1. Provo is an international destination. No, really.
Hanging next to Danny Ainge's oversized jersey in from the rafters of the Marriott Center is that of Kresimir Cosic. Cosic, a 6'11" center from Croatia, became in 1972 the first foreign player to be named a UPI All-American. BYU's international pipeline has recently shifted to Brazil, where former Cougar and first round NBA draft pick (hey, don't laugh, it's true!) Rafael Araujo is from. Current Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year Johnathan Tavernari and reserve forward Fernando Malaman are also Brazilian, as is assistant coach Walter Roese. BYU's student body is especially well-suited to welcoming international players, since more than 70 percent of BYU students are fluent in a second language.
2. Keena Young was born to play for BYU. You just wouldn't know that by looking at him.
Keena Young, BYU's starting forward and the reigning Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, has a family history perfect for the university. Of course, the Young family shares a last name with the university's namesake, Brigham Young. But Young's mother's first name, LaVella, is remarkably similar to that of legendary former Cougar Head Football Coach LaVell Edwards. And Young's father, Cleveland, shares a name with former head basketball coach Steve Cleveland, who recruited Young to BYU before leaving to take the head coaching job at Fresno State in 2005.
3. "Hey, are you the coach's son?" In keeping with the family-oriented focus of the school's sponsoring religion, BYU's basketball team has featured various family ties throughout the years. Starting point guard Austin Ainge is the son of former Wooden-Award winning Cougar guard and current Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge. Reserve guard and 3-point shooting specialist Mike Rose is the nephew of head coach Dave Rose. And last season's lone departing senior, Brock Reichner, is Rose's son-in-law, having married Rose's daughter (and former Lady Cougar basketball player) Chanell. Former BYU coach Roger Reid coached his sons Randy and Robbie on the team prior to being fired in 1996. — Joel Baughman