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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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Lasting memories from the Jimmer Game

Realizing that many readers might be Jimmer Game-ed out by now, after rather extensive coverage here and elsewhere of Jimmer Fredette's homecoming earlier this week, I promise that this will be the last blog post mentioning the event in Glens Falls, N.Y. on Wednesday night.

Just a few leftover odds and ends, notes and quotes, though, from what was one of the most enjoyable happenings I've covered in nearly 20 years at the newspaper:

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* Everywhere he went, Fredette was asked by local reporters what his teammates thought of the town of Glens Falls, and what they thought of traveling across the country to play a game in a smaller arena.

"They really liked it. They said, wow, it is really old," Fredette said, drawing a chorus of laughter.

"Everything out West is really new, and they have really wide streets, no one-way streets. It is on a grid system. They are like, how do you get around here? I am like, well, you gotta know the street names, and not just know the number of the streets. So it is a lot tougher than they thought. They really liked it. They thought it was really cold, but they thought it was a great place. They thought the fans did a great job. Everybody was really welcoming, the people were great, and they wanted us to be here. So they really liked it."

* Remember the scene from Rocky where Rocky shows up to his fight with a "Shamrock Meats" logo his robe? Fredette also had a local business to plug: Angelina's Pizza, which is owned by his older brother's bets friends, Jeff and Greg, who are twins.

On the flight home, at least one BYU player was wearing a blue cap with A P on the front and Angelina's Pizza on the back.

The eatery had the entire team over Tuesday night for a pregame meal.

"That was great. That was probably the best thing, the whole time. That was last night," Fredette said after the game. "We were able to go over there and be with Jeff and Greg, and the whole family, and my family, and be with friends in the area. To go over there and feel that love from around here. And they have great food. So it was a great time and a great experience for our team, and it got us ready to play."

* Fredette had a turnover the first possession of the game, dribbling the ball off his foot. Asked if it was due to a dead spot on the floor, he grinned and said, "Yeah, we can call it that."

* With Fredette having scored BYU's first seven points, I asked him if visions of another Arizona repeat (49 points) started dancing in his head.

"I wasn't necessarily thinking that, but I knew that I wanted to get off to a good start and just be able to get my shots and be aggressive. They were giving me some shots and I was able to get out in transition and make some layups. It was a fun time, and I was able to start off well and I think it set the tone for the game, for our team, to be able to keep that sustained throughout the whole game and get that win," he said.

* Lost in the Jimmer mania a bit was that Noah Hartsock had a double-double -- 14 points and 13 rebounds. But Hartsock didn't really want to talk about that after the game, saying this was rightfully all about Fredette.

"Well, Jimmer is going to be Jimmer. You know he's going to score. He's a great player. There wasn't any emphasis to get Jimmer the ball. We just wanted to follow our game plan. Jimmer is a big part of our team. He's a great scorer, and he did a great job tonight," Hartsock said.

* BYU coach Dave Rose let out a big sigh of relief when the game was over -- and he even acknowledged that.

"Very much so. It was one of those things, like last year, the pink game with the Utes [for breast cancer awareness]. We put pink shoes on our guys, and pink uniforms on our guys.

It is just a game, and you are just playing, but when it is over, you hope it goes well, and this went well," he said.

* One reporter asked Rose if he thought many BYU fans in the area who were BYU fans before Jimmer chose BYU were in attendance.

"A lot of [members of the church] came," Rose said. "I had guys from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania come up to me and say hello. They encouraged us to come out East more. I said, hey, we are coming out in a couple of weeks [to Buffalo]. "

OK, time to move on. The Cougars will take on 8-1 Arizona on Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. and the game will be televised by BYUtv, with Dave McCann and Andy Toolson on the call and Jarom Jordan providing analysis from the sidelines.



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