BYU Cougars men's basketball

The BYU Cougars men's basketball team represents Brigham Young University in NCAA Division I basketball play. Established in 1902, the team has won 27 conference championships, 3 conference tournament championships and 2 NIT Tournaments (1951 and 1966), and competed in 29 NCAA Tournaments. It currently competes in the West Coast Conference. From 1999–2011, the team competed in the Mountain West Conference.

BYU Cougars men's basketball
2019–20 BYU Cougars men's basketball team
BYU Cougars logo.svg
UniversityBrigham Young University
First season1902
All-time record1,781–1,091 (.620)
Athletic directorTom Holmoe
Head coachMark Pope (2nd season)
ConferenceWest Coast Conference
LocationProvo, Utah
ArenaMarriott Center
(Capacity: 19,000)
ColorsBlue and White[1]
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1950, 1951, 1981
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1950, 1951, 1957, 1965, 1971, 1981, 2011
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1993, 2010, 2011
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1950, 1951, 1957, 1965, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015
Conference Tournament Champions
1991, 1992, 2001
Conference Regular Season Champions
1924, 1925, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1957, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011


BYU fielded its first basketball team in 1903. In 1906, the Cougars played their first game against Utah State University. In 1909, the team first played against the University of Utah. These two rivalries continue to this day. In its 108-year history, BYU's basketball program has won 1,786 games, ranking 12th among all Division I programs. The Cougars won the first of their 27 conference championships in 1922 as a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

The Cougars would make the first of their 29 NCAA Tournament appearances in 1950 under legendary head coach Stan Watts. That Cougars came within one point of reaching the national semifinals. BYU's 1951 team was even more successful, winning 28 games and once again qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. In addition, the 1951 team won the first of two NIT championships for the school. The Cougars defeated AP #9 AP St. John's, AP #10 St. Louis and AP #13 Dayton to win the title. Notable players on that team include: Mel Hutchins, who was taken #2 in the 1951 NBA draft, was named the 1951–52 NBA co-rookie of the year and became a 5-time NBA All-Star with the Pistons and the Knicks; Roland Minson, who was drafted #16 overall in the 1951 NBA draft; and Loren C. Dunn, a future general authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Cougars would go on to make five more appearances in the NCAA Tournament under Watts, and win their second NIT championship in 1966, although by that time the overall prestige of the NIT had fallen considerably. BYU has the most NCAA appearances of any men's team not to make the Final Four.[citation needed][when?]

Under Watts, BYU also became the first U.S. college basketball program to include an international player on its roster, as Finland native Timo Lampen debuted in the 1958–59 season. Later, BYU's Krešimir Ćosić, born in Yugoslavia (modern-day Croatia), became the first international player to be named an All-American. His jersey was retired in the Marriott Center in March 2006 in the last home game of the season against the New Mexico Lobos.[2] Watts retired as the winningest coach in BYU history.

After Watts' retirement following the 1972 season, the program experienced five consecutive losing seasons from 1974 through 1978 before returning to the NCAA Tournament in 1979 behind Danny Ainge and coach Frank Arnold. The Cougars reached the Elite Eight, one game short of the Final Four, in 1981, Ainge's senior season. That season, Ainge won the Wooden Award as the nation's most outstanding player.

Arnold left following the 1983 season and was replaced by LaDell Andersen, who had several successful seasons in the 1980s, including the 1987–88 season when the Cougars rose as high as #2 in the national rankings on their way to a 26–6 season.[citation needed] Andersen then resigned following a 14–15 season in 1989.[3] He was replaced by Roger Reid, who guided the Cougars to 20-win seasons in each of his first six years and five NCAA Tournament appearances.

Reid was fired in the middle of the 1996–97 season after a 1–6 start. Part of his firing had to do with a private comment Reid made to Chris Burgess, then considered the top high school player in the nation and a Latter-day Saint whose father had attended BYU; Reid suggested that Burgess had let down the entire church by choosing to attend Duke rather than BYU.[4] Assistant coach Tony Ingle coached the team on an interim basis for the rest of the season and did not win a game; the Cougars' 1–25 record was easily the worst in school history.

Following the season, Steve Cleveland was hired as the new head coach and returned the Cougars to prominence. In 2001, the Cougars won the MWC regular season and tournament championships, making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1995. After the 2004–05 season, Cleveland resigned to become the head coach at Fresno State; he was replaced by Dave Rose.

Dave Rose, co-captain of the University of Houston's 1983 "Phi Slama Jama" college basketball team, began the first of six straight 20-win seasons in 2005–06. Rose and assistant Dave Rice continued BYU's successful recruiting with the addition of All-American Jimmer Fredette in 2007 and DeMarcus Harrison in 2011. In June 2009, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and returned to coaching later that year.[5] In 2010, Rose coached BYU to their first NCAA tournament victory in 17 years in a double-overtime win against the University of Florida.[6] The following year, BYU made further inroads as a #3 seed when they advanced to the Sweet 16. On March 13, 2012, BYU set a record for the largest comeback in a NCAA tournament game, as they were down by 25 points at one point in their first match of the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and came back to beat the Iona Gaels 78–72.[7]

Following Tyler Haws' departure for an overseas professional career, Kyle Collinsworth became the Cougar's recognized leader, setting the NCAA record for career triple doubles and earning WCC Player of the Year honors as a senior. Since Collinsworth's departure, the Cougars have struggled, especially in the postseason—BYU has not appeared in the NCAA tournament since 2014. The program was dealt an additional blow when the NCAA announced penalties against the Cougars due to an alleged benefits scandal surrounding shooting guard Nick Emery. As part of those sanctions, BYU was ordered to vacate all victories where Nick Emery played over two seasons (a total of 47 wins).[8] The BYU athletics department has appealed the decision. An official BYU athletics department statement (not attributed to a specific employee) read in part, “The vacation-of-records penalty is extremely harsh and unprecedented given the details of the case. For more than two decades, the NCAA has not required an institution to vacate games in similar cases where the COI found there was no institutional knowledge of or involvement in the violation by either the coaching staff or other university personnel. In fact, this sanction includes the most severe vacation-of-record penalty ever imposed in the history of NCAA Division I basketball for infractions that included no institutional knowledge or involvement. In addition, in the case most similar to this situation, appropriate penalties were imposed, but no wins were vacated. BYU believes the vacating of its game record penalty is unfair and not consistent with recent NCAA precedent.”[9]

On March 26, 2019, after thirteen seasons as head coach at BYU, Dave Rose announced his retirement.[10] On April 10, 2019, BYU athletics director Tom Holmoe announced that Mark Pope, a former assistant at BYU under Rose and head coach of the Utah Valley University men's basketball team, had been hired as Rose's replacement.[11]

On July 23, 2019, Nick Emery announced that he was retiring from college basketball. He cited unspecified challenges in his career that led to the decision.[12]


The Cougars play home games at the Marriott Center.
Name Seasons Record Win. Pctg.
W.A. Colton 1902-1905 16-11 .593
C.T. Teetzel 1905–08 22–6 .786
Fred Bennion 1908–10 16–6 .727
Henry Rose 1910–11 8–0 1.000
E.L. Roberts 1911–20, 1925–27 87–49 .640
Alvin Twitchell 1920–25 50–20 .714
G. Ott Romney 1927–35 139–71 .662
Edwin R. Kimball 1935–36, 1938–41 59–38 .608
Fred "Buck" Dixon 1936–38 25–23 .521
Floyd Millet 1941–49 104–77 .575
Stan Watts 1949–72 371–254 .594
Glenn Potter 1972–75 42–36 .538
Frank Arnold 1975–83 137–94 .593
LaDell Andersen 1983–89 114–71 .616
Roger Reid 1989–96 152–77 .664
Tony Ingle (Interim) 1996–97 0–19 .000
Steve Cleveland 1997–2005 138–108 .561
Dave Rose 2005–2019 301-131 .697
Mark Pope 2019– 24–8 .750

Season-by-season resultsEdit

Individual honorsEdit

Retired numbersEdit

The Cougars have retired the numbers of four players in their history.[13]

No. Player Years
11 Krešimir Ćosić 1970–1973
Roland Minson 1948–1951
14 Mel Hutchins 1947–1951
22 Danny Ainge 1977–1981

National Players of the YearEdit


Conference Players of the YearEdit

Individual recordsEdit

  • Points scored, single game: 52, Jimmer Fredette, March 11, 2011 vs. New Mexico
  • Points scored, season: 1,068, Jimmer Fredette, 2010–11
  • Points scored, career: 2,720, Tyler Haws, 2009–10, 2012–15
  • Field goals made, single game: 22, Jimmer Fredette, March 11, 2011 vs. New Mexico
  • Field goals made, season: 346, Jimmer Fredette, 2010–11
  • Field goals made, career: 987, Danny Ainge, 1978–81
  • Three-point field goals made, single game: 10, Chase Fischer, November 25, 2014 vs. Chaminade; and Nick Emery, February 11, 2016 vs. San Francisco
  • Three-point field goals made, season: 124, Jimmer Fredette, 2010–11
  • Three-point field goals made, career: 296, Jimmer Fredette, 2007–11
  • Consecutive games with a Three-point field goal made: 31, Nick Emery
  • Free throws made, single game: 23, Jimmer Fredette, March 11, 2010 vs. TCU
  • Free throws made, season: 252, Jimmer Fredette, 2010–11
  • Free throws made, career: 724, Tyler Haws, 2009–10, 2012–15
  • Rebounds, single game: 27, Scott Warner, December 18, 1969 vs. Texas Tech
  • Rebounds, season: 471, Mel Hutchins, 1950–51
  • Rebounds, career: 1,053, Yoeli Childs, 2016–20
  • Assists, single game: 16, Mike May, December 11, 1976 vs. Niagara
  • Assists, season: 275, Kyle Collinsworth, 2015–16
  • Assists, career: 703, Kyle Collinsworth, 2010–11, 2013–16
  • Steals, single game: 9, Mark Bigelow, November 28, 1998 vs. Arizona
  • Steals, season: 101, Jackson Emery, 2010–11
  • Steals, career: 249, Jackson Emery, 2005–06, 2008–11
  • Blocked shots, single game: 14, Shawn Bradley, December 7, 1990 vs. Eastern Kentucky
  • Blocked shots, season: 177, Shawn Bradley, 1990–91
  • Blocked shots, career: 208, Greg Kite, 1979–83


  1. ^ "Colors". Brigham Young University Publications and Graphics. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Source:
  3. ^ Source:
  4. ^ Source:
  5. ^ Katz, Andy (2009-06-24). "BYU's Rose getting healthy". Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  6. ^ Rayburn, Jim (2010-03-19). "BYU basketball: Cougars outlast Gators in double overtime". Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  7. ^ "BYU rallies from 25-point deficit to shock Iona". ESPN via Associated Press. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  8. ^
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  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "BYU to retire the jerseys of Mel Hutchins and Roland Minson". Daily Herald. May 12, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2020.

External linksEdit