Cougars Keep It Close But Fall at No. 5 UCLA
LOS -- The BYU Cougars kept it close but faded at the end at No. 5 UCLA Wednesday night, losing 82-69 in their season-opener. After leading by as many as nine in the first half and hanging tight in the second half, BYU allowed the Bruins to end the game on an 18-7 run to seal the win.
"We executed our game plan really well and got ourselves in a position to win the game, but weren't able to get it done," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "There were a lot of 50/50 plays, but UCLA was a little bit quicker in going and getting it done. I think we've got a lot of different pieces. We just need to get it going for a full 40 minutes."
Senior Keena Young led the Cougars with 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 shooting from the free-throw line while also pacing BYU with four rebounds. Junior Sam Burgess tied his career high with nine points on 3-for-3 shooting from three-point range in his first action since 2004-05, while Mike Rose was also a perfect 3-for-3 from long range for nine points. Jimmy Balderson and Lee Cummard also each added nine as the Cougars shot .578 from the field, including .667 (10-of-15) from behind the arc.
"Sam, Mike and Austin all came in and hit some big shots for us," said Rose. "It's a good sign to get good play from our bench. Trent (Plaisted) is going to get double-teamed a lot, but as our shooters hit more shots, teams will have to pick their poison."
UCLA was led by sophomore Luc Richard Mbah a Moute with game highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Bruins shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded the Cougars 31-21, including a 14-3 advantage on the offensive glass.
The Cougars got off to a rocky start as they picked up three fouls in the first 1:36 of the game, including two on Cummard, which prompted Coach Rose to bring in Burgess. After UCLA jumped out to a 6-0 early lead, a layin from Young got BYU on the scoreboard at the 16:50 mark. But the Cougars continued to struggle early as the Bruins pulled down seven rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, while BYU committed six turnovers in the first five minutes of the game, resulting in a 10-2 UCLA lead.
However, after a BYU time-out, a dunk from Trent Plaisted sandwiched between back-to-back Bruin turnovers sparked a 12-2 Cougar run that saw BYU take its first lead of the game at 14-12 on back-to-back three-pointers by Burgess. UCLA tied the game on the next possession, but Austin Ainge came off the bench and buried another three-pointer to stretch the lead to 17-14.
UCLA regained the advantage at 18-17, but the three-pointer continued to fall for the Cougars as Rose entered the game and drained his first attempt and then Ainge and Rose each buried one to give BYU a 26-20 lead and force a UCLA time-out. The break didn't slow BYU down, however, as Rose came out of the time-out with yet another long-range bomb, the Cougars' seventh of the half, to extend the lead to 29-20.
After a 5-0 Bruin spurt cut the lead to four points at 29-25, the two teams traded buckets until a three-point play and a three-point make from Cummard on either side of a UCLA layin gave the Cougars a 39-31 lead. But BYU failed to score in the final 2:41 of the half, allowing the Bruins to cut the deficit to 39-36 at the break. BYU went 14-for-21 (.667) from the field, including 8-for-9 (.889) from three-point range, in the first half, marking the Cougars' best three-point shooting half since Jan. 15, 2002, when BYU made 3-for-3 in the second half against UNLV.
Young got the Cougars going in the second half much as he did in the first with a layin on BYU's first possession, but UCLA roared back with 10 straight points to take its first advantage since leading 12-11 at the 13:02 mark of the first half at 43-41. UCLA's Collison buried a three-pointer on the next Bruin possession, starting a flurry of three-point makes by both teams, but a BYU turnover on the fastbreak as the Cougars were about to tie the game preserved the two-point UCLA lead at 49-47, which the Bruins extended to 54-47.
Jimmy Balderson got on the scoreboard with a three-point play to cut the lead to 54-50 but was answered with a three-point make by the Bruins. However, a 6-0 run over the next minute of play, including four more points from Balderson, got BYU within one point at 59-58. After a pair of UCLA free throws, Vuk Ivanovic scored his first points in a Cougar uniform to again cut the lead to one with 8:15 left to play in the game.
But the Bruins kept their composure and put together a 10-2 run from there to take their largest lead of the game at 71-62 with just under three minutes to play. The UCLA pressure continued the rest of the way as the Bruins recorded the 82-69 win.
"BYU is going to do a lot of good things this year," said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. "This was a very difficult home opener. BYU is probably the toughest team any top-25 team in the country is playing in their home opener."
The Cougars will now return home to face Idaho State in the Marriott Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. BYU currently owns the nation's seventh-longest active home win streak at 14 games.
Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS
Brigham Young vs UCLA
11/15/06 7:30 pm at Los Angeles, CA (Pauley Pavilion)
VISITORS: Brigham Young 0-1
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
03 YOUNG, Keena........ f 6-8 0-0 4-4 0 4 4 3 16 2 3 0 0 34
44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 3-7 0-0 1-4 1 3 4 4 7 0 3 0 0 25
01 BROADUS, Rashaun.... g 0-6 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 3 5 0 1 28
23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... g 4-5 0-1 1-1 0 2 2 4 9 1 4 0 2 28
30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 3-5 2-3 1-1 0 3 3 3 9 2 1 1 0 18
02 ROSE, Mike.......... 3-3 3-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 9 0 2 0 0 15
10 IVANOVIC, Vuk....... 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 3 2 0 0 0 0 15
13 AINGE, Austin....... 2-4 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 6 5 3 0 0 12
15 MALAMAN, Fernando... 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 6
20 BURGESS, Sam........ 3-3 3-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 9 3 1 0 0 18
24 MURDOCK, Ben........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
TEAM................ 1 1 2 1
Totals.............. 26-45 10-15 7-10 3 18 21 22 69 16 23 1 3 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-21 66.7% 2nd Half: 12-24 50.0% Game: 57.8% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 8-9 88.9% 2nd Half: 2-6 33.3% Game: 66.7% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 3-3 100 % 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 70.0% 1,1
HOME TEAM: UCLA 1-0
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
03 Shipp, Josh......... f 4-10 1-4 4-4 3 1 4 0 13 0 2 0 1 32
23 Mbah a Moute, Luc Ri f 7-10 0-0 10-13 5 6 11 1 24 2 3 2 3 34
14 Mata, Lorenzo....... c 2-6 0-0 0-2 1 3 4 4 4 0 2 1 0 21
02 Collison, Darren.... g 6-12 2-4 2-2 1 2 3 0 16 10 1 0 1 38
04 Afflalo, Arron...... g 3-9 1-4 2-4 1 1 2 2 9 4 2 0 2 34
00 Westbrook, Russell.. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
11 Wright, Ryan........ 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 3
12 Aboya, Alfred....... 3-3 0-0 3-5 2 2 4 2 9 0 2 0 0 16
13 Keefe, James........ 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 6
20 Roll, Michael....... 1-4 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 14
TEAM................ 2 2
Totals.............. 28-56 5-15 21-30 14 17 31 14 82 16 13 3 7 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-31 48.4% 2nd Half: 13-25 52.0% Game: 50.0% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-8 12.5% 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 33.3% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-9 55.6% 2nd Half: 16-21 76.2% Game: 70.0% 4,1
Officials: Mark Reischling, Randy McCall, Bobby McRoy
Technical fouls: Brigham Young-None. UCLA-None.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
Brigham Young................. 39 30 - 69
UCLA.......................... 36 46 - 82
Points in the paint-BY 20,UCLA 36. Points off turnovers-BY 21,UCLA 35.
2nd chance points-BY 2,UCLA 14. Fast break points-BY 4,UCLA 15.
Bench points-BY 28,UCLA 16. Score tied-4 times. Lead changes-4 times.
GAME 1 - BYU at No. 5 UCLA
GAME #1 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (0-0)
UCLA BRUINS (0-0)
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006
Pauley Pavilion (12,800)
Los Angeles, Calif.
7:33 p.m. PT (8:33 p.m. MT)
BYU, Dave Rose (20-9 in second season; same overall)
UCLA, Ben Howland (61-35 in fourth season; 229-134 in 13th year overall)
22nd meeting, BYU leads 11-10 (UCLA won last outing, 97-87, Dec. 3, 1988 in Provo)
Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket aired in Los Angeles and nationally via satellite on DirecTV - Prime/channel 653 and Dish Network - Prime/channel 408 or 411 with delay satellite broadcasts also scheduled Thursday at 2 a.m. ET and 1 p.m. ET (Bill Macdonald, play-by-play; Don MacLean, color analysis)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6:30 p.m. PT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
Live stats broadcast is available at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/
BYU OPENS SEASON AT NO. 5 UCLA WEDNESDAY IN LOS ANGELES
The BYU Cougars will face the 2006 NCAA runner-up UCLA Bruins Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. PT (8:30 p.m. MT) in Pauley Pavilion in the season opener for both teams. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket in Los Angeles and nationally via satellite on DirecTV (Prime/channel 653) and Dish Network (Prime/channel 408 or 411). The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City. The Cougars are coming off a 20-9 season and second-place Mountain West Conference finish in the first year under BYU coach Dave Rose, while the Bruins won the Pac-10 title last year and posted a 32-7 overall record under the direction of Ben Howland en route to the NCAA title game.
BYU will host Idaho State Saturday at 7:30 p.m. MT in the Marriott Center. The game will not be televised.
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.
-- 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.
-- Players on the roster who could see their first action for BYU this year include junior redshirt Vuk Ivanovic (Jr., 6-10, C/F) and five newcomers -- freshmen Jordan Cameron (6-5, G/F), Jonathan Tavernari (6-6, G/F) and Brock Zylstra (6-6, G/F), sophomore Gavin MacGregor (6-9, F/C) and junior transfer Ben Murdock (6-2, G).
LOOKING AT UCLA
The UCLA Bruins enter the 2006-07 season ranked fifth in the nation and return nine lettermen, including two starters, from last season's team that advanced to the NCAA Championship game. The defending Pac-10 regular-season and tournament champions tied a school record for total wins as they racked up a 32-7 record enroute to their 16th NCAA Final Four appearance. Junior guard Arron Afflalo returns this season after leading the Bruins in scoring last year with 15.8 points per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor. The 6-foot-5 first-team All-Pac 10 selection also chipped in 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, a 6-foot-9 sophomore forward, returns as the Bruins' leading rebounder with 8.2 rpg to go along with 9.1 ppg and 1.3 apg. The Pac-10 Freshman of the Year led the league in field goal percentage at .538 and ranked third nationally in rebounding among freshmen, earning Freshman All-America honors. Sophomore Darren Collison is expected to take over starting point guard duties this season after posting 2.3 apg last year and receiving Pac-10 All-Freshman Honorable Mention in 2005-06. Sophomore guard/forward Josh Shipp is also expected to be a factor this season after averaging 11.3 ppg and 4.8 rpg in four contests last year before having to sit out the rest of the season due to injury. UCLA will be without the services of NBA First Round Draft pick Jordan Farmar, a CollegeInsider.com All-American who averaged 13.5 ppg last year. The Bruins are coached by National Coach of the Year Ben Howland, now in his fourth season at UCLA with a 61-35 record and in his 13th season overall with a 229-134 mark.
UCLA POSSIBLE STARTERS 05-06/EXH. 05-06/EXH.
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 03 Josh Shipp 6-5 220 So. 11.3*/18.5 4.8*/3.0
F 23 Luc Richard Mbah a Moute 6-8 230 So. 9.1/4.5 8.2/8.0
C 12 Alfred Aboya 6-8 235 So. 3.6/8.5 2.4/4.0
G 02 Darren Collison 6-1 165 So. 5.5/6.0 1.8/3.0
G 04 Arron Afflalo 6-5 215 Jr. 15.8/17.5 4.2/5.0
*played in four games before receiving a medical hardship waiver
EXHIBITION GAME 1 -- UCLA VS. CAL POLY POMONA
LOS ANGELES (11-2-06) -- Junior guard Arron Afflalo registered game-highs of 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and sophomore forward Josh Shipp added 16 points to lead UCLA past Cal Poly Pomona, 73-43 in Pauley Pavilion. Afflalo and Shipp each shot 6-for-12 from the field to lead the Bruins. Sophomore center Alfred Aboya chipped in 10 points and three rebounds. Sophomore forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added five points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks. UCLA led the entire game and used a 9-0 run in the game's first 3:25 to take a 12-3 lead. The Bruins shot 55.6 percent (15-27) from the field in the first half and held the visiting Broncos to 15-of-47 shooting overall. The Bruins led 42-25 at halftime. UCLA used an 11-0 run in the first eight minutes of the second half, giving the Bruins a 55-29 advantage.
EXHIBITION GAME 2 -- UCLA VS. HUMBOLDT STATE
LOS ANGELES (11-9-06) -- Sophomore forward Josh Shipp scored a game-high 21 points and junior guard Arron Afflalo added 18 points to lead UCLA past Humboldt State, 87-61, in Pauley Pavilion. Joining Shipp and Afflalo in double-figure scoring were freshman guard Russell Westbrook (11) and sophomore guard Michael Roll (10) as four UCLA players scored in double digits. Sophomore forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute led all rebounders with nine, while sophomore guard Darren Collison led the way with six assists. Shipp shot 7-for-8 from the field, including 3-for-4 from behind the three-point line. Afflalo made each of his three three-point field goal attempts in the game's first 6:34 and finished the game 3-for-6 from behind the arc and 6-for-11 overall from the field. Humboldt State took the game's first lead on a basket by Cy Vandermeer before the Bruins used a 9-0 run to take the lead. UCLA made 7-of-10 three pointers in the first half to gain a 41-27 advantage at the intermission. Humboldt State cut UCLA's lead to 13 with 12:00 remaining in the contest before the Bruins outscored the Lumberjacks 33-14 over the game's next 10:07.
2006 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME -- UCLA VS. FLORIDA
INDIANAPOLIS (4-3-06) -- Florida's Joakim Noah dominated the UCLA Bruins on Monday night with 16 points, nine rebounds and a record six blocks to key a 73-57 blowout for Florida's first NCAA men's basketball title. Lee Humphrey added 15 points, Al Horford 14 and Corey Brewer 11 for Florida. The Gators ran to a double-digit lead early and staved off every UCLA run, winning by taking it right to UCLA early, looking inside to Noah, Brewer, Horford and senior Adrian Moss. Unafraid to make the extra pass, even in traffic down low, they finished with 21 assists, eight by point guard Taurean Green. Noah shot 7-for-9 and also had three assists and a steal. The Bruins' Jordan Farmar, who chose UCLA over Florida, was their only scoring threat. He finished with 18 points. His backcourt mate, Arron Afflalo, finished with 10, but was shut out in the first half, while the game was getting away.
BYU VS. UCLA SERIES NOTES
BYU owns an 11-10 advantage over UCLA, one of only four teams with a winning record against the Bruins with a minimum of 10 meetings in the series (6-9 vs. Duke; 5-6 vs. Indiana; 5-6 vs. Utah). The Cougars are the only team with a winning record against the Bruins in 20+ meetings. BYU is 4-6 all-time in Los Angeles. The two teams last met in 1988 with UCLA getting a 97-87 win in Provo on Dec. 3. The Cougars' last win in the series came the last time they played in Pauley Pavilion as BYU won 87-80 at UCLA on Dec. 5, 1987. The two teams have met four times in the NCAA Tournament, splitting a 2-2 record. The Bruins won in 1965 and 1971 under Hall of Fame Coach John Wooden on their way to two of their 11 NCAA titles while the Cougars won a 1950 West Regional Consolation game and a 1981 Second Round game with 37 points from Danny Ainge on their way to the NCAA Elite Eight. Thirteen of the 21 games in the series have been decided by less than 10 points with nine of those contests being decided by a margin of five points or less.
QUOTING COACH ROSE
"UCLA is a very, very talented and well-coached basketball team. Their athleticism is our biggest concern. They have big, strong, physical post players that seem to have another gear. Their guards guard well on the wing and apply good ball pressure. They have pretty good players all around."
On playing at UCLA in the opener:
"We'll definitely be a better team in December than we are now, but this is a good chance for us to see where we're at. I'm excited to go play, and I know that our players are excited too. Any season-opening game is exciting but the fact that you're playing a team coming off a great season makes it just that much more exciting."
"Right now, our mindset is good. Once we get into that setting in Pauley Pavilion, into a historic basketball arena with a lot of history in it, then we might have to address the fact that this is just another game against a good team and we just have to go out there, play our best and see where we're at."
On redshirting freshman Jonathan Tavernari:
"We feel like this is a good situation for Jonathan. A lot of it has to do with his position and the people already there. We have a lot of experience at the four spot and several returners at the three spot. We really feel like this is the best thing for him and the team."
BYU IN SEASON OPENERS
BYU has a 72-32 record in season openers for a .692 winning percentage. BYU is 55-15 (.786) when opening at home, 14-14 (.500) when opening on an opponent's floor and 3-3 (.500) when opening on a neutral floor. In the last nine seasons since Dave Rose first came to BYU as an assistant, the Cougars are 7-2 in season openers with a 4-1 mark at home, 2-0 tally in away games and 1-1 record on neutral floors. Last year BYU lost at home to Loyola Marymount, 83-71, the Cougars' only home loss of the year.
OPENING VS. UCLA AND PAC-10 TEAMS
BYU will face UCLA in its season opener for the sixth time when the two schools meet on Wednesday. UCLA holds a 3-2 edge in the previous five season-opening matchups. BYU is 2-1 opening at home vs. UCLA and 0-2 when opening in Los Angeles. The last time the Bruins were BYU's first opponent of the year was in 1982, when the Cougars fell to UCLA 85-82 in Provo. Overall, BYU is 13-6 vs. Pac-10 schools in season openers, including a 4-3 record on the road. BYU has faced all 10 current members of the Pac-10 Conference in a season opener, but Arizona was not yet a member of the conference when the Cougars and Wildcats met in 1951. The last time BYU opened against a Pac-10 school was at Arizona State to start the 1993-94 season.
Nov. 27, 1993 at Arizona State 95-106 L
Dec. 1, 1992 Arizona State 108--98 W
Nov. 30, 1985 Washington St. 65-69 L
Nov. 26, 1982 UCLA 82-85 L
Nov. 28, 1980 at Washington 80-70 W
Nov. 26, 1977 at UCLA 73-75 L
Dec. 4, 1970 Stanford 70-62 W
Dec. 5, 1969 California 98-79 W
Nov. 30, 1968 USC 95-86 W
Dec. 4, 1964 Oregon 99-70 W
Dec. 6, 1963 at UCLA 71-113 L
Nov. 30, 1962 at Oregon 80-75 W
Dec. 1, 1961 UCLA 68-66 W
Dec. 2, 1960 at Washington 65-63 W
Dec. 4, 1959 Washington 54-52 W
Dec. 6, 1957 at Washington 45-43 W
Nov. 20, 1956 Oregon State 55-62 L
Dec. 2, 1955 UCLA 75-58 W
Dec. 1, 1951 Arizona 68-62 W
BYU SCHEDULE INCLUDES NATIONAL RUNNER-UP UCLA, MICHIGAN STATE AND SETON HALL
The BYU men's basketball nonconference schedule includes dates with 2006 NCAA Tournament runner-up UCLA of the Pac-10 Conference, 2005 Final Four participant Michigan State of the Big Ten Conference and 2006 NCAA qualifier Seton Hall of the Big East Conference. In all, the Cougars' non-league slate includes 14 games against teams from 10 different conferences prior to beginning Mountain West Conference play.
"We are excited about our schedule," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We look forward to the challenge of playing some of the best teams in the country and believe the BYU Holiday Classic will be a great event for our fans. This should be a balanced, competitive schedule that will help us prepare for the conference. We hope to continue to improve as a team and build on the success our program achieved last season."
BYU will play Michigan State of the Big Ten on a neutral court at The Palace of Auburn Hills -- home of the Detroit Pistons -- on Dec. 9. The Spartans, who finished 22-12 last season, will play BYU at the Delta Center in 2007. New to BYU's schedule this season is the BYU Holiday Classic, which will be conducted the last weekend of December to conclude non-league play. With a four-team field that includes Big South Conference foe Liberty (Dec. 28), Mid-Continent Conference champion Oral Roberts (Dec. 29) and Big East Conference contender Seton Hall (Dec. 30), BYU fans will see teams from across the nation convene in Provo to compete with doubleheader games each day of the exempt tournament. Seton Hall and Oral Roberts were both NCAA Tournament participants last season. The Pirates will be the first Big East team to visit the Marriott Center since 1990 when St. John's played in the Cougar Classic, although BYU's last three NCAA Tournament opponents -- Syracuse in 2004, Connecticut in 2003, and Cincinnati in 2001 -- are Big East teams. The Cougars and Pirates will meet for the first time since an 82-80 Seton Hall overtime win at the Queen City Invitational on Dec. 29, 1958.
UCLA, Michigan State, Seton Hall, Oral Roberts, Portland, Liberty, Idaho State, San Jose State and Western Oregon are new to the schedule for 2006-07, while Lamar, Boise State, Weber State, Utah State and Southern Utah are repeat opponents from last season. Liberty is the lone first-time opponent for BYU. The Cougars own a 228-123 (.650) all-time record against their 2006-07 nonconference opponents and lead or are tied in the overall series against each program. BYU will play a minimum of nine games against teams that qualified for last year's NCAA Tournament.
The MWC season begins in Provo against reigning MWC Champion San Diego State and culminates against in-state rival Utah in the Marriott Center -- the first regular-season finale between the Cougars and Utes since the 1995-96 season.
"Our league will be very competitive this year," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "Seven of the nine teams return at least three starters and five return four or more. We are looking forward to the upcoming season. I think our fans will be treated to some outstanding basketball in the Marriott Center this year."
The Cougars will play 30 regular-season games in 2006-07 prior to the MWC Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas March 6-10.
The Mountain West Conference's 2006-07 men's basketball television schedule will feature an unprecedented 99 games on national and regional television, including 65 of the 72 conference contests and all eight MWC Championship matchups. The television coverage provided by the MWC broadcast partners in 2006-07 is more than triple the national and regional telecasts MWC men's basketball has received in previous years. Seventy-five games will be shown on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.), with 17 to be broadcast nationally on College Sports Television (CSTV) and seven on VERSUS (formerly OLN). BYU will have 18 regular-season games televised as part of the 2006-07 MWC television schedule, including three games on CSTV, one on VERSUS and 14 on the mtn. With the exception of a road game at TCU, BYU's entire conference schedule will be televised in 2007. BYU's nonconference games featured in the MWC broadcast schedule include home dates with Southern Utah (Nov. 24, 8 p.m. MT), San Jose State (Dec. 6, 7 p.m. MT) and Utah State (Dec. 16, 4 p.m. MT). While not part of the MWC television package, BYU's regular-season opener at 2006 NCAA runner-up UCLA on Nov. 15 will be televised on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket, while the BYU-Michigan State matchup on Dec. 9 at The Palace at Auburn Hills will be carried on ESPN2 and BYU's game at Boise State on Nov. 29 will be aired on KBOI in Boise. Additional games on the BYU schedule could also be televised but have not yet been announced.
COUGARS DOWN HIGHLY RANKED DIVISION II MONTEVALLO IN FINAL EXHIBITION
PROVO -- BYU played its final exhibition game Wednesday defeating the University of Montevallo, 92-63. Cougar center Trent Plaisted finished the night with 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting while grabbing nine rebounds, spoiling the Falcons' hopes of upsetting the Cougars. "The biggest impression for me was we got to guard something different than we see in practice everyday," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "That was evident from all the fouls we got, but it was good for us." The Cougars opened the game on a 14-4 run with Plaisted connecting on his first four shots. Montevallo fought back and tied the game 28-28 at the six-minute mark. "Trent Plaistead is really good," said Montevallo head coach Danny Young. "He'll be in the NBA someday." BYU got a lift from its bench with five minutes left in the half when freshman guard Jonathan Tavernari hit a three to put BYU up 33-28. On the next defensive possession Tavernari grabbed the rebound and pushed it up the floor to senior captain Jimmy Balderson who hit a floating jumper to extend BYU's lead to 35-28. The Cougars finished the half with senior guard Rashaun Broadus hitting a mid-range jumpshot as time expired to put BYU up 45-35. "BYU is well coached," said coach Young. "They are very physical and very deep." The Cougars maintained their 10-point advantage until junior Sam Burgess connected from long-range at the 14-minute mark in the second half followed by back-to-back three-pointers from Broadus to extend the Cougar lead to 18 points at 66-48. Tavernari's hot hand continued in the second half as he nailed back-to-back three pointers and gave BYU its biggest lead to that point at 77-56. Coach Rose then got good minutes out of his reserves as they held the Falcons to only seven points in the final seven minutes. "There are a lot of guys that can contribute," said Coach Rose. "We got some good chemistry from a few different lineup." The Cougars had the advantage down low as they scored 33 points in the paint and had six blocks to the Falcons' 12 and 1, respectively.
COUGARS DEFEAT BROCK UNIVERSITY IN EXHIBITION OPENER
PROVO -- BYU opened its exhibition season with a 90-49 trouncing of Brock University on Thursday night in the Marriott Center. Cougar center Trent Plaisted scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, as BYU put an end to the Badgers' four-game winning streak. The Cougars dominated all facets of the game, shooting 51 percent from the field and 53 percent (8-of-15) from beyond the arc while holding Brock, a team averaging 83.8 points a game, to 25 percent shooting. BYU also outrebounded the Badgers, 54-33. "BYU has size and athleticism," Brock head coach Ken Murray said. "They push the ball, and they have some guys that can jump through the roof. They're a very athletic team." Plaisted wasted no time showing why he was named a Freshman All-American last season. The 6-foot-11, 245-pound sophomore scored on a put-back off of a Lee Cummard miss, flushed down a lay-up in transition and then hit a 10-footer from the right baseline enroute to a quick 11-0 Cougar lead. BYU's early advantage ballooned into a 22-2 lead before Badger forward Chris Keith nailed a three-pointer, making it 22-5 with just under 12 minutes to go. Cougar senior Mike Rose answered back with a long-distance shot of his own sparking an 11-2 Cougar run. BYU led 43-14 at halftime. The early offensive assault gave Rose an opportunity to take a look at his freshmen and transfers, as the second-year coach gave all available players time on the court. "The first group of guys we had were the [veterans], so they know the game plan," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "The second group came out and was pretty successful." The second half saw more of the same with BYU taking a 59-22 lead with 16 minutes left to play. Mike Rose knocked down two consecutive treys, and team captain Keena Young added four points and two assists during a 16-8 run. Young finished with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting in only 16 minutes of action. On the night, BYU outscored Brock 51-10 in points in the paint and 15-0 in fastbreak points. The Cougars got it done on the defensive end as well forcing the Badgers into 20 turnovers and nabbing 13 steals.
AINGE, BALDERSON, YOUNG NAMED 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).
IN THE SEVEN YEARS OF THE MWC ...
-- BYU has had five 20-win seasons, leading all MWC schools along with Utah. UNLV has had three, Wyoming three, New Mexico, San Diego State and Air Force two and Colorado State none.
-- BYU has had the league's top RPI three times, been second once and third on three occasions. The Cougars were third last year (67) behind Air Force (50) and San Diego State (56).
-- BYU has played the toughest schedule on average of any team in the MWC (average strength of schedule rating the past seven years is 66, Utah is next at 78). BYU has had the league's toughest schedule in two of the past three seasons.
-- BYU has the second-most overall wins in the seven years of the MWC (137, Utah leads at 155).
-- BYU is also second in conference wins (60, Utah has 69).
-- BYU has the second-most MWC regular-season titles (two) along with Wyoming (Utah leads with four).
-- BYU is one of six MWC teams to win the MWC Tournament title.
BYU AND MWC IN POSTSEASON
BYU has earned an invite to a postseason tournament in six of the seven years of the MWC, joining Utah in leading all MWC teams. BYU is second to Utah in NCAA appearances since the formation of the MWC (BYU has made three NCAA and three NIT while Utah has made five NCAA and one NIT). UNLV has received five invites (one NCAA, four NIT). New Mexico has received four (one NCAA, three NIT) while Wyoming has three (one NCAA, two NIT), San Diego State has three (two NCAA, one NIT) and Air Force has three (two NCAA and one NIT). Colorado State has been to one NCAA Tournament. TCU's first year was last season.
SEVEN MWC TOURNAMENTS, SIX DIFFERENT CHAMPIONS
San Diego State became the first team in the MWC to win the Tournament title twice with its victories in 2002 and 2006. New Mexico's win in 2005 marked the sixth Tournament winner in the first six years of the event. The only teams not to win an MWC title are Wyoming, Air Force and TCU, who made its MWC debut last season.
MWC TEAMS IN THE NCAA
In the first seven years of the MWC, eight of the nine conference members have advanced to the NCAA Tournament at least once. TCU is the lone team not to advance but the Horned Frogs played in the MWC for the first time last season. New Mexico became the last of the other MWC teams to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament by winning the 2005 MWC Tournament. 2006 MWC-Champion San Diego State received the league's automatic bid last season while Air Force was selected as an at-large team (BYU was the other postseason MWC team last year, advancing to the NIT).