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The Cougars are coming off a season in which they finished 18-11, including a 10-game win streak in the middle of the season. But the Cougars are off to a slow start in the 2009-2010 season, starting the season 3-2 with losses coming to Washington and Kansas State early on in the season.

The Cougars are in their eighth year under head coach Jeff Judkins, who was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007, when the Cougars won two MWC titles. This season, the Cougars have been picked in the preseason poll to finish the conference sixth, three spots below the Utes.

The Cougars have been led in scoring this season by junior guard Mindy Nielson, who is averaging 11.4 points per game. Nielson is the only Cougar averaging double digits in points. Nielson is also by far the best three-point shooter of the Cougars and has gone 7 of 11 this season from the 3, with a .636 field goal percentage from deep.

The Cougars have two players who are averaging at least six rebounds and eight points per game, and both come off the bench. Junior Coriann Wood and freshman Alexis Kaufusi are both experiencing a good start this season for a team that is averaging just over 70 points per game. The Cougars face off against the Utes twice in 2010, first on Jan. 30 in Salt Lake City, then March 3 in Provo.

With only one senior on the roster, BYU is a young team that will be forced to mature and come together on the fly.

Bryan Chouinard