Kyle Chilton | Posted: 21 Aug 2012 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU ranked 36 in ESPN's 50 in 50

main image

PROVO, Utah -- is counting down the 50 most successful NCAA men's basketball programs of the past 50 years and today ranked BYU No. 36.

The rankings are based on a point system devised by the ESPN Stats & Information department that takes into account conference titles, NCAA Tournament appearances and success, winning percentage, individual accolades and top 10 NBA Draft selections. has taken into account every season since 1962. For each program it ranks, has named a 50 in 50 starting five, top three options off the bench, a 50 in 50 coach and the three best teams.

Here is an extensive breakdown of BYU’s starting five, bench players, coach and best teams. Fans can vote on the best BYU team on Have thoughts on a different starting five, another bench player, coach or top team? Let us know via Twitter @byuathletics.

Starting five

G-Jimmer Fredette (2007-2011)

  • National Player of the Year (Wooden, Naismith, Robertson, AP, NABC, Sporting News, Basketball Times, Rupp,,
  • Consensus first-team All-American
  • BYU's all-time leader in points, 3-point field goals, free throws made, consecutive games with a 3-point field goal and second in free throw percentage and fourth in assists and steals
  • Played in four NCAA Tournaments (Sweet 16 in 2011) and for four 25-win teams

G-Danny Ainge (1977-81)

  • National Player of the Year (Wooden, Eastman, Lapchick)
  • Consensus first-team All-American
  • Two-time first-team Academic All-American
  • Second all-time in scoring at BYU and first in field goals, second in assists and steals
  • Played in three NCAA Tournaments (Elite Eight in 1981) and for three 20-win teams

F-Michael Smith (1983-84, 86-89)

  • Second-team All-American
  • Three-time first-team Academic All-American
  • BYU's all-time leading rebounder, third all-time in scoring and free throw percentage and fifth in double-doubles
  • Played in three NCAA Tournaments and for three 20-win teams

F-Devin Durrant (1978-80, 82-84)

  • First-team All-American
  • First-team Academic All-American
  • Fourth all-time in scoring at BYU, first in free throw attempts and second in free throws made
  • Played in three NCAA Tournaments and for three 20-win teams

C-Kresimir Cosic (1970-73)

  • First-team All-American
  • Fourth all-time at BYU in scoring average, second in rebounding average, tied for second in total rebounds and first in double-doubles
  • Played in two NCAA Tournaments
  • Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996

Top three bench players

Dick Nemelka (1963-66)

  • First-team All-American
  • Led 1966 team to the NIT title
  • Ninth at BYU in career scoring average
  • Played in one NCAA Tournament, one NIT and for two 20-win teams

Fred Roberts (1978-82)

  • First-team All-Conference
  • Sixth in scoring at BYU, fifth in rebounds, 10th in assists
  • Played in three NCAA Tournaments, one NIT and for three 20-win teams

Russ Larson (1991-95)

  • First-team All-Conference
  • Fifth in scoring at BYU, sixth in field goal percentage, third in free throws and free throw attempts, seventh in rebounds, seventh in double-doubles, fourth in blocks, eighth in steals
  • Played in three NCAA Tournaments, one NIT and for four 20-win teams and two 25-win teams


Dave Rose

  • Overall record: 185-54 (.774)
  • Home record: 102-8 (.927)
  • Road record: 56-30 (.651)
  • Conference record: 90-22 (.804)
  • Four conference titles, two second place finishes, one third place
  • Seven winning seasons, all with 20-plus wins
  • Six 25-plus wins seasons and two 30-plus win seasons
  • Six NCAA Tournament appearances, 4-6
  • Three consecutive seasons with an NCAA Tournament victory

Top 3 teams


  • 20-5 record, .800 (tied for fewest losses in a single season)
  • NIT Champions
  • BYU record 95.5 scoring average
  • Second in WAC (6-4)
  • Finished No. 13 in AP Poll


  • 25-7 record, .781
  • BYU only trip to the NCAA Elite 8
  • Third in WAC (12-4)
  • Finished season No. 16 in AP Poll


  • BYU record 32 wins and .864 winning percentage
  • Five losses tied for fewest in a single season
  • BYU’s first trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 since 1981
  • Tied for first in MWC (14-2)
  • Finished season No. 10 in AP Poll

Recent Stories

2023 NABC Team Academic Excellence Award
BYU earns NABC Team Academic Excellence Award

The NABC announced the recipients of the 2022-23 NABC Team Academic Excellence Awards and NABC Honors Court on Thursday…

Coach Pope Weber State 2022-23
Pope set to participate in “Big 12 Hoops in the Park”

The Big 12 Conference announced on Thursday morning that BYU men’s basketball head coach Mark Pope will help lead youth…