NCAA Tournament 1st Round Prediction: Jimmer Fredette, BYU Can't "Screw" Around

Mark CrystelContributor IIIMarch 16, 2011

BYU star Jimmer Fredette "shot his load" and exploded for 52 points against New Mexico.  Unfortunately his teammate Brandon Davies did the same thing, just not on the basketball court
BYU star Jimmer Fredette "shot his load" and exploded for 52 points against New Mexico. Unfortunately his teammate Brandon Davies did the same thing, just not on the basketball courtEthan Miller/Getty Images

When interviewed about BYU’s upcoming first round tournament game against Wofford, star guard Jimmer Fredette told ESPN he got some information about the basketball team from a friend of his who is enrolled there as a student athlete.

Perhaps Wofford got their information on BYU from New Mexico, TCU and San Diego State.

After BYU handed San Diego State their second loss of the season, Cougar forward Brandon Davies reportedly admitted to having sexual relations with his girlfriend.

At BYU, a private university run by a Mormon Church, it’s a violation of the school’s honor code to have sexual relations with your unmarried spouse.

Brandon Davies admitted to doing this after the big win over San Diego State, which led to the key player being suspended from play for the rest of the season.

Not only was Davies missed, but BYU as a team was exposed without their leading rebounder.

Steve Alford and his New Mexico Lobos, rolled into Provo, Utah as a 12 point underdog and handed BYU a sizable loss. Alford and his players executed an effective game plan to go right at the Cougars offensively and take advantage of BYU’s lax defense without their power inside presence.

BYU regrouped to defeat Wyoming handily, but the Cowboys are a weak team. However, in their first game of the Mountain West conference tournament, TCU gave the Cougars all they could handle and lost by just six points after leading at halftime.

BYU got revenge on New Mexico in their next game and beat the Lobos by 11 points. Jimmer Fredette scored an amazing 52 points in the victory, but it’s hard to replicate that kind of performance even twice in a month.

In BYU’s next game, they lost handily again to San Diego State, and now take on a veteran and experienced Wofford team.  Wofford returns five seniors from last season’s team that nearly beat Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Wofford doesn’t have a superstar like Fredette, but they are balanced and well coached.

Eight of their 12 losses have come by single digits, including three in overtime. They beat George Mason and lost to three additional tournament teams (Clemson, Xavier and VCU) by single digits.

Last season, the Terriers nearly won at Pittsburgh and knocked off Georgia on the road. Four starters who went toe-to-toe with Wisconsin in last season’s finale are back and primed for this game.

With Brandon Davies in the lineup, the edge would clearly go to BYU. Without him, this is a winnable game for the Wofford seniors, who are listed as about a nine point underdog.

The obvious key to the game will be for the Terriers to contain Jimmer Fredette. That’s potentially achievable if Wofford’s coaching staff paid attention to what New Mexico, TCU and San Diego State did.

Interestingly enough, Wofford, as a team, had a better season shooting the ball than BYU. The Terriers finished the regular season hitting shots at a solid 47.9 percent clip compared to 45.1 percent for a Cougars team that seems a bit disoriented without their leading rebounder.

At the end of that ESPN interview, Jimmer Fredette was asked what Wofford’s team name is. Perhaps he needs to make another call to his friend, because he didn’t know the answer.

Take Wofford to cover nine points against BYU