THREE-DAY, FOUR-TEAM EVENT TIPS THURSDAY AND CONCLUDES SATURDAY
The BYU Cougars (7-4) of the Mountain West Conference will participate in the BYU Holiday Classic this week at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, along with the Liberty Flames (6-4) of the Big South Conference, the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (5-6) of the Mid-Continent Conference and the Seton Hall Pirates (7-2) of the Big East Conference. The three-day tournament features daily double-header games Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 5 and 7:30 p.m. MT. Seton Hall and Oral Roberts open the Classic Thursday at 5 p.m. with BYU and Liberty following at 7:30 p.m. in the nightcap. Friday's games match up Liberty and Seton Hall at 5 p.m. and BYU and Oral Roberts at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday's contests pitting Oral Roberts and Liberty at 5 p.m. and BYU and Seton Hall in the finale at 7:30 p.m. The games are not being televised. The radio broadcast of BYU games can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at ksl.com.
BYU HOLIDAY CLASSIC
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006
Oral Roberts (5-6) vs. Seton Hall (7-2) -- 5 p.m. MT
BYU (7-4) vs. Liberty (6-4) -- 7:30 p.m. MT
Friday, Dec. 29, 2006
Seton Hall vs. Liberty -- 5 p.m. MT
BYU vs. Oral Roberts -- 7:30 p.m. MT
Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006
Liberty vs. Oral Roberts -- 5 p.m. MT
BYU vs. Seton Hall -- 7:30 p.m. MT
BYU GAME #12 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (7-4, 0-0 MWC)
LIBERTY FLAMES (6-4, 0-0 Big South)
Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006
Marriott Center (22,700)
7:30 p.m. MT
BYU, Dave Rose (27-13 in second season; same overall)
LU, Randy Dunton (58-72 in fifth season; 103-115 in eighth year overall)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6:30 p.m. MT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
Live audio and live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- Cougar head coach Dave Rose guided BYU to a 20-9 record and an NIT appearance last season in his first year at the helm after eight years as BYU's lead assistant. He was named the Mountain West Conference and USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year. Rose coached his team to a second-place MWC finish -- one game behind league-champion San Diego State -- while turning a 9-21 team into a 20-9 success that proved to be the second-best improvement among all Division I programs.
-- BYU was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason MWC media poll behind reigning champion San Diego State.
-- BYU's roster this season includes a solid core of returning players, including six seniors and Trent Plaisted, the MWC Freshman of the Year last year. One of nine returning lettermen, Plaisted was named a Freshman All-American after leading BYU in both scoring (13.6) and rebounding (6.9) one year ago. 2006 All-MWC Third Team forward Keena Young leads BYU this year in scoring (15.3) and is second on the boards (6.3), while Plaisted is the top rebounder (6.5) and second in scoring (11.8). Senior Austin Ainge leads BYU with 3.4 assists per game.
LOOKING AT LIBERTY
Liberty University (Lynchburg, Va.) is off to a 6-4 start this season. The Flames began the year 6-1 before losing the last three games. LU's 6-1 start is the program's best start since they opened the 1999-2000 season with a 7-1 mark. The Flames are on their first losing streak of the season (three games) after dropping games on the road to St. Francis (56-70) and Buffalo (66-72). The Flames most recently dropped their first home game of the season to Lipscomb (61-66). During the losing streak, the Flames have averaged 4.0 more field goals made than the opponent. During the losing streak their opponents have gone to the free throw line 84 times versus the Flames' 27 times. After a loss at Oklahoma, the Flames opened up their 2006-07 home schedule with six-straight wins. The last time the Flames won six-straight home games was during the 2003-04 season when Liberty won 13-straight home games, culminating with the Big South Championship victory over High Point (89-44) on March 6, 2004. Flames' head coach Randy Dunton is currently in his sixth year overall as head coach of the Liberty basketball program. He served as the interim head coach during the 1997-98 season and was named full-time head coach prior to the 2002-03 campaign. Dunton has posted a 58-72 record in the five years since returning to Liberty, which includes two second-place finishes in the Big South and a share of the regular-season title in 2004 en route to the program's second ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. Senior guard Larry Blair leads four Flames averaging double figures. Blair scores 19.1 points per game, followed by junior guard Dwight Brewington at 16.3, junior forward Alex McLean at 14.4 and sophomore guard Anthony Smith at 12.8. McLean adds a team-leading 8.9 rebounds per game while Brewington dishes out a team-best 4.5 assists while adding 6.7 rebounds. As a team, LU scores 77.0 points while allowing 64.1 ppg. The Flames shoot .456 from the floor, .341 on threes and .730 at the line while their opponents have combined to shoot only .368 from the floor and .255 on threes.
LIBERTY'S PROBABLE STARTERS
No. Pos. Player Ht. Wt. Cl. PPG RPG APG
21 F Alex McLean 6-8 235 Jr. 14.4 8.9 1.0
33 F Rell Porter 6-7 195 Jr. 3.1 3.0 0.5
5 G Anthony Smith 6-4 180 So. 12.8 2.9 2.3
22 G Larry Blair 6-0 185 Sr. 19.1 3.9 3.3
24 G Dwight Brewington 6-5 190 Jr. 16.3 6.7 4.5
LIBERTY'S LAST OUTING -- Flames Drop a Home Heartbreaker
Alex McLean broke a Vines Center record with 17 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as Lipscomb (8-4) defeated Liberty (6-4) on Thursday evening, 66-61. The loss was the Flames third straight and first at home this season, breaking a six-game home winning streak. The game started out very even as both teams were neck and neck with the Bisons holding the 10-9 advantage when Michael Teller hit a lay-up with 15:55 remaining in the first period. The Flames then took the lead on a 5-0 run to make it 14-10 on a three-point basket from the corner by Larry Blair off a Dwight Brewington pass at 15:10 in the first half. Lipscomb then went off on a 9-2 run that was capped by a LaKory Daniels jumper with 11:10 left in the first half, making it a 19-16 game in favor of the Bisons. The rest of the first half remained very close with the Flames holding an 18-15 advantage over the remaining 11 minutes. The Bisons took a 35-34 lead into the half as the Flames closed out the half on a 4-0 run capped by two free throws by Blair with 47 seconds left. After being outrebounded by 21 rebounds at Buffalo on Monday night, the Flames outrebounded the Bison by 13 rebounds in the first half. However, Lipscomb became the second team to shoot over 50 percent in the first half against the Flames this year. St. Francis was the first team to do so on Dec. 4 when they shot 51.9 percent in the opening period of the Flames' 84-67 victory.Ã½There were 45 total fouls called between the two teams. The Bisons went to the foul line 20 more times than the Flames (37 to 17) which gives the Flames' opponents the 98-27 advantage in that category over the past three games. The Flames did outrebound the Bisons 46-29 but it wasn't enough. Blair led the way for the Flames with 20 points and three assists. Blair fouled out with 25 seconds remaining, marking the first time in Blair's 101 career games that he fouled out. McLean set a Vines Center record with 17 rebounds, breaking a three-way tie which included himself, Peter Aluma and Parish Hickman. McLean grabbed 15 against Cincinnati Christian on November 21. Aluma grabbed his 15 boards on December 5, 1996 against Drake and Hickman set the record against Towson State on February 11, 1993. McLean collected his fourth double-double of the season as he scored 12 points to go with his 17 boards. Brewington collected his first double-double with the Flames as he scored 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting while grabbing a season-high 10 rebounds.Ã½
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. LIBERTY
LOOKING AT ORAL ROBERTS
Oral Roberts University (Tulsa, Okla.) is off to a 5-6 start this season. The Golden Eagles return five lettermen and two starters from last year's 21-12 team that finished tied for first in the Mid-Continent Conference with a 13-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. This year's team has played a tough schedule with five road losses, including setbacks at Loyola Marymount, Tulsa, Georgetown and Arkansas. ORU gained its lone road win by knocking off then No. 3 Kansas (78-71). Among ORU's other wins is an 88-63 home win over Lamar, who defeated BYU in Beaumont this season. Oral Roberts is led by forward Caleb Green and guard Ken Tutt, who average 19.7 and 16.3 points per game, respectively. Green is averaging a double-double with a team-best 10.2 rebounds per contest. ORU scores 67.9 points while allowing 64.1. ORU is coached by Scott Sutton, who is 126-97 in his eighth season.
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. ORAL ROBERTS
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 4-0
BYU Record in Provo: 2-0
BYU Record at ORU: 2-0
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 0-0
BYU Record in OT Games: N/A
Last Overtime Game: N/A
Longest BYU Win Streak: 4 (1978-present)
Longest ORU Win Streak: N/A
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 22, 95-73 in 1986
Largest ORU Margin of Victory: N/A
Most Points Scored by BYU: 120 in 1978
Most Points Scored by ORU: 104 in 1978
Date Opponent Score W/L
12-23-78 Oral Roberts 120-104 W
12-8-79 at Oral Roberts 76-75 W
1-21-86 at Oral Roberts 67-65 W
12-20-86 Oral Roberts 95-73 W
LOOKING AT SETON HALL
Seton Hall (South Orange, N.J.) is off to a 7-2 start this season. The Pirates return eight lettermen and three starters from last year's 18-12 team that earned an NCAA invitation out of the Big East Conference. The Pirates are 6-1 at home this year and 1-1 in away games, including a neutral-court loss to Virginia Tech on Dec. 21. Seton Hall's wins include victories over Penn State, St. Mary's and Pennsylvania. The Pirates have four players averaging double figures in points, led by guard Eugene Harvey at 15.8 ppg. Forward Brian Laing adds 14.8, followed by guards Jamar Nutter at 12.2 and Paul Gause at 10.3. Laing pulls down a team-high 6.8 rebounds. The Pirates are scoring 80.6 points while allowing 67.3.
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. SETON HALL
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 1-1
BYU Record in Provo: 0-0
BYU Record at Seton Hall: 0-0
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-1
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 0-0
BYU Record in OT Games: 0-1
Last Overtime Game: BYU lost 82-80in 1958
Longest BYU Win Streak: 1 (1951)
Longest Seton Hall Win Streak: 1 (1958-present)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 10, 69-59 in 1951
Largest Seton Hall Margin of Victory: 2, 82-80 in 1958
Most Points Scored by BYU: 80 in 1958
Most Points Scored by Seton Hall: 82 in 1958
Date Opponent Score W/L
3-15-51 vs. Seton Hall+ 69-59 W
12-29-58 vs. Seton Hall* 82-80 (OT) L
+NIT (New York)
*Queen City Invitational
BYU's LAST OUTING -- BYU Breaks 40-Year-Old Record in Blowout
PROVO -- The Cougar faithful in attendance at the Marriott Center got an early Christmas present -- a 62-point blowout as BYU (7-4) defeated Western Oregon (3-6) 102-40. Six Cougars scored in double figures with freshman Jonathan Tavernari's 17 points leading the way. The win was BYU's largest margin of victory in school history, destroying its previous record of 51 points against St. Mary's on Dec. 10, 1966. The last time the Cougars beat a team by at least 50 points was in 1993 when they beat Sacramento State by exactly 50 points. The victory also gives BYU the nation's fourth longest home-winning streak at 20 consecutive games. Trailing 10-11 just seven minutes into the game, Lee Cummard spotted up from the top of the arc and fired a three-pointer that caught nothing but the bottom of the net. Balderson then hit a layup in transition, and BYU began what would become a 41-12 run to close out the half with a 51-23 lead. BYU's 51 points marked the most the team has scored in a half this season. Cummard would finish the night with 14 points and six rebounds, while Balderson scored 13 points and dished out four assists. The Cougars held the Wolves without a field goal during a stretch of 10 minutes and 39 seconds. Six-foot-seven center Jacob Mitchell ended the Wolves' dry spell when he made a layup at the 3:05 mark. Mitchell led Western Oregon with 12 points. Tavernari, who nailed three of his four three-point attempts, scored 10 of his game-high 17 points off the bench during the decisive run. After starting off as cold as the wintry night outside, knocking down just four of its first 12 field goal attempts, BYU caught fire and connected on 15 of its last 20 shots in the half. As a team, the Cougars went 3-for-9 from three-point territory in the first half and 11-for-18 for the game. In the second half, Balderson dazzled the crowd with a couple of spectacular plays. The first was a two-handed, double-clutch jam over a Wolves defender with 17:11 to play. Minutes later, Balderson stole a pass at near halfcourt, dribbled down the lane and whipped a behind-the-back pass to Cummard on the right side. Cummard had no trouble deciding what to do with the ball as he took flight for a one-handed slam in the face of another Wolves defender. Western Oregon showed its frustration with 13:22 to go when a scramble for a loose ball drew a foul on the Wolves' Alex Swerzbin. After the whistle blew, Swerzbin pushed Rashaun Broadus who, in turn, pushed back. The brief shoving match prompted Ryan Schmidt of Western Oregon to taunt Broadus, as Schmidt shadowed Broadus' footsteps around the court before being held back by teammates. Following double technical fouls, BYU responded with a 25-0 run. Wolves forward Travis Kuhns put down two free throws with 6:25 left to play, stopping his team's eight-minute scoring drought. Vuk Ivanovic and Sam Burgess each scored 10 off-the-bench points for the Cougars, who recorded a season-high 16 steals.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "This game was really good for the confidence of our guys. Tonight was one of those nights where a lot of players got a lot of time and almost everyone who went in there had a good game."
-- "It's an important time for any college basketball team as you get into that first week of January and league play starts. The success of your season is really determined by how you start out in league play. If you can get on a roll and win some games, it can really make a difference in the success of your season."
-- "A couple big plays to start the second half was where we put the game away defensively and scored in transition... Every guy we played gave us a good lift. We ran the offense well and got the ball where we wanted. Jonathan Tavernari played well, executing and hitting shots. He has matured in decision-making."
-- "Yesterday in practice we still had two players who had to take finals. We feel a real sense of relief now that academics are done for 12 or 13 days."
Western Oregon Head Coach Craig Stanger
-- "Coach Rose and his team did a nice job. They kept after us and did a nice job. They shot the three-ball and ran their transition offense really well. "Credit Coach Rose's bunch. They were well prepared and they executed well."
-- "My biggest disappointment is that we didn't come to compete. When BYU started to get physical with us, we backed down and didn't execute as well as we should have. I'm a bit embarrassed that we didn't compete better, but we can learn a lot from this game."
-- "We knew BYU was a very talented team. We didn't really come to play offensively. We turned the ball over. You can't turn the ball over against teams like BYU."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Vuk Ivanovic - 10 points; Jonathan Tavernari - 17 points, 2 rebounds (tied), 3 assists; Ben Murdock - 9 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds; Lee Cummard -- 14 points (tied).
-- Team Season Highs: 102 points, 16 steals, +28 halftime scoring margin, 51 points in a half.
-- With the win, the Cougars' improved their home winning streak to 20 straight victories in the Marriott Center, which ranks fourth in the nation.
-- The 102-40 victory set a BYU record for winning margin, surpassing the old mark of 51 (108-57) set against St. Mary's on Dec. 10, 1966. The last time BYU won by as many as 50 points was a 50-point victory (128-78) over Sacramento State on Feb. 25, 1993. The point total also marked the first time the Cougars have scored 100 points in a game since Feb. 22, 2006 when BYU defeated San Diego State 100-90.
-- The Cougars are now 7-1 when scoring 70+ points and 6-0 when holding opponents to under 70 points. BYU is also 7-0 when outrebounding its opponents with a 43-25 margin on the glass against WOU.
-- BYU's 51-23 halftime lead marked the first time since Dec. 27, 2005 that the Cougars scored at least 50 points in the first half (53 vs. Eastern Washington). WOU's 17 second-half points marked the first time since Jan. 8, 2005 a BYU opponent scored less than 20 points in a half.
-- The 28-point halftime advantage marked the Cougars' largest halftime lead of the season and their largest since a 52-23 advantage over Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Jan. 6, 2001.
-- BYU is now 7-1 this year when leading at the break and has had a double-digit advantage four times.
-- Jonathan Tavernari had a career high with 17 points, two rebounds (tied) and three assists in a personal-best 10 minutes. Tavernari entered the game having made just three three-pointers on the season but drained three against Western Oregon.
-- Plaisted recorded his eighth dunk of the year on the second basket of the game, bringing his career total to 41. Balderson added his second slam of the season less than three minutes into the second half, bringing his career mark to five. Lee Cummard also pounded one home with 14:56 left in the game, his second dunk of the season and ninth of his career.
-- With a bucket at the 9:17 mark of the first half, Vuk Ivanovic scored for the first time since Dec. 2 when he posted four points at Weber State. Ivanovic scored six straight upon entering the game at the 10:30 mark and finished with 10 points against Western Oregon.
-- Trailing 11-10 at the 13:43 mark of the first half, BYU put together a 41-10 run to end the half with a 51-23 lead. The Wolves made just three shots in the final 13:42 of the half and went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line.
BYU's most consistent player this year has been senior forward Keena Young, who has scored in double figures in 10 out of 11 games. He leads BYU in scoring (15.3) and is second in rebouding (6.3). The senior co-captain has led BYU in scoring three times and rebounding five times, including his career-tying 12-rebound performance against Utah State for his third double-double of the season (15 points). His 27 points at Weber State is the most by a Cougar since Dec. 13, 2003 (Rafael Araujo - 28).
Senior Austin Ainge is averaging a team-best 3.4 assists and leads BYU along with Lee Cummard in three-pointers (15) while shooting .536 from three-point range and .500 overall from the floor. He scored 11 points off the bench-- all in the first half -- to give BYU early control of the game against Utah State. His 14 points -- all in the second half -- against Boise State fueled BYU's furious comeback attempt. Ainge has started seven games at the point and come off the bench in four outings.
DOING IT ALL
Lee Cummard contributes across the box score and on the defensive end of the floor for BYU. He equaled his career-best 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting in BYU's win over Western Oregon. He added six rebounds for his the third straight game with at least six boards and contributed a game-best four assists (along with fellow Cougar Jimmy Balderson) to total at least three assists in five straight contests. He also came up with three steals in his 20 minutes on the floor. He has had at least one steal in 10 straight games. On the year, Cummard averages 9.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.6 blocks while shooting .528 from the floor, .469 on threes and .813 from the line. One of his defensively highlights was helping hold Utah State's leading shooter Jaycee Carroll, who ranked 22nd in the nation shooting .629, to just .308 shooting (4-for-13) and seven points below his average.
COMING ON STRONG
After a slow start, partially the result of an ankle injury, Trent Plaisted has started to come on strong for the Cougars. The 2006 Freshman All-American is second on the team in scoring (11.8) and is the team's top rebounder (6.5). In the last five games, he is averaging 15.0 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Cougars. He has dished out 7 assists in the last two games (3.5 apg) after totaling a 5 assists in the first nine games (0.6 apg). He has scored 20 or more points in five games overall during his career, including two outings this year. Plaisted had game highs of 20 points and eight rebounds on 8-of-13 shooting to lead BYU to a win over San Jose State and followed that performance with a career-high 23 points against No. 25 Michigan State in The Palace at Auburn Hills. Plaisted did not miss a shot until the 10:28 mark in the second half, making his first eight shots from the floor. His 14 first-half points marked his highest scoring output in a half this season. "Trent (Plaisted) is really working hard," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "He suffered a setback with that sprained ankle, but his effort is improving. Trent's got a lot of different things on his mind; he wants to play the best he can, and he wants to do what he can to help our team win. As long as he keeps playing hard, things will work out well for him."
BYU has used four different starting lineups so far this year. Last game, BYU again used its original starting lineup of the season with Rashaun Broadus at the point, Jimmy Balderson on the wing and Austin Ainge coming off the bench. That lineup is 3-1 on the year, with the loss being at current No. 1 UCLA in the season operner. Sophmore Lee Cummard and senior Keena Young have started every game this year, while sophomore Trent Plaisted missed one start only because of injury.
DEFENDING THE HOME COURT
With 20 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars currently is tied with Memphis for the fourth-longest active home victory streak in the nation. BYU has won its first six home games this season after going 14-1 at home last year including wins in their last 14 straight home contests.
BYU has led at the half in eight of the team's first 11 games. The Cougars' 82-69 loss at UCLA after leading 39-36 at the half marked the first time since the 2004-05 season that BYU has lost when leading at the half. The Cougars are now 7-1 when leading at the half and 0-3 when trailing this season and have had a double-digit lead at the break four times. Last year, BYU was 14-0 when leading at the half, 5-9 when trailing and 1-0 when tied. Of the 14 games in which they led at the half, the Cougars led by double digits six times.
BYU has won its last two games. Earlier this year with wins against Idaho State, Portland and Southern Utah, the Cougars put together a three-game win streak, which ended with a loss at Boise State. BYU had several winning streaks last season, including its longest since the 2003-04 season at six straight victories. That streak was tied for the seventh-longest active winning streak in the nation. The Cougars' prior victory streaks last year included one four-game streak, two three-game streaks and two two-game streaks. BYU won 10 of its last 13 games last year.
ON THE ROAD
BYU's win at Weber State marked the Cougars' first road win of the season. BYU is now 1-3 on the road this year with a season-opening loss at current No. 1 UCLA, a Nov. 29 setback at Boise State and an overtime defeat at Lamar. The Cougars lost their only neutral court so far this season with a loss against No. 25 Michigan State at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. The victory over the Wildcats snapped a three-game road losing streak dating back to last year's season-ending defeat at Houston in the NIT and a five-game nonconference road losing streak since defeating Washington State last year in Spokane Arena on Nov. 22, 2005. BYU finished last year 6-8 away from home, including a 4-4 mark during MWC play.
BOUNCE BACK COUGARS
The Cougars' back-to-back losses vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and at Lamar marked the first time since the 2004-05 season BYU has lost consecutive regular-season games. Prior to the Lamar loss, BYU had bounced back from each of its two losses this season with wins, including back-to-back victories after their loss at Boise State on Nov. 29. BYU recovered from its season-opening loss at then No. 5 UCLA (now ranked No. 1 in the polls) with three straight wins. Last year with its 20-9 overall record, BYU suffered consecutive defeats only once -- against Utah in the Mountain West Conference Tournament and at Houston in the NIT in the last two games of the year, having bounced back from each prior loss with a victory.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
This year the Cougars are scoring 77.2 points and allowing 67.7 points. BYU is 6-0 when opponents score less than 70 points this year and 1-4 when they score 70 or more. BYU is 7-1 when it scores 70 or more points (exception at Lamar) and 0-3 when scoring less than 70. Last year BYU was 12-0 when holding opponents under 70 points and 8-9 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes averaged 71.7 points per game last year. BYU was also 17-4 when scoring 70 or more points and 3-5 when falling below the 70-point mark. The Cougars led the MWC in scoring last year, averaging 76.2 ppg, and scored 100 points in conference play for the first time since Feb. 10, 1994 in their home game against league-champion San Diego State.
CLEANING OFF THE GLASS
BYU is 7-0 this season when outrebounding its opponents and 0-4 when losing the battle of the boards. Sophomore Trent Plaisted leads BYU with 6.5 rpg, followed by senior Keena Young at 6.3 rpg.
JUST A LITTLE LONGER
The Cougars have already played three overtime games this season, losing 86-77 at Lamar and winning 84-78 against Idaho State on Nov. 18 and 73-69 at Weber State on Dec. 2. This is the first season since 2001-02 that BYU has played multiple extra period games in one year (BYU was 0-3 in overtime that season). The Cougars' loss at Lamar ended a five-game overtime winning streak dating back to March 14, 2003, an 86-80 setback against Colorado State at the MWC Tournament. BYU is 50-45 (.526) all-time when playing past regulation.
VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
BYU has faced two ranked opponents this season. The Cougars lost 76-61 to then-No. 25 Michigan State at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. BYU suffered a season-opening (82-69) loss at then-No. 5 UCLA on Nov. 15. BYU's last win over a ranked team came at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City on Dec. 6, 2003 with a 76-71 victory vs. 25th-ranked Oklahoma State, who advanced to the Final Four that season.
BYU men's basketball coach Dave Rose announced Nov. 23 that 6-foot-6 freshman forward Jonathan Tavernari would not redshirt this season. Tavernari saw his first action on Nov. 24 when the Cougars hosted Southern Utah in the Marriott Center. A native of Sao Bernardo, Brazil, Tavernari did not play in BYU's first three regular-season games as a potential redshirt while a review of his two years of high school in the United States was being conducted by the NCAA. Freshmen swingmen Jordan Cameron and Brock Zylstra are expected to redshirt this season.
AINGE, BALDERSON, YOUNG SERVE AS TEAM CAPTAINS
Coach Rose and the Cougar coaching staff have announced this year's team captains, calling upon seniors Austin Ainge, Jimmy Balderson and Keena Young to lead this year's team. "I'm proud of the way these three players have developed and of their dedication to our team," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "They are totally commitment to this program and have earned the respect and confidence of their teammates. They will provide us with good leadership as we work together as a team to achieve our goals." Ainge, a co-captain of last season's team, proved a valuable asset off the bench in 2005-06 after starting at the point guard spot and receiving All-Mountain West Conference honorable mention as a sophomore. Last season he ranked 11th in the MWC in assists while helping BYU lead the league in both scoring and assists. Balderson also provided a spark off the bench for the Cougars last season as he scored in double figures in 11 of the last 13 games and was the only player in the conference averaging more than 10 points per game off the bench with a 10.2 scoring average. Young led BYU in rebounding as a sophomore before becoming an All-MWC Third Team pick last year after starting the last 14 games of the year and ranking second on the team in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and third in scoring (10.3 ppg).
COUGARS HELP CHILDREN WITH CANCER
For the eighth year, the BYU men's basketball team joined the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation in an effort to raise money for families who have children with cancer and participate in the Foundation's annual Christmas party for those families. The Foundation collected monetary donations and any unwrapped toys to go directly towards a Christmas party for more than 90 families who have children with cancer living primarily in Utah County. A large portion of the money donated purchased hundreds of toys that enabled these parents to have gifts under the Christmas tree for their children. In addition to all of these toys, the party included free food and entertainment, such as games and ornament decorating, and local celebrities including Santa, Cosmo and the BYU men's basketball team. This is the eighth year BYU coaches, players and their families have volunteered for the Christmas party. BYU head coach Dave Rose served as honorary chairman for the second year. "This has always been a cause I feel strongly about," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "It has been such a positive experience for the coaches, players and families and is a tremendous opportunity for community members to be involved in brightening the holiday season for these children." Cheryl Rose, vice chairman of the Foundation and wife of coach Rose, discussed the challenges these families face financially and how the Foundation hopes to help these families now and in the future. "For many of these families, it is financially impossible to always have food on the table, a roof over their heads or even have Christmas," Cheryl Rose said. "We want to create a Christmas experience that they will never forget and hopefully in the future help families meet those basic needs that they can't on their own." Rose says that asking for donations has usually been difficult for her, but with such a meaningful cause it has been easy. It has enriched her life, which is something she hopes others will enjoy by contributing to these families. "It's a privilege for me to associate with these families," she said. "They are such an example to me. Even with all that they've been through, they have such a strength and passion for life. It's almost selfish on my part to be involved because I get so much out of it." This year's Christmas party was held on Dec. 20. For more information about donating to the Children With Cancer Christmas Foundation, contact Cheryl Rose at (801) 375-5768. Those interested can also visit the Foundation's website at www.christmas-foundation.org. "The support we get from the community makes this event possible," Cheryl Rose said. "We couldn't serve these children without the donations of time, money and gifts we receive."
COACH ROSE ON KSL NEWSRADIO ...
Due to the Christmas holiday, The Dave Rose Show on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM will air on Wednesday this week from 7-8 p.m.