Cougars Enjoy Record-Setting Season in 2010-11

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

2010-11 Season Review

Playing its last season as a part of the Mountain West Conference, the BYU men’s basketball team, led by seniors Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery, had a record-breaking season, which ended with the Cougars’ first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1981.

Posting their second-straight 30-win season, with a program-best 32 victories, the 2010-2011 Cougars achieved a lot of firsts this season, including two 10-game win streaks, making it the first season with multiple double-digit win streaks in BYU history, and the best regular season finish since 1972.   

Head coach Dave Rose became the only coach in BYU history with five 25-plus win seasons and two 30-plus win seasons and was also named MWC Co-Coach of the Year, his third MWC honor.

As the Cougars bring their MWC era to an end, they lead all teams in the MWC with 126 conference victories in their 12-year participation in the league. BYU also finished first or second in the MWC nine times, including the last six seasons—all under Rose.

As a team, the Cougars broke many season records, including earning their best winning percentage (.865). Achieving a No. 3 ranking in the AP Poll tied the BYU record for best AP ranking and they broke the record for most wins away from home with 10 road wins and nine neutral site victories.

It was Jimmer Fredette who stole the show, earning the nation’s consensus player of the year honors and setting numerous school records. The 2010-11 MW Player of the Year received the Wooden, Naismith and Oscar Robertson Trophies, and also led the NCAA with 28.9 points per game, establishing six new Mountain West single-season records en route to becoming the league’s and BYU’s all-time leading scorer with 2,599 career points.

The man who the nation came to know solely as Jimmer set four new BYU NCAA tournament records, including most career points (184) and most 3-pointers (7 vs. Gonzaga). Fredette also received the Lowe’s Senior CLASS and earned the College Male Athlete of the Year award at the 2011 ESPYs. Fredette was chosen as the No. 10 overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and later traded to the Sacramento Kings.

Senior Jackson Emery led the defensive efforts for the Cougars, becoming the BYU career and single-season steals leader, with 249 and 101 steals respectively.  He was also named the MWC Defensive Player of the Year and second-team All-MWC.

The Cougars were led by sophomore Brandon Davies and junior Noah Hartsock down low. Davies posted impressive numbers on the season, including 6.2 rebounds per game and a field goal percentage of .525. Hartsock added 1.6 blocks per game and was named to the South Padre Island Invitational All-Tournament team.

Although the Collinsworth brothers were only able to play nine games together before junior Chris Collinsworth was forced to sit out with a knee injury. Freshman Kyle Collinsworth represented the family well throughout the rest of the season averaging 5.1 rebounds a game and scoring in double figures 10 times throughout the year.  He also played well in the post season tying the school record of third-most rebounds (15 vs. Florida) and second-most steals (4 vs. Wofford) in BYU’s NCAA Tournament history.

Guards Charles Abouo and Nick Martineau made valuable contributions as well.  Abouo averaged 7.2 points and 4.8 boards a game. He also posted his first-career double double this season against Utah with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Martineau averaged 4.8 minutes per game but played a career-high 18 minutes against Fresno Pacific.

Senior Logan Magnusson filled the leadership role of captain in his second season as a Cougar and averaged 2.2 points and 2.5 rebounds. He played a vital role after Davies was suspended late in the season as he inspired the team with his hard play.

Stephen Rogers, Brock Zylstra and James Anderson brought a lot of energy for the BYU off the bench. In his first season at BYU, Rogers averaged 4.1 points and 22 rebounds and also posted an impressive streak of 27-consecutive free throws without a miss.  Zylstra had a stand-out game against Chicago State scoring 11 points, hitting 3-of-six threes, and added three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Anderson provided a presence in the middle and stepped up against Arizona and San Diego State (five blocks at home).

Four Cougars earned All-MWC honors in 2010-11, with Fredette making the first team, Emery the second team, Brandon Davies the third team and Noah Hartsock was named honorable mention.

BYU opened the postseason with a strong run in the MWC Tournament, beating TCU and New Mexico, but fell to the Aztecs in the championship, after beating them twice in the regular season, 72-54.

Making their 11th national postseason appearance in 12 seasons, BYU entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed and pitted against Wofford. For the second-straight year, the Cougars advanced in the NCAA Tournament, defeating No. 14 seed Wofford 74-66.

Their next opponent was No. 11 Gonzaga, who beat No. 6 St. Johns in the first round. BYU defeated Gonzaga 89-67, led by Fredette who scored 34 points and recorded six assists. Three other Cougars scored in the double-digits including Emery (16), Hartsock (13) and Rogers (10). Hartsock also contributed, shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from long-range.

But, the Cougars’ record-breaking season came to an end with a loss in overtime to No. 2 seed Florida in the Sweet 16.

The final three minutes of regulation saw four tie scores and a missed Florida jumper as time expired that sent the game to overtime with a score of 68-68. In extra time, the Gators quickly took a four-point, 72-68 lead and extended that lead with two more three pointers to eventually win the game 83-74.

Again, Fredette finished his career as a Cougar leading the team with 32 points and five assists, while Emery recorded nine ponts and Kyle Collinsworth posted a career-high 15 rebounds.

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