By James Davis
The BYU men”s basketball team will host the University of Montevallo Falcons out of Alabama, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006, at 7 p.m., in its final week of preparation before facing off against 2006 national runner-up UCLA to start the season.
The exhibition, which will be the Cougars” second of the season, will pit the No. 2-ranked Division-II basketball team in the nation against BYU. The Falcons of Montevallo recently took on nationally ranked Division-I powerhouse Alabama on the road and played to a close 81-71 loss.
“We look forward to Wednesday”s game against Montevallo,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “Montevallo is a very athletic team that last year went 29-5 and advanced to the Elite Eight in the Division-II Tournament. This year, they are expected to again be one of the top Division-II teams in the nation.”
Starting sophomore center Trent Plaisted said after all of the running the team has been doing in preseason practices, finally playing a game is somewhat relaxing for the Cougars.
“It”s really nice to be able to get a media timeout every four minutes,” Plaisted said. “All of a sudden you have all this energy.”
The Cougars looked like they were full of energy last week when they started their basketball preseason against the Badgers of Brock University of Ontario, Canada, with a 90-47 victory.
Plaisted led the way for BYU in limited action, scoring 13 points and adding 8 rebounds. Each player on the Cougar squad saw action in the game as they dominated the much smaller Badger team in all aspects of the game. While the competition wasn”t as tough as it will be in future games, senior guard Austin Ainge said there was a definite advantage to playing these preseason games against teams from lower divisions.
“I think the most we get out of that is how players react when the lights come on and playing with that adrenaline rush that you get when there”s a crowd,” Ainge said,
The Falcons are led by senior guard Greg Brown, who was a first-team NABC All-South Region pick last season after averaging 18 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Against the Crimson Tide on Saturday, Brown led Montevallo with 24 points, three rebounds, four assists and six steals.
Brown and teammate Marcus Kennedy were both named as preseason All-Americans, and the team is coached by fourth-year Falcon coach Danny Young.
BYU fans will also have the opportunity to join with Cougar players and coaches as they kick off the 2006-07 season at the Cougar Tipoff on Friday with a Blue and White scrimmage at 6 p.m. at the Marriott Center.