“It’s been difficult,” said Fredette, one of the team captains that Rose broke the news to first on Monday when school officials were made aware of Davies‘ situation. “(Davies was like a brother to us, family. It’s tough to lose a guy like that and pull together. I think we’ll be all right.”
Before the shocker lit up talk show lines, twitter accounts and fueled a national debate about BYU’s code of honor, BYU was drawing comparisons to NCAA tournament darling Davidson, which made an NCAA tournament run three years ago by working its offense around star point guard Stephen Curry.
But how far can a team go with no power in the paint?
“It was definitely noticeable,” Lobos forward Drew Gooden said of BYU’s lack of muscle inside. Gooden had a game-high 16 boards, 13 on the defensive end.
“It definitely hurt them that Davies wasn’t there, but you have to work with what you’re given.”
Not much seemed to work as BYU’s inside game disappeared. The Cougars made 8 of 30 shots in the first half and were outrebounded 25-14 as the Lobos took a 42-26 lead.
“We found a lineup that we were really comfortable playing, a lineup we started the (previous) 20 games,” Rose said. “Now we need to find the next comfortable lineup.”
Falling behind so quickly then tossing up so many perimeter shots didn’t help, even with Fredette shooting.
He often tried to do too much, forcing shots before exiting the game having made 10 of 26 overall and 1 of 9 from 3-point range.
“We were trying to score five, six, seven points in one possession,” Rose said. “We never got into a rhythm.”
“I don’t know why we would have resentment toward him,” Abouo said. “We love him… everyone makes mistakes. He didn’t let anyone down.”
But the coach stood by the school’s honor code.