Brigham Young University’s Jimmer Fredette seemingly came out of nowhere last year as he started getting some serious face time as a senior, but take a closer look at his numbers and you’ll see a consistent scorer all through college. Hardcore college basketball fans knew of his scoring skills, but those big time games early last season was his introduction to the national stage. His gaudy NCAA leading 28.9 points per game last season is what most casual fans see, but a closer peek shows much more.
Fredette increased his scoring average every year at BYU. From 7, to 16.2, to 22.1, to his NCAA leading number last year. The BYU offense was run through Fredette, and that’s a good thing as he’s projected to be a lead guard in the NBA. His huge scoring games makes many think ‘ball hog’, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He averaged over 4 assists per game in each of his last 3 years, which is a very respectable number for a player called upon to score as much as Jimmer was. He has good size for a point guard, at 6’2″ 196, and his wingspan of 6’4.5″ compares well to Stephan Curry, another scorer in college that transitioned to the point in the NBA.
Even though he’ll play point guard at the next level, he’ll still be counted on to score. He took, and made, some deep three point shots at BYU, and that part of his game looks to translate well to the NBA. He also has an outstanding pull up mid-range game, a lost art in basketball. Fredette can drive with either hand, stop and pull up for his high percentage jumper.
He’s more crafty that flat out fast, but he has real good quickness with the ball in his hands and his strength and body control will let him get to the rim. He isn’t an explosive leaper, but in time he’ll learn how to draw body contact to get to the free throw line.
The big knock on him is his defense. Some scouts say he shows absolutely no passion for that part of his game. He’s not the quickest defender and once beat, he doesn’t try to recover. I think part of that is the offensive mindset he was in at BYU. I think the right coach will be able to coax him into being a passable defender.
Fredette won’t fall past the early teens in the Draft, and I’ve seen him as high as #7 overall. His ability to shoot the basketball reminds me of the aforementioned Stephen Curry, and I think what ever team he ends up on will be very happy with his play.