Jimmer Fredette first introduced himself to a national audience during last year’s NCAA tournament win over Florida when he dumped 37 on the Gators in a 99-92 double overtime win.
Question is, will it be any different this time around?
The nation’s leading scorer (28.8 points per game) has been incredible all season, but he’s bolstered his game ever since the dismissal of center Brandon Davies. In seven games without Davies, Fredette is averaging 34.7 points, including two NCAA tournament wins. Defenses are keying on the 6-2 senior, but it doesn’t matter. He’s still scoring.
So Florida could try to be even more aggressive on defense.
“I think they’re just going to be really tenacious … run at my ball screens hard, maybe double them and try to get the ball out of my hands,” Fredette said of how Florida will try to defend him.
The added challenge for the Gators is that their best perimeter defender, sophomore Kenny Boynton, sprained his ankle during Saturday’s win vs. UCLA. The 6-1 guard isn’t on crutches or in a boot and will play.
“I’m still a little cautious of where he’s at because I haven’t seen him sprint, cut, change direction, do those kind of things,” Florida coach Billy Donovan told the Gainesville Sun. “Kenny has had some ankle problems during his career. He’s sprained that ankle quite a bit at different times throughout his career. So I also believe there’s a mental hurdle for him that he’s going to need to get over.”
Don’t feel bad, Kenny. That’s a hurdle most teams have to clear.
As for the rest of the Cougars – who’ve played some of their best defense of the season during the last week – they seem up for the challenge, though Davies’ absence has left them with one request.
“I hope it doesn’t go into double overtime again,” BYU’s Noah Hartsock told the Salt Lake Tribune.
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