PROVO BYU coach Dave Rose is happy with the production he's gotten recently out of the new players in the program.
Freshmen Jimmer Fredette, Chris Collinsworth and Michael Loyd Jr. have played key roles off the bench in the Cougars' current three-game winning streak.
Fredette has hit several big 3-pointers, including three in a 59-56 victory last Wednesday over San Diego State and two more in last Saturday's 83-66 rout of New Mexico. Fredette also posted a career-high six assists against the Lobos.
Collinsworth, meanwhile, is among the Mountain West Conference leaders in rebounding in league games while Loyd has played well when called upon to spell starter Ben Murdock at point guard.
"I'm really pleased with the way the young guys have played. Jimmer's given us a good lift," Rose said. "Chris Collinsworth has been good and Mike Loyd's given us good minutes."
What keeps those freshmen on the floor, Rose said, is their defensive effort.
"Our younger players have really done a better job of executing our defensive game plan. That allows us to play them longer and give them more minutes. They're really talented players and the more we can get them on the floor, the more balanced we can make our team.
"The more that they start to feel comfortable, especially in our defensive system that's the thing that's the most difficult, how we guard the more they understand that, the more you can keep them out on the floor," Rose continued. "The longer they're on the floor they're good offensive players they'll get more confidence. I like how they're coming along."
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Cougars' shooting percentage was in the 30s against Utah and San Diego State, but they still found a way to win both games. Knowing that could be helpful as they go on the road this week at Air Force and at Wyoming.
"We got ourselves in situations where we kind of said, 'Oh well, we didn't have a good night, we didn't shoot the ball well,"' Rose said. "We got through some tough games where we didn't shoot particularly well but we were able to win games. That should give us confidence that whatever situation we get in, we can be competitive and make a game of it."COUGAR TRACKS: BYU has now won 42 consecutive games at the Marriott Center. That's the second-longest homecourt winning streak in the country behind No. 1 Memphis, which has 43 straight victories ... BYU is 13-1 when scoring at least 70 points in a game. The Cougars are 8-0 when scoring 80 or more ... BYU tied its season-high with 13 3-pointers against New Mexico ... With 13 points and 13 rebounds, center Trent Plaisted recorded his sixth double-double of the season and the 15th of his career in the victory over the Lobos.