2011 NBA Draft Player Profile: BYU's Jimmer Fredette
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Jimmer Fredette has done nothing but destroy opposing defenses for the past three seasons, yet all he hears is how his defense and athleticism are “below average” for the next level. We see things a little bit differently.
NBA Position: PG/SG
What Fredette lacks in elite size and athleticism, he makes up for with an unflappable jump-shot and endless range.
While his athleticism is not on an elite level, he can still compete on a high level and score with ease against supposedly superior defenders. He’s excellent at creating space, getting his shot off, and understanding proper shot selection.
Fredette’s main strength is his jumper, but his game doesn’t stop there. He possesses an above-average handle and an ability to penetrate and get to the rim, and almost as important, get to the free throw line and convert at a regular rate.
Despite having an excellent three-point shot, he doesn’t fall in love with shooting from outside too much, as he’s grown very comfortable with handling the ball, shooting an array of inside shots, and even posting up smaller guards.
Because of his less than ideal height, Fredette has been forced to switch to the point guard position, and has seen tremendous progress as a true passer and play-maker.
If he’s not penetrating and scoring himself, he’s creating for others. He’s a fairly versatile and truly all-around balanced player, as he rebounds the ball very well for a point guard, and has averaged over four assists per game in the past two seasons.
Fredette also has solid bulk and a good frame, making him stronger than many opposing point guards, giving him the ability to handle the banging of penetrating into defenses. While not a freak athlete, Fredette has exhibited decent explosiveness with an ability to dunk the ball.
From an offensive stand-point, Fredette is nearly perfect, and is even further ahead of many players because of his superior conditioning and stamina.
Fredette is an elite scorer with an NBA jumper, and has the ability to play both guard spots. However, scouts fear that his size and “average” athleticism will cause him to struggle against elite NBA guards.
This may be true to an extent, but Fredette has never had a problem scoring the ball or getting his shot off. He can seemingly pull up from just inside half-court and drain a shot.
His toughness and skills allow his athleticism to be over-looked when grading him as an NBA prospect, because he’s so difficult to defend. On top of this, Fredette has faced solid competition over the past two seasons, and rarely gets bottled up by opposing defenders.
Overall, his numbers aren’t that of a guy who can’t handle his own, athletically.
However, he does not appear to possess natural explosiveness. While he can get to the rim and create for others, this is still a skill that needs refinement.
The only true knock on Fredette is the natural thought that he won’t be able to consistently beat point guards off the dribble and play elite defense at the next level.
Regardless of any issues with Fredette’s athleticism or level of competition, there is no ignoring his uncanny ability to put up points, while keeping his teammates involved and winning games.
NBA Comparison: Stephen Curry
Draft Projection: Mid-to-Late First Round
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