From the FanPosts...
A very interesting game last Friday night to officially kick off the 2010-2011 season for the Cougars. It deserves a trip down memory lane.
In the mid to late 90's, BYU basketball was a joke. A punchline for the local newspaper writers. Their best player was a guy who looked like he was 40 and had about as much hair as Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: TNG. They only managed to win one game during the 96-97 season. Roger Reid lost control of the team and embarassed his fans, team, program, university, church, and himself with some ill-advised comments.
Tony Ingle took over midseason, but did not fair any better.
Enter Steve Cleveland.
Pretty soon, players like Mikeli Wesley, Silester Rivers, and Terrell Lyday came on board and the cougars slowly started competing. They were even able to beat Utah occasionally in provo. These players gave way to a new generation. Mark Bigelow, Travis Hansen, and Rafael Araujo led the cougars into contention for conference championships.
Well, Cleveland had done an exceptional job and Fresno State came calling. Though it was a tough decision, Cleveland returned home to coach the Bulldogs.
I think you know the rest. BYU finally broke the tournament drought last year and is looking for big things this year with a senior-laden backcourt and some increased talent levels across the board. None of it would be possible without Cleveland's total dedication.
It was a good reminder of that as the Bulldogs came to a sold-out Marriott Center last Friday. It was an emotional day for Cleveland.
The BYU fans know what Cleveland did for them and gave him a nice cheer. Rose has put BYU on the map nationally, but without Cleveland, none of it would be happenign today.