Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday's Shootaround: Nation, say hello to Jimmer Fredette

BYU 99, Arizona 69: Forget about Rotnei Clarke's 51 points. Forget about Evan Turner and his triple doubles. BYU point guard Jimmer Fredette can now claim the best individual performance of the season, as he sliced up an Arizona team that looked like they didn't want to be on the court. Fredette finished the game with 49 points, 9 assists, and 7 boards while going 16-23 from the field and 9-13 from deep. How good was he? According to Greg Hansen of the AZ Star, in the last five minutes when the McKale Center was silent, you could hear Sean Miller say to Fredette "just pass, no more shooting." BYU jumped out to leads of 27-7 and 39-16 in the first half and never looked back.

Fredette had the fantasy stat line of the year, scoring 49 points and nearly missing a triple double.
(photo credit: OTR Sports)

Is it time to start paying attention to the Cougars? They are now 13-1 on the season swept the Arizona schools by 43 points, and had dropped their only game in one of the toughest places to win in the country - at Utah State. And maybe while we're at it, we could throw Fredette on an all-american list.

Indiana 90, Bryant 42: The Hoosiers blew out Bryant, as expected. But the win came at a price, as freshman Maurice Creek, who was averaging 17.6 ppg, suffered a grisly fracture to his knee cap (the photo here isn't as bad as the Roland injury, but still isn't for the faint of heart) an will miss the rest of the season.

UNC 81, Rutgers 67: UNC nearly blew a 17 point second half lead, as Mike Rosario and Jonathon Mitchell led the Scarlett Knights back. It also helped that UNC made repeated bone-headed plays - turning the ball over in transition, stepping on the out of bounds line, jacking up tough shots early in the shot clock. The biggest shot of the game - a three by Dexter Strickland (who led the team with 18 points off the bench) with just under two minutes left - wasn't even an intelligent shot. He jacked up a three of the first pass, ignoring Deon Thompson in the post, and just happened to hit it. Rutgers was lucky that they got Hamady Ndiaye and Brian Okam, Rutgers' two seven-footers, in foul trouble, because out scrapped, out worked, and out hustled the Tar Heels.

Other notable games:
  • Temple 63, Bowling Green 39: Temple is back to their old tricks, as they held Bowling Green to just 13 first half points. Ryan Brooks had 19 points and Ramone Moore had 17 in teh win.
  • Gonzaga 94, Eastern Washington 52: Elias Harris scored 22 points to pace the Zags in a blowout win.
  • Memphis 87, IUPUI 67: Elliot Williams continued his excellent play as he scored 27 points in the Tigers win over the Jaguars.
  • Richmond 66, UNC-Wilmington 64: Kevin Anderson scored 24 points as the Spiders overcame an eight point deficit with three minutes left. Anderson hit two free throws with 30 seconds left to cap the comeback and give Richmond a 65-63 lead.
  • Wake Forest 75, UNC-Greensboro 60: The Demon Deacons got 23 points, 17 boards, 3 assists, and 6 blocks from Al-Farouq Aminu, but needed a late 16-6 run to pull away from UNCG.
  • Pitt 65, DePaul 52: The Panthers jumped out to a 15-2 lead, going ahead by as much as 16 in the first half, but DePaul made it close in the second half, cutting the lead to six. Mac Kowshal and Will Walker, neither of whom were 100%, both had 11 points last night, while Ashton Gibbs led the Panthers with 23.
  • Mississippi State 73, Mississippi Valley State 45: Ravern Johnson scored 22 points to lead the Bulldogs, who hit 12 three pointers. Can you guess who is second in the country in three pointers made this season? Mississippi State.
  • UTEP 93, Norfolk State 56: Randy Culpepper had 24 points, and Derrick Caracter notched his fourth straight double double with 15 and 15 as the Miners won again.
  • Cal 85, Utah Valley 51: Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, and Theo Robertson combined for 47 points in the win.
  • Nevada 78, Portland 69: Luke Babbitt scored 22 points as the Wolfpack pulled away from the Pilots in the second half. Robin Smuelders held his own, going for 22 points and 12 boards in the loss.
Monday's Best:
  • Jimmer Fredette. Obviously.
  • Dwain Williams led Hawaii with 28 points, hitting 5-9 from deep, as the Bows knocked off Northwestern State.
  • Tyren Johnson had 23 points and 13 boards, but Louisiana-Lafayette lost to Centenary.
  • Chris Flores had 25 points, 6 boards, and 4 steals as NJIT won their 4th game of the season, knocking off Wagner.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu of Wake Forest had 23 points, 17 boards, and 6 blocks in the Demon Deacons win over UNCG.
  • Wendell McKines had 22 points, 13 boards, and 6 assists as New Mexico State beat Prairie View A&M.
  • Eric Wise had 31 points and 7 boards in UC Irvine's loss to San Jose State.

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