Wofford basketball coach Mike Young wants to make it clear -- he's not comparing Andrew Goudelock with BYU scoring machine Jimmer Fredette.
But the Terriers' head man also makes it clear that his club will draw on its experience in defending Goudelock, College of Charleston's standout guard, when Wofford faces Fredette, the nation's top scorer, in the first round of the NCAA tournament today (WCSC-TV/CBS) in Denver.
"I don't want to miscommunicate this," said Young, whose 14th-seeded Terriers are a popular pick among bracketeers seeking a first-round upset. "Andrew Goudelock is a great player in our league, as is (Appalachian State's) Donald Sims. Are they as good as Fredette?
"I want to be very careful not to make those kinds of comparisons. But we have the utmost respect for Goudelock and Sims. We know how we are going to guard those two guys. We've been through that walkthrough many times. We may tweak some things for BYU, but I think we have a pretty good idea how we are going to try to guard (Fredette)."
Fredette, a 6-2 senior, averaged 28.5 points this season to lead the nation, and dropped a school-record 52 points on New Mexico in the Mountain West tournament last week. He's one of the potential poster boys for March Madness, and the suits at CBS surely are rooting for a long run in the tournament for third-seeded BYU and "The Jimmer."
If Goudelock, who averaged 18.7 shots per game and attempted 286 3-pointers this season, has a green light to shoot from College of Charleston coach Bobby Cremins, what freedom does Fredette enjoy from BYU coach Dave Rose? Fredette took 20.2 shots per game and hoisted 277 shots from long distance.
"He's got a different shade of green," Young said. "In my next life, I want to come back to play for Bobby or Dave. But you earn that green light, and Fredette has, as did Goudelock at Charleston. I know Dave has compete trust and confidence in Jimmer, and justifiably so. He's done it night in and night out. I had to excuse myself from the film room when I was watching his 52-point game."
Goudelock, like Fredette a 6-2 senior with deep range and an ability to drive to the basket, averaged 20.3 points as Charleston won two of three games against Wofford this season, shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from 3-point range. But in a 77-67 loss to Wofford in the SoCon championship game, Goudelock was 9 of 20 from the field for his 25 points.
"I thought we did a good job of getting Andrew contested in the SoCon finals," Young said.
Primary credit for that goes to 6-2 senior guard Jamar Diggs, who will also have primary responsibility for guarding Fredette.
"Jamar is tenacious," Young said. "He's quick as a cat with great hands, and as competitive as any human being I've ever been around. Fredette may get the best of him, but my guy is going to fight. He'll go into that game as if he was shot out of a cannon."
Diggs is looking forward to the challenge. "My team knows I have to guard the best player. They say, 'Jamar, go get him,' " he told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. "That's what my job is on this team. I'm not saying I can stop him. But I am looking forward to the opportunity. He's a great player. My team will try to contain him and do the best we can do."
But it won't be just Jamar vs. Jimmer. Team defense is key, Young said.
"Diggs or (guard) Cameron Rundles won't guard him by himself," Young said. "That comes back to your team."
Fredette has shouldered even more of BYU's scoring load since the March 1 suspension of 6-9 sophomore Brandon Davies, the Cougars' third-leading scorer. Before Davies was suspended, Fredette took 36.9 percent of the Cougars' shots; in five games since then, that figure is up to 47 percent.
BYU (30-4) was 27-2 before losing Davies and has dropped two of its last five games. And without Davies, BYU could have its own defensive challenge in stopping Wofford's 6-6 senior, Noah Dahlman, last season's SoCon player of the year.
"I hope we'll be able to get the ball in there to him," Young said of Dahlman, who averages 20 points per game. "BYU played a lot of zone in the Mountain West tournament, and they do a very good job doubling the post. We need (Noah) to score, I know that."
DREW VS. JIMMER
Wofford will draw on its experience in guarding College of Charleston star Andrew Goudelock when defending BYU's Jimmer Fredette in the NCAA Tournament today. A comparison (before postseason play):
Goudelock Category Fredette
6-2 Height 6-2
Senior Year Senior
23.8 PPG 28.5
45.9 FG Pct. 45.6
40.6 3P Pct. 40.4
81.0 FT Pct. 89.1
18.7 Shots/Game 20.2
39 High Game 52