Interesting game: BYU comes out on fire … Utah turns it on and catches up … Jimmer Fredette puts the game away … Marshall Henderson hits Jackson Emery in the face … BYU wins. What would a rivalry game be without a little controversy?! Here’s a few thoughts I had during BYU’s 82-69 victory over Utah:
1) Wow. Jimmer Fredette put on a shot-making clinic against Utah en route to 37 points. It seems like every shot he hits makes you raise your eyebrows.
2) On the other hand, there’s a difference between playing with swagger and playing carelessly, which is something Fredette still seems to struggle with. He can do things other players can’t, but he puts himself in too many bad situations — dribbling into crowds and attempting shots over taller players. He’ll need to eliminate this part of his game for BYU to become an elite team.
3) Cool thing for BYU to be selected as one of four teams nationally to wear pink shoes and pink-trimmed uniforms to recognize Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend. The other teams were Illinois, Oregon and Iowa State.
4) Jackson Emery and Tyler Haws ran circles around the Utes. Emery snagged six steals and set the tone with another scrappy performance, and Haws came out shooting. The freshman scored BYU’s first six points and threw down two athletic dunks in his first rivalry game.
5) Utah doesn’t have anybody who can handle Charles Abouo’s physicality. His speed and strength gave BYU a huge lift off the bench … for the third straight game. And against Utah he did it with his name spelled wrong on his jersey. Nike sent an “Adouo” jersey, not “Abouo” like it should be.
6) It is becoming more apparent that Jonathan Tavernari is not a particularly good defensive player. Utah’s Jay Watkins took advantage of JT’s lack of lateral quickness with consecutive buckets that helped Utah pull within seven points midway through the second half. Tavernari’s role right now seems to be strictly that of a spot-up shooter. He’s not the same impact player he used to be, and has scored five or fewer points in four of BYU’s last six games.