BYU basketball: Jimmer Fredette hit rarefied air against Utes
Ravell Call, Deseret News
PROVO — Not only did Jimmer Fredette's 47-point outburst Tuesday night in a 104-79 win at Utah tie the second-best single-game scoring performance in BYU basketball history, it also earned him an array of elite achievements.
For starters, the senior guard became the fourth Cougar to score 2,000 career points. He now has 2,001 points, joining an illustrious group that includes Danny Ainge (2,467), Michael Smith (2,319) and Devin Durrant (2,285).
Fredette is the only player in BYU history with five games of 37 or more points, and his 47-point effort was also the most ever by a BYU player against Utah.
The 32 first-half points Fredette scored against the Utes was a new career high and ensured him of his 13th 30-point game in his career, climbing ahead of Ainge, who had 12 30-point games. He trails only Smith and Durrant, who scored 30 points or more 17 times apiece.
Fredette now owns three of the top four single-game scoring marks in school history, including the BYU-best 49 points he poured in against Arizona on Dec. 28, 2009.
"(It) was very similar to the game at Arizona," Cougar coach Dave Rose said of Fredette's night against the Utes. "He didn't force a lot of things, but he got himself good looks and converted on them."
Fredette broke a 48-year record that night in Tucson, where the Cougars beat the Wildcats, 99-69. Bob Skousen had held that mark for nearly five decades after lighting up UCLA for 47 points at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo on Dec. 2, 1961.
In that game at Arizona, Fredette also shattered the record for most points scored at the McKale Center and set a new school record for most 3-pointers in a single game — nine — eclipsing Mike Rose's record of eight.
Against Arizona, Fredette was 16-for-23 (.696) from the field, 9-of-13 (.692) from 3-point territory and 8-of-9 from the free-throw line. He also added nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes.
By comparison, against Utah, Fredette hit 16-of-28 (.571) shots from the floor, went 6-of-9 (.667) from 3-point range and hit 9-of-9 from the free-throw line. He also compiled six assists, four rebounds and two steals in 35 minutes.
"When you're feeling it, you're feeling it," Fredette explained Tuesday night.
Last year, Fredette scored a MWC Tournament-record 45 points — including 30 in the second half — against TCU in the tournament quarterfinals at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. He also knocked down 23-of-24 free throws, another MWC Tournament record.
After Tuesday's performance, Fredette now leads the nation in scoring, averaging 26.1 points per game. He surpassed UConn's Kemba Walker (25.3), who scored 18 Tuesday in a win over Rutgers.
On Wednesday, Fredette was named one of 20 finalists for the 2011 Bob Cousy Award, given annually to college basketball's top point guard and is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic great Bob Cousy. The original list of 70-plus candidates was narrowed to 20 by a Hall of Fame-appointed, nationally-based committee.
From a team standpoint, No. 11 BYU has now won eight of its last nine meetings with Utah. Tuesday's 25-point triumph was the Cougars' largest margin of victory ever over the Utes in Salt Lake City.
"Playing against Utah in this building in a great rivalry was a special thing for us," said Fredette, who is the reigning ESPN national player of the week after he scored 39 and 22 in contests last week against UNLV and Air Force.
"This is a great team win for a lot of reasons," Rose said. "This is a great basketball team when Jimmer's playing like that and the other guys are engaged like they were."
BYU 2,000-point club
Player. . .Years. . .Points
Danny Ainge 1977-81 2,468
Michael Smith 1983-84, 86-89 2,319
Devin Durrant 1978-80, 82-84 2,285
Jimmer Fredette 2007-present 2,001
Top BYU single-game performances
Points. . .Player. . .Date. . .Opponent
49 Jimmer Fredette Dec. 28, 2009 at Arizona
47 Jimmer Fredette Jan. 11, 2011 at Utah
47 Bob Skousen Dec. 2, 1961 UCLA
45 Jimmer Fredette March 11, 2010 vs. TCU
44 Dave Eastis Feb. 5, 1960 New Mexico
41 Timo Saarelaine Feb. 7, 1985 at New Mexico
40 Danny Ainge Dec. 23, 1978 Oral Roberts
40 Marty Haws Nov. 24, 1989 Siena
40 John Fairchild Feb. 26, 1965 Arizona
40 Dick Nemelka Dec. 29, 1965 vs. St. Bonaventure
39 Jimmer Fredette Jan. 5, 2011 at UNLV
39 Danny Ainge Dec. 27, 1980 Utah State
39 Michael Smith Dec. 19, 1987 Utah State
39 Michael Smith Dec. 29, 1987 La Salle
39 Dick Nemelka Dec. 4, 1965 Houston
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