Provo • A lot of college basketball teams pad their schedules in December, playing at home whenever possible and against cupcakes if they can.
That doesn't describe BYU coach Dave Rose's schedule this year. The Cougars (6-2) play at the Marriott Center only twice this month, including Tuesday night's contest against North Texas (7 p.m., BYUtv) from Conference USA.
The Mean Green are 5-3 and figure to match BYU's fast-paced style, with quick guards and a big man, 6-foot-10 forward Keith Coleman, who can get up and down the floor as well as the Cougars' 6-10 Eric Mika.
Next week, the Cougars will play host to Prairie View A&M, and then they are on the road the rest of the month.
Rose said North Texas is a lot like Texas, which fell 86-82 to the Cougars in Kansas City last week.
"Their big guy might be the best running big guy that we have faced," Rose said. "He can really get out and run to the rim, and they get the ball to him really well. So it will be a really fast-paced game. We will have a lot of the same issues with them that we had with Texas in this game, trying to get back, get the ball stopped."
Alzee Williams, a 6-4 guard, makes the Mean Green go. He averages a team-best 16.3 points per game.
"These guys are really quick, and they play fast," Rose said. "Their guards are really good dribble-penetrators."
It will be BYU's first home game since it routed Colorado Mesa 84-60 back on Nov. 16, and first home game for leading scorer Tyler Haws since Nov. 8 against Weber State. He missed two games with a lower abdominal strain.
"It got a little tight [against USU], but I am trying to take care of it off the court," Haws said of the strain. "But it feels great right now."
Haws seconded Rose's notion that North Texas is a lot like regular Texas.
"Our defense in transition will have to be pretty good for us to win," he said.
North Texas at BYU
P At the Marriott Center, Provo
Tipoff • Tuesday, 7 p.m.
TV • BYUtv
Radio • 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
Records • BYU 6-2, North Texas 5-3
Series history • BYU leads, 2-0
Last Meeting: BYU 97, North Texas 68 (Dec. 8, 1989)
About the Cougars • Kyle Collinsworth keeps flirting with a triple-double. He had seven points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and two blocked shots in the 85-74 win over Utah State on Saturday. â¦ Tyler Haws has made 35 of his last 36 free-throw attempts. â¦ Freshman forward Erik Mika has scored in double figures in seven straight games after scoring 15 points against the Aggies.
About the Mean Green • They are 26th in the nation in free throws attempted and 40th in free throws made. â¦ They are averaging 78.0 points per game, 103rd in the country. â¦ The largest crowd they have ever played in front of as a program was the 21,758 who filled the Marriott Center in 1980. â¦ Alzee Williams leads them in scoring with a 16.3 average. Jordan Williams is their leading rebounder (6.9 rpg.) and second-leading scorer (12.3 ppg.).