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BYU to face revenge-driven Arizona in Salt Lake City

BYU to face revenge-driven Arizona in Salt Lake City

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The No. 18/21 BYU Cougars (9-0) will face their stiffest test of the season Saturday afternoon against the Arizona Wildcats (8-1).

The big elephant in the room is how Arizona will react after last year's walloping from BYU on its home court, and mainly by Jimmer Fredette.

"I imagine if you put ourselves in their spots, there are so many returning guys in this game that you can't help but use last year's game as some type of motivation factor," head coach Dave Rose said, referring to Arizona's motivation for a win.

Rose believes that this year's game will be different than last year, mainly because Arizona has improved.

"They're a competitive team," Rose said. "They're a year older and a lot more experienced. Defensively it is a much better team."

The Cougars will be challenged more physically in this game than they have been previously. The Wildcats' Derrick Williams will be the Cougars' main challenge. He is averaging 20.2 points per game along with 7.6 rebounds per game.

"Derrick Williams is really, really tough," Rose said. "He's not only good inside, but he can take you in the mid post range or the three-point line. It is not only a good defensive team, but it's a real skilled, physically talented offensive team."

One of the few weaknesses that the Cougars have shown this season is a lack of consistency from the post players, although they have improved recently.

"We're becoming a lot more effective," Rose said. "Defensively we're getting a little bit better at consistently being able to execute our game plan. That will be really important in the game (Saturday) night, because we're going to have to change things up a lot, because if they get comfortable, they get really good."

If the Cougars can overcome the fatigue from the past week and a half of traveling all over the country, execute their defensive game plan and get even little spark from Fredette, the Cougars should be able to put this one away.

Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City and you can listen to the game on and on KSL Newsradio 102.7FM/1160AM.

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Matt Hopkins


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