BYU's basketball team played its best games of the season at home last weekend - now it will try to do the same on the road.
The Cougars (9-8 overall, 3-1 WAC) have been shaky away from home this year. They are 1-4 in games outside of Utah. But to contend for the WAC title, it's crucial that they win a few in opponents' gyms.On this road trip, BYU's best chance for a victory probably occurs Thursday night. At 7:30 p.m., the Cougars take on Colorado State (8-6, 1-3) in Moby Arena. While the Rams are never a pushover at home, they present an easier challenge than Wyoming (13-2, 3-0), Saturday's foe.
Colorado State's WAC losses have been at UTEP and New Mexico and at home to Wyoming. CSU's lone win was at home against San Diego State.
Last year's WAC co-champion, CSU lost its entire starting front line to graduation. This season they are led by senior guards Lynn Tryon and Mark Meredith, and Chuckie White, the 6-foot-7 transfer from Indiana.
If local press reports are any indication, the Rams seem to be preoccupied with BYU's 7-foot-6 Shawn Bradley. Asked his opinion of Bradley, CSU Coach Boyd Grant stated simply, "He has changed the game."
The coach continued, "The only way to play BYU is to keep Bradley as far away from the basket as you can. He pretty much eliminates your inside game. He seems to affect every shot."
While the Cougars are pushing Bradley out of the paint, though, they had better keep an eye on BYU forward Steve Schreiner. The 6-7 Schreiner had his finest pair of games as a Cougar against New Mexico and UTEP, scoring 54 points and grabbing 30 rebounds over the weekend.
BYU will be back at full strength for this game, with forward Jared Miller recovered from a knee injury. BYU coach Roger Reid's problem now is what to do with Miller, who had replaced Schreiner in the starting lineup before the injury. Miller will likely backup Schreiner, pushing freshman forward Jeff Campbell back to the bench.
The Colorado State game was originally scheduled to be televised live on KSL-TV (Channel 5), but was moved to KBYU (Channel 11).
COUGAR NOTES: Bradley this week said reports that he might forgo an LDS mission were blown out of proportion. "There is a very, very slight possibility that my mission plans will change," he said. "Right now my plan is to go."
Bradley also commented on rumors that he might leave school early to play in the NBA. "I am definitely going to come back to school after my mission," he said. "After that I want to graduate and play in the NBA. I'm just not sure in what order those two will come."