BYU men hurting without forward Davies

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PROVO, Utah --- Zero is the number 6-foot-9 forward Brandon Davies wore before being booted off Brigham Young's team this week for breaking the school's honor code.

Brandon Davies was kicked off the team at BYU for violating the school's honor code. The impact was felt immediately.   File/Associated Press
File/Associated Press
Brandon Davies was kicked off the team at BYU for violating the school's honor code. The impact was felt immediately.

Does it now also represent the odds the third-ranked Cougars have of making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament?

Signs in the arena insisted "We Believe" while others reminded opponents that "We Still Have Jimmer."

But player of the year candidate Jimmer Fredette can only do so much.

If anything, Wednesday night's lopsided 82-64 loss to New Mexico showed that, and further exposed something BYU critics have been saying all year -- that the Cougars don't have enough power up front to be considered among the very best teams in the country.

Before Davies was dismissed from the team Tuesday for having premarital sex, according to reports in the Salt Lake Tribune, the Cougars ranked seventh in the Mountain West Conference in rebounds allowed.

On Wednesday without Davies, they were outrebounded 45-29, including 33-22 on the defensive boards.

"We wanted to go inside," Lobos coach Steve Alford admitted after Wednesday's victory, the second in a row over the Cougars this season. "(Davies) has been very, very big for them all year. He's very skilled and he's very talented ... that's a tremendous loss, so we just wanted to make sure that we went inside as much as possible."

BYU coach Dave Rose admitted the team has to regroup following the shocking turnaround since the win over San Diego State and rise to No. 3 in the country.

The body language on display Wednesday night indicated it might take some time.

Senior guard Jackson Emery could be seen kicking a chair, and Fredette spent the final few minutes at the end of the bench with his chin buried in his chest.

"It's been difficult," said Fredette. "(Davies was like a brother to us, family. It's tough to lose a guy like that and pull together. I think we'll be all right."


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