BYU basketball: Cougars move up to No. 9; ready to host TCU
PROVO — BYU has managed to crack the top 10 in both major polls for the first time since the 1987-88 season.
In the latest rankings released Monday, the Cougars (17-1, 3-0) vaulted to No. 9 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today coaches polls.
BYU puts its lofty ranking and glossy record on the line when it hosts TCU (10-9, 1-3) tonight (8 p.m., The Mtn.).
"We need to play well and never be satisfied," said senior guard Jimmer Fredette, who received tons of national attention after pouring in 47 points in his most recent outing, a 104-79 win over Utah last Tuesday. "We know we have a tough opponent coming into our building and we have to be ready."
While the Cougars haven't played for seven days — they enjoyed a bye last Saturday — it's been a hectic week for Fredette, who has been inundated with interview requests from media outlets from around the country. On Monday, Fredette earned ESPN's national player of the week award for the second consecutive week. He also earned Mountain West Conference player of the week honors for a league-record 12th time in his career.
Against the Utes, Fredette shot 16-of-28 from the field, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, and he added six assists, four rebounds and two steals. He also went 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
What will Fredette do for an encore tonight?
"I don't know, we'll see," he said. "The main thing is to get a win."
Coach Dave Rose said he is continually amazed by what Fredette is able to do on the court. "He's a guy who plays with a lot of confidence but he still has kind of a style to him where when he starts to feel like things are going for him, he can do things with the ball for himself and for his teammates that everybody enjoys watching, including the coaches."
During his BYU career, Fredette has scored 30-plus points on 13 occasions. Twelve of those games have come on the road. "He's very skilled and very competitive," Rose said. "Jimmer has an uncanny knack that when we need him the most he can play his best."
Equally as impressive is Fredette's demeanor off the court, Rose said.
"The one thing I told our coaches, since Jimmer's gotten into this national spotlight last year, when he dropped 49 on Arizona, is it will be interesting to watch Jimmer and see how his personality adjusts to the spotlight. I think he's more of a humble kid now than he was then. He's almost sometimes a little bit embarrassed of his success. He's an unbelievable competitor. He plays the game for all of the right reasons. He wants to win and he wants his teammates to enjoy winning with him. When the game's over, he goes right back to being the same kid from Glens Falls."
Rose is eager to see how his team plays after taking the weekend off.
"The way I kind of judge a bye week is how you play after the bye week," he said. "We were on a pretty good roll going into it. Hopefully we can keep it going. I hope we play at the same level we were before the bye."
While Fredette said he and his teammates are eager to get back on the court, he acknowledged that "it was good for our team to get rejuvenated" last weekend.
TCU has lost five of its last six games, including a 79-69 loss at Colorado State last Saturday. The Horned Frogs, who are 1-5 on the road this season, are led by Ronnie Moss. He averages a team-high 15.3 points per game.
JACKSON EMERY NIGHT: Tonight's game has been billed "Jackson Emery Night" in honor of the senior guard, who broke the 30-year-old school record for career steals against Utah. Emery now has 197 steals all-time.
Fans with the first or last name of Jackson will receive free upper bench admission tickets to the game (ID required). Those fans can go to the Marriott Center Ticket Office, and show ID to redeem a ticket. These discounts are not available online.
Fans arriving early will have the opportunity to receive a commemorative poster honoring Emery and his steals record.
Collinsworth has a small crack in the cartilage that will require microfracture surgery. Rehab will take 3-4 months.
"We feel bad for Chris, but we're optimistic about his ability to heal and return," Rose said. "We'll apply for a medical hardship and hopefully get a fifth year for him."
Cougars on the air
TCU (10-9, 1-3) at No. 9 BYU (17-1, 3-0)
Tonight, 8 p.m.
TV: The Mtn.
Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
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