Mountain West foes Aztecs, Cougars play nice
February 25, 2011 - 2:08 am
SAN DIEGO — This sounds almost too nice to be a rivalry.
Fans shouldn’t expect any trash talking on the court when Jimmer Fredette and No. 7 Brigham Young visit No. 6 San Diego State on Saturday in a nationally televised showdown between Mountain West Conference teams.
The 11 a.m. game will be televised by CBS.
Viejas Arena, which seats 12,414, is expected to be fired up for one of the most eagerly anticipated games in San Diego sports history. It has been sold out for nearly two months, and tickets are going for hundreds of dollars on various websites.
The student section, known as "The Show," will no doubt push the bounds of decency.
But there’s little animosity between the players, even after Fredette went off for 43 points in a 71-58 win over the Aztecs on Jan. 26 at Provo, Utah.
"I think since we’re both in the Top 10 and have been playing very well and always have great battles against each other that there’s a level of respect," Jimmer said Wednesday. "Both teams have very talented players and we go out and compete. There’s no trash talking or anything like that. … I think both teams have great respect for each other."
The feeling is mutual, San Diego State senior forward Billy White said. Jawing at Jimmer isn’t in the Aztecs’ playbook.
"We just have respect for each other," said White, who prepped at Green Valley High School. "He is a great player, and I respect him a lot for what he’s doing. On Saturday, we’ll just try not to let him go off on us this time."
White went so far as to call Fredette "a great guy. He always says, ‘Good job.’ He’s not a trash talker at all."
The Aztecs (27-1, 12-1 MWC) haven’t been doing a good job against Fredette and BYU (26-2, 12-1) in recent games. The Cougars have won three straight in the series, including 71-69 at San Diego last year. Fredette, recovering from strep throat and mononucleosis, scored 33 points in that game.
A month ago, Fredette highlighted the first Top 10 showdown in Mountain West history by scoring BYU’s final 15 points of the first half and 24 of 27 during one stretch.
"The key thing that we’re going to try to do this time is keep fresh bodies on him," Aztecs point guard D.J. Gay said Thursday. "It may not seem like it, but he is a human. He has to get tired sometime."