Cougars to test home-court skills on the road

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    By Randall Champion

    The BYU men”s basketball team has this home-court winning thing figured out. Now they need to prove they can do it on the road.

    This weekend should be a good measuring stick for the Cougars as they face two big Mountain West Conference opponents away from the friendly confines of the Marriott Center.

    BYU is coming off two impressive home conference wins against San Diego State and UNLV. Led by the “Big Three” tandem of Terrell Lyday, Mekeli Wesley and Trent Whiting, the Cougars have been dominant this season at home — with a 10-0 mark at the Marriott Center — and have won five straight overall.

    Coach Steve Cleveland said it would be important for his seniors to play well in order for the Cougars to be competitive in the conference. The players listened and have responded, with Lyday and Whiting both averaging 16 points and Wesley adding 15.5 points and 5.5 boards a game.

    Despite its perfect record at home, BYU has gone 1-2 on the road and 2-2 at neutral sites.

    On Saturday night, BYU visits Colorado State (9-5 overall, 0-1 conference). The Rams are led by seniors John Sivesind and David Fisher, both averaging more than 12 points a game. Sophomore Brian Green is also averaging eight points and six rebounds a game.

    Neither BYU nor Colorado State is afraid to shoot the long ball either. The Cougars come in fresh from hitting a school-record 13 three-pointers against San Diego State, while the Rams are ranked 10th nationally in both field-goal and three-point percentage.

    BYU and Colorado State split last year”s series, with the home team winning each meeting. The Rams have won seven of the last eight games against the Cougars.

    The Cougars then travel up the road to Laramie to take on the Wyoming Cowboys (10-4, 1-1) on Jan. 22. Junior Josh Davis leads the Cowboys with 13.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks a game. Sophomore Marcus Bailey is currently 3rd in the conference in scoring, averaging 17.2 points a game.

    Wyoming is also perfect at home with a 5-0 record in Arena-Auditorium. The battle against the Cougars will be the second game of the Cowboys” Utah home stand, as they host the Utes on Saturday.

    BYU and Wyoming split last year”s season series, with the home team winning each contest.

    Both games will start at 7 p.m. and be televised by SportsWest Productions. BYU will then have a week off before returning home to face Utah on Jan. 29.

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