Saturday, March 12, 2011
San Diego State gets a third shot at Jimmer
By Diamond Leung
The ending to the trilogy is about to be written, and San Diego State has to be wondering right now what BYU's Jimmer Fredette has planned for the Mountain West Conference championship game.
All Fredette did last night was add to his legend and put on a show for the NCAA tournament selection committee, scoring 52 points on 22-of-37 shooting. And to achieve his career high against New Mexico, he had 33 at the half and only shot from the free-throw line once the entire game.
"What the selection committee decides, if they watch this game, I think they still have a pretty good feeling about this team's ability to win games," BYU coach Dave Rose said afterward.
The performance topped last season's 49-point outburst against Arizona when Fredette afterward conceded it would have been nice to get 50. Mission accomplished, and it came less than 24 hours before BYU-San Diego State, Part III.
"San Diego State, we know all about them," said Fredette, who hung 43 and 25 points on the Aztecs in the Cougars' two regular-season wins. "Very athletic. Very athletic."
Said San Diego State forward Billy White: "He's just amazing. It's just impossible to stop him. You only can contain him. We're just going to try to go back to our game plan and see what we did wrong."
BYU gave San Diego State a big dose of Fredette at home and then showcased its other talented players on the road, but now don't have Brandon Davies to help combat a strong Aztecs frontcourt.
Can Fredette continue to will the team to wins by himself? Probably not against San Diego State, but the Aztecs will have to do at least a decent job of holding him down on offense. It's not a maybe, but a must.
San Diego State got another game-winning shot out of D.J. Gay last night against UNLV, and he'll have plenty of help against Fredette after struggling to stick to him in that first matchup at the Marriott Center. White, a top defender, is one of the Aztecs' other options.
Is it "impossible" to stop Fredette, as he says? Possibly, as evidenced by the 52-point performance, but it's also important for the Aztecs not to get caught up in that. They've already had a historic season, and their belief that they can get it done has carried them all year.