BYU's basketball team takes its act out of the state of Utah for the first time when it faces La Salle tonight in Philadelphia.

The game will be televised live on Channel 5 starting at 5:30 p.m.The Cougars take a 3-1 record into the game; they beat Utah State twice and Weber State, and lost to East Tennessee State.

La Salle is 2-0, having beaten Loyola-Baltimore and Pennsylvania. Last year the Explorers finished first in the Metro Atlantic Conference with a 16-0 record, 30-2 overall.

La Salle lost its prime player last year, Lionel Simmons, to graduation and the Sacramento Kings, but returns its four other starters, though one of them, guard Randy Woods, will not play against the Cougars due to a five-game suspension. Coach Speedy Morris suspended Woods because of an on-court fight in preseason practice.

Guard Doug Overton, who averaged 17 points and six assists last season, leads the Explorers. The other starters from last season are forward Jack Hurd and 6-9 center Milko Lieverst.

Shawn Bradley, BYU's 7-6 freshman center, who is averaging 18 points and almost 10 rebounds a game, has received considerable media attention.

Wrote Dick Jerardi for Knight-Ridder newspapers:

Bradley and his BYU teammates are in town to play La Salle Tuesday night at the Philadelphia Civic Center. And one thing has to be made very clear: Bradley is not a very tall young man who happens to play basketball. He is a skilled basketball player who happens to be very tall.

"We know we're going to have our hands full," La Salle coach Speedy Morris said. "Shawn is a very good player."

"It's going to be very tough," 6-9 Explorers center Milko Lieverst said. "We've got to try to keep him outside the box. I saw him on TV and I know he can play. He's got a great touch."

Morris and Lieverst don't exaggerate. Shawn Bradley is a player already. By the time he's finished playing, he might be one of THE players.

Senior forward Steve Schreiner is giving Bradley considerable help, averaging 17 points on 67 percent shooting and 8 rebounds per game.