For Weber State, Thursday night's basketball meeting in the Dee Events Center with BYU holds the same kind of significance that Monday's Wildcat game with Southern Utah did for the Thunderbirds. It's the only time they'll play each other this season, and it's a chance to play against the big boys. In this case, the very big boys, as in 7-foot-6, 6-7, 6-7 and 6-5.
But all that height in his own lineup has Cougar Coach Roger Reid a little concerned, too. Enough so that he and four staffers scouted Monday's Southern Utah-Weber game won 92-88 by the Wildcats, who came back from a 15-point halftime deficit."Weber has a lot of quickness," says Reid, "and we don't match up well against them. Our mismatches are going to be tough."
Reid seems worried after seeing Wildcat Tony Nicholas make 7 of 11 three-pointers Monday against Southern Utah. Utah State's Jay Goodman was even more deadly from outside against the Cougars Saturday, scoring a Marriot Center/USU record nine three-pointers, missing only six. BYU won 98-94 and is 1-1. Weber's 2-0.
"We haven't had as much quickness in our first two games or against Weber to defend the three-point shot," Reid says. "If we go out to defend against it, they are quick enough to drive by us."
If they drive, however, there's 7-6 Shawn Bradley inside to swat away two-point shots.
Weber Coach Denny Huston was dismayed at his team's slow start against Southern Utah, which had everything its way the first half Monday.
Part of it was that the T-Birds are a quality team.
Part may have also been that Weber had BYU on its mind, says Huston. "These guys have Nov. 29 written on their foreheads, written on their books, written in their dormitories. Even though we hadn't talked about Nov. 29, they have been doing nothing but thinking about Nov. 29."
BYU is young, with two freshmen (Bradley, Kenneth Roberts) and a returned missionary (Nathan Call) starting. "One of these days," says Reid, "we are going to play someone like us that lost a lot of players."
That's not going to be Thursday. Weber returns four starters from last year (Anthony McGowan, Aaron Bell, Jason Joe and Nicholas) and has numerous veterans on the bench, although starter David Baldwin and the top three reserves (Al Hamilton, Jimmy DeGraffenreid and Robbie Johnson) are all new.