BYU opened with four straight wins in each of the first three seasons of Jimmer Fredette’s career.
Given their competition Tuesday night, the No. 23 Cougars appear highly likely to make it 4 for 4.
Fredette and BYU look to follow one lopsided victory with another as they host winless Mississippi Valley State in a South Padre Island Invitational contest.
The Cougars will travel to South Padre Island, Texas, this weekend for what should be competitive games against South Florida and either Texas Tech or Saint Mary’s. Before leaving on their trip, they’ll have had the luxury of hosting a pair of lesser opponents to begin the tournament.
MVSU doesn’t figure to pose much of a challenge for a team of BYU’s caliber. The Delta Devils, who finished seventh in the Southwestern Athletic Conference last season, have shot 33.9 percent from the field while dropping their first three games - the last two by an average of 26.0 points.
MVSU has lost all 12 of its games against ranked opponents since 1999-2000 by an average of 31.8 points. The Delta Devils failed to score 50 in five of those games.
That sort of offensive output won’t suffice against BYU, which is averaging 90.0 points and scored a season high Saturday in a 109-60 win over Chicago State to begin South Padre Island Invitational play.
Fredette, averaging 25.7 points, had a season-high 27 in only 21 minutes. He went 5 for 6 from 3-point range, 9 for 12 from the field overall, and brought the Provo crowd to its feet with his fifth career dunk.
“We’ve all been waiting for it,” forward Brandon Davies, who went 6 for 6 from the floor and finished with 15 points, said of a slam by the 6-foot-2 Fredette. “I thought he would lay it up, but he threw it down. That kind of got the crowd more into it and us more into it and set a tone for the rest of the game.”
Six BYU players scored in double figures - a promising sign for a team that needs to establish its depth after player of the year candidate Fredette.
“We feel confident with a certain group of guys. What we need to do is expand that to be where we want to be,” coach Dave Rose said. “We need consistency.”
The Cougars limited Chicago State to 34.9 percent shooting and forced 21 turnovers.
No player on the MVSU roster had a double-digit scoring average in 2009-10, and a go-to player on offense has yet to emerge. Senior guard D’Angelo Jackson leads the Delta Devils with 10.0 points per game, while juniors Terrance Joyner and Jason Holmes are averaging 9.3 and 9.0, respectively.
Holmes scored a career-high 19 in an 87-52 loss at Saint Mary’s on Saturday.