BYU wants to avoid overlooking Colorado State before the Cougars’ big Mountain West showdown this weekend. Taking the Rams lightly seems very unlikely to happen if Jimmer Fredette can’t play.
The seventh-ranked Cougars hope to have Fredette on the floor when they go for their 12th straight home win over the Rams on Wednesday night.
BYU (25-2, 11-1) meets No. 6 San Diego State on Saturday with a chance to pull even with the Aztecs atop the conference. The Cougars hope to carry a six-game win streak into that showdown, but they might not have their star available when they face Colorado State (18-8, 8-4).
Fredette, the nation’s leading scorer at 27.2 points per game, has been hobbled by a calf contusion that kept him out of practice Monday. He was injured in a 79-56 win at TCU last Saturday.
“He took a real shot in the TCU game,” coach Dave Rose said. “He’s been icing it all weekend. It is really sore. … It’s a day-to-day thing. We’ll see.”
Fredette, who didn’t speak with reporters after Monday’s practice, hasn’t missed a game this season.
The guard scored 23 points to lead five BYU players in double figures Saturday, and the Cougars may need similar offensive balance Wednesday if their star can’t go.
“I think some of our best games this year have been when we spread our scoring out,” Rose said. “When we get five or six guys making shots, it makes it harder for teams to guard us.”
Stephen Rogers scored 15 points in 15 minutes against the Horned Frogs as BYU won its fifth straight. The last four victories have come by an average of 22.0 points.
Fredette had one of his best games of the season in a 94-85 win over Colorado State on Jan. 22, scoring 42 points. Fredette, who has three 40-point performances this season, has averaged 33.0 points in his last three meetings with the Rams.
He went 16 of 17 from the free-throw line in the January matchup.
“He’s really good,” Colorado State coach Tim Miles said. “It’s no mystery. … We have to (avoid) fouling him. Hopefully we can pick him up and pressure him without fouling him.”
BYU has won nine in a row in the series overall and 11 straight meetings at home. The Cougars have taken the last three matchups in Provo by an average of 32.3 points.
Colorado State had a three-game winning streak snapped with a 68-61 loss to UNLV on Saturday.
The Rams held the Rebels to 37.5 percent shooting but were outrebounded 14-5 on the offensive glass and committed 17 turnovers. Colorado State limited its previous four opponents to 57.3 points.
“There is always give and take in a defensive game,” Miles told the Rams’ official website. “We just felt like we could run some zone. … They got 14 offensive rebounds and that is just too many.”
Andy Ogide leads Colorado State with 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He had 18 points and a team-high 10 boards against the Cougars last month.