PROVO — The month of February began with BYU on the NCAA Tournament bubble. At 17-5 on the season, the Cougars had a respectable RPI, and despite a lack of marquee wins, no bad losses on their postseason portfolio. February is historically Dave Rose's best month of the season, and when the month opened with a 96-79 home win over dangerous Santa Clara, Rose's all-time February record had improved to 43-7.
The home win over the Broncos featured sophomore point guard Matt Carlino scoring a season-high 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting, including a trio of three-pointers, a perfect performance from the free throw line and six assists. In the preceding game — at Pepperdine — Carlino sealed the deal with late free throws and a clutch three-pointer, and was subsequently named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He hasn't really been the same since.
BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose talked about this week's huge match-up with No. 2 Gonzaga during Tuesday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly show at Legends Grille.
Senior Brock Zylstra also came on the show and talked about his BYU career and the opportunity to make some national noise against the Bulldogs.
You can hear the entire show in "Cougar Cuts," left.
Leaving aside a meeting between the two teams in 1949, the BYU-Gonzaga rivalry began in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, when the Cougars, playing as a favored seed but heavy underdog, easily handled the Zags in Denver, paced by national Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette.
That game preceded BYU's admission to the West Coast Conference the following season, and their first meeting as conference foes also went the Cougars' way: an 83-73 decision at the Marriott Center, on February 2nd of last year.
Since that time, the series has been all Gonzaga. Mark Few's team has ripped off three straight wins against BYU, each more dominant the one preceding it. An 11-point win last season in Spokane, followed by a 19-point victory in the 2012 WCC Tournament, and then a 20-point shellacking last month at The Kennel.
BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose talked about a busy upcoming week for the Cougars on Monday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly show at Legends Grille.
Senior center Brandon Davies also stopped by to talk about games versus Utah State and St. Mary's; you can hear the entire show in "Cougar Cuts," left.
Despite having huge conference games to play over the next week and a half, the BYU Cougars will play outside the WCC on Tuesday night when they host the Utah State Aggies at the Marriott Center.
The game was originally scheduled for December 5th, but due to the near-fatal cardiac arrest suffered by Aggie junior Danny Berger, the game was rescheduled for Tuesday night.
There was a lot of speculation back in December that this game would simply be cancelled. Head coach Dave Rose said the two schools never came close to calling it off.
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall finalized his offensive staff on Friday with the announcement that the Cougars have hired Jason Beck and Guy Holliday as assistant coaches. The full press release from BYU is below...
BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall today announced Guy Holliday and Jason Beck have been hired as assistant coaches. Holliday will coach receivers and Beck will coach quarterbacks.
"I'm excited to have Guy and Jason join our coaching staff," Mendenhall said. "Guy is an experienced wide receivers coach who promotes tough and physical football and has great relationships with his players. He excels in the role of mentoring young people. Jason is an intelligent, poised coach who understands quarterback play and is a great teacher of young men. He is extremely passionate about our football program and the mission of the university. We are fortunate to have both of them at BYU."
With his team on its second two-game losing skid of the season, BYU head basketball coach Dave Rose on Thursday said that "sometimes adversity can really strengthen your team, if everybody approaches it right and has the right attitude."
Losses at San Diego and home to San Francisco all but mathematically took the Cougars out of contention for the conference crown and at the same time removed BYU from the NCAA Tournament bubble, but Rose observed after Thursday's practice that "the guys have been positive, and I think that's the most important thing right now, is for our guys to continue to believe in our team and believe in each other and I think from what we've seen, that's a good sign."
One month and one day ago, the BYU basketball team was flying high.
The Cougars had just earned an 82-64 road win against a potent Santa Clara team, holding the Broncos to their lowest point total of the season. The victory was BYU's fifth in a row, and improved the Cougars to 4-0 in the West Coast Conference.
"That was probably the best game we've played (in league competition)," says head coach Dave Rose of that win. "We made great defensive plays; we made really good offensive plays that were within the flow and context of our game. And from there, we've hit some tough times…"
BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose talked about a rough week and what's next for the Cougars on Monday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly show at Legends Grille.
Guard Matt Carlino was also on the program and talked about how BYU can bounce back from last week's two difficult losses.
You can hear the entire show in "Cougar Cuts," left.
Jay Monsen, who for a generation of BYU fans was the television "Voice of the Cougars," passed away on Sunday afternoon, in Mount Pleasant, Utah. He was 79 years old.
Monsen, who had previously overcome three battles with cancer, succumbed to a fourth bout with the disease after a recent round of treatment.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 19th at 11:00 a.m., in the Mt. Pleasant 3rd Ward building (295 South State, Mt. Pleasant, Utah). There will be a viewing at the church one hour before the funeral, as well as the prior evening, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Rasmussen Funeral Home (96 N 100 W, Mt. Pleasant, Utah). Interment will be in the Mt. Pleasant City Cemetery.
The basketball season continues to march forward to the big dance and BYU has another important week of conference games; facing San Diego at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Thursday and then hosting San Francisco at the Marriott Center on Saturday. After practice on Wednesday, head coach Dave Rose, guard Tyler Haws, and guard Matt Carlino commented on Thursday's visit to San Diego; you can hear their media sessions by clicking on "Cougar Cuts," to the left.
Haws talked about what the Cougars have to do to keep San Diego's prolific guards in check.
BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall announced the Cougars' 2013 recruiting class on Wednesday. BYU signed 26 players; 19 of whom are high school players, with the remainder from the JC ranks. In terms of offense and defense, BYU inked 12 players on offense and 14 on defense. In addition to the new signees, two mid-year enrollees and eight-scholarship players returning from their LDS missions will be joining the program.
The biggest focus of this class was shoring up the offensive line. While the Cougars did their due diligence signing lineman out of high school, BYU focused on bringing in several junior college players to give immediate help to the offense.
Tyler Haws went more than two years without scoring a basket for BYU. He is clearly making up for the gap in time.
Returning after two seasons of overseas missionary service to contribute is difficult enough, but Haws has not only become a key contributor, he has established himself as the Cougars' go-to marksman and one of the most prolific scorers in the country.
Haws is pacing BYU at 20.7 points per game, a number that ranks 10th nationally. He is second nationally in total field goals made, behind only Creighton's Doug McDermott-—a player viewed as the front-runner for National Player of the Year honors. Combining field goals and free throws made, only three other players nationally have seen more of their shots go in the hoop this season.
BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose talked about last week's two-win performance and the Cougars' upcoming games during Tuesday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly coaches' show at Legends Grille.
Also on the program were assistant coach Tim Lacomb and forward were Nate Austin; you can hear the entire show in "Cougar Cuts," left.
Since West Coast Conference play got underway, BYU point guard Matt Carlino has done more than raise the level of his game; he has played like an all-league performer.
Carlino has scored in double figures in every conference game, and is among the league leaders in scoring, assists and steals. Monday, he picked up his first-ever WCC Player of the Week award, coming off of two games in which he was both a game-sealer (final five points of BYU's two-point win at Pepperdine) and wheeler-dealer (season-high 28 points, 6 assists in the homecourt blowout win over Santa Clara.
Carlino's pre-conference stats pale in comparison to his WCC-play numbers:
PROVO — John Wooden defined competitive greatness as follows: "A real love for the hard battle, knowing it offers the opportunity to be at your best when your best is required."
Legendary rock band Rush laid it on the line this way: "Show me, don't tell me."
The BYU basketball team finishes up a a three-game West Coast Conference road stretch on Thursday, visiting the Pepperdine Waves.
After an 80-minute Tuesday practice at the Marriott Center, assistant coach Terry Nashif, center Brandon Davies and guard Tyler Haws all discussed the game; you can hear their media sessions in "Cougar Cuts," left.
BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose talked about the ups and down of the preceding week during Tuesday night's KSL Newsradio broadcast of Rose's weekly show at Legends Grille.
Reflecting on a last-second home loss to St. Mary's and a comfortable weekend win over San Diego, Rose said it was a "good week," but only "a couple of seconds from being a great week."
The question was tweeted in to ESPN's Bracketology guru Joe Lunardi last Saturday, from none other than Matt Carlino's little brother Jack. The question was this: "What does BYU need to do to get in (the NCAA Tournament)?" Lunardi's answer was brief, perhaps a little cold, but to the point: "Stop losing to every tourney-level team they play."
Lunardi's response represents the slightest of exaggerations, since BYU owns a win over projected Big Sky Conference tourney rep Weber State, but his point underscores the importance of tomorrow night's game at Gonzaga, particularly in light of last Wednesday's last-second loss to projected tourney entrant St. Mary's.
Of the 68 teams in Lunardi's latest bracket projection, BYU has played five, going 1-4 in the process (win at Weber State, losses at Iowa State, at Baylor, v. Notre Dame and v. St. Mary's), with at least three more games scheduled against the Zags and Gaels. Had the final 2.5 seconds against St. Mary's gone just a little differently, the "no big wins" rap on BYU would have been somewhat muted, and the Cougars would of course have retained their solo lead atop the West Coast Conference. In those respects, Matthew Dellavedova's desperation three-pointer had significant ramifications, but a BYU win in Spokane would all but erase the effects of that shot.
Noting that "their size is an issue...their depth is an issue," BYU head basketball coach Dave Rose met with the media on Tuesday and framed his team's challenge when facing the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the road Thursday night.
Following a 90-minute Marriott Center practice, Rose told reporters that it's as important that his players play well as it is that they play hard.
"This is a really good basketball team," Rose said of the tenth-ranked Zags. "I think our guys are excited to play them."
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