College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 3, 2011
After their prolific scorer, Jimmer Fredette, graduated, fans of the BYU Cougars wondered just who would pick up the scoring and how well the Cougars would do in 2011-12 season.
After getting to 6-2 with a 79-65 win over Oregon, some of the answers are emerging.
Nobody is going to score at the pace of Fredette, though Noah Hartsock is leading the team with 16.9 points per game, but the team is more front court oriented as seniors Hartsock and Charles Abouo do most of the damage inside and on the boards.
Hartsock had his best game of the season against Oregon, scoring a career high 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting while pulling down 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Improving his scoring average each of his four years as a Cougar, Hartsock, a 6'8" forward, is hitting at 57.8 from the field.
Last season, the Cougars were 32-5, losing in the third round of the NCAA tournament to Florida to finish their season.
Hartsock and the Cougars will get a quality check come December 17 when they host the Baylor Bears. The team opens West Coast conference play on December 29, at St. Mary's.
NOTABLE: The early season showdown between North Carolina and #1 Kentucky did not disappoint. Anthony Davis blocked John Henson's potential game winner with less than four seconds on the clock to seal the Wildcats' 73-72 victory. Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with his first collegiate double-double, leading all scorers with 17 points and hauling down 11 boards. It was the second loss for the Tar Heels, while Kentucky improved to 8-0.
The Big East won two of the four games on Saturday, with UConn downing Arkansas, 75-62 and Pitt taking down Tennessee, 61-56 to capture the Big East - SEC Challenge, eight games to four. Winners for the SEC on Saturday were LSU, with a 55-50 win over Rutgers, and Mississipi State, which topped West Virginia, 75-62.