Blog Entry

SDSU's 1st loss an afterthought in Jimmer's house

Posted on: January 27, 2011 1:49 am
Edited on: January 27, 2011 2:14 am

Posted by Matt Norlander

That's not a basketball game. That's a bloody rock concert. The front man at the edge of the stage, imploring his fans to lose control.

What a photo.

And it's courtesy of Jacksonville Jaguar Kirk Morrison, a San Diego State alumnus who was in Provo Wednesday night to watch his undefeated Aztecs lose that label after Jimmer Fredette exceeded expectations and scored 43 of his team's 71 points.

Incredible how the penultimate team to lose its first game, at the end of January with a No. 4 ranking, ends up being a sidebar. But that's what Jimmer does to a situation: he takes over it. The kid has NBA icons tweeting about his greatness and, well, is pretty much getting the opposite kind of treatment Jay Cutler received in the Twitterverse a few days ago.

Jimmer is not a cult figure anymore. He's as beloved and mainstream on the mainstage as Springsteen.

In a game-time span of about five minutes midway through the second half, the Aztecs went from No. 4 and undefeated alongside Ohio State, to second place in the Mountain West (5-1) behind 6-0 BYU. Like that, they had their undefeated run evaporated, eviscerated and overshadowed by the Cougars' most iconic player of all-time.

Since Parrish will be tackling the circus that has become Jimmermania in his on-site column, allow me to switch to San Diego State, which fell 71-58 and, ya know, is still a very good basketball team.

The Aztecs got a mammoth effort out of Kawhi Leonard, which can't, can't, can't go overlooked. Leonard was said to be battling flu-like symptoms and had an IV hooked up to his arm for a good while before tip-off. The lottery pick finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds, nine of those offensive.

But Leonard didn't get much help. The reason was some fine-tuning, defensively, from BYU. Angevine will be along after breakfast to break down why certain things worked for Dave Rose's team. But back to SDSU, which had Malcolm Thomas as the only other player in double digits. He had 10.

Steve Fisher's team lost its legs down the stretch and couldn't keep pace with BYU, a little surprising, considering the Aztecs are the more athletic team, overall (though BYU can push it). Wyoming, Colorado State, TCU and Utah are next up for the Aztecs. We could and should be looking at a situation where, at worst, SDSU will have two losses when it meets BYU again, the rematch coming on CBS Feb. 26.

Perhaps all this Jimmer talk is a good thing for San Diego State. Firstly, it overshadows any overreaction from fans, Twitterites and pundits. In this era, that's a good thing. Additionally, it puts SDSU in an underdog role going forward. Something of a respect card can be played, if you can believe it, because of this loss and all the love BYU has and will continue to get.

As of late, the Aztecs got respect and love as well, but these motivations can get teams through tricky stretches against inferior competition. The loss, we may find out, couldn't have come at a better time for San Diego State: just before the pressure started to increase, and just after everyone had accepted it as the real deal.


Since: Apr 19, 2011
Posted on: May 3, 2011 10:44 am

SDSU's 1st loss an afterthought in Jimmer's house

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Since: Jan 27, 2011
Posted on: January 27, 2011 5:14 pm

SDSU's 1st loss an afterthought in Jimmer's house

Noah Hartsock? Referees? are you kidding me? Next thing you'll say is that there was a fumble that the officials missed.
Go cry yourself to sleep and when you wake up, grow up. Great game. Just quit crying and bring something worthwhile.

Since: Mar 13, 2007
Posted on: January 27, 2011 5:05 pm

SDSU's 1st loss an afterthought in Jimmer's house

Calling the game tighter would have been problematic for BYU's shallower frontcourt, but that change would also benefit Fredette, who loves getting to the line early and often.  An under-reported part of BYU pulling away was getting foul shots in the second half and not the first. BYU makes free throws, SDSU doesn't.

Since: Jan 27, 2011
Posted on: January 27, 2011 2:38 pm

SDSU's 1st loss an afterthought in Jimmer's house

Noah Hartsock, at any other place, would have fouled out 10 minutes into the game. He continued to shove Malcolm Thomas - and they were hard shoves. The BYU home court refs let it go and that took Malcolm Thomas out of the game basically. There was a missed goaltending for SDSU, but also a missed goaltending for BYU which wasn't discussed. And, many, many fouls. Letting them play and run helped BYU. No credit taken from Jimmer who was amazing, but Hartsock won't get away with that on the road.

Since: Jan 27, 2011
Posted on: January 27, 2011 2:34 pm

SDSU's 1st loss an afterthought in Jimmer's house

The SDSU team also works very hard. While BYU players' bodies are already adapted to the high altitude, no team coming from sea level is able to adapt within 2 days, regardless of how much they have worked out. That is one of the down sides of being in the Mountain West Conference - the Aztecs are always at a disadvantage, and all the workouts in the world, unless it is at a high altitude, can help your body adapt without living there and working out there daily.  I have played at the high altitudes after 2 days. At my best shape, the shots are a little tries to compensate and then it is a little off...your legs don't quite move as quickly or jump as high. That being said, Jimmer was incredible. I believe the Aztecs could have beat them, had they shot even at a halfway decent rate. BYU made a lot of mistakes in ball handling. The Aztecs defense was incredible. But, they couldn't finish it with shots, and Jimmer handed BYU the game.

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: January 27, 2011 2:06 pm

SDSU's 1st loss an afterthought in Jimmer's house

Steve Fisher's team lost its legs down the stretch and couldn't keep pace with BYU, a little surprising, considering the Aztecs are the more athletic team, overall (though BYU can push it).
Being more athletic does equate to be being in better shape. This BYU team works hard and runs hard at an altitude the Aztecs were just not ready for. That said, the Aztecs shouldn't lose many (if any) more conference games (though BYU at home and UNLV on the road won't be gimmies) and could finish the regular season with a record as good as 30-1.

Great win Cougs! Keep it up!

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2011 10:07 am

SDSU's 1st loss an afterthought in Jimmer's house

The kid needs to make better decisions in key situations.  There was a few times in the 2nd half that he forced bad shots when he had open guys all over the floor.  He is the real deal, and it's fun to watch him play.  Can he be a viable "2" in the NBA with his size though?

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2011 9:36 am

SDSU's 1st loss an afterthought in Jimmer's house

This kid's the real deal, very surprised he scored over 40.  Surprised that the Aztecs did not
play well in the 2nd qtr, they missed too many free throws and Thomas was getting killed in
low when shooting 2 feet from the basket.  Good win for BYU.

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