The NBA Can Wait, Let's Focus on the Rest of Jimmer Fredette's College Career

Charlie ScaturroCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY - MARCH 20:  Jimmer Fredette #32 of the Brigham Young Cougars attempts a shot against Wally Judge #33 of the Kansas State Wildcats during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Ford Center on March 20, 2010 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's not quite February yet, but college basketball fans have already experienced some truly incredible story lines.

Whether it's been the admittedly overblown; but extremely entertaining talk of an undefeated season for Duke, Kemba Walker morphing into one of the nation's top players or Jared Sullinger's incredibly impressive freshman debut, there's been no shortage of intriguing occurrences

But the one player who has managed to stand out from the college basketball landscape and rise above all else has been BYU's Jimmer Fredette.

If you didn't have the pleasure of witnessing his 43-point performance against San Diego State on Wednesday night, you definitely heard about the show Fredette put on; which effectively ended what was the longest current winning streak in the nation, and in doing so, captivated a nation of basketball fans.

But, no sooner did Fredette officially introduce himself to many people who might not be so inclined to follow college basketball, did we witness a rash of commentary regarding whether or not the 6'2'' guard can make it in the NBA.

While the debate surrounding his professional prospects is certainly valid, I can't help but think that these questions about his future are beginning to overshadow what Fredette is accomplishing in the present.

The upstate New York native is one of the top candidates to win the Player of the Year Award and is currently leading the nation in scoring, at just over 27 points per game. Thanks to one of the sweetest shooting touches in college basketball, and his equally impressive range, Jimmer is a threat to score 40 on any given night and has that rare ability to make it look almost effortless.

In addition to all of the individual things he's achieved thus far, Fredette is a huge reason why the Cougars have their highest ranking since the 1987-88 season and has BYU thinking about its first deep tournament run since Danny Ainge was with the program.

But even with all of the great things that lie ahead of Fredette and BYU for nearly the next two months, most of the talk has been centered around whether he's big enough, athletic enough or good enough defensively to make it in the NBA and which current players his game resembles most.

Again, all valid conversations to be sure, but it seems that we've begun to talk more about what Fredette could be, might be or won't be, instead of enjoying what he is—an unbelievable college basketball player who has managed to generate a buzz that few others in his sport can.

Players like Fredette don't come along very often and it's clear to see with all of the coverage he's received in the past week that he's become a media darling and not only is he one of the most interesting stories in college basketball, but he's one of the most interesting stories in all of sports right now.

Having watched Fredette continually drain shots and get to the basket with ease against an extremely talented San Diego State team on Wednesday, I couldn't help but think that he's as fun to watch play basketball as nearly anyone I've seen in the last few years.

While the debate about what kind of player Fredette will be at the next level has people on both sides, I think everyone can agree that regardless of how his professional career unfolds, Fredette will never be the player in the NBA that he is in college basketball right now, and there's nothing wrong with that.

In fact, it's likely that Fredette never becomes anything more than a solid NBA contributor, but that doesn't change the fact that he's an incredible college player right now.

The NBA is the eventual next step in Fredette's basketball career, but the way people have been talking about his professional prospects has made it seem like the draft is in five days rather than five months and there's still plenty of time to talk about his NBA potential after he's done playing at BYU.

Often times in life we're too busy worrying about what we don't have or could have, all the while not being thankful for what we do have (I'm just as guilty of this as the next guy), and even though some people are watching Fredette to try and gauge his NBA potential, I'm happy we have the pleasure of watching him at BYU for the rest of the college basketball season, and even if he never scores a point in the NBA, it won't take anything away from the player he was in college.

Fredette's career at BYU will be over before you know it and then there really won't be much left to do besides talk about his future in the NBA. But until then, let's enjoy watching him pull up from 30 feet, drop 40 on a couple more teams and do his best to lead the Cougars on a magical run through March Madness.

As we've heard many people say before; the NBA isn't going anywhere.

But Fredette's time playing college basketball is.