Aztecs jam Jimmer; Crowd gets ugly

by Edward Lewis

For the second time this season, the San Diego State men’s basketball team was forced to put another mark in the loss column. And for the second time in 29 games, SDSU had to do it after falling to BYU. Take a look at some of the news and notes from the Aztecs’ disappointing 80-67 loss to the Cougars.

Stopping the Jimmer

There are 14 players listed on BYU’s roster. Before, during and after Saturday’s game, the focus was only on one of those players:

Jimmer Fredette.

Leading up to the big game, every other question, if not every question, was about Fredette. The media and the fans wanted to know how SDSU was going to deal with BYU’s star guard.

At 11 a.m. on Saturday inside Viejas Arena, everybody got their answer.

The Aztecs threw all kinds of looks at Fredette. For the most part, senior forward Billy White guarded him. When he was on the bench, sophomores Kawhi Leonard and Chase Tapley got their cracks at the National Player of the Year candidate.

When it was all said and done, Fredette ended up with 25 points (8-for-23 shooting), nine assists, four turnovers and four fouls in 40 minutes played.

“I think we did a good job today guarding him,” White said. “(We tried) to keep fresh bodies on him. But unfortunately we left other guys open and they made tough shots and sometimes wide-open shots. So we just have to look at tape, and try to see exactly what happened and try to correct it next time.”

In the first half, Fredette said the Aztecs were giving him more space on the perimeter, so he was able to knock down some long 3-balls. In the second half, SDSU double-teamed him more once he crossed half-court.

But Fredette always seemed to do the right thing with the ball.

“I’m telling you that he is as creative as any player I’ve played with as a player in college or played against or coached,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “He can make plays and he can create plays for himself and I think what he’s really done this year is become a lot more patient and really found ways to create shots for his teammates.”

Crowd control

While most of SDSU’s basketball world was focused on one man, Fredette, the Aztec administration was focused on the more than 2,500 men and women at the game.
Last year, SDSU’s student section caught plenty of heat both locally and nationally for its actions against BYU when the Cougars came to Viejas Arena. The students dressed in missionary gear and chanted, “You’re still Mormon!”

This time around, the student section was just about flawless until late in the second half.

First, The Show started a “Bulls—-!” chant after a foul call on SDSU. Then a member of the student section threw a bag of Cheez-Its onto the court.
After the game, one fan threw debris at Fredette, who was doing an interview with a TV station.

The students did also dress up as missionaries again this season, but stripped them off in favor of red and black attire in the second half.
The national backlash of the students’ actions this time around remains to be seen.

Short shots

One SDSU fan proposed to another during a media timeout game on the court on Saturday. She said yes. … Leonard recorded his 20th double-double of the season and the 37th of his career when he posted 17 points and 13 rebounds against BYU. … BYU snapped SDSU’s 18-game home winning streak.