It was hours after the game – and Dairese Gary and Tony Snell sounded exhausted.
``I’m beat,” Snell said.
``But I’m still feeling good right now,” Gary added.
That’s what happens after you have to chase The Jimmer for 36 minutes.
Gary drew the assignment once again (he has matched up on Fredette for the last six meetings between the two teams), but the long and athletic 6-foot-7 Snell also got about 10 minutes of trying to limit The Jimmer.
``He can get his shot off any way he wants,” Gary said after New Mexico’s 86-77 win at The Pit. ``Running off screens, off pick-and-rolls, off the dribble. He’s an amazing scorer and it’s a privilege to guard him.”
Fredette still went for 32 points and dished out seven assists, but he appeared to tire a bit in the waning minutes. He was 12-of-26 from the field, 6-of-9 from deep and just 2-of-5 from the charity stripe.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Gary has the experience of guarding Fredette, but doesn’t have the length of someone like Snell that seems to give The Jimmer more problems.
``Coach wanted me to put pressure on him and use my length,” Snell said. ``But it was hard. He can score in every way possible.”
Snell is a 6-foot-7 freshman who played in high school with San Diego State star Kawhi Leonard at Riverside King, but spent last season at Westwind Prep.
He didn’t just give Lobos coach Steve Alford huge minutes defensively in the first half against The Jimmer, but he made two critical 3-pointers with less than three minutes remaining that helped give New Mexico the win.
``I didn’t feel any pressure,” Snell said. ``I had confidence.”
But that’s something Snell has admittedly lacked throughout his freshman campaign. He entered the game averaging less than four points per game – and his swagger has wavered.
``My weakness is mental,” he admitted. ``But my teammates have really helped giving me confidence.”
``I talk to him all the time about his confidence,” Gary added. ``He’s a great player – he can shoot it with the best of them, and as he gets older, he’s going to be an amazing player. His potential is ridiculous. He reminds me of Darington (Hobson), but is a better shooter.”
New Mexico has struggled early in conference play, but Gary is hopeful that this win over BYU – which put the Lobos at 15-7 overall and 3-4 in Mountain West play – can help them gain momentum.
``We needed this bad,” Gary said.
Getting back to The Jimmer, Gary and Snell didn’t have much advice for those who will go against Fredette the rest of the way.
``Try to keep him in front of you and put a little pressure on him - as best you can," Snell said. ``Then just pray."
``I try and be physical with him and try to be a pest,” Gary said. ``But there’s really nothing you can do. He’s going to get his shot off so you just have to hope he misses.”
That doesn’t sound all that optimistic for upcoming Jimmer defenders.