CHICAGO — BYU might have lost leading scorer Jimmer Fredette. But count Fredette as one who believes the Cougars will at least be getting back their leading rebounder.
Fredette said Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine he expects forward Brandon Davies, suspended from the team last March just two weeks before the NCAA Tournament for violating the school's honor code, to return next season.
"Hopefully, he'll be reinstated," said Fredette, expecting Davies, who had to withdraw from school for the spring and summer semesters, to be back for the fall. "I've actually worked out with him a couple of times in Provo. He's looking very good. … He does (want to return). He still wants to play. Everybody thinks he'll be ready in the fall, and ready to go."
Fredette led the NCAA in scoring last season with a 28.9-point average as a senior. The 6-foot-9 Davies, who would be a junior next season, averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game.
Davies' suspension hampered the Cougars, who had been ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation. They did make it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
"Even the guys in the locker room were asking about it," Fredette said of players at the combine. "Everybody knows about it. Everybody around the country. It was a big story. I told (Davies), 'You know what you get when you sign with for BYU.' And I think the school did a great job of handling it. Brandon did a great job of handling it. He's still around, and he's taken the right process to get back into school. I think he's still going to have a very successful career."
Fredette said he's regularly offered Davies advice throughout the process.
"I just told him, 'Stay strong,' " Fredette said. " 'We're here for you. We're your teammates. We're your guys that you can lean on if you're going through a rough time. We're going to be there for (Davies). We want you around. We want you to play with us. We want you to work out with us.' That's why I've invited him to a lot of workouts with me. I want him around because I think BYU's the right spot for him and that he'll be able to flourish there. He's a very talented player."