Losing Brandon Davies hurts BYU badly

The numbers weren't pretty for BYU.

The top-seed hopeful played at home against New Mexico in its first game without forward Brandon Davies and got spanked. Jimmer Fredette scored 33, starting center James Anderson lasted 11 minutes, and the Cougars lost by 18 -- never even had a lead with Lobos big man Drew Gordon racking up 15 points and 16 rebounds.

"We did what we wanted to do," New Mexico coach Steve Alford told the Albuquerque Journal, "which was beat them inside."

But it all goes beyond stats, rankings and seed lines. BYU was trying to recover from the gut punch it had received a day earlier when Davies was dismissed from the team for the remainder of the season for having premarital sex, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The past 24 hours, since Davies was dismissed, "have been difficult," Fredette said. "Brandon is one of our good players, and he is like a brother to us, family. It is tough to lose a guy like that. We just have to pull together."

Fredette said Davies spoke to the team and apologized.

"He told us everything. He told us he was sorry and that he let us down. We just held our heads high and told him it was OK, that it is life, and you make mistakes, and you just got to play through it," Fredette said.

Davies was not only a well-liked teammate -- a BYU student recently blogged how he was behind a prank on Fredette and coach Dave Rose -- but a man of faith.

Just last week, in fact, Davies told BYUtv the school was a "perfect fit" for him and couldn't even be sure if he was going to play next season while deciding on whether or not to serve a two-year Mormon mission. The 6-foot-9 sophomore was going to put off the decision until after the season, which for him is now after after a violation of the school's honor code.

"I'm still not sure," Davies said. "I'm still trying to figure out some things, but either way I think I'll be fine whatever I decide. But at this point, I'm still just not quite sure what I want to do yet."