NEW ORLEANS —
He's averaged an eye-popping 34.4 points in five post-season games in Las Vegas and Denver and extended the demand for Jimmermania from coast-to-coast.
But Jimmer operates with a pit crew and they've got plenty of grease and oil on their bibs heading into the Sweet 16 and New Orleans.
They're the other guys; the ones with the hard hats and lunch pails, guys doing the dirty work away from the lights and glory that follow BYU All-America guard Fredette everywhere he goes.
And they've done it admirably.
They take what comes their way, but their job is clear. They rebound, block out, set screens, foul soft or hard — whatever it takes. Their tasks don't become highlight fodder for TV producers like Jimmer's do, but their work is the glue that's keeping BYU alive in post season.
You don't have to look very far to see the worker bees doing a little drone work.
The roll call?
Jackson Emery is obvious. His defense, his penchant for thievery has changed the dynamics of games. Dirty work. Crowbar work.
The others have been forced to redefine their identity the past six games, and do it on the run with wrenches and a little plumber's putty.
Noah Hartsock: The poster guy for a BYU athlete. He went 5-for-5 in 20 minutes against Gonzaga.
Charles Abouo. Find a piece of tape where he's taken time off in a game.
Kyle Collinsworth: A 6-6 guy now asked to play with the physicality of a 6-9 power forward.
Logan Magnusson: Ultimate utility man, The Sixth Man.
James Anderson: Inexperienced and sometimes awkward, but his big moments have been huge.
Steve Rogers: A guy who never knows when or how much time he'll get. He scored 10 in 10 minutes last time out in Denver.
"We're having fun. It's something really important, something you dream of growing up," said Hartsock. "We play the game because we love it, something for fun, something we can be proud of."
Take a guy like Collinsworth.
He was used to being the Main Man at Provo High School last year where he earned Deseret News Mr. Utah Basketball. At BYU, he started, then didn't for six games after getting a concussion in February. Then Brandon Davies was suspended. Since that shocker, coach Dave Rose turned to the true freshman during the Mountain West Conference and NCAA Tournament and started him again. His job? Get Davies' rebounds and defend.
One can't underestimate the weight of Collinsworth's role — rebounding.
Against Gonzaga last Saturday in the Pepsi Center, Collinsworth had seven rebounds, about the same as Zags big men Elias Harris (eight) and center Robert Sacre (seven).
Since BYU required Davies, the Cougars' leading rebounder to sit out the rest of the season as of March 1, Collinsworth has started BYU's last six games and averaged 8.3 rebounds per game. Davies' season average of 6.2 led the team for 26 games, but at 6-6, Collinsworth gives up at least three inches to Davies.
In short, Collinsworth is not Davies, and the 6-9 post man and his skill set are missed. But you cannot discount the fact Collinsworth is outrebounding Davies since that has become his primary function. He got 11 against Wofford and in the MWC tournament he averaged eight boards a game, and that included battle against New Mexico and Sweet 16-bound San Diego State.
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