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Jimmer Fredette Scores 30 but Cougars Fall in Letdown Loss

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 11:  Jimmer Fredette #32 of the Brigham Young University Cougars brings the ball up the court during a semifinal game of the Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball tournament against the New Mexico Lobos at the Thomas & Mack Center March 11, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fredette scored 52 points in BYU's 87-76 victory.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
David LynnCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but who really knows what kind of times we are in right now as BYU fans.

The last two weeks have been a major roller coaster of emotions for the Cougars and their fans.  Going into the last week of the regular season this team was on the high of highs having just beaten San Diego St. for the second time this season.

Then came the news that Brandon Davies would not be playing for the rest of the season.  BYU answered by losing to New Mexico for the second time, and at home none the less.  This was followed by a convincing win over Wyoming.

On the heels of a shared MWC regular season title, BYU entered the conference tournament as the number one seed and easily handled TCU.  Naturally BYU fans were a little anxious when they saw that New Mexico would be the next opponent. 

This was one of only two teams to beat BYU this year, and they did it twice.  Fortunately, BYU was on another upswing and they dealt relatively easily with the Lobos on the back of 52 points from Jimmer Fredette. 

While Jimmer did most of the scoring, it is important to note that the rest of the team provided a nice contribution of rebounds, assists, and steals. 

Saturday would be another downswing for this team as they got manhandled by San Diego St.  It really doesn't help when you shoot 32 percent as a team, but it is a lot to ask of any team to beat the same team three times in one season.

So what have we learned about this team after the two most turbulent weeks of the season?

We have learned that Brandon Davies was a very important part of this team as evidenced in the two heartbreaking losses. 

We have also learned that he was not an absolutely essential part of the team as evidenced in the three convincing wins. 

Going into the tournament there are two huge things that we have learned about this team.

First of all, this team can light it up with the best of them.  When this team is firing on all cylinders no one really stands a chance.  At the same time, when this team goes cold from outside they are really in a lot of trouble. 

While I have all the confidence in the world that this team will show up, we would be crazy to not have some apprehension about how much this team relies on having a high shooting percentage.

The second thing we have learned is that Jimmer Fredette has the ability to take his team on his shoulders and carry them to victories.  He has shown this on numerous occasions, but none more convincing than his 52 points against New Mexico. 

There are numerous ways to be successful in the NCAA tournament and one of them is to have a player who can single-handedly take over a game and get the win.  BYU has a player like that in Jimmer, and that is why I am at peace with the loss today.

I will never be okay with a loss, but at the same time it is much easier to move on to the next game when you know you have a player of Jimmer's caliber to lead you into the tournament. 

This has been the greatest season in BYU basketball history, and I have all the hope in the world that it will get even better.  A lot depends on the draw BYU gets, but I am confident that this team will make it to the second weekend.

For however much of this season is left, this is Jimmer's world, and we are all living in it.

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