MEMPHIS -- The BYU men's basketball team ended its season with an 80-69 loss to the University of Memphis in the second round of the 2002 National Invitation Tournament in Memphis Wednesday night. The Cougars overcame a 20-point first half deficit to twice draw within seven points in the game's final 10 minutes.
"I told our players, 'You're playing on national TV and you get down by 18 or 20, and you came back and battled,'" said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "And that's why I'll never forget this team." The Cougars finished the season with an 18-12 record.
Down 49-31 early in the second half, the Cougars fought back with a 23-12 run to draw within seven, 61-54. Travis Hansen led BYU's comeback, scoring nine points during the run after scoring only four points during the entire first half. A minute later, Mark Bigelow got into the act with a dunk, steal and two free throws to help the Cougars again pull within seven, 65-58.
"We made a little run, but I think we just ran out of gas a little bit," said Bigelow. The Cougars and Tigers traded baskets during the last eight minutes of the contest, as BYU never got closer than 10 points after having pulled within seven.
The Cougars were led by Hansen and Bigelow, both with 17 points. Daniel Bobik added 15 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting, his career-best field goal percentage. Bobik made all four of his three-point attempts en route to his highest point total since the Cal State Northridge game Dec. 27.
At the game's outset, BYU jumped to a quick five-point lead on a Jon Carlisle layup and a Mark Bigelow three-pointer before Memphis roared back with a 22-4 run. Carlisle's lay-in broke the Tigers' run and gave Carlisle six early points in his first start of the season, but Memphis kept coming at the Cougars.
"No matter how many times the coaches told us, we didn't believe how fast they got down the floor," Bigelow said.
Memphis (24-9) extended their lead to 34-13 before the Cougars began to whittle away, outscoring Memphis 9-2 to make the score 36-22 with four minutes left in the half. Short runs by both teams brought the halftime score to 42-29 as the Cougars ended the half hitting six of their last eight shots.
Carlisle, Bobik and Bigelow each had eight first-half points to lead BYU. Montague spent much of the first half on the bench with three fouls while fellow senior Eric Nielsen went scoreless. Nielsen's first field goal came with four minutes left in the contest.
Hansen and Montague each had five assists on the night to lead the Cougars. Montague finished the season with 217 assists, a single-season record. Montague and Nielsen, the only seniors on the team, both played in every game of their four-year careers.
Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS
BYU vs Memphis
3/20/02 6:30 pm at The Pyramid -- Memphis, Tenn.
VISITORS: BYU 18-12
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 5-11 3-5 4-5 0 2 2 2 17 1 2 0 4 33
25 NIELSEN, Eric....... f 2-8 0-1 2-4 2 3 5 3 6 3 1 0 1 33
42 CARLISLE, Jon....... c 4-7 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 0 8 0 2 0 0 19
02 HANSEN, Travis...... g 7-16 1-2 2-2 0 3 3 2 17 5 3 0 3 34
31 MONTAGUE, Matt...... g 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 4 2 5 6 0 1 23
10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 3
20 BOBIK, Daniel....... 5-5 4-4 1-2 0 2 2 2 15 2 2 0 2 18
22 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... 0-1 0-1 1-2 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 8
32 JEPSEN, Bart........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
40 HOWARD, Dan......... 0-1 0-0 1-2 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 11
52 JENSEN, Jared....... 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 4 2 0 0 0 1 16
TEAM................ 3 3
Totals.............. 25-53 8-13 11-17 6 22 28 19 69 16 18 0 13 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-24 45.8% 2nd Half: 14-29 48.3% Game: 47.2% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 61.5% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 3-6 50.0% 2nd Half: 8-11 72.7% Game: 64.7% 3
HOME TEAM: Memphis 24-9
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
03 McFADGON, Scooter... f 3-6 1-2 0-0 3 2 5 2 7 1 2 0 3 29
04 MASSIE, Chris....... f 5-9 0-0 6-11 1 5 6 3 16 0 2 0 1 30
43 DIARRA, Modibo...... c 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
01 BURKS, Antonio...... g 7-9 0-0 4-5 0 4 4 0 18 4 3 0 5 38
02 WAGNER, Dajuan...... g 9-19 4-9 2-2 1 3 4 3 24 9 2 0 0 33
11 ERWIN, Duane........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
23 RICE, Anthony....... 1-2 1-2 0-0 1 3 4 4 3 1 1 1 1 20
30 BARRON, Earl........ 1-4 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 5 4 1 4 2 0 16
45 WISE, Kelly......... 3-7 0-0 2-4 3 4 7 0 8 0 2 3 1 25
TEAM................ 2 2
Totals.............. 29-56 6-13 16-24 10 24 34 17 80 16 16 6 11 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-32 50.0% 2nd Half: 13-24 54.2% Game: 51.8% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-8 62.5% 2nd Half: 1-5 20.0% Game: 46.2% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-9 55.6% 2nd Half: 11-15 73.3% Game: 66.7% 3,1
Officials: R-Frank Scagliotta, U1-Bryan Kersey, U2-Emanuel Upton
Technical fouls: BYU-None. Memphis-None.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
BYU........................... 29 40 - 69
Memphis....................... 42 38 - 80
Owens Corning NIT Second Round.
Points in the paint-BY 26,MEM 34. Points off turnovers-BY 21,MEM 21.
2nd chance points-BY 6,MEM 7. Fast break points-BY 4,MEM 8.
Bench points-BY 19,MEM 15. Score tied-2 times. Lead changes-1 time.
BYU Plays at Memphis Wednesday in NIT Second Round
After its 78-55 first-round NIT home win over UC Irvine, BYU (18-11, 7-7 MWC) goes on the road to face the Memphis Tigers (23-9, 12-4 C-USA) Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. CST (5:30 p.m. MST) in the second round of the 2002 National Invitation Tournament. The Cougars are making their third consecutive postseason tournament appearance and their second NIT bid in the past three seasons. The Tigers, the regular season champions of Conference USA's National Division, defeated UNC Greensboro, 82-62, in their first-round NIT contest. Wednesday's game will be televised on ESPN2. The live radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 (and on the web at KSL.com), beginning with an hour pregame show.
The BYU-Memphis winner will play the winner of Yale (21-10)-Tennessee Tech (26-6). Yale is hosting the second-round game on Tuesday. Yale won at Rutgers 67-65 in the first round to win its first-ever postseason game. Tennessee Tech, the Ohio Valley Conference regular season champions, won its opening round game over Georgia State, 64-62, before its first-round victory at Dayton Friday, 68-59.
GAME FACTS (BYU Game 30)
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
BYU (18-11, 7-7 MWC) at Memphis (23-9, 12-4 C-USA)
6:30 p.m. CST (5:30 p.m. MST)
BYU, Steve Cleveland (85-68 in fifth year; same overall)
Memphis, John Calipari (44-24 in 2nd year; 247-95 in 10th year overall)
Series: Memphis leads, 2-1
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Web: Live audio on KSL.com
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 190 So. 14.8 2.8
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Sr. 10.1 5.1
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 So. 1.9 2.3
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Jr. 15.6 6.3
G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Sr. 6.4 7.3 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
C 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 245 Fr. 8.8 3.6
G 20 Daniel Bobik 6-6 205 So. 6.5 2.2
G 22 Jimmy Balderson 6-6 200 Fr. 4.1 1.5
C 42 Jon Carlisle 6-10 250 So. 2.1 1.6
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 So. 0.9 1.4
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 0.6 0.5 apg
F 4 Jesse Pinegar 6-9 225 Fr. 0.6 0.4
The Memphis Tigers was the No. 3 seed at the Conference USA Tournament after going 12-4 and winning C-USA's National Division, but was upset by Houston (80-74) in its opening-round game. The Tigers nearly won the league's regular season title at No. 5-ranked Cincinnati to finish the regular season but lost to the Bearcats in overtime, 80-75. The Tigers defeated UNC Greensboro (82-62) Thursday in its first-round NIT contest in Memphis. The Tigers are 17-2 at home this year, with the two defeats coming at the hands of Arkansas (90-73 on Jan. 2) and Houston (76-73 on Feb. 16). Memphis had a season-long 10-game victory streak after its loss to Arkansas until suffering its next loss on Feb. 8 at UAB (64-46). During the win streak the Tiger victories included home wins vs. USM, South Florida, UAB, Louisville, TCU and Tulane and road triumphs over TCU, Tulane and Southern Miss. The Tigers have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games, including a season-worst three-game skid in Mid-February. Memphis freshman Dajuan Wagner, who scored 27 vs. Cincinnati in the regular season finale, has been the Tiger scoring leader all season. The 6-foot-3 guard was named Honorable Mention All-America by the Associated Press, becoming the first Memphis freshman to garner AP All-America honors since Keith Lee was named to AP's second team in 1982. Wagner ranks 21st nationally in scoring, averaging 21.0 points per game to go along with 2.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals. The Camden, N.J., native was named All-Conference USA First Team as well as selected the league's Freshman of the Year. The2002 All-Conference USA First Team included five guards of the six members, including Cincinnati senior Steve Logan, Charlotte senior Jobey Thomas, Louisville junior Reece Gaines, Marquette sophomore Dwyane Wade and Wagner. Memphis senior Kelly Wise rounded out the first team as the only frontcourt player on the squad. Wise, a 6-foot-10 senior, is C-USA's all-time leader in double-doubles with 42, including a league-best 14 this season. Wise tops C-USA in rebounding at 10.8 per game and, combined with his 12.0 points per game scoring average, will average a double-double for the second straight season. A three-time all-conference selection, Wise led all C-USA players in field goal percentage at .589 and was eighth in blocked shots with 41. He did not play in the Tigers' loss to Houston in the C-USA Tournament or in their NIT victory Thursday over UNC Greensboro due to a strained knee. Sophomore foward Arthur Barclay has not played in the last 13 games due to patella tendonitis in his left knee. Five Tigers average more than nine points per game and two pull down more than eight rebounds per contest. As a team, Memphis shoots 45.6 percent from the floor, 35.3 percent on threes, and 67.0 perent from the free throw line. The Tigers hold opponents to shooting percentages of 39.2 percent from the floor and 28.0 percent on threes. Memphis averages 80.3 ppg (18th nationally) while allowing 68.6 ppg. They rank 15th nationally in scoring margin. They grab 43.3 rebounds to their opponents' 36.5 rebounds per game. The Tigers are coached by John Calipari (44-24 record in two seasons at Memphis and 247-95 in his 10th collegiate season). He coached the NBA's New Jersey Nets for three seasons. He guided the Tigers to the NIT third place finish last year, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Tulsa. Memphis defeated the MWC's Utah in SLC 71-62 in the first round, and then UTEP (90-65) and the MWC's New Mexico (81-63) at home to advance to New York. Calipari also led UMass to the 1991 NIT Final Four. He coached UMass to the NCAA Final Four, Elite Eight and Sweet 16 once each in five NCAA appearances. This Calipari's fourth NIT team. Memphis has a 12-14 NIT record overall.
Memphis Roster/Probable Starters
No. Name Info Hometown (Last school) PPG RPG
3 Scooter McFadgon G,6-5, 200, So. Memphis, Tenn. (Raleigh-Egypt HS) 9.8 4.1
4 Chris Massie F/C, 6-9, 253, Jr. Arcola, Texas (Oxnard, Calif., College) 9.5 8.5
43 Modibo Diarra C, 6-10, 240, So. Mali, West Africa (Notre Dame Prep, Mass.) 1.6 1.4
1 Antonio Burks G, 6-0, 190, So. Memphis, Tenn. (Hiwassee College) 8.1 5.2 apg
2 Dajuan Wagner G, 6-3, 200, Fr. Camden, N. J. (Camden HS) 21.0 3.4 apg
*45 Kelly Wise F, 6-10, 217, Sr. Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Choctawhatchee HS) 12.0 10.8
30 Earl Barron C, 7-0, 248, Jr. Clarksdale, Miss. (Clarksdale HS) 9.3 5.6
23 Anthony Rice G, 6-4, 195, Fr. Atlanta, Ga. (North Clayton HS) 7.7 2.8
32 Nathaniel Root G, 5-11, 175, Jr. Adamsville, Tenn. (Adamsville HS) 2.1 0.2
11 Duane Erwin F, 6-9, 230, Fr. Huntsville, Ala. (Lee HS) 1.3 2.8
**55 Arthur Barclay F, 6-8, 230, So. Camden N. J. (Camden HS) 2.6 2.1
* Starter missed last two games, status unknown; ** Missed last 13 games with knee injury
Head Coach: John Calipari (Clarion State, 1982), 2nd Year
Assistant Coaches: Tony Barbee (Massachusetts, 1993), Steve Roccaforte (Lamar, 1989), Derek Kellogg (Massachusetts, 1995); Director of Basketball Operations: Milt Wagner; Trainer: Ray Burr (So. Miss, 1988)
Tigers Coast to NIT First Round Victory over UNC-Greensboro Thursday
MEMPHIS -- Scooter McFadgon scored 21 points to lead five players in double figures as Memphis recorded an 82-62 victory over North Carolina-Greensboro in a first-round game of the National Invitation Tournament. McFadgon connected on 8-of-14 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, as the Tigers (23-9) used a second-half rally to put the game away. Dajuan Wagner added 16 points while Chris Massie finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds for Memphis. Reserve Anthony Rice had 14 points as Memphis shot 52 percent. David Schuck led the Spartans (20-11) with 15 points, and Ronnie Burrell added 10. A smothering Memphis defense held UNC-Greensboro to 32 percent shooting. The Tigers also dominated the boards 48-29. The Spartans never led after scoring the game's first basket, but kept the game close through the first 20 minutes. Memphis led 37-29 at halftime as Massie had 11 points and eight rebounds at the break. The Tigers extended the lead with a 9-4 run to open the second half. They held a 14-point lead midway through the period, then went on a 10-0 run to lead 68-44 when Rice scored on a breakaway layup with about eight minutes left. Memphis would eventually build the lead to 26 points twice in the second half and coasted to the tournament's second round.
Memphis leads the series 2-1. The three games to date have been split evenly between a neutral court and the two team's home courts, although the first two meetins were in the early 60s. The Cougars won the last meeting at the Maui Invitational on Dec. 22, 1992. BYU defeated Memphis and Penny Hardaway in overtime, 73-67, in the tournament semifinals. The Tigers won the first two contests, defeating BYU in Provo by three (75-72) on Dec. 15, 1960, and by 23 (99-76) in Memphis on Jan. 2, 1963.
Overall Series Record: Memphis leads, 2-1
BYU Record in Provo: 0-1
BYU Record in Memphis: 0-1
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-0
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 0-0
Longest BYU Win Streak: 1 (1992)
Longest Memphis Win Streak: 2 (1960-1963)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 6, 73-67 in 1992
Largest Memphis Margin of Victory: 23, 99-76 in 1963
Most Points Scored by BYU: 76 in 1963
Most Points Scored by SDSU: 93 in 1963
Overtime games: 1 (BYU 73, Memphis 67 on Dec. 22, 1992)
LAST MEETING - Despite Hardaway's 37, Cougars Overcome in Overtime
LAHAINA -- Despite a 37-point performance by Memphis star Anfernee (Penny) Hardaway, BYU came away the semifinal winner at the Maui Invitational, downing Memphis 73-67 in overtime for the right to meet Duke in the tournament finals. Both teams shot similar percentages as BYU made 48.4 percent from the floor, went 7-20 (.350) on threes and shot only 54.5 percent from the line, while Memphis made 44.6 percent from the floor, went 8-21 (.381) on threes and shot only 52.9 percent from the line. The difference came on the boards as BYU pulled down 42 rebounds to the Tigers' 30 and had 18 offensive boards to 12 for Memphis. The Cougars were able to make five more field goals on the night. BYU led 33-28 after the first 20 minutes but the Tigers outscored the Cougars 35-30 in the second half to force a five-minute extra period. BYU held the Tigers to only four points in overtime while scoring 10 for the win. BYU got a balanced effort as center Gary Trost led the scoring effort with 16 points. Guard Nick Sanderson added 15 while forwards Kevin Nixon and Russell Larson contributed 14 and 11, respectively. Sanderson and Nixon hit all seven of BYU's threes as Sanderson went 4-12 and Nixon 3-5 from behind the arc. Trost and Larson each pulled down a game-high eight rebounds and forward/center Jared Miller added eight boards along with eight points. Memphis star guard Penny Hardaway went 13-27 from the floor, including 6-15 on threes to score 37 points while playing the entire 45 minutes. He shared team-high rebounding honors at seven with Kelvin Allen and added three assists and three steals. Rodney Newsom was the only other Tiger in double figures with 12 oints on 5-10 shooting.
o Hardaway's 37 points tied the fourth highest point total ever achieved in a Maui Invitational contest. He made 13 three-pointers in the first two games of the tournament, after making seven in the Tigers' opening round win.
o BYU opened the 1992 Maui Invitational with a 76-75 win over Oklahoma before defeating Memphis in the semifinals. BYU lost the title game to Duke, 89-66.
BYU Series Record vs. Conference USA
This will BYU's first meeting this year against a Conference USA school. BYU last played a C-USA team last year when it lost to nationally ranked Cincinnati in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in San Diego. Overall, BYU has a 20-16 (.556) record vs. C-USA. The Cougars have played 11 of the 14 C-USA teams.
South Florida --
Saint Louis 3-1
East Carolina --
Southern Miss --
BYU Overall vs. C-USA 20-16 (.556)
BYU in the NIT:
BYU is making its ninth NIT appearance and has a 12-6 record, including two NIT titles (1951 and 1966). After its 78-55 win over UC Irvine Thursday, the Cougars are 3-1 in NIT games in two appearances under Steve Cleveland. BYU advanced to the quarterfinals in 2000 with home wins over Bowling Green and Southern Illinois before a loss at Notre Dame. BYU has advanced past the first round in six of nine NIT appearances and played at least three games four times. BYU will play its fourth road NIT contest Wednesday when it faces Memphis at The Pyramid. BYU is 0-3 in road NIT games while boasting a 6-2 neutral court record and a 6-1 home record. In their three road losses, the Cougars lost by 11 at Ohio State in the 1986 quarterfinals, had a two-point setback at Fresno State in the 1994 second round and fell by 12 points at Notre Dame in the 2000 quarterfinals in BYU's last NIT road game.
Appearances: 9 (including this year)
NIT Overall Record: 12-6
Neutral Record: 6-2
Home Record: 6-1
Road Record: 0-3
BYU's NIT Results
BYU 75, St. Louis 58
BYU 69, Seton Hall 59
*BYU 62, Dayton 43
Niagara 82, BYU 76
St. Francis (PA) 81, BYU 68
BYU 90, Temple 78
BYU 97, Army 60
*BYU 97, NYU 84
Washington 66, BYU 63 (at BYU)
BYU 67, SMU 63 (at BYU)
BYU 93, UC Irvine 80 (at BYU)
Ohio State 79, BYU 68 (at Ohio State)
BYU 74, Arizona State 67 (at BYU)
Fresno State 68, BYU 66 (at Fresno State)
BYU 81, Bowling Green 54 (at BYU)
BYU 82, Southern Illinois 57 (at BYU)
Notre Dame 64, BYU 52 (at Notre Dame)
BYU 78, UC Irvine 55 (at BYU)
BYU Defeats UC Irvine in NIT First Round
PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team defeated UC Irvine 78-55 in first-round action of the 2002 National Invitation Tournament at the Marriott Center Thursday night. "It feels better tonight than it has for the last couple of weeks," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "It's ice to see everybody make a contribution--we had individuals pick it up throughout the night." The Cougars were led by Travis Hansen's game-high 23 points and career-high 3 steals in 28 minutes of play. Hansen's 23 points are his most since his 30-point effort at Pepperdine on Jan. 5. Forward Mark Bigelow added 15 points, hitting three three-pointers on 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. With 1:02 remaining in the first half, senior guard Matt Montague broke the single-season assist record with his 205th assist of the season, besting previous holder Nate Call's record of 204. Montague now has 212 assists on the year as he finished the game with 12 assists, his most since the Feb. 15 game against Wyoming. The Cougars found other scoring options from its bench, getting support from Jon Carlisle's nine points, Daniel Bobik's eight points, and seven points from Jimmy Balderson. Jesse Pinegar recorded career highs in both points (two) and shooting percentage (1.000). Down 21-11 in the first half to the Anteaters, BYU went on an incredible 27-9 run to finish the half with a 10-point lead, 38-28. The Cougars shot 50 percent from three-point range on 5-of10 shooting in the first half. BYU finished the game shooting 54.9 percent from the field (28-of-51), their best percentage since shooting 55.9 percent against Air Force on Feb. 18. In the second half, BYU extended its lead to 16, 44-28, as Hansen scored all of the Cougars' first eight points of the half. UC Irvine answered with a 12-2 run of its own, making the score 46-38. The two teams traded baskets until the Cougars went on an 18-4 run to finish out the contest. "We had a little run in the second half with seven or eight minutes to go, but it just seemed like we would break down and that probably has a lot to do with the Cougars," said UCI head coach Pat Douglass. The win pushes the Cougars' nation-leading home court winning streak to 36 as BYU went a perfect 16-0 at home this season. BYU has only won 16 games at home in single season once before in its history, when Ladell Andersen's 1987-88 team went 16-2 at the Marriott Center.
BYU's Travis Hansen Selected to Second Team; Jared Jensen Shares Freshman Honors
The Mountain West Conference announced it's 2001-02 men's basketball awards at the conclusion of the regular season, as chosen by the league's head coaches. BYU'sTravis Hansen was selected to the second team while Cougar center Jared Jensen shared Freshman of the Year honors with Wyoming's Jason Straight. In all, five BYU players were recognized this year as senior point guard Matt Montague, senior forward Eric Nielsen and sophomore guard/forward Mark Bigelow received honorable mention. Hansen, a junior guard from Orem, Utah (Mountain View HS and UVSC), is BYU's leading scorer (15.5) and rebounder (6.4). Jensen, a forward/center from West Haven, Utah (Fremont HS), led the MWC in field goal percentage in both league games (57.9 percent) and all games (60.3 percent), becoming the first freshman in conference history to achieve that distinction. He also scored 10.2 points and grabbed 3.4 rebounds per conference game. Jensen is the fourth BYU player to receive either Freshman or Newcomer of the Year honors in the five seasons Steve Cleveland has coached the Cougars.
Cleveland Has String of Top Newcomers
Six players have earned conference newcomer honors in Steve Cleveland's five years as the Cougar coach, including four who have been singled out as either the conference newcomer or freshman of the year.
o Jared Jensen (2001-2002 MWC Co-Freshman of the Year)
o Trent Whiting (2000-2001 MWC Newcomer Team, 2nd Team All-MWC)
o Terrell Lyday (1999-2000 MWC Newcomer of the Year, All-Tournament Team)
o Mark Bigelow (1998-99 WAC Freshman of the Year, Newcomer Team, 2nd Team All-WAC)
o Mekeli Wesley (1997-98 WAC Newcomer Team)
o Ron Selleaze (1997-98 WAC Newcomer of the Year, Newcomer Team, 2nd Team All-WAC)
Montague Sets both Career and Single-Season Assist Records
Senior guard Matt Montague passed current BYU Director of Basekball Operations Nate Call as the single-season assist record holder with his fifth assist Thursday vs. UC Irvine. He went on to dish out 12 assists for a 212 season total. Earlier at Wyoming he passed Danny Ainge to become BYU's all-time assist leader. He broke a tie with Ainge on his first assist (a bucket by Eric Nielsen) vs. the Cowboys. He is also the leader in career average (4.67), just ahead of Ainge, and single-season average (7.3 apg is tied for seventh nationally). He has also dished out 15 assists in a game twice this year, just one off the BYU mark of 16 set by Mike May in 1976.
Total Assists - Career
1. Matt Montague 565
2. Danny Ainge 539
3. Nathan Call 528
4. Marty Haws 502
Assists by Average -- Career
1. Matt Montague 4.67
2. Danny Ainge 4.57
3. Nathan Call 4.09
Total Assists -- Season
1. Matt Montague (2002) 212
2. Nathan Call (1992) 204
3. Nathan Call (1991) 164
4. Danny Ainge (1978) 158
Assists by Average -- Season
1. Matt Montague (2002) 7.3
2. Nathan Call (1992) 6.4
3. Danny Ainge (1978) 5.3
Assists in a game
1. Mike May (1976) 16
2. Matt Montague (2002) 15 (twice)
Hansen Named MWC Player of the Week on Jan. 7
COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU junior forward Travis Hansen has been named the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week after averaging a double-double last week in BYU's two games. Hansen, from Orem, Utah (Utah Valley State College) averaged 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds while BYU defeated San Francisco and lost in overtime at Pepperdine. The Cougar guard shot 48 percent from the field (13-of-27) and was perfect from the free throw line (14-of-14). "Travis is very deserving," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "He had a special performance at Pepperdine. He just competed like a lion. He was a warrior out there who carried us on his shoulders." In the 84-70 win vs. San Francisco, Hansen scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds, had two assists, one block and one steal in 27 minutes. Against Pepperdine, he collected his team-leading third double-double of the year with 30 points and 17 rebounds in the 82-79 overtime loss. He went 10-of-19 from the floor and 10-of-10 from the line while adding two assists and one steal in 42 minutes. He set career highs during the game in points, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made, free throw percentage, and minutes played. Hansen's 17 boards tops his previous high of 15 rebounds set earlier this year and are the most by a Cougar since Brett Applegate had 17 rebounds in December 1983. This is Hansen's first player of the week honor of his career and the second awarded to a Cougar this season. BYU senior forward Eric Nielsen earned the honor on Dec. 24. "It's an nice honor for me and the team," Hansen said. "I think it reflects how we have played as a team during the preseason. Obviously it would be a lot sweeter had we won the game at Pepperdine, but it is something to build upon entering our conference games."
Nielsen Earns MWC Player of the Week Award after Stanford Victory
COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU senior forward Eric Nielsen was named the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week Monday after leading the Cougars to an 81-76 upset of 13th-ranked Stanford Saturday at the Las Vegas Showdown. It was Nielsen's first player of the week honor of his career. Nielsen, from Freemont, Calif. (Irvington HS) scored a career-high 29 points after making 11-of-16 shots from the floor (68.8 percent), including 2-for-2 from three-point range. He was also a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line and grabbed six rebounds, while dishing out two assists. Nielsen's two treys marked a career best and equaled the total number of threes he's made in te past two years combined. Nielsen scored 17 points in 18 first-half minutes, keeping BYU within one at intermission, 41-40. He added 12 points in the second half and helped the Cougars outrebound Stanford, holding the Cardinal nine boards their season average. Nielsen also set career highs with the 16 field goal attempts, 11 field goals made and free throw percentage (1.000).
Nielsen Named Academic All-District
BYU senior forward Eric Nielsen was named to the 2002 Verizon Academic All-District VIII men's basketball team, released last week. Two-time honorees Dan Dickau of Gonzaga and Predrag Savovic of Hawaii join Nielsen on the five-man team along with Jason Humbert of Eastern Washington and Michael Preston of Pacific. Four of this year's five honorees play on teams currently in the top three of their respective conferences. BYU, 16-8 overall, is currently tied for third in the Mountain West Conference at 6-5. The District VIII team was voted on by CoSIDA members from within the District VIII states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, and the province of British Columbia. The all-district first-team selections advance to the national ballot for consideration. The 2002 Verizon Academic All-America team will be announced March 7. An All-MWC Academic member and a Cougar Club Scholar Athlete, Nielsen has a 3.26 GPA in Civil Engineering.
Bigelow Sets Three-Point Mark vs. UNLV in Provo
Against UNLV, Mark Bigelow connected from behind the arc for the 22nd straight game dating back to his freshman season, a new BYU record. His streak ended with three misses at New Mexico. Terrell Lyday previously held the record with 21, all coming in the 1999-2000 season. Lyday's 21 games is still the single-season consecutive games record for BYU. Bigelow also achieved the third-longest single season mark at 15 games. BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson is second on the single-season list. Toolson made a three in 29 of 30 games as a senior in 1990, with streaks of 16 and 13 games. Toolson didn't make a three vs. Wyoming.
Home/Road Conference First
BYU split with every team in the conference this year, going 7-0 at home and 0-7 on the road. It is the first time since the beginning of WAC play in 1962 that a BYU team has gone unbeaten at home and winless on the road during conference play. It is only the fourth time BYU has not won a road conference game and the first time in MWC play. BYU was 0-5 in 1967-68 (13-12 overall); 0-7 in 1969-70 (8-18 overall); 0-8 in 1996-97 (1-25 overall); and 0-7 this year (17-10 to date).
Cleveland in Conference Play
Coach Steve Cleveland's conference (WAC/MWC) record is 34-36. Taking over after BYU's 1-25 season, Cleveland improved BYU's conference record in each of his first four seasons and has exceeded many expectations with only one starter returning this year and a playing roster the includes five freshmen and five sopohomores. Cleveland has been at .500 four times, including twice this year (1-1, 2-2, 29-29, 34-34). He has had a winning mark twice (1-0, 2-1). Cleveland has a 23-18 (.561) MWC record.
The Cougars shoot 47.0 percent from the floor. BYU is shooting 49.7 percent in its 18 victories and 43.0 percent in its 11 losses. The Cougars are shooting .501 at home and .445 on the road. BYU has shot at least 45 percent in 19 games this year. BYU has shot 50 percent or better seven times this year, including 54.9 percent vs UC Irvine in Thursday's first-round win.
From Three-Point Range
BYU is shooting 39.0 percent on threes (tied for 23rd nationally). BYU was 6-15 in its last outing from three. After making a season-low two threes vs. UNM, going 2-10, BYU responded with 8 treys vs. Air Force while shooting its second-best percentage at .615, going 8-13. BYU made a season-best 63.6 percent (7-11) vs. Stanford at the Thomas & Mack Center. BYU equaled a season-high 11 treys vs. Southern Utah on Dec. 29. BYU made eight three pointers in the first half (season best) against SUU. The Cougars also had 11 three pointers against Idaho. BYU attempted a season-high 22 threes vs Southern Utah. Mark Bigelow made five treys vs. SUU. Bobik has made five threes in a game, going 5-7 vs. Idaho. Mark Bigelow has made a team-high 62 threes (.416) and made a three in 26 of 29 games this year (also set a BYU-record 22 straight games dating back to his freshman season). Travis Hansen has made 34 treys (.420) and Daniel Bobik has made 27 (.386). Matt Montague has made 15 (.313), and Eric Nielsen 12 (.462) and Jimmy Balderson 11 (.314). Hansen had the second-best three-point percentage (.472) among MWC players in league games.
One-Two Scoring Punch
Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow are BYU's one-two scoring punch. Both players have had a 30-point scoring game with Bigleow totaling 31 vs. Arizona State and Hansen having a 30-point performance at Pepperdine. Hansen averages 15.6 and Bigelow 14.8. Bigelow has reached double figures in 25 of 29 games and Hansen has been in double-digits in 23 of 29 games. The only game this year when neither player reached double digits was at UNM.
Other Scoring Options
The Cougars have three players scoring in double figure points. After leaders Travis Hansen (15.6) and Mark Bigelow (14.8), senior Eric Nielsen averages 10.1 ppg and has scored a career-high 29 points vs. Stanford. Although he only had 2 points and took only three shots vs. UC Irvine, he has scored in double-digits in 14 of the last 18 games, including a double-double 11 points, 11 boards vs. SDSU in the MWC Tournament. In addition, freshman center Jared Jensen is averaging 8.8 ppg and had a career-high 20 points at Air Force. Reserve guard Daniel Bobik is adding 6.5 ppg off the bench, twice scored highs of 17 points, and starting point guard Matt Montague adds 6.4 ppg and has reached double digits six times, including a season-high 13 points at Utah and vs. AFA. Freshman guard Jimmy Balderson (4.1 ppg) has reached double figures three times with a high of 19 points.
Numbers at the Line
BYU is shooting 76.3 percent from the line for the year (tied for 6th nationally). Last year, BYU led the nation at 78 percent from the line. BYU's worst percentage was at UNM, making only 7-12 free throws (.583). BYU also shot only 66.7 percent vs. CSU, .656 vs. AFA, and .684 vs. Utah (only four games below 70 percent). Daniel Bobik made 27 consecutive free throws before missing (3-4) at Utah. His string of successes spanned 17 games, last missing in game 2 vs. Arizona State. The BYU record is 32 set by Michael Smith. Travis Hansen reaching 23 straight this year until missing on his fourth attempt at home vs. SDSU. Bobik is tied for 14th nationally at 90.5 percent. All six players averaging double-digit minutes are shooting 72 percent or better from the line.
Six players play the majority of the minutes for BYU coach Steve Cleveland. Only Daniel Bobik averages double-digit minutes off the bench at 18.3. Four starters -- Matt Montague (1), Travis Hansen (2), Mark Bigelow (3), and Eric Nielsen (4) average more than 30 minutes a game, with Montague playing a team-high 37.5 minutes per outing. Bart Jepsen (4) and Daniel Bobik (2-3) are the only reserves to play in every game but both have played a more limited role the later half of the season. Dan Howard (5) did not factor into the regular rotation over the first 21 games but has averaged 16.3 minutes over the last eight games and has started three straight in the middle. He is questionable for Wednesday game with a sprained left knee. Jared Jensen (5) has started at center in 25 games but has come off the bench since Howard's recent starting assignments. He gives BYU's bench additional scoring potential. Jon Carlisle (5) has played mostly single-digit minutes in the post due but could see more time pending matchups. Jimmy Balderson (2) has earned more time of late on the perimeter.
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.
BYU's record when . . .
BYU leads at half 13-5
Opponent leads at half 3-6
Score tied at half 2-0
BYU leads with 5 minutes left 16-3
Opponent leads with 5 min. left 2-8
BYU leads with 1 minute left 17-1
Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-9
Score tied with 1 minute left 0-1
Game goes into overtime 0-3
BYU out rebounds opponent 14-3
Opponent out rebounds BYU 3-7
BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 1-1
BYU shoots 50 % or better 6-1
Opponent shoots 50 % or better 0-3
BYU out shoots opponent 15-4
Opponent out shoots BYU 3-7
BYU scores 60 or more points 17-8
Opponent scores below 60 points 11-0
vs. 2001 Conference Champions 7-3
vs. 2001 postseason teams 8-5
vs. 2002 top-20 ranked opponent 1-0
vs. 2002 postseason teams 9-9
vs. 2002 NCAA teams 5-6
vs. 2002 NIT teams 4-3
Montague is BYU Energizer, Keeps on Going, and Going
Senior point guard Matt Montague averages a team-leading 37.5 minutes per game. He has played 40 or more minutes in 10 games this year, including a full 45 in two of the three overtime games. He has played 39 minutes in an additional six games. He is sixth nationally in assists at 7.3 apg and is averaging a career-best 6.5 ppg and 4.2 rpg. Montague equaled his season-high with 13 points vs. Air Force (also at Utah on 1/28/01). He passed Danny Ainge at Wyoming as BYU's all-time assist leader and set a new BYU single-season assist record Thursday vs. UCI (212 assists).
BYU ended a three-game losing skid with its win over UC Irvine Thursday. BYU has twice suffered three-game losing streaks this season -- the only two such BYU skids since the inception of the MWC. BYU's other three-game losing skid this year (at UNM, at AFA, at Utah) was its first since February 1999 when BYU lost at Fresno State, San Jose State (OT) and vs. New Mexico in Provo as a member of the WAC. BYU has lost 10 straight road games (not including the Stanford win and SDSU loss on a neutral court) since opening the season with a win at the University of San Diego. BYU had a season-best eight-game winning streak halted at Pepperdine. The eight straight wins was the longest streak since the 1992-93 BYU team won 13 in a row. BYU has won 36 consecutive home games.
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 is 16-0 at home this season and was 15-0 last year. BYU has had a perfect home record seven times since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season. This is the first time it has happened in back-to-back seasons. This year's team ties the BYU record with 16 home wins and is 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.
Hitting the Glass
BYU has had the rebounding edge in 17 of 29 games, earning a 14-3 record when winning the battle of the boards. Overall, BYU averages 33.5 rebounds while its opponents grab on average 31.0. BYU gave up a high of 48 rebounds to Wyoming, including 21 offensive boards. BYU held AFA to only 15 boards (a BYU opponent season low). The Cougars have been out rebounded 10 times overall this year (3-7 in those games). BYU was out boarded in nine of 14 MWC games. Allowing some offensive rebounds late hurt the Cougars in closely contested road losses at UNLV and SDSU. BYU's low on the glass was 23 at Air Force. BYU out boarded Fort Lewis, 47-17, for its season high. BYU had 45 boards vs. SDSU at the MWC tournament. 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. Shooting guard Travis Hansen leads the team (6.3) and point guard Matt Montague is third at 4.2. Forward Eric Nielsen is second at 5.1. Hansen has had highs of 17 and 15 rebounds.
BYU ranks second in the MWC in field goal percentage defense (.420), first in three-point percentage defense (.302) and third in scoring defense (64.5). After holding San Diego State to 37 percent shooting and UNLV to 39 percent at home to open MWC play, BYU yielded 53.6 percent to the Lobos at The Pit and 54.3 percent to Air Force -- the two highest highest percentages allowed by BYU this year. Only three teams have shot better than 50 percent against BYU (at AFA, .543; at New Mexico, .536; at Utah State, .509). The Cougars have held 10 opponents this year below 40 percent shooting (SDSU at MWC tournament last week was the only time in the last 13 games) while 10 teams have shot better than 45 percent against BYU.
Biggest Marriott Center Crowd in Two Years was vs. San Diego State
Attendance vs. San Diego State in the MWC opener was 19,411, the largest Marriott Center crowd since Jan. 15, 2000 when 22,580 showed up to see BYU play Utah. The largest crowd last season was 19,098, also against Utah. Unlike many schools, BYU's announced attendance is actual attendance instead of paid attendance. The 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics had a significant impact on attendance this year as BYU's conference attendance was down to 11,843 from last year's 15,608.
From the Training Room
Center Dan Howard has a sprained left knee and is questionable for Wednesday's game. He did not practice Friday or Saturday. His status is day-to-day. Reserve point guard Shawn Opunui suffered torn ligaments in his left them earlier this year and is out for the season. He played in only four games (1.5 ppg, 2.8 apg).
BYU Record in March
BYU has been able to finish strong in each of Steve Clevelands first four seasons in Provo. BYU is 13-7 in March under Steve Cleveland, including an 1-2 mark this year. BYU is 12-5 over the last three years in March. BYU was 5-1 last March, with its lone loss coming in the NCAA tournament. Cleveland is 5-2 in the MWC tournament and 6-4 in conference postseason tournaments overall. Cleveland is 3-2 in national postseason tournaments, including a 3-1 NIT record.
BYU vs. 2002 Postseason Teams
BYU has played 12 teams this year that qualified for a postseason tournament. The Cougars have an 9-9 record vs. those teams this year. The Cougars have a 5-6 record vs. seven NCAA teams and a 4-3 record vs. five NIT teams.
BYU vs. Postseason Teams/Conference Champs
BYU is 7-3 vs. 2001 conference title holders and 8-5 against teams that earned postseason berths last year with losses at Utah State, Pepperdine, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming and wins over Creighton, Stanford, CS Northridge, Southern Utah , Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah and UC Irvine. On this year's schedule, BYU has played eight conference champions, including Pac-10 champion Stanford, and has played 13 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year. In addition to Stanford, last year's champions included Creighton of the Missouri Valley Conference, Utah State and UC Irvine 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 last year's NIT tournament.
BYU in Nonconference
BYU achieved double-digit pre-conference wins for the third straight season with a 10-3 mark this year. Last year BYU was 11-4 entering MWC play and went on to a 24-9 record. In 1999-2000 the Cougars were 11-2 and finished 22-11. 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. BYU has a 32-6 home record against nonconference teams under Steve Cleveland. BYU is 25-0 vs. non-MWC teams at home since the conference was founded in 1999. The Cougars are the only MWC team with an unbeaten home nonconference mark.
Six MWC Teams Earn Postseason Invites
BYU's seven Mountain West opponents have combined (as of March 15) to win 58.4 percent of their games this year. The league, which was predicted to be stronger top to bottom from last season, has its highest rating as the seventh ranked conference in the nation. BYU was picked sixth in the preseason poll but finished tied for fourth with San Diego State. The MWC had a record six teams earn a postseason tournament invite this year with Wyoming, Utah and SDSU going to the NCAA tournament and BYU, UNLV and New Mexico playing in the NIT.
BYU Opponent Records
BYU's 21 opponents have combined to win 59 percent. Eleven teams have won at least 20 games. Of the 21 opponents BYU has faced this year, 14 have winning records as of March 15. Seven teams have a losing record. Nine of BYU's 11 losses (except CSU and Air Force) have come against team's with winning records. Seven of the 10 teams to beat BYU this year have at least 21 victories. Those 10 teams have combined for a 187-119 record (.611).
BYU's win this year over then No. 13 Stanford in Las Vegas was the Cougars' first win over a team in the top-20 poll since upsetting No. 15 New Mexico (83-62) in The Pit in February 1998. Last year BYU lost to No. 13 USC, 70-67, at the Yahoo Sports Invitational in Laie, Hawaii, after leading by 18 at the half, 41-23. BYU played at No. 4 Arizona on Dec. 1, 1999 but lost 86-62 after a late Arizona run in the final eight minutes. BYU took No. 11 Arizona to overtime in Provo on Nov. 24, 1998, before losing 78-74. BYU nearly won in regulation, but Arizona's Jason Terry hit a three-pointer to send the game to overtime.
BYU on ESPN, Radio/TV Coverage
BYU will appear on ESPN2 for the first time this year on Wednesday. The Cougars have appeared twice on ESPN and five times on ESPN Regional Television (ESPN+Plus) this year. An additional 13 BYU games were televised by SportsWest Productions and KBYU produced two games for taped-delay broadcast. BYU also appeared on Fox Sports West 2 against Pepperdine and Fox Sports Arizona vs. Arizona State. In all 22 of 29 games have been televised. All BYU games are carried live on the Cougar Sports Radio Network, originating from KSL Newsradio 1160 AM in Salt Lake City.
RPI Report (as of March 10)
According to the CollegeRPI.com, BYU is ranked 52nd nationally in RPI, the fourth-rated MWC team. The Mountain West Conference is rated 7th among the 32 conferences (and five independents).
San Diego State 39
New Mexico 66
Colorado State 163
Air Force 198
Sagarin Ratings (as of March 15)
BYU is currently ranked 62nd and is the third-rated team in the Mountain West Conference in the Sagarin ratings. The MWC is the 7th ranked conference in the nation. Below is a list of MWC teams in order of their ranking. To see the latest Sagarin Rankings go to: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin.htm
Rk. Team Sched Rank
44 Utah 56
50 Wyoming 108
62 BYU 59
65 San Diego State 48
69 UNLV 91
84 New Mexico 90
135 Colorado State 83
170 Air Force 70
BYU in MWC Statistics (as of March 11)
Category All Games Conf. Only
Scoring Offense 5th 4th
Scoring Defense 3rd 3rd
Scoring Margin 3rd 3rd
FT Percentage 1st 2nd
FG Percentage 4th 3rd
FG % Defense 2nd 4th
3-FG Percentage 2nd 3rd
3-FG % Defense 1st 2nd
Rebound Offense 6th 6th
Rebounding Defense 4th 7th
Rebound Margin 5th 5th
Blocked Shots 6th T-2nd
Assists 5th 4th
Steals 8th 8th
Turnover Margin 7th 3rd
Assist/Turnover Ratio 3rd 3rd
Offensive Rebounds 6th 6th
Defensive Rebounds 3rd 6th
3-FG Made 4th 4th
Individual (overall games)
o Matt Montague leads the MWC in assists and assist/turnover ratio. He is 10th in defensive rebounds, tied for 8th in steals, and 17th in rebounding.
o Mark Bigelow 10th in scoring, 6th in free throw percentage, and 5th in three-pointers per game and 7th in three-point percentage.
o Travis Hansen is 8th in scoring, 7th in rebounding, 5th in defensive rebounds, 6th in three-point percentage, 9th in free throw percentage and 15th in three-pointers per game.
o Eric Nielsen is tied for 9th in field goal percentage, 9th in defensive rebounds, tied for 10th in total rebounds and 10th in blocks.
o Daniel Bobik would lead all MWC players in free throw percentage (.905) but doesn't shoot enough to qualify for the rankings.
o Jared Jensen is No. 1 in FG percentage, is 5th in FT percentage and 13th in off. rebounds.
o Jon Carlisle is 13th in blocked shots.
BYU in National Statistics (as of March 15)
o BYU is tied for 6th in the nation in free throw shooting percentage (.763), and tied for 23rd in three-point percentage (.390).
o Matt Montague is 6th in assists (7.3) and Daniel Bobik is tied for 14th in FT% (.905).
MATT MONTAGUE / 6-0 o 190 o senior o point guard
o Montague provides leadership at the point having started 87 times and played in all 121 games in his fourth year. He has led the team in assists during each of his four seasons. He was named honorable mention All-MWC.
o He averages a MWC-best 7.3 assists (6th nationally). He also tops the MWC in assist/TO ratio. He has two of the nation's top seven assist games. He had15 assists vs. Wyoming and Idaho - the most assists by a Cougar since Mike May's school record of 16 vs. Niagara in 1976. He passed Danny Ainge at Wyoming as BYU's all-time assist leader.
o He passed Nate Call (204) vs. UCI as BYU's single-season record holder. Montague now has 212 assists this year.
o He recorded double-digit assists in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, with 15 (vs. Wyo.) and 11(vs. CSU). After his 12 assists vs. UCI, he has had 10 or more assists in seven games this year and 10 times in his career. He had a season-low 3 assists at Wyoming. Ironically, it was the same game he set the career assist record at BYU.
o He has reached double figures points in six games this year, including a season-high 13 points (vs. AFA, at Utah).
o He averages career highs of 6.4 ppg, 7.3 apg and 4.2 rpg. He has made 14 threes in the last 18 games, hitting on 14-35 attempts (.400), after making only 1 trey (1-13, .077) in BYU's first 11 games.
TRAVIS HANSEN / 6-6 o 210 o junior o guard/forward
o Hansen is BYU's leading scorer (15.6) and rebounder (6.3). Hansen was named second-team All-MWC.
o He has scored 15 or more points in 10 of the last 12 games, including four games with 20 or more points.
o He has led BYU in scoring a team-leading 13 times overall this year, including five of the last seven games. He has reached double-digit points in 23 of 29 games, including 11 of the last 12.
o He had his team-leading fourth double-double of the year vs. Utah with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Against Pepperdine he had career highs of 30 points and 17 rebounds. He set career highs during the game in points, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made and free throw percentage.
o Hansen is the second Cougar to score 30 points in a game this year (Mark Bigelow 31 vs. ASU).
o Hansen's 17 boards tops his previous high of 15 rebounds this year and is the most boards by a Cougars since Brett Applegate had 17 rebounds in December 1983. Only 20 Cougars have ever had more than 17 boards in a game. No Cougar guard has ever totaled more boards in a single game.
o He played a key defensive role against Casey Jacobsen of Stanford. He typically guards the opponent's best perimeter player. He held two-time Big West Player of the Year Jerry Green nine points below his average Thursday vs. UC Irvine while scoring a game-high 23 points for BYU on the offensive end.
o Hansen had the second-best three-point percentage in conference play (.472) among MWC players.
MARK BIGELOW / 6-7 o 190 o sophomore o guard/forward
o Bigelow was BYU's leading scorer (15.0) and rebounder (6.3) and WAC Freshman of the Year and All-WAC Second Team in 1998-99 before going on a two-year LDS Church mission to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
o This year Bigelow earned honorable mention All-MWC recognition as BYU's second-leading scorer at 14.8 ppg.
o He has scored at least 13 points in 22 of 29 games. He has five 20 or more point games this year, including a BYU season-high 31 vs. ASU. He had a string of 14 straight double-digit games before only 4 points at UNM. He also had 4 points at Utah, taking a season-low one three-point attempt. He had his season low in points vs. AFA, going 1-4 for three points on a trey.
o Bigelow set a BYU record with 22 consecutive games with a trey (set vs. UNLV in Provo with two three-pointers).
o He has made two or more threes in 17 games, including a career-equaling 5 treys vs. Southern Utah. He had four threes vs. CSU in Provo, a conference-season high. He went 3-6 vs. UCI Thursday.
o He had 15 points vs. UCI Thursday and a team-leading 15 points vs. SDSU in the MWC tourney loss to SDSU.
o He is averaging 16.8 ppg at home and 12.0 ppg in road games.
ERIC NIELSEN / 6-9 o 215 o senior o forward
o A four-year starter, Nielsen is the only starter back from last year's NCAA team. His 54.4 career field goal percentage (351-645) is 11th all-time at BYU. Nielsen and Matt Montague were freshmen members of the 1996-97 BYU team that finished 1-25. Since returning from his mission, Nielsen has played three seasons for coach Cleveland, helping the Cougars earn a combined 64-31 (.674) record to date, including three postseason tournament berths.
o Nielsen is third on the team in scoring (10.1 ppg), second in rebounding (5.1 rpg) and field goal percentage (.511).
o He had his first double-double of the year (11 pts, 11 rbs) vs. SDSU at the MWC Tournament. He also equaled a career high with 3 blocks.
o He hit the game-winning jumper vs. Utah, scoring 14 points. He has scored 14 points in five of the last nine games.
o He has scored in double figures in 14 of the last 18 games. He has reached double digits 19 times this year.
o Nielsen fouled out for the first time this year at Utah (with 8:36 remaining). He had fouled out of 26 of 92 games (every 3.5 games) over his first three seasons (10 times as a freshman, 7 times as a sophomore and 9 times last year).
o He scored a career-high 29 points vs. Stanford, taking a career-high 16 attempts while making a new-best 11 shots.
o He missed his only start at Air Force because he was ill and did not attempt a shot for only time this year (3 pts).
o An Academic All-MWC and Cougar Scholar Athlete, Nielsen was named to the 2002 Verizon Academic All-District VIII team this year. He maintains a 3.26 GPA in Civil Engineering. He was also named honorable mention All-MWC.
JARED JENSEN / 6-9 o 245 o freshman o center
o Jensen earned the 2001 Utah Deseret News Mr. Basketball Award after scoring 25.8 points and pulling down 13 rebounds per game this past season at Fremont High School.
o Jensen and Wyoming's Jason Straight were named MWC Co-Freshman of the Year by the league's head coaches.
o He is fourth on the team overall at 8.8 ppg. In MWC games, he was fourth on the team at 10.2 ppg.
o He shoots a team-leading and MWC-best 59.2 percent. He has 13 double figure games this year.
o He has played 20-plus minutes in 15 games. After 8 straight 20-plus outings, he played a season-low 7 minutes at Utah and has only had four 20-minute games in the last 11. He has not started the last three games (also didn't start season-opener) but had 18 points in 21 minutes at CSU. But, he scored only 2 points in each of the past two games.
o He had perhaps the best game of his young career at Air Force when he scored a career-high 20 points, going 6-10 from the floor and 8-9 from the line. He also added 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
o Jensen had his first career double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds vs. CS Northridge. He also had a career-best 10 boards vs. Creighton. He has had a career-best free throw percentage twice, including his 8-8 at CSU.
DANIEL BOBIK / 6-6 o 205 o sophomoreo guard
o Last year Daniel Bobik averaged 3.5 points and 10.4 minutes while playing in 28 of 33 games as a freshman. Bobik plays the sixth-man role this year, although he has seen less time in the last 11 games.
o Bobik is tied for fifth on the team in scoring (6.5). He has scored in double digits in seven games, including two MWC games. He had 10 at Utah and 11 at New Mexico. At UNM, he went 4-6 from the floor, a career-best .667 percentage, with 11 points. He scored on back-to-back ally-oop layins. He reached double digits in three straight games with a career-high 17 against Idaho, 10 against Stanford and 17 again vs. CS Northridge.
o He had a career-best 8 rebounds vs. Creighton.
o He has played 20 minutes once in the last 11 games (at SDSU). He played a season-low 5 vs. Utah. He averages 18.3 minutes overall. He played a career-high 33 minutes with 12 points, four rebounds in the season-opener at USD.
o He did not take a shot for the first time this year vs. UNM. He was 3-5 vs. UC Irvine Thursday with 8 points.
o Five of his seven double-digit games have been on the road, including 12 at USD and 10 vs. Stanford in two wins.
o With Eric Nielsen sick, he got his only start at Air Force, playing 21 minutes, taking only 1 shot, scoring 2 points.
o He shoots a MWC-best 90.5 percent from the line (tied for 14th nationally) and had a string of 27 straight free throws until missing his last attempt at Utah (all-time BYU record is 32 by Michael Smith). The streak extended over 17 games (began vs. ASU). He set career bests in all three free throw categories, going 8-8 vs. CS Northridge.
BART JEPSEN / 6-9 o 235 o redshirt sophomore o forward
o Jepsen redshirted last season after returning from an LDS Church mission. He is a rebounder and defender who can run the floor well. 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.
o Jepsen has appeared in every game this year off the bench, joining Bobik as only reserves to play in every game.
o He blocked Brian Greene's shot with seconds left to help BYU preserve its three-point lead over CSU in Provo. It was his third blocked shot of the year. His rebound high is 6 vs. Arizona State.
o After playing double-digit minutes in five of first seven games, he has only played 10 or more minutes in four of the last 22 games. He played a season-high 22 minutes at UNLV and at Utah State.
o Jepsen tied his career high in scoring with seven points and field goals made (3), coming off the bench to give the Cougars a big lift in 19 minutes vs. SDSU in Provo. His two dunks in the first half helped give BYU momentum, taking a lead it never lost throughout the entire second half. His 3-4 shooting night was also a career-best percentage.
o Down 21-11 to UC Irvine Thursday, BYU got the crowd going with a Jepsen's dunk that started an incredible 27-9 BYU run to finish the half with a 10-point lead, 38-28.
JESSE PINEGAR / 6-9 o 220 o redshirt freshman o forward
o Pinegar has played in seven games since being cleared by doctors in December (due to shoulder surgery in June). It was his first action since his junior year of high school. He sat out his senior year of high school after shoulder surgery and then redshirted last season at BYU. He injured his shoulder again this summer and had surgery in June.
o Pinegar scored the first points of his collegiate career vs. Southern Utah. He scored with about a minute to play on running one-hand baseline jumper. He played a season-high seven minutes with 1 rebound and 1 assist vs. Fort Lewis in his first career appearance.
o He had not appeared in any conference games until playing one minute vs. AFA on Feb. 18.
o He scored on a free throw line fade-away jumper vs .UC Irvine in his two minutes of late action.
o 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. A skilled offensive player, he was expected to play a role for BYU this season but again injured his left (non dominant) shoulder in June. He is a mobile, athletic player, who has excellent range beyond the three-point line. He made significant strides in the weight room last season before the injury.
o He no longer has pain in his shoulder but does not have the conditioning and strength to factor into much playing time this year.
DAN HOWARD / 7-0 o 225 o sophomore o center
o The tallest player on the roster, he has a nice touch for a big man. He is a career 21-32 (.656) from the floor in his two seasons, including 13-21 (.619) this year.
o Howard has appeared in 20 games overall this season. Last year, Howard played in 14 games in limited action.
o He has played his most significant time in the last eight games since playing 17 minutes at SDSU. At SDSU he had career highs in nine categories, including points (8) and rebounds (7). While his offensive numbers were good, his biggest contribution was on the defensive end. He was able to significantly slow down SDSU's Randy Holcomb, who had a huge first half for the Aztecs. Howard had an important dunk and rebound late, along with a free throw vs. Utah to help BYU get a victory.
o Howard has started the last three games. He got his first start since the season-opener at CSU, playing a career-high 22 minutes, while scoring four points and pulling down 5 rebounds. He took a career-high four shots (2-4). His first career start was in the season-opener at USD. He played seven minutes, with one rebound.
o He has played double-digit minutes 10 times this year, including the last eight straight games. The last eight games have been his only extended minutes in games still in question since playing a season-high 12 minutes at USF last season. He plays with energy and has been a valuable defensive and rebounding presence.
o He sprained his left knee vs. UC Irvine and is listed as questionable for Wednesday's game at Memphis. He did not practice Friday or Saturday while doing therapy. He status will be evaluated day to day.
JON CARLISLE / 6-10 o 250 o sophomore o center
o 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.
o He has worked all year to get back into playing shape, having taken off 40 pounds in the early season since returning from his mission. He is a talented post player who has some conditioning and stamina issues currently but the tools to be a strong contributor in the future. He has been a spark in the post at times, giving the Cougars a solid effort during his limited time.
o He had a season-high 9 points on 4-5 shooting vs. UC Irvine and equaled his season high with 4 rebounds. He had four points and season-high four boards in 13 minutes at UNM. He also had 4 boards vs. SDSU.
o Carlisle has played in 23 games, including a string of 21 straight until not playing vs SDSU in the MWC Tournament. He has grabbed a rebound in 17 of 23 games and has scored in 13 of his 23 games.
o He is 18-34 (.529) from the floor.
o After three straight scoreless games, he scored 5 points and had 2 rebounds in 8 minutes vs. UNM. He recorded his first steal of the year. He had his second steal vs. UC Irvine in the NIT First Round.
o He played a season-high 19 minutes vs. Wyoming in Provo, scoring a career-high 8 points.
o At Utah, he had two blocks, one rebound and dove on the floor to create a BYU possession resulting in a Matt Montague layin in only seven minutes.
o He has played double-digit minutes six times. He played 14 minutes vs. Stanford, more than doubling his previous high and made a significant contribution to the win, playing 10 minutes in the first half with Jensen in foul trouble.
JIMMY BALDERSON / 6-6 o 200 o freshman o guard
o Balderson averaged 34 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists at Magrath High School in Alberta, Canada, where he shot 54 percent from the floor and 91 percent from the line. He has excellent range from the three-point line and good size. He plans to leave in the spring on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
o Balderson shoots 49 percent from the floor and 31 percent on threes. Nearly half of his attempts are three-pointers.
o He had 7 points in 10 minutes on 3-3 shooting vs. UC Irvine in the NIT First Round.
o Balderson has played in 26 games. He played a season-high 23 minutes at Air Force, with 14 points, 6 rebounds. His 14 points at Air Force is his highest total vs. a Division I team.
o He can put points up in a hurry. He 8 points in seven minutes at SDSU. He scored six points in five minutes vs. Wyoming in Provo on a three-pointer and a spectacular oldfashion three-point play on a reverse layin. In addition to 14 points at AFA, he scored 11 points in 13 minutes vs. Southern Utah and totaled a career-high 19 points to lead all BYU scorers against Fort Lewis in 22 minutes. He went 8-10 from the floor vs. Fort Lewis. He also had career highs in rebounds (7) and steals (3), sharing team-high honors.
o He has reached double figures three times.
o He hit the game-tying trey from the left corner to force overtime at Pepperdine in his only minute of action.
o He has played double-digit minutes in nine games, including each of the last two.
TERRY NASHIF / 5-10 o 165 o freshman o guard
o 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 is an excellent distributor of the ball.
o Nashif is the only true point guard backing up Matt Montague since the loss of Shawn Opunui to injury.
o With starter Matt Montague playing nearly the entire game, Nashif has usually only seen very limited action.
o He has played in 20 games, but appeared only briefly playing one minute or less in nine of those games.
o He equalled his season high playing 10 minutes vs. Southern Utah, recording a high of 3 rebounds. He played 10 minutes against Fort Lewis, and had 2 points and 3 assists.
o He had 3 points, going 3-6 from the line, while playing five minutes vs. CSUN.
o He played 4 minutes at Wyoming, setting a career high with 4 points. He went 4-4 from the line, a career-best percentage and also a new best in free throws made. It was the first time he has scored since the Cal State Northridge game (11 scoreless appearances in between).
o He scored two points on two free throws in 2 minutes vs. UC Irvine in the NIT First Round Thursday.
SHAWN OPUNUI / 5-11 o 170 o freshman o point guard
o Opunui could be out the remainder of the season with torn ligaments in his left thumb. He originally suffered ligament damage in his thumb while playing three minutes at Utah State on Dec. 1 and then reinjured his left thumb vs. Idaho (torn ligaments). Since getting his hard cast taken off, he has been wearing a removable splint and doing therapy.
o He played in four games.
o His only significant playing time was against Fort Lewis when he played 20 minutes. It was his first action in three games after injuring his thumb at Utah State. He dished out a career-best 10 assists and had career highs with six points, four rebounds and three steals. He had six assists in the first half in only seven minutes.
o 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. 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. He loves pushing the ball up the floor as a true point guard with great court vision.
STEVE CLEVELAND BIO
Steve Cleveland (85-68, .556) is in his fifth season at the helm of the Cougars. In his five years 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.
The Cougars have improved their conference record each year under Cleveland (4-10 first year; 6-8 second year; 7-7 third year, 10-4 last year). The Cougars are an impressive 29-2 at home the past two years and have improved on the road with 17 away/neutral wins the past two seasons. BYU was a perfect 15-0 in the Marriott Center last year.
Cleveland's teams have come on strong at the end of each season. Last year BYU won five straight games on the road to secure a share of the MWC regular season title and earn the automatic NCAA bid by claiming the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas. The Cougars won six of their last eight games the prior season, including two MWC tournament wins and two NIT victories. In Cleveland's first year, BYU completed a rare sweep of New Mexico and UTEP on the road to earn a WAC tournament berth. The road sweep of New Mexico and UTEP was the first for BYU since 1990-91 and the 83-62 upset of No.15-ranked New Mexico in the Pit ended the Lobos' 41-game home winning streak. In Cleveland's second season the Cougars had a blowout win over UTEP before a 90-74 conference tournament upset victory over TCU to achieve BYU's first conference tournament win since 1994. Cleveland has improved BYU each year in post season as well. After guided his team to the 2000 Mountain West Conference Tournament finals and the quarterfinals of the NIT in 2000, last year he coached the Cougars to the 2001 MWC Tournament Championship and an NCAA berth.
As a recruiter, Cleveland has made a similar impact on BYU's program. Cleveland recruits have proven they are not only committed to Cleveland's vision but also are the kind of players to help make that vision a reality in Provo. Cleveland and his staff have been able to attract top talent from Utah and beyond. BYU has had one of the conference's top players in each of his four seasons. Last year Trent Whiting transferred from Utah even though he had to give up a year of eligibility. He was named to the MWC Newcomer Team and earned All-MWC Second Team honors while averaging 14.2 points. In 1999-2000, Terrell Lyday was the MWC Newcomer of the Year and was fourth in the league in scoring with a BYU-best 17.1 ppg. He followed in the footsteps of Mark Bigelow, who led the Cougars in scoring (15.0) and rebounding (6.3) while being named the Western Athletic Conference Pacific Division Freshman of the Year and second-team All-WAC in 1998-99 before departing for a two-year LDS Church mission. Ron Selleaze transferred to BYU in Cleveland's first season and earned WAC Newcomer of the Year and second-team all-conference honors.
He signed a multi-year contract extension in October. Before taking the helm at BYU on March 11, 1997, Cleveland compiled a 157-77 record at Fresno City College in Fresno, Calif. Cleveland was named coach of the year two times while at FCC and led the Rams to post-season playoffs in each of his seven seasons in Fresno. Cleveland coached 10 years at Fresno's Clovis West High School, compiling a 180-70 record.
Cleveland played college basketball at UC Irvine and was the Anteaters' MVP and leading scorer his senior season in 1975-76. Prior to attending UC Irvine, Cleveland was Fresno City College's Most Outstanding Player in 1973-74. Cleveland received a B.A. degree in social science from UC Irvine in 1976, and received a Master's in education administration from Fresno Pacific in 1979.
Cleveland, 49, was born in the Los Angeles area and spent most of his life in Fresno, Calif. He served an LDS Church mission to England from 1971-73. Cleveland was the first head basketball or football coach at BYU to have served a church mission. Cleveland and his wife Kip have three children: sons Casey (23) and Skyler (20) and daughter Katie (11).