One of best seasons in BYU history has fans anxious for more

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. -- Since the BYU men's basketball team defeated Florida Thursday, Jimmer Fredette and his teammates have had to come up with answers to just about every question imaginable. Unfortunately for the Cougars, they had no answer for Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen on Saturday.

Pullen, who scored a career high 34 points on 8-of-15 shooting, spelled teammate Dominique Sutton to guard Fredette, and all-but shut down the Cougar point guard for the rest of the first half, and slowed him for most of the game in the Wildcats' 84-72 victory. Pullen said he was able to execute the Wildcats' game plan for guarding Fredette.

"Just wanted to make him work for everything," Pullen told The Salt Lake Tribune of his defense on Fredette. "He's a good player, though. He still found ways to score the ball. I give him a lot of credit because he is an amazing scorer. He found ways to score regardless of the defensive presence."

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Although Fredette finished the game with 21 points, he shot only 5 for 13 from the field, and had a hard time dealing with the tough pressure from Pullen. The junior credited the Wildcats for their high-pressure defensive play.

"They started double-teaming me even in the backcourt," Fredette told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I had to give the ball up a lot, and they are a very aggressive defensive team ... they had a good game plan and executed it pretty well."

The Cougars entered the game ranked No. 13 in the country in field goal percentage, but the Wildcats' stingy defense held them to only 39 percent from the field and 31 percent from 3-point range.

BYU started the game on a 10-0 run, and stretched it to as much as a 23-13 lead early in the half. Kansas State came roaring back, led by Pullen's defensive play and 3-point clinic, to go on a 23-8 run to take the lead. The Wildcats never looked back, as BYU failed to even tie the game after KSU took the lead.

The loss brings to end one of the best seasons in school history for BYU. The Cougars won more games this season than they ever had. They also broke that looming streak of first-round exits from the NCAA tournament.

The question on Cougar fans' minds is whether or not Fredette will forego his senior season and enter the NBA Draft.

"I am just not thinking about it at all right now. Just came off a tough loss," Fredette said in the postgame news conference. "Really, I am not thinking about it, and you know, we will deal with it later."

The Cougars will, however lose three seniors; starting center Chris Miles, MWC sixth man of the year Jonathan Tavernari and backup point guard Lamont Morgan Jr. have all played their last game for BYU.

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