Hoffman Estates, Ill. • Brigham Young University basketball coach Dave Rose might have finally found a replacement for graduated point guard Jimmer Fredette on Friday night.
Just outside Chicago, of all places.
Redshirt freshman Anson Winder got his first career start for the Cougars, and delivered a solid performance in a 76-55 win over Nevada at the Sears Centre Arena.
"It is a good feeling," said Winder. "Even as a little kid, you want to start for a big Division I team. So it is a dream come true, and I am happy."
At least for now, so are Cougar fans who watched point guard struggles lead directly to BYU's 69-62 season-opening loss to Utah State.
After Brock Zylstra started the first two games and Craig Cusick the next two, Winder was told earlier this week that he would get the nod. He was 4 of 9 from the field for nine points, but also snagged four rebounds and dished out four assists. Rose said he could live with the three turnovers because Winder played 38 minutes.
"Tough night to get thrown in there, because we knew they were going to press," Rose said. "They have two different zone traps that they run. I thought [Winder] handled it really well. He really helped us. He played on attack, and got the ball into operational areas so we could score."
Rose said Winder earned the start with his play the past few games, but also because his aggressive style matched up well with Nevada.
"Yeah, that's the way coach told me to play, so I try to bring that to the court every day," Winder said.
The Cougars' other freshman who plays a lot, Damarcus Harrison, got to play in front of his family and his brother, DJ Harrison, who is serving an LDS Church mission in the area. Harrison had four points and two rebounds in eight minutes.
BYU's starting point guards this season
Opponent Starter Turnovers
Utah State Brock Zylstra 5
BYU-Hawaii Brock Zylstra 5
Longwood Craig Cusick 0
Prairie View Craig Cusick 0
Nevada Anson Winder 3