With everything on the line against Gonzaga in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, BYU came out and played amazingly well from start to finish in beating the Zags, 89-67, Saturday evening. Here's how BYU's phenomenal players graded over 40 minutes inside the Pepsi Center:
Jimmer Fredette: Another scintillating performance on the big stage for Fredette. BYU's player-of-the-year candidate finished with 34 points and six assists — par for his incredible course — and added two boards and a steal. He drained seven 3-pointers and got so many others involved throughout. Grade: A+.
Noah Hartsock: Constantly struggled to stay on the floor because of foul trouble, but whenever he was out there he played extraordinarily well at both ends of the floor. He drilled some big shots to finish with 13 points on 3-for-3 3-point shooting, but equally importantly, he played big defensively. Grade: A.
Jackson Emery: Busted out of his shooting slump with a pair of early 3-pointers and was Mr. Everything for the Cougars. Emery scored 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting and had four assists, three steals and two rebounds. What a clutch performance near the end of his career Grade: A+.
Kyle Collinsworth: This guy did a little of everything for the Cougars. He continued to be a monster on the boards — leading BYU with seven — and he contributed six points, three steals, two assists and a block. Grade: A.
Charles Abouo: Like Hartsock, he went to the bench early in the first half, but was huge in the second half at both ends of the floor. His statline was modest — eight points, four boards, two steals and a block, but he was an integral part of BYU's win. Grade: A.
Logan Magnusson: Didn't score a point, but when BYU needed him because other guys were in foul trouble, he answered the bell — as usual. He gave BYU some key minutes and played solid defense despite guarding bigger players. Grade: A.17 comments on this story
Stephen Rogers: He had been missing for a couple weeks, but boy, he was he huge in the first half for the Cougars. Rogers came off the bench to score 10 points in the opening half in what proved to be a vital offensive contribution. Grade: A.
James Anderson: Like Magnusson, this sophomore gave the Cougs big minutes off the bench. Two nights after struggling mightily, Anderson was a key presence in the middle, coming up with two blocks and helping to slow down Gonzaga star center Robert Sacre. Grade: A.