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Provo • The injury bug bit the No. 7-ranked BYU Cougars again over the weekend, and this time it just might have gotten the best player on the team.
Star guard Jimmer Fredette, seen by many as the leading candidate for several of college basketball's player of the year awards, missed practice Monday with what team officials said is a "left calf contusion." Fredette suffered the bruise when he was inadvertently kicked just below the knee in the Cougars' 79-56 win at TCU on Saturday.
The Cougars, who landed at No. 7 in both major college basketball polls Monday, play host to Colorado State on Wednesday at the Marriott Center (6 p.m., The Mtn.).
BYU coach Dave Rose said Fredette's status for the game is unclear. But upon leaving the building Monday after watching the team practice and getting treatment, Fredette nodded when asked if he will be able to play against the Rams. Generally, players who don't practice are not made available to the media.
"He's got a calf contusion. It has kind of been stiff and bothering him," Rose said. "He took a real shot in the TCU game. He's been icing it all weekend. It is really sore. He couldn't go today, but we will see what the trainer says tomorrow."
Fredette scored 42 points in BYU's 94-85 win over CSU last month in Fort Collins, and he has not missed any time all season due to injury after missing much of last season with mononucleosis. He leads the nation with a 27.2 scoring average, almost three points a game better than No. 2 Marshon Brooks of Providence.
"We will see how it feels. It is a day to day thing, and hopefully he will feel good enough to practice [Tuesday]. But if not, we will see how he feels on Wednesday," Rose said when asked if Fredette could theoretically play Wednesday without having practiced Tuesday.
One game at a time
The Cougars and Rose probably set a record Monday for using a cliché to remind reporters that the Cougars (25-2) are taking it "one game at a time." In the Mountain West Conference coaches teleconference and again after practice, Rose stressed several times that Saturday's showdown at No. 4 San Diego State (27-1) means nothing if BYU doesn't get past CSU on Wednesday.
"I sure hope that we don't lose focus," Rose said. "We have been pretty consistent throughout the year, [saying] it is the next challenge; one game at a time. … I rely on our captains, our seniors.
"Colorado State scored 85 points against us at their place. We had a terrible time trying to match up with them, and guard them. We need to be focused on them [or we will lose]. This will be a very, very competitive game against a very good offensive team, a team that has a lot of confidence, that has a great road record, a nice run of four in a row right now. So there are a lot of things our team is going to have to be prepared for to focus in on this game."
Rose declined to say who will start at the small forward spot on Wednesday, Charles Abouo or Kyle Collinsworth, after Abouo started last week against TCU. The coach said a lot depends on Fredette's condition. Collinsworth played point guard in practice Monday. … For the first time in school history, the Cougars received two first-place votes Monday in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, as noted author John Feinstein of National Public Radio and Mark Berman of The Roanoke (Va.) Times tabbed BYU at No. 1.
P Colorado State at No. 7 BYU, 6 p.m.
TV • The Mtn.