In a story that's been highlighted across nearly every major media venue, starting forward Brandon Davies was dismissed for an "honor code violation". At first, it was not mentioned what rule the sophomore had broken, but we knew BYU would be without him and his 11 points and 6 rebounds per game for the rest of the year. He's been a key component to the Cougars' success, third on the team in scoring, tops in rebounding and was star-guard Jimmer Fredette's favorite target down low.
Davies turned himself in after having sexual relations with his girlfriend, a clearly stated fact in BYU's honor code ("live a chaste and virtuous life"). The decision to admit to his mistake is admirable and respectable, although, it may have cost the Cougars' basketball team not just the No. 1 overall seed they were gunning for, perhaps a Mountain West Conference title and a shot to advance deep into the 2011 NCAA dance. Some argue whether other schools would have done the same- that is dismiss a key player to the basketball team's success in the midst of the program's best year in school history. But it's a testament to BYU that it holds strong in its own standards.
In their first game without Davies, BYU was noticeably a different team on both ends of the court as they suffered just their third loss of the year and first home loss since January of 2009. The Cougars shot just under 34 percent from the field, and the frontcourt tallied nine total points from four players on 5-of-12 shooting. Jimmer Fredette did manage to score 33 points, his 17th career 30-point game, tied for the most in school history, but shot just 1-for-9 from behind the 3-point mark.
Coach Dave Rose replaced Davies, the 6'8" forward, with little-used junior center James Anderson, who played just 11 minutes in his first start of the season. Forward Logan Magnusson, who has not played many meaningful minutes all season, had a career-high 21 minutes of action last night.
New Mexico completed the season sweep of BYU, propelling themselves back onto the bubble and into the NCAA field of 68. BYU, on the other hand, falls from a potential No. 1 seed to a two at the highest right now.