As a diehard UNLV fan, I've really been enjoying the season. It's been a nice year.
There are, of course, a few things I haven't enjoyed.
I have a confession to make.
I hate Jimmer Fredette.
I promise it's nothing personal. I'm not a mean person. I'm really a pretty nice guy.
Just give me a chance to explain.
I hate Jimmer Fredette because he never misses open shots. Seriously. The guy just doesn't miss.
When Fredette gets a squared up, clean look at the basket, you're surprised if he doesn't make it. It doesn't matter if he's five feet away or 25 away. His stroke is uncanny. He's a machine.
I hate Jimmer Fredette because he never misses free throws. Did I mention he's a machine? Fredette leads the MWC in both free throw percentage (90 percent) and free throws made (157). Against San Diego State, he missed four free throws. No one knows how it happened. It was weird.
I hate Jimmer Fredette because he is so crafty at drawing fouls. He has attempted over 170 free throws on the season.
Fredette seems to have figured out that it's easier to make a shot when no one is allowed to guard you. He has mastered the veteran technique of drawing the defender out of position or off balance and then creating contact. He scores 5.6 points per game from the charity stripe.
I hate Jimmer Fredette because he doesn't get rattled. Even crazy, hectic, hostile environments don't have much of an effect on Fredette. He's scored 27 or more away from home five times, including the purely ridiculous 49-point, nine-assist, seven-rebound clinic he put on at Arizona.
I hate Jimmer Fredette because, let's be honest, he doesn't look like he should be that good. Admit it. He doesn't. He looks like he should be driving a beer truck or changing your oil.
He is that good, though. He's deceptively quick. He's clever. He's powerful. Did I mention that he can shoot?
I hate Jimmer Fredette because he has one year of eligibility left. I remember watching Fredette make some pretty spectacular plays in the MWC Tournament his freshman year. It seems like that was six years ago.
Despite wishes to the contrary, Fredette is only a junior. Unless he decides to leave early, which would be foolish, he'll be back next year.
I hate Jimmer Fredette because he never loses at home. The Cougars are sickeningly dominant at the Marriott Center. They have won every home game this season, all but one of them by double digits. They won five games by more than 40 and two games by more than 50.
The Cougars have lost just one conference home game in Fredette's three years and just two home games overall. On the rare occasion that BYU does drop a home game, the fans slowly filter out in a confused stupor.
I hate Jimmer Fredette because he makes you pay if you make a mistake. You can't reach. You can't gamble. You can't relax. He will burn you.
He's the best in the conference at setting you up to look stupid, and he probably doesn't even feel bad about it.
I hate Jimmer Fredette because he is always under control. The single most remarkable and unique quality that Fredette possesses is an almost superhuman sense of balance and control. Whether he's running full speed, floating, hanging, twisting, or spinning, he is always, always on balance.
Granted, he falls over a lot, but it's generally on purpose. Free throws are easy, remember?
I hate Jimmer Fredette because his hair looks stupid. I have to get one cheap shot in. It can't all be costumed compliments.
I hate Jimmer Fredette because he plays for BYU. I hate him because he doesn't play for my team. If you are a fan of any other team in the MWC, you hate him too.
Fact of the matter is, Jimmer Fredette is a really, really good player. It takes an outstanding, focused team effort just to slow him down.
Chances are if your team has played BYU this year, at least once during the game it felt like he had climbed out of your TV and kicked you in the stomach. It probably happened more than once.
There is really no greater compliment opposing fans can pay a player than to just want him gone.
So, congratulations and sincere condolences go out to Jimmer Fredette because, outside of Provo, everyone hates you.
My guess is he's probably not taking it too hard.