BYU Cougars men's basketball

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BYU Cougars men's basketball
2023–24 BYU Cougars men's basketball team
UniversityBrigham Young University
First season1902
All-time record1,939–1,147 (.628)
Athletic directorTom Holmoe
Head coachKevin Young (1st season)
ConferenceBig 12 Conference
LocationProvo, Utah
ArenaMarriott Center
(Capacity: 19,000)
Student sectionThe ROC
ColorsBlue and white[1]
Home jersey
Team colours
Away jersey
Team colours

NCAA tournament Elite Eight
1951, 1981
NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen
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, 2021, 2024
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

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 30 NCAA tournaments. It currently competes in the Big 12 Conference. From 1999 to 2011, the team competed in the Mountain West Conference, followed by 12 seasons in the West Coast Conference. On September 10, 2021, the Big 12 Conference unanimously accepted BYU's application for membership,[2] and BYU officially joined the conference for the 2023–24 season.[3] The team is coached by Kevin Young.



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 led by star point guard River Jeffcoat.

The Cougars made the first of their 29 NCAA tournament appearances in 1950 under 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 No. 9 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, having made thirty NCAA tournaments. BYU, alongside Xavier, Saint Joseph's, Boston College, Arizona State, and Davidson are each tied for second most in Elite Eight appearances without a Final Four with three (Missouri has the most with five). [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.[4] Watts retired as the winningest coach in BYU history.

Danny Ainge was the first Cougar to win national Player of the Year honors.

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 #3 in the national rankings on their way to a 26–6 season.[5] Andersen then resigned following a 14–15 season in 1989.[6] 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.[5]

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.[7][8] 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 the first time the school failed to reach 5 wins in a season.[5]

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.[5] 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.[9] In 2010, Rose coached BYU to their first NCAA tournament victory in 17 years in a double-overtime win against the University of Florida.[10] 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 an NCAA tournament game, as they were down by 25 points at one point in their first game of the 2012 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament and came back to beat the Iona Gaels 78–72.[11]

Following Tyler Haws' departure for an overseas professional career, Kyle Collinsworth became the Cougars' 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. 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).[12] 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.”[12]

On March 26, 2019, after thirteen seasons as head coach at BYU, Dave Rose announced his retirement.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

Pope led a turnaround for the program in his first two seasons, with his inaugural season led by a trio of seniors in Yoeli Childs, T.J. Haws (younger brother of Tyler), and Jake Toolson. The team finished that season 24–8 and was projected to be a lock for the NCAA tournament as a single-digit seed before all postseason play was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020–21 season was projected to be a rebuilding year due to the loss of Childs, Haws, and Toolson to graduation, but Pope revamped the team in the offseason. Joining returning senior guard Alex Barcello was graduate transfers Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms. The 2020–21 team finished the regular season 20–6 and made the NCAA tournament as a No. 6 seed, the first appearance in the tournament since the 2014–15 season.[5]

After lackluster 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, BYU was picked to finish 13th of 14 teams in the Big 12 prior to the 2023-24 season, their first competing in the conference.[16] However, the Cougars posted a 10-8 conference record and went 22-9 during the regular season to finish fifth in the final standings. They defeated UCF in the Big 12 Conference Second Round before losing to Texas Tech in the quarterfinals. They were awarded a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Duquesne in the first round.

On April 12, 2024, it was announced that Mark Pope had been hired as head coach at Kentucky.[17] On April 16, BYU announced the hiring of Kevin Young, associate head coach of the Phoenix Suns, to serve as the team's new head coach.[18] Young proceeded to sign three of the eight highest-rated recruits in BYU history (according to 247Sports)—Kanon Catchings, Brody Kozlowski, and Elijah Crawford[19]—and also added projected 2025 NBA lottery pick Egor Demin, who played for Real Madrid's U18 squad and was eligible to play US college basketball under new NCAA rules. These signings led many to consider BYU's 2024 recruiting class the best in program history.[20][21]


The Cougars play home games at the Marriott Center.
Name Career Record Pct.
W.A. Colton 1902–1905 16–11 .593
C.T. Teetzel 1905–1908 22–6 .786
Fred Bennion 1908–1910 16–6 .727
Henry Rose 1910–1911 8–0 1.000
E.L. Roberts 1911–1920, 1925–1927 87–49 .640
Alvin Twitchell 1920–1925 50–20 .714
G. Ott Romney 1927–1935 139–71 .662
Edwin R. Kimball 1935–1936, 1938–1941 59–38 .608
Fred "Buck" Dixon 1936–1938 25–23 .521
Floyd Millet 1941–1949 104–77 .575
Stan Watts 1949–1972 371–254 .594
Glenn Potter 1972–1975 42–36 .538
Frank Arnold 1975–1983 137–94 .593
LaDell Andersen 1983–1989 114–71 .616
Roger Reid 1989–1996 152–77 .664
Tony Ingle (Interim) 1996–1997 0–19 .000
Steve Cleveland 1997–2005 138–108 .561
Dave Rose 2005–2019 301–131 .697
Mark Pope 2019–2024 110–52 .679
Kevin Young 2024–present

Season-by-season results


Under Kevin Young:

Statistics overview
Season Coach Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Kevin Young (Big 12 Conference) (2024–present)
2024–25 Kevin Young
Total: (–)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion



NCAA tournament


BYU has made the NCAA tournament 31 times, with the Cougars having a record of 15–35.

Year Seed Round Opponent Result
1950 Elite Eight
West Regional Third Place
L 55–56
W 83–62
1951 First Round
Elite Eight
West Regional Third Place
San Jose State
Kansas State
W 68–61
L 54–64
L 67–80
1957 Sweet Sixteen
West Regional Third Place
Idaho State
L 59–86
W 65–54
1965 Sweet Sixteen
West Regional Third Place
Oklahoma City
L 76–100
L 102–112
1969 Quarterfinals New Mexico State L 62–74
1971 Quarterfinals
Sweet Sixteen
West Regional Third Place
Utah State
W 91–82
L 73–91
L 81–84
1972 Quarterfinals Long Beach State L 90–95 OT
1979 #5 Second Round #4 San Francisco L 63–86
1980 #3 Second Round #6 Clemson L 66–71
1981 #6 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#11 Princeton
#2 Notre Dame
#1 Virginia
W 60–51
W 78–55
W 51–50
L 60–74
1984 #8 First Round
Second Round
#9 UAB
#1 Kentucky
W 84–68
L 68–93
1987 #10 First Round #7 New Orleans L 79–83
1988 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Charlotte
#5 Louisville
W 98–92 OT
L 76–97
1990 #12 First Round #5 Clemson L 47–49
1991 #10 First Round
Second Round
#7 Virginia
#2 Arizona
W 61–48
L 61–76
1992 #10 First Round #7 LSU L 83–94
1993 #7 First Round
Second Round
#10 SMU
#2 Kansas
W 80–71
L 76–90
1995 #8 First Round #9 Tulane L 70–76
2001 #12 First Round #5 Cincinnati L 59–84
2003 #12 First Round #5 Connecticut L 53–58
2004 #12 First Round #5 Syracuse L 75–80
2007 #8 First Round #9 Xavier L 77–79
2008 #8 First Round #9 Texas A&M L 62–67
2009 #9 First Round #8 Texas A&M L 66–79
2010 #7 First Round
Second Round
#10 Florida
#2 Kansas State
W 99–92 2OT
L 72–84
2011 #3 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#14 Wofford
#11 Gonzaga
#2 Florida
W 74–66
W 89–67
L 74–83 OT
2012 #14 First Four
First Round
#14 Iona
#3 Marquette
W 78–72
L 68–88
2014 #10 Round of 64 #7 Oregon L 68–87
2015 #11 First Four #11 Ole Miss L 90–94
2021 #6 First Round #11 UCLA L 62–73
2024 #6 First Round #11 Duquesne L 67–71



BYU has made the National Invitation Tournament fifteen times, going 19–13. The Cougars were champions in 1951 and 1966.

Year Round Opponent Result
1951 Quarterfinals
Saint Louis
Seton Hall
W 75–68
W 69–59
W 62–43
1953 First Round Niagara L 76–82
1954 First Round Saint Francis L 68–81
1966 Quarterfinals
W 90–78
W 66–60
W 97–84
1982 First Round Washington L 63–66
1986 First Round
Second Round
UC Irvine
Ohio State
W 67–63
W 93–80
L 68–79
1994 First Round
Second Round
Arizona State
Fresno State
W 74–67
L 66–68
2000 First Round
Second Round
Bowling Green
Southern Illinois
Notre Dame
W 81–54
W 82–57
L 52–64
2002 First Round
Second Round
UC Irvine
W 78–55
L 69–80
2006 First Round Houston L 67–77
2013 First Round
Second Round
Southern Miss
W 90–79
W 90–71
W 79–62
L 70–76
2016 First Round
Second Round
Virginia Tech
W 97–79
W 80–77
W 88–82
L 70–72
2017 First Round UT Arlington L 89–105
2018 First Round Stanford L 83–86
2022 First Round
Second Round
Long Beach State
Northern Iowa
Washington State
W 93–72
W 90–71
L 58–77

NAIA Tournament


BYU made two appearances in the NAIA Tournament, going 2–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
1948 First Round
Second Round
Delta State
Indiana State
W 66–61 OT
L 68–82
1949 First Round
Second Round
Northwestern Oklahoma State
Northwestern State
W 79–50
L 57–59

Individual honors


Retired numbers


The Cougars have retired the numbers of four players in their history, with the most recent being the jerseys of Hutchins and Minson on February 16, 2013.

BYU Cougars retired numbers
No. Player Position Career No. ret. Ref.
11 Krešimir Ćosić C 1970–1973 2006 [22]
Roland Minson SF 1948–1951 2013 [23]
14 Mel Hutchins PF / C 1947–1951 2013 [23]
22 Danny Ainge SG 1977–1981 2003 [24]

National Players of the Year




Conference Players of the Year


Individual records

  • 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

Notable players



  1. ^ "Colors". Brigham Young University Publications and Graphics. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  2. ^ "Big 12 Extends Membership Invitations". Big 12 Conference. September 10, 2021. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  3. ^ Lundquist, Casey (September 10, 2021). "BYU Athletics to Join the Big 12 in 2023". Archived from the original on September 28, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  4. ^ Chilton, Kyle (November 2, 2010). "Remember When... BYU Retired Kresimir Cosic's Jersey?". Brigham Young University. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Brigham Young Cougars Index". Sports-Reference. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  6. ^ "Anderson Resigns As Coach at B.Y.U." New York Times. Associated Press. March 18, 1989. Archived from the original on July 27, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  7. ^ "Reid Apologizes For Comments". Deseret News. November 19, 1996. Archived from the original on March 31, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  8. ^ Mangum, Adam (October 26, 1998). "Choosing Duke over BYU good for Burgess". Brigham Young University. Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  9. ^ Katz, Andy (June 25, 2009). "BYU's Rose getting healthy". Archived from the original on January 20, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  10. ^ Rayburn, Jim (March 19, 2010). "BYU basketball: Cougars outlast Gators in double overtime". Deseret News. Archived from the original on April 26, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  11. ^ "BYU rallies from 25-point deficit to shock Iona". Associated Press. March 13, 2012. Archived from the original on October 28, 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  12. ^ a b Harmon, Dick (November 9, 2018). "NCAA penalizes BYU men's basketball program after investigation reveals that boosters gave Nick Emery $12K in benefits". Deseret News. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  13. ^ Drew, Jay (March 26, 2019). "An emotional Dave Rose steps down after 14 years leading the BYU men's basketball team. His program levelled off in recent seasons, but he leaves as the school's winningest coach". Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  14. ^ Harmon, Dick (April 10, 2019). "BYU names Mark Pope its new head basketball coach". Deseret News. Archived from the original on January 10, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  15. ^ "BYU guard Nick Emery announces retirement from basketball". Associated Press. July 23, 2019. Archived from the original on March 14, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  16. ^ "Kansas Picked to Win 2023-24 Big 12 Men's Basketball Title". Big 12 Conference. October 13, 2023. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  17. ^ "Kentucky hires BYU's Mark Pope as men's basketball coach to replace John Calipari". The Associated Press. April 12, 2024. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  18. ^ "BYU hires Suns associate coach Kevin Young to replace Mark Pope". ESPN. April 16, 2024. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  19. ^ "Brigham Young 2024 Basketball Commits". 247Sports. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  20. ^ "The BYU Basketball Renaissance: Kevin Young dispels 50 years of history in 50 days". Cougs Daily. June 18, 2024. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  21. ^ "How social media reacted to Kanon Catchings committing to BYU basketball". The Deseret News. June 18, 2024. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  23. ^ a b "BYU to retire the jerseys of Mel Hutchins and Roland Minson". Daily Herald. January 14, 2013. Archived from the original on March 31, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  24. ^ A Lofty Honor for Ainge at BYU Magazine, Spring 2003