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Report: BYU hoops star dismissed after admitting sex with girlfriend

Photo by Isaac Brekken

Photo by Isaac Brekken

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

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 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.

Davies, a sophomore who is a Mormon and a Utah native, started 26 of 29 games this season and averaged 11.1 points

"We wanted to go inside," Lobos coach Steve Alford admitted after Wednesday's 82-64 victory, the second straight 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."

The Lobos won't be the only one.

BYU might get by in the early rounds of next week's Mountain West Conference tournament, where the Cougars still can earn a No. 1 seed with a win Saturday over Wyoming.

Still, 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 land.

The body language on display Wednesday night indicated it may 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, one of the team captains that Rose broke the news to first on Monday when school officials were made aware of Davies' situation. "(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."

Before the shocker lit up talk show lines, Twitter accounts and fueled a national debate about BYU's code of honor, BYU was drawing comparisons to NCAA Tournament darling Davidson, which made a run three years ago by working its offense around star point guard Stephen Curry.

But how far can a team go with no power in the paint?

"It was definitely noticeable," Lobos forward Drew Gooden said of BYU's lack of muscle inside. Gooden had a game-high 16 boards, 13 on the defensive end.

BYU teammate Charles Abouo insisted there was no resentment toward Davies, who apologized to his teammates.

"I don't know why we would have resentment toward him," Abouo said. "We love him... everyone makes mistakes. He didn't let anyone down."

Students on BYU's campus, however, didn't share that sentiment.

"It was absolutely the right thing to do. We uphold the honor code. There are things that are more important than winning a basketball game," Eric Christensen, 25, a BYU graduate student in information systems, told ABCnews.com.

Matthew Sayer, 24, currently on leave from BYU, said he was an intense Cougars fan who was disappointed by Davies' actions.

"I loved him," Sayer told ABC, adding that he fully supported the university. "The rules are the rules. In college you're supposed to know better."

Added Sayer's brother, Ryan. 27: "I think it sends a very clear message about the values we support here. The values definitely include no sexual relations outside of marriage."

Davies, however, is not the first BYU player to experience a similar fate.

According to ABCnews.com, a year ago, the star running back for the Cougars' football team, Harvey Unga, had to withdraw from the school along with his girlfriend, a basketball player for the college's women's team, because they were having sex. The couple had been dating for three years and they later married.

But Rose said Davies did the right thing by acknowledging his transgressions to university officials.

And as a result, the coach stood by the school's honor code.

"Everybody who comes to BYU, every student if they're an athlete or not an athlete, they make a commitment when they come," Rose said of a code that also forbids use of alcohol and coffee and requires students to be honest and attend church regularly. "A lot of people try to judge if this is right or wrong, but it's a commitment they make. It's not about right or wrong. It's about commitment."

As of Thursday morning, there was still no word whether BYU staffers would edit changes to a pre-game video tribute that still shows Davies patrolling the paint.

At least that would be a simple fix.