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BYU's trip to NY part of challenging schedule

BYU's trip to NY part of challenging schedule

By Matt Hopkins, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Dec. 8, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.



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GLEN FALLS, NY -- BYU senior guard Jimmer Fredette and his teammates have made a trip across the country to visit Fredette's hometown of Glens Falls, New York.

And oh yeah, they're playing a basketball game against Vermont (6-1).

This week is arguably the most important, and challenging, for the No. 18 BYU Cougars (8-0) this season. Only a week ago, the Cougars were in Nebraska taking care of Creighton. Three days later they were beating up on Hawaii in Salt Lake. Two days after that, they were on a plane to New York, prepping for the "Jimmer game." Another three days and the Cougars will be facing a tough Arizona team back in Salt Lake.

"We've been together a week now, and we'll be together another week," junior Noah Hartsock said. "We just like each other. We're just going to play off each other's energy."

The Cougar coaches are doing their best to keep all of the distractions away from the players, and for a good reason. If these players get caught up in all of the hoopla, they may fall against a solid Vermont Catamount basketball team, which by the way, ended last year with a record of 25-10 and made an appearance in the NCAA tournament.

"Vermont is a good team, so it is going to be a really good game," Hartsock said. "We know things are going to happen out there. We just need to be ready to play and work hard."

The Catamounts' only loss of the season so far has come against the sixth-ranked Connecticut Huskies. In that game, the Catamounts gave UConn quite the scare. They actually held the lead for a good portion of the game, until the Huskies ran away with it.

The good news for the Cougars is that the Catamounts struggled to control the Huskie guard Kemba Walker, who was able to put up 42 points in the UConn win. It should be a prime opportunity for Fredette to showcase his talents to the hometown crowd.

"This will be interesting," Head Coach Dave Rose said. "The guys will play well, and hopefully Jimmer will deal with a lot of attention, but he's kind of used to that."

If the Cougars can resist the urge to give in to all the hype, than they should be able to take care of this talented Vermont team. The real danger is that the business of this week could affect the team's preparation for the Arizona Wildcats. If the Cougars can end this week with wins against these two teams, they will most likely see another significant move up the rankings.

The game tips off at 5 p.m. and you can listen to the game on ksl.com and on KSL Newsradio 102.7FM/1160AM.

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Matt Hopkins

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