No. 18 BYU matches best start in school history
PROVO, Utah (AP)—Jimmer Fredette is finally starting to look like the guy who scored a school-record 49 points against Arizona last month.
Well, except for those long sleeves.
Fredette scored 21 points and No. 18 BYU matched the best start in school history through 19 games with a 91-47 whipping of Colorado State on Saturday. Fredette’s long jumper and defensive play was part of a decisive 17-2 run at the end of the first half that made it look easy.
“You can see he’s got some rust on him and he’s trying to play through it,” said BYU coach Dave Rose, whose team has won 13 straight games.
Fredette missed two of the previous four games and played sparingly in others because of strep throat and mononucleosis. This was the first time he’d scored more than eight points since that big game against the Wildcats on Dec. 28.
“I’m now able to go through my daily routine,” Fredette said. “I felt pretty winded—I think the winded part had to do with not playing much the last four games. You have to get back in game shape.”
Fredette wore a long-sleeved white shirt under his white jersey, a look he adopted after he got sick and had an allergic reaction to medicine.
“I think the sleeves will come off for the next game,” he said. “They helped keep me warm on the bench and helped keep me energized.”
Four different players led the Cougars (18-1, 3-0 Mountain West) in scoring while Fredette was out. Along with the lockdown defense that beat Colorado State, Rose is confident his group can deal with just about anything that happens during the course of a game.
“This group here, we’ve won in so many different ways,” Rose said. “That’s the sign of a team that can overcome a lot of things.”
Colorado State was averaging 76 points through two conference games, but was held to just 38 percent and 1 of 13 from beyond the 3-point arc. The Cougars, meanwhile, shot 54 percent from the field and forced 23 turnovers.
Greg Smith scored 13 points to lead Colorado State (11-6, 2-1), which got within 21-20 with 8:07 left in the first half on Travis Franklin’s short jumper. But the Rams missed their final nine shots of the period, allowing the Cougars to pull away.
“I thought the game really started off fine, but after about eight minutes it was not fine,” Colorado State coach Tim Miles said. “This BYU team is a special team, and they just are not recognized enough.”
BYU started the 1987-88 season 20-1, climbing to No. 3 in The Associated Press poll, and will have a chance to match that start this week. The Cougars play Wyoming on Wednesdsay before heading to San Diego State on Saturday.
“We feel like we have a really deep team. We hope that helps us down the road,” Fredette said. “It’d be great if we could break that record, but we have to play Wyoming to get to 19-1 and then we’ll go from there.”