DENVER — Wofford, a No. 14 seed some experts believe will upset third-seeded BYU in the Pepsi Center tonight, knows dealing with All-American guard Jimmer Fredette is a challenge. But it's one the Terriers are not backing away from.
BYU (30-4) and Wofford (21-12) meet this evening at 5:15 p.m. (MST) in Pepsi Arena in the first round of the NCAA sub regional here.
Wofford coach Mike Young told reporters if the SoCon champions lose to BYU, it won't be because of the thin Rocky Mountain air or his team's effort. It will be because of the Cougars' Jackson Emery, Noah Hartsock and Charles Abouo and Fredette.
"BYU is a very formidable opponent," said Young. "I've told people the more I watch film of BYU, the more respect I have for them. It got to the point after four or five games I decided I'm not going to watch any more. There is a reason they won 30 games; there is a reason they are ranked No. 8 in the country.
"But we'll be an old — in a good way — very smart and tough team here. Our guys are beyond excited and will play quite well."
Young said BYU's loss of post player Brandon Davies hurt the Cougars, but good teams adapt and he saw that in BYU's win over New Mexico — a team that swept the Cougars in the regular season.
Young said 65 percent of the challenge to guard Fredette man-on-man will go to his best defender, Jamar Diggs, who had the assignment to guard Andrew Goudelock of the College of Charleston. "But it will take a team effort, team defense."
"I'll try to slow him down," said Diggs, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior from Minneapolis. "Goudelock gave us a great practice, great scorer. Never played against Fredette. Seen sightings, seen film. It's not going to be me, it's going to be my whole team. I'll just try to slow him down."
TERRIER TRACKS: Wofford is on an eight-game winning streak, eighth-longest in the NCAA. ... Wofford's .475 shooting percentage is eighth-best in the NCAA and its 3-point shooting accuracy of .407 is sixth in the country. ... Wofford baseball pitcher Pete Noordsy and Jimmer Fredette both attended Glens Falls High. They live half a mile apart and played on the same baseball and basketball teams through the 10th grade. ... Teams in Wofford's SoCon league include Western Carolina, Chattanooga, Appalachian State, Elon, UNCG, Samford, College of Charleston, Furman, Davidson, The Citadel and Georgia Southern.