White wants BYU’s Fredette

by Matt McClanahan

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Courtesy of Antonio Zaragoza

San Diego State’s basketball team was flying h­ome from its game against Air Force when starting senior forward Billy White asked for the toughest job in America come Saturday.

White asked to guard Player of the Year candidate Jimmer Fredette.

According to SDSU starting point guard D.J. Gay, “Everybody wanted (to guard) him.”

Gay was Fredette’s primary defender the last game against BYU when Fredette caught fire for 43 points. But Gay said his “first task” this time around will be guarding 6-foot-3-inch shooting guard Jackson Emery, who Gay describes as a “catch-and-shoot” type of player. He said guarding Emery will allow him to concentrate more on bringing the ball up the court and being a “threat to score.”

So who will guard Fredette?

“Billy is going to get his chance again,” Gay said.

The “again” part of Gay’s comment refers to a long stretch in the second half of SDSU’s first game against the Cougars. During that stretch, White held the nation’s leading scorer to five points.

But it was a memorable five points.

Fredette crossed over White on both scoring occasions – once for an easy layup and another time for an open 3-pointer, which was so filthy it even drew a reaction from the Aztec bench.

“You’re not going to stop somebody who has the capabilities of scoring like that,” Gay said. “All you can do is slow (Fredette) down, and I think Billy did the best job on him.”

SDSU’s game plan in defending Fredette on Saturday involves putting “a little more length on him,” Gay said. “To make (Fredette) shoot over the top.”

At 6 feet 8 inches, White holds a 6-inch height advantage on BYU’s star player.

While it appears White will be Fredette’s main defender, he won’t be the only one guarding him. Head coach Steve Fisher will attempt to wear Fredette down throughout the game by throwing multiple “fresh bodies” at him, according to Gay.

“It may not seem like it, but (Fredette) is a human. He has to get tired at some time,” Gay said.

Because SDSU will use multiple defenders, Gay is likely to once more get matched up against Fredette at some point during the game, and he doesn’t let the last performance Fredette had against the Aztecs intimidate him.

“I would love my chance (at guarding him),” Gay said. “I’ll definitely have my shot again.”

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