise State, who defeated the MWC's Wyoming (77-74) Wednesday. Idaho's road losses have been at Boise State (68-59) and Washington State (81-55). The other Idaho losses have come against Portland (71-66), Boise State (70-44) and Eastern Washington University (59-48). Idaho's two wins are over Montana-Western (86-72), who they defeated in the season opener, and Montana (48-47), who the Vandals defeated Saturday at home. The Vandals have a lot of players who get playing time, with 10 players averaging double-digit minutes. They are led by senior Rodney Hilaire (6-6, F), who scores 11.9 points and pulls down 6.1 rebounds per game.
The series with the Vandals is tied, 2-2, but the Cougars have won the only modern-day meeting last year in the Marriott Center, 75-47. The three other games were played in the 1937 and 1947 seasons. BYU is 2-1 in Provo in the series.
Overall Series Record: Tied 2-2
BYU Record in Provo: 2-1
BYU Record in Moscow: 0-0
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-1
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 1-0
Longest BYU Win Streak: 1
Longest Idaho Win Streak: 1
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 28, 75-47 in 2001
Largest Idaho Margin of Victory: 5, 40-45 in 1937
Most Points Scored by BYU: 75 in 2001
Most Points Scored by Idaho: 47 in 2001
12-20-37 Idaho 40-45 L
12-21-37 Idaho 47-40 W
12-30-47 vs. Idaho + 41-42 L + Los Angeles Invitational Tournament
1-2-01 Idaho 75-47 W
Idaho Quick Facts:
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Colors: Silver and Vandal Gold
Home Arena: Cowan Spectrum (7,000)
Conference: Big West
Athletic Director: Mike Bohn
Head Coach: Leonard Perry
Alma Mater: Idaho (1995)
Overall Record (Years): 2-6, First year
Record at School (Years): 2-6, First year
Assistant Coaches: Donnie Tyndall, Mark Leslie
Overall Record: 6-21
Conf. Record/Finish: 3-13/T7th
Letterman Returning/Lost: 7/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2
Key Returning Starters (last year's stats)
Matt Gershefske, 6-6, 205, Sr., F (11.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
Rodney Hilaire, 6-6, 200, Sr., F (10.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
Media Relations Contact: Becky Paull
Office: (208) 885-0245
Home: (208) 883-0850
Fax: (208) 885-0255
Athletics Web Site
Marriott Center Birthday Party Saturday
Billed as a night to remember, a two-night extravaganza opened the Marriott Center on Dec. 3-4, 1971. Saturday, BYU celebrates the Marriott Center's birthday by rolling back the prices on concessions at the game vs. Idaho. Fans can "buy one, get one free" on hot dogs and drinks and there will be a huge birthday cake as part of the halftime celebration. Footage will be shown of the 1971-72 BYU team. Fans who wear blue have a chance to get Hostess Cupcakes. Nearly every member of the 1971-72 team will be back in the Marriott Center Saturday afternoon for the celebration. The team included the late Kresimir Cosic (1948-1955) and Coach Stan Watts (1911-2000), both National Basketball Hall of Fame inductees. Cosic was inducted in 1996 and Watts in 1986. The 1971-72 Cougar team won the Western Athletic Conference with a 21-5 record and went 12-0 at the Marriott Center. Among those expected to return Saturday are the following:
Pete Witbeck (Provo, Utah)
Glenn Potter (Boise, Idaho)
Brian Ambrozich (Southern California)
Belmont Anderson (Las Vegas)
Dave Bailey (Moroni, Utah)
Jay Bunker (Beaver, Utah)
Grig Clawson (Orem, Utah)
Bernie Fryer (Washington)
Craig Jorgensen (Pocatello, Idaho)
Steve Lackey (Centerville, Utah)
Fred Petty (Draper, Utah)
Doug Richards (Sandy, Utah)
Moni Sarkalahti (Helsinki, Finland)
Greg Snow (Salt Lake City)
Phil Tollestrup (Magrath, Alberta, Canada)
Marv Roberson (Provo, Utah)
Rod Kimball (Springville, Utah)
Floyd Johnson (Orem)
More on 1971-72 Team
Pete Witbeck recently retired as BYU's senior associate athletic director. Belmont Anderson is a doctor in Las Vegas. Jay Bunker's son Scott was a member of BYU's NCAA Championship men's volleyball team. Bernie Fryer is an NBA official. Doug Richards in an attorney. Phil Tollestrup coached current BYU freshman Jimmy Balderson last year at Magrath High School. Floyd Johnson continues to serve as the BYU basketball equipment manager. When the Marriott Center opened on Dec. 3 (Friday), St. Joseph's defeated Pacific, 64-58, in the first game and BYU topped Kansas State, 78-72, in the nightcap in front of 22,652 Cougar fans. BYU's Kresimir Cosic had 30 points and 18 rebounds against Kansas State. The next night, BYU defeated St. Joe's in a stunning Cougar Classic game, 73-72, with Cosic scoring 31 points and grabbing 10 boards while Mike Bantom scored 32 points in a losing cause. Cosic was the Cougar Classic MVP, averaging 30.5 points and 14 rebounds in the two games. Brian Ambrozich had 18 rebounds for BYU against St. Joseph's. Kansas State beat Pacific, 80-75, in the consolation game.
Cougars Bench Plays Well in Blowout Victory over Fort Lewis
PROVO -- In a game where every Cougar played and almost every Cougar scored, BYU overpowered Fort Lewis en route to an easy 101-53 victory at the Marriott Center. The Cougars have now won 24 straight home contests. With the game well in hand, Cougar head coach Steve Cleveland emptied his bench and the reserves took home the win for BYU. Freshman Jimmy Balderson led the Cougars with a career-high 19 points. Backup point guard Shawn Opunui played his best game as a Cougar, finishing the night with 10 assists and six points, both career highs. "It's nice to see players that practice hard every day get a chance to play in front of the fans," Cleveland said. Balderson and Opunui weren't the only BYU players to have big nights. Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow provided their usual one-two punch, scoring 15 and 14 points respectively. Cleveland took the starters out of the game early in the second half. BYU broke the 100-point barrier for the first time since last season's game against Elon College. In that game, the Cougars beat Elon 100-63. The 48-point margin of victory the largest for BYU since Steve Cleveland took over the program. The Cougars took a few minutes to find their rhythm, but once they did, they left Fort Lewis behind. Fort Lewis scored the first four points of the game, but then BYU answered with a 13-0 run. BYU continued to pour it on and by halftime had extended the lead to 29 points. In the first half, BYU shot a blistering 62.1 percent from the floor. But the Cougars shot even better in the second half, 77.8 percent, to finish the game shooting 69.6 percent from the field. BYU's defense shut down a normally hot-shooting Fort Lewis team. For the game, the Skyhawks shot only 33.3 percent and couldn't get anything going on the offensive end. The Cougars have held their past three opponents to a combined 34.4 percent from the field. "The good thing about playing a game like this is that BYU always plays tough, no matter what the circumstances are," Fort Lewis head coach Bob Hofman said. Talented freshman Jesse Pinegar saw his first action as a Cougar, playing the final seven minutes of the game. Pinegar is coming off of shoulder surgery and is still feeling some pain, but finished the game with one rebound and one assist. "Pinegar is just getting to the point where he can practice regularly, so he is not in game shape yet," Cleveland said.
BYU in MWC Statistics (top 5)
Â• BYU leads all MWC teams so far this year in scoring defense (62.7), scoring margin, (+11.3), free throw shooting (.792) and three-point percentage defense (.273.
Â• The Cougars rate second in field goal percentage defense (.392), rebounding margin (+7.6), defensive rebounds (27.14), and three-point percentage (.392). The Cougars are third in field goal percentage (.489), and rebouding defense (29.3).
Â• Matt Montague leads all MWC players in assists (6.6), is second in assist/turnover ratio with 46 assists and 20 turnovers (2.30), and is tied for fifth in free throw percentage (.850).
Â• Mark Bigelow is second in free throw percentage (.914), third in scoring (17.3) and fourth in three-point field goals made per game (2.43).
Â• Travis Hansen ranks second in defensive rebounds average (6.0), third in total rebounds average (8.0) and fourth in scoring (17.0).
Matt Montague (starting point guard)
Senior point guard Matt Montague averages 6.6 assists, 6.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg in 36.6 minutes. He played a season-low 19 minutes Wednesday vs. Fort Lewis. He has 46 assists and only 20 turnovers. He had a season-high 10 assists at Utah State, the most assists he has recorded since dishing out 10 assists as a sophomore vs. Southern Illinois on March 20, 2000 in BYU's second round NIT victory. Montague's career high is 11. Montague has led BYU in assists in each of his three previous seasons. He scored 11 points and had a game-high eight assists at USD in the season-opener. Montague reached double-digit points only once last year in 33 games, scoring 12 points at the University of San Francisco.
Travis Hansen (starting shooting guard)
Shooting guard Travis Hansen leads BYU in rebounding (8.0 rpg) and is second in scoring (17.0 ppg). He had 15 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes Wednesday vs. Fort Lewis. He had a team-high 18 points on 5-7 shooting along with five boards in BYU's win over Crieghton . Hansen scored a career-high 26 points against Utah State in BYU's overtime loss earlier this season. He went 10-15 from the floor, including a 3-5 from three-point range, and was 3-4 from the line. He added a team-high five rebounds and one assist in 38 minutes. His 10 field goals, three treys and 38 minutes were all career highs. Hansen extended a string of 13 straight made free throws dating back to the season-opener in San Diego before missing one of his four attempts at Utah State. Hansen had his second straight double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds at UC Santa Barbara after 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead BYU to a win over Arizona State in BYU's home opener. The two double-doubles are the first of his career. Hansen's 15 rebounds vs. ASU is the most ever by a BYU guard and the most by a Cougar since Justin Widauer, a center, grabbed 15 boards for BYU at Texas Christian in the 1996-97 season. Hansen has scored 20-plus points twice in BYU's six games and has a team-leading two double-doubles.
Mark Bigelow (starting small forward)
Sophomore forward Mark Bigelow averages a team-leading 17.3 points per game and adds 2.9 rebounds per game. He had 14 points in 19 minutes vs. Fort Lewis. He had 17 points and equaled his career-best 3 blocks and had 2 steals vs. Creighton. Last week he led BYU to two home wins, averaging 15.5 ppg. He had 14 points and 7 boards against Weber State. He has made a three in all seven games this year and has reached double-digit points in the last six straight games. He scored a team-high 15 at UC Santa Barbara, including 4-6 on threes, and had 21 points at Utah State, with three treys. He is shooting 47.2 percent on threes with a team high 17 treys made. He leads the team at the line, making 91.4 percent. Bigelow scored a season-high 31 points in BYU's win over Arizona State in the home opener. It was the second time Bigelow has totaled more than 30 points in his career. His scoring high is 33 points at Washington State as a freshman during the 1998-99 season. Against ASU in the last game in Provo, Bigelow made shots from long-range, mid-range and inside, shooting 52.9 percent from the floor, going 9-17, including 4-of-8 three-point attempts. He missed only one free throw in 10 attempts to shoot 90 perent from the charity stripe. Bigelow contributed all over the court with four assists (second to point guard Matt Montague's six) and three rebounds to go along with his sharp shooting.
Eric Nielsen (starting power forward)
Senior forward Eric Nielsen will play a larger offensive role for BYU this year as BYU's lone returning starter. He is third on the team in scoring (10.1 ppg) and is second in rebounds (5.4 rpg). He had 4 points and 4 rebounds in 19 minutes vs. Fort Lewis. He had 9 points, 5 boards and 2 assists vs. Creighton Saturday and 14 points, 8 boards and 2 assists vs. Weber State. He averaged 11.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg in the two wins last week. He had 14 at Utah State and had a career-high 19 points vs. ASU in BYU's home opener (his previous best was 17 against Utah in the 2000 MWC tournament in Las Vegas). Against ASU, he went 8-11 from the floor. His eight field goals made was a new personal best. Last year the most shots he took in a game was eight, when he averaged 3.8 shot attempts per game. He ranks third all-time at BYU in career field goal percentage and is making 56.3 percent of his shots so far this year.
Jared Jensen (starting center)
Freshman center Jared Jensen is averaging 7.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. He scored 12 points in 16 minutes vs. Fort Lewis and had a career-best 10 boards last Saturday vs. Creighton, along with 4 points and 2 assists. He had 7 points vs. Weber State. He had a career-high 14 points on 4-5 shooting and 6-8 from the line at UCSB, but did not have a rebound. In his first career start vs. Arizona State, he played 15 minutes and had 4 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist. Jensen has made 15-23 shots for a team-best 65.2 field goal percentage. He is 11-14 (.786) from the line.
Off the Bench on the Perimeter
After averaging 10 minutes off the bench last year while playing in 28 of 33 games, sophomore Daniel Bobik is playing a much larger role this year as BYU's sixth-man. He is averaging 23.3 minutes, 8.4 points and 3.7 rebounds. He is fourth on the team in scoring. He had 7 points in 18 minutes vs. Fort Lewis and had 7 points and a career-best 8 rebounds vs. Creighton. He had a season-high 13 points at Utah State. He played a career-high 33 minutes with 12 points and four rebounds in the season-opener at USD. Other players off the bench on the perimeter include freshmen Jimmy Balderson (5 games, 11.0 minutes, 5.8 points), Shawn Opunui (3 games, 8.0 minutes) and Terry Nashif (3 games, 4.0 minutes). Balderson had a career-best and team-leading 19 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes vs. Fort Lewis while Opunui had a career-best 10 assists in 20 minutes with 6 points.
Off the Bench in the Post
Sopohomore Bart Jepsen has appeared in all seven games off the bench, averaging 3.0 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game. A solid rebounder and defender, Jepsen has 7 offensive boards and 14 defensive rebounds. Sophomore center Dan Howard started the season-opener at USD, the first start of his career. He played seven minutes, with one rebound. He has appeared in five games overall, playing 5.4 minutes per game. He had 4 points and 5 boards vs. Fort Lewis. Other post players coming off the bench include sophomore Jon Carlisle, who has played in two games and had 6 points in 7 minutes. Freshman forward Jesse Penigar was cleared by doctors and played seven minutes with 1 rebound and 1 assist vs. Fort Lewis in his first career appearance. He had not been able to practice since June while recovering from surgery on his left shoulder.
Home Winning Streak
BYU extended its home court winning streak to 24 games with its win over Creighton Saturday. BYU owns the fourth longest home-court streak in the nation. BYU went a perfect 15-0 in the Marriott Center last season. BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center was on Feb. 17, 2000 when New Mexico edged the Cougars 78-74.
Home Winning Streak 2
BYU has defeated 20 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. BYU has a 26-6 home record against nonconference teams under Steve Cleveland.
After making nearly 70 percent of his shots vs. Fort Lewis, BYU is now shooting 48.9 percent from the floor and 39.2 percent on threes. BYU shoots 79.2 percent (No. 1 among MWC teams) from the line. Last week, BYU shot 46.4 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent on threes in two wins while making 82.4 percent from the line. Last week BYU held its opponents to 35 percent shooting, including 20.7 percent on threes. BYU held normally hot-shooting Fort Lewis to 33 percent FG and 29 percent three-point shooting. Overall, BYU is first among MWC teams in three-point field goal percentage defense, allowing only a 27.3 success rate from long range. BYU's opponents shoot .391 percent from the floor overall and 70.6 percent from the free throw line.
From Three-Point Range
Seven Cougars have made a three-point shot this season. Mark Bigelow has made a team-high 17 threes (17-36, .472). He has made a trey in all seven games. Travis Hansen is 9-20 (.450) and Daniel Bobik is 8-21 (.381).
More Free Throw Numbers
Four Cougars are shooting 79.2 percent or better from the free throw line and six are making 70 percent or better. Mark Bigelow makes a team-leading 91.4 percent (No. 2 among MWC players), followed by Daniel Bobik (.867), Matt Montague (.850), Jared Jensen (.786), Travis Hansen (.762) and Eric Nielsen (.706).
On the Boards
BYU averages 36.9 rebounds while its opponents grab on average 29.3. BYU has out boarded its opponents in five games an is 5-0 in those games. The Coguars have only been out boarded once, 35-24 in its overtime loss to Utah State. The Cougars and UCSB each had 35 rebounds. BYU out boarded Fort Lewis, 47-17. BYU's 42-26 rebounding advantage over ASU was the third worst margin suffered by ASU coach Rob Evan's in his coaching career and his worst at ASU.
ers under Steve Cleveland.
2001-02 Schedule Notes
Up Next -- Las Vegas Showdown vs. Stanford
The Cougars will face Stanford, who advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last year with a 31-3 record, on ESPN in game two of the annual Las Vegas Showdown at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Dec. 22. Host UNLV will play Texas in the first game on ESPN2.
BYU Record - Comparing Recent Starts
BYU started the year 2-0 for the third straight season and has had a winning record after seven games for three straight years (5-2 this year, 5-2 last year, 6-1 in 1999-2000). The Cougars were 2-5 in 1998-99 and 1-6 in Cleveland's first year in 1997-98. In Cleveland's four years he has started with the following records after eight games: 2-6, 3-5, 7-1, 6-2.
BYU Opponents Off to Good Start
The seven teams BYU has played so far have combined for a 32-16 record and .667 winning percentage. Several opponents have already recorded some big wins. Pepperdine, a 22-9 team last year that finished second to Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference, knocked off No. 11 UCLA at Pauley Pavillion and Creighton, the champion of the Missouri Valley Conference that BYU just defeated Saturday, upset No. 17 Western Kentucky. BYU also defeated Weber State, who won the Big Island Invitational with wins over Louisiana State, Wisconsin and Colorado State and just defeated Utah State.
Seven Conference Champions
Seven conference champions, including Pac-10 champion Stanford, and 12 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year highlight BYU's 2001-02 men's basketball schedule. Other conference champions include Creighton of the Missouri Valley Conference, Utah State of the Big West, Cal State Northridge of the Big Sky (playing in Big West this year), Southern Utah of the Mid-Continent Conference and fellow co-champions Utah and Wyoming of the Mountain West Conference. Pepperdine and New Mexico also advanced to post-season play in the NIT tournament. Pepperdine placed second in the WCC behind NCAA qualifier Gonzaga and earned a 22-9 record, including an NIT win in Laramie over Wyoming. The Waves enter their first year under former NBA player and coach Paul Westphal. New Mexico also advanced in the NIT, losing in the second round to Pepperdine. Including two exhibition contests, BYU has 29 games, including 17 in the Marriott Center, on its schedule. The MWC tournament is Mar. 7-9, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Opponent Winning Percentage
BYU's 13 nonconference opponents earned a combined 234-156 (.600) record last year for an average record of 18-12. Instate rivals Utah State, Utah, Southern Utah and Weber State combined for an 87-38 record, winning nearly 70 percent of their games and earning two NCAA and one NIT berth. Nine teams who qualified for a postseason (five NCAA, four NIT).
BYU will play seven nonconference opponents who were on the Cougars' schedule last year and six that are new to the schedule, including two first-time opponents. BYU had a 5-2 record last year against the seven teams it will play again this season, with home wins over UC Santa Barbara, Utah State, Idaho and Southern Utah and a road win at Weber State. The two losses both came during the first road trip of the season at San Francisco and Arizona State. Stanford, Creighton, Pepperdine, Cal State Northridge, San Diego and Fort Lewis are all new opponents this year, with San Diego and Fort Lewis playing BYU for the first time. BYU faces teams from seven different conferences in 2001-02, including three West Coast Conference teams in San Diego, San Francisco and Pepperdine; three Big Sky teams in Cal State Northridge, Weber State and Idaho; two Pac-10 teams in Stanford and Arizona State; two Big West teams in Utah State and UC Santa Barbara; and one team each from the Missouri Valley Conference (Creighton), Mid-Continent Conference (Southern Utah), and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (Fort Lewis).
All BYU games will be carried live on the Cougar Sports Radio Network, originating from KSL Newsradio 1160 AM in Salt Lake City. BYU is featured six times this season in the Mountain West television package with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Regional Television (ESPN+Plus) and ABC. The Cougars play twice on ESPN and four times on ESPN+Plus. An additional 12 BYU games are part of the SportsWest Productions' package and KBYU will produce two games for taped-delay broadcast. In all 21-of-27 regular season games are slated for television broadcast.
BYU Opponent 2001-02 Records
(as of Dec. 13)
Already faced ....
San Diego 5-3
Arizona State 4-2
UC Santa Barbara 5-2
Utah State 5-1
Weber State 6-2
Ft. Lewis 3-4
Total record teams already played - (.667) 32-16
Still ahead ....
CS Northridge 1-5
Southern Utah 3-5
San Francisco 2-5
Total all nonconference opponents - (.534) 47-41
MWC teams ...
San Diego State 5-3
New Mexico 5-3
Air Force 4-5
Colorado State 4-5
Total record MWC teams - (.545) 30-25
Total record all opponents - (.538) 77-66
Coaching Staff Additions
Former BYU player Andy Toolson and Pine View High School (St. George, Utah) coach John Wardenburg were hired as assistant coaches in May. Toolson joins Cleveland's staff after an 11-year professional career in Europe and the NBA, while Wardenburg comes to BYU with 11 years of coaching experience at the high school and junior college level. Former assistant coach Nathan Call was named director of basketball operations. Associate Head Coach Dave Rose remains in that capacity. Heath Schroyer, who had served alongside Cleveland, Rose and Call the past four seasons in Provo, left to accept an assistant position at Wyoming. Brian Santiago, Cleveland's administrative assistant the past four seasons, is BYU's assistant athletic director responsible for game operations.
Jared Jensen, a 6-foot-9 forward, earned the 2001 Deseret News Mr. Basketball Award after scoring 25.8 points and pulling down 13 rebounds per game this past season at Fremont High School (Utah). Shawn Opunui, 5-foot-11 , averaged 21.7 points and 6.1 assists as an all-state point guard at Orem High School (Utah) in 1999 before leaving for an LDS Church mission. Additional newcomers include freshman Jimmy Balderson from Magrath, Alberta, and transfers Ricky Bower from the University of Wisconsin, Jake Shoff from Weber State University and Jon Carlisle from the University of Utah. Bower and Shoff will redshirt next season because of transfer rules while Carlisle, who returned from a mission earlier this year, is eligible to play as a sophomore but could redshirt while working to return to playing condition.
ERIC NIELSEN / 6-9 Â• 215 Â• senior Â• forward
CAPSULE -- A three-year starter, Nielsen will play a big role for the Cougars in 2001-02 with the loss of the team's other four starters ... An intelligent player with a good mid-range jumper, his 56.3 career field goal percentage ranks third all-time at BYU ... Nielsen and teammates Matt Montague and Michael Vranes were all freshmen members of the 1996-97 BYU team that finished 1-25 .... After returning from his mission, Nielsen has played the past two seasons for coach Cleveland , helping the Cougars earn a combined 46-20 record and two postseason tournament berths ... He is Academic All-MWC and a Cougar Scholar Athlete.
Matt Montague / 6-0 Â• 190 Â• senior Â• point guard
CAPSULE: Montague provides leadership at the point having started 57 times and played in all 92 games in his three years ... Last year he started 12 games, primarily before Trent Whiting joined the team in December, but still lead the team in assists (2.9) while playing mostly a reserve role ... He has led the team in assists during each of his three seasons ... A hard-nosed competitor, he sees the floor well and is a great transition passer ... Career averages are 3.6 points and 3.8 assists.
Travis Hansen / 6-6 Â• 210 Â• junior Â• forward
CAPSULE: . After playing a supporting role in his first season at BYU last year, he will be asked to play a more significant role for the Cougars in 2001-02 ... With an increase in playing time in 2001-02, Hansen has the talent to become an all-conference player ... He is very athletic ... His explosiveness gives him great potential as a scorer and rebounder ... He is most effective when slashing to the basket but has range from the three-point arc ... He was fifth in scoring last year (5.5) and also grabbed 3.0 boards per game ... He earned a starting position midway through the year before missing nine games in the middle of MWC play because of a fractured right foot. He played primarily a reserve role to senior Nathan Cooper after returning from his injury ... He started nine games and the Cougars had a 7-2 record in those games with loses at Colorado State and Wyoming, where he suffered the foot injury ... He played his freshman year at Utah Valley State College before going on an LDS Church mission ... He sat out a year as a redshirt before joining the Cougars in 2000-2001.
MARK BIGELOW / 6-7 Â• 190 Â• sophomore Â• guard/forward
CAPSULE -- Bigelow could be one of the Cougars top players and among the top performers in the Mountain West if he returns to his pre-mission form ... He was BYU's leading scorer (15.0) and rebounder (6.3) in 1998-99 before going on a two-year LDS Church mission to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. ... He should play a significant role this season if he can regain his physical conditioning ... He returned from his mission in June having grown an inch to 6-7 ... He returned at 185 points ... He could play the 2 or the 3 spot on the floor for the Cougars ... He is an excellent shooter and extremely intelligent player ... A gifted offensive player with a great mid-range game ... He moves well without the ball ... He was the 1999 WAC Pacific Division Freshman of the Year, All-WAC Second Team and All-Newcomer Team in 1999 ... He had a career-high 33 points at Washington State and twice recorded highs of 14 rebounds in a game.
Daniel Bobik / 6-6 Â• 195Â• sophomoreÂ• guard
CAPSULE: Bobik averaged 3.5 points and 10.4 minutes while playing in 28 of 33 games as a freshman ... He has good offensive instincts and size on the guardline ... He will compete for a starting role in 2001-02 with the loss of BYU's all-conference guard line of Whiting and Lyday ... He has good range and is a crafty passer with good court awareness ... He could play some point but is primarily a wing player ... He enrolled at BYU for his freshman season after returning from an LDS Church mission to the Dominican Republic ... He was one of the first recruits to sign with BYU under Steve Cleveland.
Dan Howard / 7-0 Â• 225 Â• sophomore Â• center
CAPSULE: Howard played in 14 games last year in limited action ... The tallest player on the roster, he has a nice touch for a big man ... He has made 8 of his 11 field goal attempts as a Cougar ... A hard worker, he has a knack for the ball and could be a factor in inside this year, especially with the Cougars' losses in the post ... He has not had the opportunity to play a lot of consistent minutes (he played a career-best 12 minutes at San Francisco last year) since last playing for his high school team in 1996.
Bart Jepsen / 6-9 Â• 235 Â• redshirt sophomore Â• forward
CAPSULE: Jepsen redshirted last season after returning from an LDS Church mission ... He had suffered a severe break of his leg on his mission ... He will likely play a significant role in the middle as a rebounder and defender who can run the floor well ... A strong physical presence and good rebounder, he could play a role similar to that of outgoing senior Nate Knight ... Before a two-year LDS Church mission, Jepsen started nine times while playing 27 games as a freshman in 1997-98 in Cleveland's first season ... He is the younger brother of former Cougar center Bret Jepsen.
Jesse Pinegar / 6-9 Â• 220 Â• redshirt freshman Â• forward
CAPSULE: Pinegar redshirted last year after coming to BYU as one of the Cougars' top recruits and the first of BYU's top-20 recruiting class to commit to the Cougars ... He was rated the top center in the West as a junior and sat out his senior year of high school after shoulder surgery ...An extremely skilled offensive player, he was expected to play a strong role for BYU this season but again injured his shoulder in June ... He will be out until at least December and perhaps longer to recover from the surgery to his left (non dominant) shoulder ... The latest surgery should completely repair the injury ... A mobile, athletic player, he can play the 3, 4 or 5 positions and has excellent range beyond the three-point line ... He is an outstanding passer and a very skilled young offensive post player ... He made significant strides in the weight room this past season before the injury .... He has the tools to play a significant role once healthy.
Jacob Chrisman / 6-8 Â• 225 Â• sophomore Â• forward
CHRISMAN CAPSULE: A two-sport athlete, Chrisman is also is a pitcher on the BYU baseball team ... He announced last spring that he will redshirt basketball this year to play a full season of baseball, but could still try to play both sports this season ... He started practicing with the basketball team in November after the completion of fall baseball workouts ... He could be a significant contributor if he does play basketball ... he is extremely mobile and a strong rebounder ... He is an athletic low post player who can score in multiple ways ... He has developed a nice perimeter game ... A hard worker, he has a knack for the game and finds a way to make plays both on offense and defense ... A slasher-type player who has a nice shooting touch ... He could play both the three and four positions for the Cougars.
Jared Jensen / 6-9 Â• 245 Â• freshman Â• forward/center
Jensen earned the 2001 Deseret News Mr. Basketball Award after scoring 25.8 points and pulling down 13 rebounds per game this past season at Fremont High School. He averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game as a junior when he also earned Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News All-State honors. He is a talented offensive player in the low-post who can also score with his jumper. He played center in high school but will likely play power forward in college. He should get the opportunity to play as a freshman with the loss of 2001 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Mekeli Wesley in the post.
Shawn Opunui / 5-11 Â• 170 Â• freshman Â• point guard
Opunui averaged 21.7 points and 6.1 assists as an all-state point guard at Orem High School in 1999 before leaving for an LDS Church mission. A strong offensive player and solid defender, Opunui shot nearly 91 percent from the free throw line, third best in state history, and 40 percent on three-point attempts. His 401 assists put him on the state's top-10 all-time list. He is an athletic point guard who has excellent open court passing skills and is an outstanding three-point shooter. His ability to break defenses down with the dribble should create offensive opportunities for his teammates. He loves pushing the ball up the floor as a true point guard with great court vision. A super passer and great penetrator, Opunui should have an immediate impact on the program with the loss of all-MWC guards Trent Whiting and Terrell Lyday and the uncertain return of Michael Vranes, who sat out last year with an injury.
Jon Carlisle / 6-10 Â• 260 Â• sophomore Â• center
Carlisle is from Salt Lake City and last played on Utah's Final Four team in 1998 as the primary backup to current Cleveland Cavaliers center Michael Doleac. He averaging 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game. He averaged 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds at Brighton High School in 1997 and was one of three players, including new Cougar teammate Shoff, to earn Region 4 Tri-Player of the Year honors. He is working out to get back into playing shape. His playing weight as a freshman was 223 pounds. He may redshirt this season.
Jimmy Balderson / 6-6 Â• 200 Â• freshman Â• guard
Balderson is a 6-foot-6 combo guard who averaged 34 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists while leading Magrath High School in Alberta, Canada to a 32-3 record this past season ... He has excellent range from the three-point line and has good size ... He shot 54 percent from the floor and 91 percent from the free throw line at Magrath High ... A skilled young player, he could factor in on perimeter this year ... He plans to leave in the spring on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Terry Nashif / 5-10 Â• 165 Â• freshman Â• guard
Nashif is a freshman who served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after his senior year in 1999 at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash. ... A smart player who can put down the three-pointer, he knows how to run a team and is an excellent distributor of the ball ... He could factor in at the point along with fellow freshman Shawn Opunui and senior Matt Montague
STEVE CLEVELAND (72-59 in fifth season)
Steve Cleveland enters his fifth season at the helm of the Cougars in 2001-02. In his four seasons at BYU, Cleveland has proven to be a first-rate recruiter, an excellent coach and player developer, and above all, a winner.
Last year Cleveland guiding BYU to its first NCAA tournament bid since 1995, its first conference regular season title since 1993 and its first conference tournament championship since 1992. While rebuilding a program that finished 1-25 before his arrival, he has improved the Cougars each season, posting records of 9-21, 12-16, 22-11 and 24-9. The Cougars also improved upon an NIT season in 1999-2000 to earn an NCAA berth last year.
The past two seasons both rank among of the school's best year's ever in terms of wins dating back to the Cougars first season in 1902. In fact, only five BYU teams have ever recorded more wins than last year's 24-9 team and only seven have improved upon the 22-11 record in 1999-2000.