As the Sweet 16 is poised to tip off this Thursday, it’s easy to stop and look at the remaining teams and handpick a group of impact players because there are a ton of guys remaining who are squarely on the NBA radar. Guys like Jared Sullinger of Ohio State and Kyle Irving of Duke dominate draft boards among the sportscasters and experts
But as much attention as these future stars are receiving, there’s one name that is steadily standing out among the crowd and that name is Jimmer Fredette of BYU.
Jimmer Fredette, or simply ‘The Jimmer’, is one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball,. His offensive skillset is unparallelled and frankly unorthodox as this kid can put in shots from his right hand or his left, balanced or off-balanced; basically anyway you can imagine. He has led his BYU team straight into the Sweet 16 and into the minds and hearts of fans by averaging a stunning 33 points through the first two games.
Described as “fiercely competitive while remaining unassuming and likable" by an opposing coach, Jimmer has steadily increased his game throughout his college career ay BYU to the point where even the pros are standing up and taking notice.
“I’ve tuned in just like everybody else.” Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat said of Jimmer. “You get on the Fredette bandwagon and you want to see how this guy is. He’s a great scorer. I think he’s now proven himself and put himself in position where he’s got a good opportunity to play in this league. He can put the ball in the basket and he’s a very good competitor.”
Taking a look at his numbers throughout his college career, Jimmer has done nothing but get better. As a freshman he averaged 7 points a game. That total more than doubled to 16 his sophomore year, more than tripled to 22 points his junior year, and quadrupled this season to 28. Meanwhile, he’s kept an average of 4 assists to compliment this offensive attack.
Jimmer is almost certain to be a lottery pick in the coming draft this summer but there are some who question what position he should play. He currently plays point but could make for a great 2 guard in the NBA. This question is posed by many former players and experts as the draft edges closer.
“I’ve seen him on film a lot. I love him.” Steve Kerr, a five time NBA Champion said when breaking down Jimmer. “There are some legitimate questions about whether he’s a 1 (point) or a 2 (shooting) guard. But the guy can flat-out score with deep range, catch and shoot or off the dribble. The deep range with the shot will set up the rest of his game. He’s got a really special gift for scoring. A guy like that will always be able to find a place to play. I think he’ll be a pro for a long time; it’s just a matter of finding the right place. Defensively, he’ll struggle. He’s going to hve to go out there and guard Deron Williams, (Rajon) Rondo, and Derrick Rose but everybody struggles to guard those guys. He’s a competitor and he’s got a special gift as a player. He’s very smart. He’ll figure it out.”
BYU faces its stiffest test by far in this tourney Thursday as they are set to play second ranked Florida to see who will advance to the Elite 8. While a win is far from guaranteed against such a stout opponent, as long as BYU fields Jimmer, they have a shot…
Maybe a little off-balanced and unorthodox, but it’s a shot.
Photo Courtesy of: AP Images