BYU's young basketball team faces a balanced and experienced squad in the first round of the Cougar Classic tonight at the Marriott Center.

At 7:30 p.m. the Cougars will take on Eastern Kentucky, 3-0 and with six players who average between 11 and 15 points per game. The 5:30 p.m. game features No. 17 St. John's against George Mason University.One of BYU's major objectives in this game will be to keep 7-foot-6 center Shawn Bradley out of foul trouble and out on the floor. The 18-year-old Bradley played only 15 minutes in Tuesday's loss to La Salle, and had similar foul problems in previous games.

BYU may be the best team Eastern Kentucky has played this season. The Colonels opened with easy wins against North Carolina-Greensboro and Wilberforce, then beat Miami (Ohio) 80-75. It will also be the biggest crowd the Colonels have seen; in three previous games, all at home, they averaged about 2,600 fans.

The winners of tonight's games will meet for the title at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; the losers play in the consolation game at 5:30 p.m.

BYU's games both nights will be rebroadcast on KBYU-TV (Channel 11) at 10:30 p.m.