Following BYU's 72-54 loss to San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference Championship game Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Cougar fans could be asking themselves three big questions: Was it motivation? Fatigue? Or the Brandon Davies factor?
Certainly the emotional win against New Mexico Friday night left the Cougars emotionally and perhaps, physically drained.
Jimmer Fredette: The biggest factor in losing Davies is that Fredette has to carry even more of the load. He was so amazingly good Friday night with 52 points even a decent 30-point, six-rebound night against the Aztecs seems like a letdown. However, Fredette showed he wasn't that tired in leading a late comeback attempt when BYU got to within 10. Bottom line: average night for the best player in college basketball. Grade: A-
Charles Abouo: Five points and five rebounds is not nearly enough for the Cougars from their most athletic player. The problem for Abouo is that San Diego State has four or five players who are every bit as athletic as he is, and they're all taller than he is. Grade: C+
Jackson Emery: Emery was consistently average in this game, scoring 11 points, grabbing five boards and getting one steal. But on this night, Jimmer needed his wingman to have his back. Fredette needed Emery to be spectacular. In all fairness, Emery played 78 minutes the previous two nights. Tired he was, but spectacular he was not. Grade: B-
Kyle Collinsworth: Not a terrible game for the 19-year old. He did not shoot well, but had seven rebounds and three assists. It just wasn't fair that seemingly every time he went up to grab a rebound there were three Aztecs around the ball, but he kid held his own. Grade: B
Noah Hartsock: It's been said that BYU never wins the pregame warm-up, but usually wins the game. The whole game felt like a pregame warm-up against SDSU with all the dunks and banked 3-pointers. Hartsock had a front-row seat for the carnage. His toughness will never be questioned, but it was like he was the kid trying to plug the holes in the dike with his fingers. Too much water got through. Grade: C
Logan Magnusson: He was on the floor for 16 minutes on the floor and he didn't take one charge? What gives? For the rest of his review, see Hartsock. Grade: C
Stephen Rogers: Rogers had moments this year when he looked like the next big BYU scoring machine. That's why it is so hard to watch him in games like this. He never got into a rhythm. He bricked his only shot attempt and was a liability on defense. Grade: C-
James Anderson: BYU coach Dave Rose gave him some opportunities, especially with fatigue creeping in on the starters, but he looked lost and even clueless at times. His line: 14 minutes, zero points and two rebounds. Did I mention that he's 6-foot-10? Grade: D
Brock Zylstra: He played, right? Five minutes, no measurable stats. Grade: Incomplete.
Andy Griffin is a southern Utah broadcaster and sports writer and has been involved in covering sports in Utah, including professional, college and high school sports, since 1989.
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