BYU basketball: Was it fatigue that derailed the Jimmer train in the NCAA Sweet 16?
Mike Terry, Deseret News
Against a rough and tumble Florida team, Jimmer Fredette's wild ride finally came to an end. He tallied 32 points and five assists, but was scoreless in overtime in the 83-74 loss to the Gators.
The Jimmer Train hauled the BYU Cougars to heights they hadn't seen in decades, but Florida derailed it just in time for the Gators to make the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight.
Blame it on fatigue, a physical pounding or maybe just an off night, but Fredette missed his last five shots, including two 3-point attempts in overtime. He also turned the ball over twice in the extra frame as the Cougars were outscored 15-6 in the game's bonus five minutes.
Fredette finished the night with six turnovers, a strained calf and a nasty cut on his chin. He made just three of his 15 3-point attempts. One of those makes came with 4:59 to play in regulation and tied the game at 63-63. It was his usual long bomber, probably somewhere around 32 feet from the rim.
As it turns out, that would be the final 3-pointer in the senior's illustrious college career. He made a driving layup with 2:54 to go that would end up being his final score as a Cougar. Fredette finishes his hoops experience in Provo with 2,567 points, making him the all-time leading scorer in BYU history by 100 points over former great Danny Ainge.
BYU had 71 possessions in Thursday night's loss. Fredette factored in 40 of those. Of those 40 "factor" plays, Jimmer made something positive happen on 19. That means he either scored or assisted on 47.5 percent of those plays. He either missed or turned the ball over on the other 52.5 percent.
Of the 31 possessions in which Fredette was not a factor, BYU scored on just 13 of those plays. So when Fredette figured in the play, the Cougars scored about half the time. When he didn't factor, BYU scored just 43.3 percent of the time. It should be noted that the overtime was a different story as Fredette factored positively in just one of the five plays that involved him, an assist to Kyle Collinsworth. On the other four plays not involving Jimmer in OT, BYU scored on two of them.
Most BYU fans should agree that even with the 32 points and the "Wow!"-inducing deep 3-pointer, it was definitely not vintage Jimmer against Florida. But those same fans will probably agree that without The Jimmer, this train would have never left the station in the first place.
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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