When BYU renewed its rivalry with UTEP last season, Jimmer Fredette was battling mononucleosis and had to sit out the first meeting between the schools in nearly 11 years.
Nearly a year after that game, nothing is slowing down the BYU star.
Fredette and the No. 23 Cougars play in Provo for the first time in a month when they face the Miners on Thursday night.
Fredette began battling health problems late last December, suffering from strep throat, having an allergic reaction to medication and then getting diagnosed with mononucleosis.
That illness caused him to miss BYU's 83-77 win over UTEP on Jan. 9. It was the teams' first meeting since February 1999, when they played in the old Western Athletic Conference that split after that season.
This season, Fredette is healthy and has been dominant, averaging a career-high 24.2 points to rank in the top 10 in the country. He's averaged 28.0 in the last four games.
The senior scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half Tuesday to lead the Cougars (11-1) to a 72-66 victory over Weber State.
"I was just trying to be aggressive, trying to go out and play my game," Fredette said after helping his team rebound from an 86-79 loss to UCLA on Saturday. "I was able to get some shots off and try to slow their momentum."
BYU now returns to the Marriott Center for the first time since an 86-36 win over Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 23. Six of the Cougars' eight games since then were played at neutral sites.
BYU will look to continue its dominance on its home floor when it faces UTEP. The Cougars have outscored opponents 89.0-56.0 in going 4-0 at Provo.
However, they'll be facing a Miners team that has won six in a row. UTEP (9-2) defeated Stephen F. Austin 61-52 on Monday, getting 18 points from Randy Culpepper and holding the Lumberjacks to 38.2 percent shooting.
The Miners, who shot 12 of 20 from the field in the second half, will try to continue their roll Thursday as they look to exact some revenge.
"(BYU is) a great team," said UTEP senior forward Jeremy Williams, who had 17 points against the Cougars last season. "They're very disciplined. We had a hard time guarding them last year and we're definitely going to have a hard time guarding them this year. ... Last year they didn't even have Jimmer Fredette."
Culpepper leads the Miners with 19.8 points per game.
BYU is the first ranked opponent UTEP will face in 2010-11. The Miners went 1-4 against Top 25 teams last season.
The Cougars lead the series with the Miners 40-25 and 23-10 in Provo.