Game Notes #1 - BYU Opens Season at Paradise Jam

BYU opens the 2002-03 men's basketball season Friday at 8:30 p.m. AST (5:30 p.m. MST) when it faces the Toledo Rockets at the University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Cougars are one of six teams participating in the event being hosted at the new 3,000-seat Sport and Fitness Center at the University of the Virgin Islands. The Cougars play Kansas State Saturday in their second game of the event before a championship round contest on Monday against Michigan, St. Bonaventure or Virginia Tech.

All three BYU games will be broadcast on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with an hour pregame show. KSL's Bill Riley will call the play-by-play action with former Provo High School and Fresno State guard Brian Santiago providing game analysis. A live internet audio link is available on the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com. The Paradise Jam is not being televised.

BYU ON KSL

BYU's games at the Paradise Jam will be aired live on KSL Newsradio 1160 with the exception of Saturday's game vs. Kansas State will be taped-delay broadcast after the BYU vs. Utah football game. The basketball broadcast will begin at approximately 7 p.m. MST.

University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam

University of the Virgin Islands Sport and Fitness Center (3,000)

St. Thomas, USVI

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (All times are Atlantic Standard Time - MST plus three hours)

FRIDAY, Nov. 22

St. John Division -- Game #1 St. Bonaventure vs. Virginia Tech 6:15 p.m. AST

St. Thomas Division -- Game #1 BYU vs. Toledo 8:30 p.m. AST

SATURDAY, Nov. 23

St. Thomas Division -- Game #2 Kansas State vs. BYU 6:15 p.m. AST

St. John Division -- Game #2 Michigan vs. St. Bonaventure 8:30 p.m. AST

SUNDAY, Nov. 24

St. Thomas Division -- Game #3 Toledo vs. Kansas State 6:15 p.m. AST

St. John Division -- Game #3 Virginia Tech vs. Michigan 8:30 p.m. AST

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND, MONDAY, Nov. 25

Game #1 St. Thomas Division #3 Team vs. St. John Division #3 Team 4 p.m. AST

Game #2 St. Thomas Division #2 Team vs. St. John Division #2 Team 6:15 p.m. AST

Game #3 St. Thomas Division #1 Team vs. St. John Division #1 Team 8:30 p.m. AST

TIE BREAKERS

Tie breakers for determining opponents for the championship round if three teams are tied are as follows (once one team has been eliminated, it goes back to head-to-head):

1. Net margin in all games

2. Total points in all games

3. Most three-pointers in all games

4. Most field goals in all games

BYU GAME #1 FACTS

BYU (0-0, 0-0 MWC) vs. Toledo (0-0, 0-0 Mid-American)

Univeristy of the Virgin Islands Sport and Fitness Center (3,000)

St. Thomas, USVI

8:30 p.m. AST (5:30 p.m. MST)

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (85-69 in sixth year; same overall)

Toledo, Stan Joplin (103-76 in seventh year; same overall)

Series:

BYU leads, 2-1

Last Meeting: BYU won 89-70, Dec. 27, 1955, at Motor City Tournament

TV: None

Radio:

KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)

Pregame Air Time: 7:30 p.m. AST (4:30 p.m. MST)

Play-by-Play: Bill Riley

Game Analyst: Brian Santiago

Web: Live audio link available on byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule)

BYU's Probable Starters:

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. *PPG *RPG *exhibition stats

F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 19.5 5.0

F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 10.5 2.5

C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 7.5 8.0

G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.5 8.0

G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 13.0 2.0 4.0 apg

QUOTING COACH STEVE CLEVELAND

(ON BYU ENTERING THE PARADISE JAM) "We have a good mix of solid returning players and some talented newcomers. It may take some time but as we mesh together and the newcomers gain more experience in our system we should be a pretty good team. The Paradise Jam includes a lot of good teams so this will be a great challenge for us."

(ON FRIDAY OPPONENT TOLEDO) "They have an experienced team, with four starters returning. Nick Moore is a great shooter with unlimited range and their post players are really active and get to the glass. Coach Joplin has done a great job at Toledo since coming from Michigan State."

FROM THE TRAINING ROOM

Throughout the preseason BYU has had some nagging injuries. Most affected have been transfers Jake Shoff and Ricky Bower. After sitting out last year as redshirts due to transfer rules, the two juniors both have suffered from back problems, which has not allowed them to fully participate in practices. Shoff, who did not appear in either of BYU's exhibition games, is the only player who is questionable for the season opener at the Paradise Jam. Earlier this semester, junior forward Mark Bigelow and sophomore guard Marc Roberts each had his knee scoped. Both have since been cleared to practice and play.

TEAM TRAVEL

The team will depart Wednesday morning going through Miami to arrive in St. Thomas that evening at approximately 9:10 p.m. The Cougars will return Tuesday to Salt Lake City, again through Miami with a connection in Dallas.

PRACTICE INFORMATION

Each team in the Paradise Jam will be allotted one practice time per day, with one practice being at the University of the Virgin Islands. The additional practices will be conducted at Antilles High School, located on the east side of the island. BYU will practice Thursday at the University of the Virgin Islands. The Cougars will not practice on Sunday.

SPORT AND FITNESS CENTER

The Paradise Jam will be played at the new, state-of-the-art, air-conditioned Sport and Fitness Center at the University of the Virgin Islands. Seating 3,000, the new facility is the largest indoor venue of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean, with two levels measuring over 64,000 square feet.

CULTURAL/CHURCH ACTIVITIES

BYU, along with other teams in the Paradise Jam, will participate in the Paradise Jam Dockside Jamboree on Thursday evening. A huge festival organized by Havensight Mall in conjunction with Basketball Travelers, Inc., the event will include local bands, steel drum bands, mocko jumbies, local food, arts, crafts and shopping. Players will have opportunities to sign autographs and coaches will speak to the local media about their team and university. On Sunday evening, members of BYU's team will participate in a Church Fireside gathering at the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

PARADISE JAM AWARDS

A five-man all-tournament team and tournament MVP will be awarded at the conclusion of the final game. The player awards will be announced during a small ceremony honoring the event's team champion.

OFFICIALS

The officials scheduled to work the Paradise Jam are from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference. They include Patrick Adams, Karl Hess, Manny Upton, Tony Greene, Keith Maxwell and Mike Wood. All the officials have NCAA tournament experience.

EXPERIMENTAL RULES USED AT PARADISE JAM

The NCAA requires that certified events play with experimental rules as directed by the men's basketball rules committee. The experimental rules that will be used at the 2002 Paradise Jam are as follows:

-- Moving the three-point line nine inches behind the current three-point line to create a new experimental distance of 20 feet, six inches.

-- Widening the free throw lane by two feet on each side. The experimental lane will serve both as the three-second land and the free throw lane.

-- Relocating the free throw lane block between the first free throw lane space adgacent to the end line and the next lane space on both sides of the lane.

OPPONENT PROFILES

TOLEDO ROCKETS

Toledo returns four of five starters from last year's team that turned in a 16-14 record and finished second in the Mid-American Conference West Division. Senior guard Nick Moore (6-foot-1) led the MAC last season in three-point FG percentage (45.3) and three-pointers made per game (3.0). He averaged 14.3 points per game during 2001-02. Other returning starters include 6-foot-3 junior guard Keith Triplett (9.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg), 6-foot-7 junior forward Ricardo Thomas (7.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and 6-foot-9 junior center A.J. Shellabarger (4.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg). Triplett and Thomas were held out of the exhibition games while recovering from injuries but have been cleared to play against BYU. Seventh-year coach Stan Joplin has compiled a 103-73 record in his six seasons in Toledo. The Rockets won both their exhibition games this year. The Rockets beat the Czech Republic Select squad 75-68 led by Moore's 21 points. Returning guard Keith Triplett added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Toledo overcame a halftime deficit of 27-18 to beat Ashland 60-50 in its final exhibition game behind Moore's 29 points. The Rockets face BYU for the fourth time in their history and the first time since 1955 . BYU leads 2-1, having won the last two meetings.

KANSAS STATE WILDCATS

The Wildcats return three starters and seven letterman form last year's team that finished in a tie for seventh place in the Big 12 Conference with a 13-16 overall record. A trio of returning starters include Gilson DeJesus (6-foot-6 forward/guard), Pervis Pasco (6-foot-9 forward) and Matt Siebrandt (6-foot-8 forward). Pasco averaged 12.1 ppg and 8.4 rpg while Siebrandt added 7.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg and DeJesus 6.2 ppg and 3.4 rpg. K-State finished last season strong, winning two of its last three games, including six of seven at home. Similar to BYU's season last year, the Wildcats struggled on the road. They went 1-1 on a neutral floor but were 0-10 in away games. Coach Jimmy Woolridge (24-34 in two seasons, 253-181 overall in 15 years) looks to pass the .500 mark at K-State in his third season at the helm in Manhattan. The Wildcats lost to EA Sports All-Stars 91-81 in their first exhibition game of the season but did have five players score in double figures led by Siebrandt's 17 points. K-State Beat Athletes First 95-68 with another balanced attack that featured four players scoring in double figures. K-State leads the series against BYU 3-2. The two teams haven't met since 1973.

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

Second-year coach Tommy Amaker (79-73 in five seasons overall) returns two starters and eight lettermen from last year's 11-18 team that finished 10th in the Big Ten Conference. Returning starters LaVell Blanchard (6-foot-7, Sr., wing) and Bernard Robinson (6-foot-6, Jr., wing) averaged double figures in scoring last year at 14.8 and 12.1 points, respectively. They also pulling down 6.3 and 4.6 boards, respectively. The Wolverines won both of their exhibition games this season, beating Nike Elite 81-77 and Wayne State 79-68. In the two contests, Robinson and Blanchard are averaging 20.5 ppg and 19.5 ppg respectively. Newcomer, Lester Abram has chipped in 14.0 ppg in exhibition play. The last meeting between BYU and Michigan was in 1991 during the years of Michigan's Fab Five. Michigan won 86-83. The series is ties 2-2.

ST. BONAVENTURE BONNIES

Eight letterman return from last year's team including three starters. Coach Jan van Breda Kolff (191-141 in 11 years overall) guided his team to a 17-13 record in his first season at St. Bonaventure. His team earned a third-place finish in the Atlantic 10 Conference Eastern Division. Junior guard Marques Green (5-foot-7) scored 15.4 ppg last year and added 3.5 rebounds. Additional returning starters are junior swingman Patricio Prato (6-foot-5) and senior forward Robert Cheeks (6-foot-6). Prato averaged 11.8 points and 5.0 rebounds while Cheeks added 4.6 points per game. The Bonnies posted 19- and 47-point victories in their first two exhibition games against Upstate All-Stars and Greater Toronto Express. In the game against Upstate, five Bonnies scored in double figures, led by Prato with 19 points. Six players reached the double-digit mark against GT Express with Prato leading all scorers at 25. He was 4-5 from three-point range. BYU leads series 2-0.

VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES

Head coach Ricky Stokes (34-52 entering fourth season) returns four starters from last year's 10-18 team that placed seventh in the Big East. Seniors Brian Chase (5-foot-10 guard) and Terry Taylor (6-foot-8 center) averaged 11.3 points and 10.0 rebounds last year while a combo of 6-foot-7 junior swingmen Carlos Dixon and Bryant Matthews scored 12.2 and 9.9 points, respectively. Taylor pulled down 8.2 rebounds per game. Matthews turned in a double-double performance with 15 points and 11 rebounds in an exhibition win over Global Sports on Sunday. Terry Taylor led four Hokies in double figures with 19 points.

SERIES INFORMATION

BYU has an overall series record of 9-6 against the five other teams participating in the Paradise Jam. BYU is 2-1 against Toledo, 2-3 vs. Kansas State, 2-2 with Michigan, 2-0 against St. Bonaventure and 1-0 vs. Virginia Tech. The Cougars, however, have played only one game, an 86-83 loss to Michigan at the Red Lobster Classic in Orlando in 1991, against any of the five teams since the early 70s. None of the current players on BYU's team were born and head coach Steve Cleveland was a recently returned missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when BYU played its prior game against a Paradise Jam opponent, a 95-85 loss at Kansas State in December 1973. BYU's last game with Toledo was in 1955 (89-70 victory at Motor City tournament). BYU last met St. Bonaventure in 1966 (96-84 win at Holiday Festival) and had its only meeting with Virginia Tech in 1967 (a 97-64 victory at the All College Tournament).

TOLEDO

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 2-1

BYU Record in Toledo: 1-0

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-1

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 0-0

BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A

Longest BYU Win Streak: 2 (1951-present)

Longest Toledo Win Streak: 1 (1949)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 19 in 1955

Largest Toledo Margin of Victory: 15 in 1949

Most points scored by BYU: 89 in 1955

Most Points Scored by Toledo: 70 in 1955

12-31-49 vs. Toledo* 51-66 L

12-12-51 at Toledo 58-57 W

12-27-55 vs. Toledo** 89-70 W

*Los Angeles Invitational ** Motor City Tournament

KANSAS STATE

Overall Series Record: Kansas State leads 3-2

BYU Record in Provo: 2-0

BYU Record in Manhattan: 0-2

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-1

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 0-0

BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A

Longest BYU Win Streak: 1 (1971)

Longest Kansas State Win Streak: 1(1973)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 9, 77-68 in 1958

Largest K-State Margin of Victory: 31, 55-86 in 1959

Most points scored by BYU: 85 in 1973

Most Points Scored by Kansas State: 95 in 1973

3-23-51 vs. Kansas St.# 54-64 L

12-15-58 Kansas St. 77-68 W

12-18-59 at Kansas St. 55-86 L

12-3-71 Kansas St.* 78-72 W

12-15-73 at Kansas St. 85-95 L

*BYU Basketball Classic #NCAA

MICHIGAN

Overall Series Record: Tied 2-2

BYU Record in Provo: 1-0

BYU Record in Ann Arbor: 0-1

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-1

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 0-0

BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A

Longest BYU Win Streak: 1 (1972)

Longest Michigan Win Streak: 1 (1991)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 10 in 1954

Largest Michigan Margin of Victory: 3 in 1991

Most points scored by BYU: 83 in 1991

Most Points Scored by Michigan: 86 in 1991

12-22-54 Michigan 70-60 W

12-30-55 at Michigan 79-80 L

12-07-72 vs. Michigan 83-77 W

12-28-91 vs. Michigan' 83-86 L

'Red Lobster (Orlando)

ST. BONAVENTURE

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 2-0

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 2-0

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 0-0

BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A

Longest BYU Win Streak: 2 (1965 -- present)

Longest St. Bonaventure Win Streak: 0

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 12 in 1965 and 1966

Largest St. Bonaventure Margin of Victory: 0

Most points scored by BYU: 99 in 1965

Most Points Scored by St. Bonaventure: 87 in 1965

12-29-65 vs. St. Bonaventure 99-87 W

12-27-66 vs. St. Bonaventure* 96-84 W

*Holiday Festival

VIRGINIA TECH

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 1-0

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-0

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 0-0

BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A

Longest BYU Win Streak: 1 in 1967

Longest Virginia Tech Win Streak: 0

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 33 in 1967

Largest Virginia Tech Margin of Victory: 0

Most points scored by BYU: 97 in 1967

Most Points Scored by Virginia Tech: 64 in 1967

12-29-67 vs. Virginia Tech* 97-64 W

*AllCollege Tournament

COUGARS BOAST STRONG SCHEDULE

A potential 17 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year and spots in the University of The Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Touchstone Energy All-College Classic (Oklahoma City) highlight BYU's 2002-03 men's basketball schedule. BYU's nonconference schedule includes teams from 12 different conferences. Overall, 12 teams earned postseason bids last season, seven advancing to the NCAA tournament and five playing in the NIT. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title and 12 placed in the top three in their league standings.In all, the schedule includes a total of 29 regular season games and two exhibitions. The Cougars will play 14 regular season games in the Marriott Center, where BYU owns the nation's longest active home-court victory streak at 36 games. Excluding the MWC Tournament, BYU plays 15 road games, including 11 away contests and four neutral site games. The 2003 MWC Tournament takes place March 12-15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Pac-10, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic are represented on the non-league schedule. Nine teams -- Arizona State, Creighton, San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Utah State, Southern Utah, Weber State and Pepperdine -- were also on last year's nonconference schedule. BYU earned a 6-3 record in those games, losing at UCSB and dropping overtime games at both Utah State and Pepperdine.

BYU ON TELEVISION

The Cougars will be featured five times in 2002-03 as part of the Mountain West Conference television package with ESPN, including an ESPN2 game vs. Oklahoma State in the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City on Jan. 4 and an ESPN "Big Monday" contest at Utah on Feb. 24. BYU appears three times on ESPN+Plus, hosting Utah Jan. 25 and New Mexico Feb. 1 before facing reigning MWC champion Wyoming in Laramie on Feb. 8. BYU will also be featured in nine SportsWest Production telecasts and on Fox Sports Net Arizona. The Mountain West Conference television agreement with ESPN will provide 32 national and regional television broadcasts on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+Plus during the 2002-03 season, including 14 appearances on ESPN, two on ESPN2, two on ABC and 12 on ESPN+Plus as the featured "Mountain West Conference Game of the Week". ESPN+Plus games in Utah are aired on KJZZ-TV, channel 14. An additional 20 MWC games are scheduled to be aired on SportsWest as point-to-point broadcasts by local affiliates, while local institutional packages will add a minimum of another 19 games for the 2002-03 season. For the fourth consecutive season every game of the EAS Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship will be televised by ESPN or ESPN+Plus.

HOME WINNING STREAK

BYU has a 36-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 year, 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 27 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.

LOOKING TO BREAK THROUGH ON THE ROAD

While BYU owns the nation's longest active home winning streak at 36 games, the Cougars also have lost their last 10 games away from the Marriott Center, including two overtime defeats. BYU's last road win was a neutral court upset over No. 13 Stanford at the Las Vegas Showdown on Dec. 22, 2001. BYU defeated the Cardinal, 81-76 at the Thomas & Mack Center. BYU has lost 11 straight games on an opponents home court since opening last year with a 70-59 victory at the University of San Diego on Nov. 17.

NEUTRAL COURT

BYU is 9-7 on a neutral court under Steve Cleveland. Last year BYU was 1-1 on a neutral floor. BYU's last neutral court game was a 62-51 loss to San Diego State at the 2002 MWC Tournament. BYU's last win was over No. 13 Stanford, 81-76, at the Las Vegas Showdown. The Cougars have won four of their last six neutral court contests.

CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF BASKETBALL

BYU is celebrating 100 years of basketball. Since the first season of BYU basketball in 1903, BYU has achieved a 1427-922 (.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.

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