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His calf cramped up, he played most of the second half with a bandaged-up chin and shot a porous 11-of-29 from the floor.
BYU rode Jimmer Fredette — or, now, simply known as 'The Jimmer' — to the program's first Sweet Sixteen since 1981, but eventually, the magic had to run out.
Florida forced the drainage in sound fashion, ousting the Cougars on Wednesday night in New Orleans in an 83-74 overtime triumph.
The Cougars were playing either from behind or neck-and-neck with a bigger, stronger and deeper team all night, managing to hang around despite the nation's leading scorer taking longer than normal to get going.
Fredette missed his first shots of the game, didn't score until there were just over six minutes left in the first half and, still, the two were tied at the half, 36-36.
Just after the start of the second stanza, TV cameras showed footage of Fredette having his calf worked on by the BYU training staff, immediately setting him up to become the wounded savior.
It appeared that he was on the cusp of willing the Cougars past the Gators in the tourney for the second year in a row with five minutes to go in the game. First, off of a Noah Hartsock steal, he shielded 6-foot-9 Chandler Parsons for 25 feet in the open court en route to a pretty finger roll, and followed it up with a 30-foot 3-pointer in transition to tie it again, 63-63, and set play-by-play guru Gus Johnson into one of his signature frenzies.
After that, though, Florida locked him up and became much more disciplined on the defensive end. Following the spurt, Fredette simply tried to do too much.
In the game's final two minutes, he was the only Cougar to attempt a shot, missing badly on two forced, deep threes. In overtime, he was 0-for-2 from the floor with two ill-timed turnovers.
BYU coach Dave Rose made a classy move in pulling Fredette in the final minute with the outcome all but decided, giving him a chance to get an ovation not just from the Cougar faithful, but also from the Florida crowd.
The game was played at the up-and-down pace that Fredette and BYU prefer, but the Cougars simply couldn't hit enough shots to keep up. As a team, they were 25-of-71 from the floor (35.2 percent) and a woeful 10-of-37 from deep (27 percent).
Fredette? Well, it was about the ugliest 32-point performance you'll see. He was 3-of-15 from deep, and despite offering up five assists, had six turnovers and never could dominate the game for more than a minute at a time.
Some may say Fredette was too selfish down the stretch, but the truth is that BYU wouldn't have been on this stage without his abnormal offensive repertoire pacing the team to 32 wins. Despite color analyst Reggie Miller jumping on him verbally for several of those shots, no one on the BYU bench seemed to mind, and if pressed, they'd probably not groan over the attempts, either.
It masked a problem that was surprisingly rare for BYU this year — Without Fredette at least performing consistently on the offensive end, winning wasn't so easy.
In the Cougars' five losses this season, he was a respectable 51-of-121 from the field (42 percent), but 14-of-48 from beyond the arc (29.2 percent).
Now, instead of playing for the school's first Final Four berth, he'll accept a new challenge in trying to quiet the critics who all season have tried to rain on his parade in saying that his NBA prospects are slim.
So how will The Jimmer be remembered? Well, for one wild season, he averaged a shade under 30 points per game, seemed to break either a different school, conference or national record every night and — let's face it — he made everyone want to watch BYU basketball.
That's how things stand right now. Keep in mind that any subject can change over time, so be sure you keep up with the latest news.