Provo • Always up for a challenge, Brigham Young's young and talented point guard Anson Winder isn't exactly feeling his way in the dark when it comes to Wednesday's matchup with a veteran Weber State team led by the nation's leading scorer in Damian Lillard.
First and foremost, Winder has practiced almost daily against former Cougar Jimmer Fredette, who knows something about putting a basketball in the hoop.
"We'll all get a crack at him," said the BYU redshirt freshman who has started the last four games and is averaging 5.9 points and 4.4 assists. "We'll guard him as a team for 40 minutes."
Lillard, scoring at a 28.2 clip, comes off a 41-point performance in a double-overtime victory against San Jose State on Saturday in the Dee Events Center.
"Anything good that happens to him on the court, the success that he has, he's earned every single bit of it," WSU coach Randy Rahe said of Lillard. "Because, truly in 22 years, I've never been around a kid that works that hard to prepare for a season, to prepare for a game."
The atmosphere will be a bit different Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. This will be the 37th meeting between Weber State (5-1) and BYU (6-2). The Cougars hold a 26-10 series lead and have won eight straight and 11 of the last 12 games played against the Wildcats.
Weber State's last win came on Jan. 8, 2003 when the 'Cats won 75-69 in Ogden.
"In-state games are very emotional games," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "It's important for one team to match or exceed the emotions of the other team. The guys all know each other … hopefully you can execute your best."
Rose will throw a team defense concept at Lillard, but believes Winder, who is a tad taller and bigger than WSU's 6-foot-2 sharp-shooter, can do the job.
"He's playing great," Rose said about Winder, who took Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas to back-to-back state titles. "He attacks really well. An attacking point guard in our system can really be successful."
Winder, who scored 10 points with six assists in BYU's recent 79-65 victory against Oregon, has adjusted to his role.
"This will be a good experience and a good opportunity," Winder said about Wednesday's game. "You always like playing against good competition."
Weber State at BYU
P At the Marriott Center, Provo
Tipoff • 7 p.m.
TV • BYUtv
Radio • 1160 AM, 1280 AM
Records • BYU 6-2, WSU 5-1
Series record • BYU leads 26-10
Last meeting • BYU, 72-66 (Dec. 12, 2010)
About the Cougars • Senior post Noah Hartsock is averaging 16.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.0 steals.
About the Wildcats • Sophomore post Kyle Tresnak has scored in double figures in his last four games. … The 'Cats have outrebounded their opponent in all five wins and trailed in rebounding in the lone loss.