Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fredette answers the call and the critics as he drops 43 on the Tecs’

You might think Jimmer Fredette is a football player (for a non-SEC school) for all of the criticism he receives despite consistently droppin’ serious numbers on almost everyone BYU plays en route to a 20-1 record. The latest knock on his game is that a quick athletic guard will shut him down because he can’t create his own shot. In their one loss this season to an unranked UCLA team, JF couldn’t get those wide open looks he was used to because of how quickly the Bruin guards could close distance, and that began the cavalcade of doubts about how well he would do against quality competition. Well, not only did he get that chance on Wednesday night but responded like a first-rounder. Going against the #4 team in the nation San Diego State, where if you were to call them very athletic, it would be a understated insult as they have four guys that are simply clones on the outside, that can switch every screen on the perimeter, while having and enforcer in the paint in D.J. Gay. Much to the chagrin of the critics JF was not only able to get his shot but dropped 43 points in 39 minutes, shooting better than 50% from the floor as the Cougars upset the Aztecs in front of a massive crowd of better than 22,000. For the first time this season, SD State showed the signs of stage fright as despite a #4 ranking they have yet to see an ESPN Game and have been lacking some respect in their own right but the bright lights of an NBA size crowd, that was more enthusiastic, was a huge factor in the Tecs’ shooting a dismal 35% from the floor including 11-36 by their front line. Like all teams from non-power conferences (especially the Mountain West) they’ll be taken out to the woodshed by the voters for dropping a game which may be what they need to regroup before their next prime-time appearance which may be in the Big Dance. Now both BYU and San Diego State will among those fighting for a 1 or 2 seed come selection Sunday and it will probably be the conference tournament winner that gets it, and for now that’s Fredette and the Cougs who move to 6-0 in league, but rest assured the Aztecs will learn from this and we waiting for a chance at payback on Feb 26 when BYU takes a trip to the beach. Can both of these teams go deep into the NCAA tournament or are they over rated? Can Fredette make it at the next level? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

An early season version of the “final four” doesn’t include Duke

There were five unbeatens that took the floor on ‘hump day’ but only four remain as the number one team in the nation hit a major speed bump to slow them down after 15 consecutive wins. The warning sings came up after a sub-par second half against Maryland that they ended up pulling it out, and most figured it would be a wakeup call but perhaps it was a harbinger instead. Obviously this is not the last we’ve heard of the Blue Devils this season (thankfully this isn’t the BCS), but for the first part of the year the media has all but engraved their second consecutive ring so perhaps this is a good reason to not cue up ‘one shining moment’ just yet. And in case you didn’t notice there are quite a few other schools that will be participating in the NCAA Tournament this year other than Duke, in fact four of them are still unbeaten and were all in action on Wednesday night. The new top dog to be Ohio State went into a fervent Michigan hot box and gutted out 4-point win to remain undefeated and will be awarded the top spot if they can survive a trip to Penn St. this weekend. Rucker Park moved its classic to the Garden as Syracuse and St. Johns rekindled their rivalry and gave us one of the most entertaining games of the season as Cuse’ moved to 17-0 for only the third time in their history, but will really be put to the test as they take on two top ten schools in Pitt (#5) and Nova (#7) next week. This may be the best team in the nation as they have the guns, the coach, and will have proven to be able to hold their mud in the toughest conference in the country this season. The Big East is truly big again. Kansas is a gate crasher to the Unbeaten fraternity as their record should be once tarnished after that farce of a call at home against UCLA but for now they continue wear their pledge pin with prid-0 and e at 16-0 and will try to stay focused for the rest of the month until they meet interstate rival K-State in a war for more than just bragging rights on the 29th. Last but certainly not least because what makes them so danger is the fact that everyone does think of them last are the Aztecs of San Diego State. At 18-0 they currently possess the nation’s longest winning streak and get less love than Boise St. does in football but is still going about their business and held off a good UNLV team to remain unbeaten, an unnoticed, like the guys that are attending their first frat party. As well they may be, but don’t be surprised if these are the guys that leave with Cinderella at when the party is over in March. Who do you think is the best of the ‘unbeatens’? Let us know here and in the chat rooms and blogs.