Cougars Provide Stiff Challenge for the Wolfpack

NC State (7-2) plays BYU (10-2) at the RBC Center Wednesday night. Game time is set for 8:00 and will be televised by ESPN2. <P> Premium Subscribers can chat Live in the <a href=> Premium Chat Room</a> via the "Join Live Chat" Link.

BYU Coach Steve Cleveland

NC State (7-2) vs. BYU (10-2)
8:00 pm
Raleigh, NC
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BYU inside threat Rafael Araujo
BYU Outlook for 2003-04: BYU returns four starters and 10 lettermen from last year's 23-9 conference co-championship squad while adding several heralded newcomers. The 2003-04 BYU team has the talent to claim another MWC title and earn its third NCAA tournament invite in their last four years.

Head Coach Steve Cleveland: Steve Cleveland (118-80) enters his seventh year at the helm of the Cougars in 2003-04. During his tenure at BYU, Cleveland has proven to be a first-rate recruiter, an excellent coach and player developer, and above all, a winner. He was honored as the MWC Coach of the Year in 2002-03, as voted by the league's coaches and media members, after guiding BYU to a share of the MWC regular season title and a 23-9 record. He has guided BYU to four straight postseason appearances and three 20-win seasons in the last four years. Only two other BYU coaches have ever achieved more 20-win seasons.

Early Season: The Cougars have a 10-2 record including the Cable Car Classic title and wins over No. 25 Oklahoma State and the Pac-10's USC. As a team, the Cougars shoot .513 from the floor, including .388 on threes, and .707 from the line while scoring 77.8 points per game. BYU allows 62.6 points while the opposition has shot .438 from the field and .341 from behind the arc. BYU has an average rebounding advantage of 6.9.

Probable Starting 5: F – #55 C Rafael Araujo (Sr 6-11 280), 20.7 ppg, 10.8 rpg... G/F – #1 Mike Hall (Jr 6-3 205), 13.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg... F/G – #3 Mark Bigalow (Sr 6-7 200), 12.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.6 apg... G – #4 Luis Lemes (Sr 6-3 180), 8.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.5 apg... G – #00 Kevin Woodberry (Sr 6-0 170), 7.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.4 apg

BYU's Top Gun: Power man Rafael Araujo (C 6-11 280 Sr) leads the Cougars in scoring 20.7 ppg, rebounds 10.8 rpg and blocks 1.2 bpg. He is considered to be one of the best big men in the country and NC State will be challenged to contain his numbers. Araujo is sixth in the nation in rebounds (10.9), tied for 18th in scoring (21.0) and is 18th in field goal percentage (.664) through games played Dec. 30th. Araujo is an MWC Player of the Year candidate.

Standing in a Forest: NC State will be looking up at their opponents when they hit the floor against BYU. The Cougars have 6 players listed at 6-8 or taller. Jake Shoff (6-9 265), Joshua Burgess (6-8 230), Garner Meads (6-8 230), Derek Dawes (6-11 265), Jered Jensen (6-9 250), Rafael Araujo (6-11 280).

Age is an Issue: BYU starts 4 seniors and 1 junior. Araujo, Bigelow, Woodberry and Lemes are all 23 years old. Hall is the youngster of the starting five and is only 21. BYU players are allowed an extra year of eligibility when they take official church missions.

Fast Break Points

NC State leads, 2-0 Last: NC State won 95-81 (Dixie Classic) on Dec. 21, 1955 in Raleigh.
The last time the Cougars played an ACC team was on Dec. 28, 1997. They were beaten by Virginia 72-58. BYU has an overall record against the ACC of 5-19.
BYU is 2-2 this year against teams that qualified for postseason last year.
BYU all-time record is 1460-933 (.610).
BYU is considered by some to be one of the five-best teams in the West. They are currently ranked 36 in the coaches poll.
Instant Experience: BYU has seven players on their roster that transferred from either junior college or other NCAA programs. Most notable are center Rafael Araujo (Ariz. Western College), Guard Mike Hall (Dixie State College), Guard Luiz Lemes (E. Okla. St. College), and Guard Kevin Woodberry (Dixie State College). All 4 are in the top five in scoring for BYU.

Total Guard Package: Senior Guard Luis Lemes is a combo guard with an excellent understanding of the game. He has tallied 66 assists for the season (5.5 apg) while making half his three point shots (15-30). Luis also leads his team in total minutes played (365 minutes).

Key Match-Up: NC State quickness vs. BYU size: NC State needs fast break points and BYU will give them a chance as they average 16 turnovers per game. The NC State quickness will need to be utilized because BYU is a big physical team with Araujo anchoring the middle. He is an NBA prospect and the Pack will need to keep him under his double-double averages. Araujo tied an MWC record this year by posting five consecutive double-doubles for the Cougars. Look for Collins to get major minutes in guarding Araujo.

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Members of the BYU basketball team wait out the final seconds of an 86-80 overtime loss to Colorado State in the semi-final round of the Mountain West Conference Basketball Championship Friday, March 14, 2003 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

No Name Pos Ht Wt Yr City (High School)
01 Mike Hall G/F 6-3 205   JR San Bernardino, CA (Dixie State College)
2 Mike Rose G 6-2 185   FR Houston, TX (Spring Woods HS)
3 Mark Bigalow F/G 6-7 200   SR Olympia, WA (Olympia HS)
4 Luiz Lemes G 6-3 180   SR Sao Paulo, Brazil (E. Okla. St. College)
10 Jake Shoff F/C 6-9 265   SR Alpine, UT (Weber State)
10 Terry Nashif G 5-10 165   JR Vancouver, WA (Evergreen HS)
12 Marc Roberts G 6-3 200   JR Provo, UT (Timpview HS)
13 Austin Ainge G 6-2 180   FR Gilbert, AZ (Highland HS)
14 Ricky Bower G 6-4 185   SR Meridian, ID (Wisconsin)
15 Mike Dresser G/F 6-5 195   FR Sacramento, CA (Casa Roble)
34 Joshua Burgess F 6-8 230 SO Irvine, CA (Irvine Valley College)
41 Garner Meads F 6-8 230   FR Salt Lake City, UT (Brighton HS)
43 Derrick Dawes C 6-11 265   SO Salt Lake City, UT (Cottonwood HS)
52 Jered Jensen F/C 6-9 250   JR West Haven, UT (Fremont HS)
55 Rafael Araujo C 6-11 280   SR Sao Paulo, Brazil (Ariz. Western College)
00 Kevin Woodberry G 6-0 170   SR Phoenix, AZ (Dixie State College)

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