College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 28, 2009
For years, college football fans have railed against the BCS for ignoring the smaller conferences in their rankings and bowl selections. The same bias seems to have spilled over into college hoops, where the current crop of Top 25 teams includes just three small conference schools: Temple, New Mexico and UAB, with Butler and Gonzaga dropping out. Pollsters might be wise to respect the results of the last few NCAA tournaments, in which schools from unknown, smaller conferences have made significant impact.
One team from the Mountain West (same conference as New Mexico) that is catching some attention but still hasn't cracked the Top 25 is BYU, now at 13-1, after having pasted PAC-10 foe, Arizona, 99-69, for their 8th straight win and thrid straight against major conference opponents (previous wins include Arizona St. and Nebraska).
Part of the reason for the Cougars' success has to be the play of junior guard Jimmer Fredette, currently among the nation's leading scorers, averaging over 21 points per game. In Monday's win, Fredette poured in a career-high 49 points, on 16-for-23 shooting, including an incredible 9-for-13 from beyond the arc. Fredette, a 93% free throw shooter, missed scoring 50 by failing on just one of his 9 attempts from the freebie line. He also dished out 9 assists, grabbed 7 rebounds and recorded a pair of steals.