NBA Draft 2011: Will Jimmer Fredette Win NBA Rookie of the Year in 2012?

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: Will Jimmer Fredette Win NBA Rookie of the Year in 2012?

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Jimmer Fredette #32 of the Brigham Young Cougars walks back to the bench against the San Diego State Aztecs during the second half at Cox Arena on February 26, 2011 in San Diego, California. BYU beat SDSU 80-67. (Photo by Ken
    Kent Horner/Getty Images

    Jimmer Fredette should be taken in the lottery of this year's draft, and could make a run at NBA Rookie of the Year in 2012.

    He led his BYU Cougars over fourth ranked San Diego State on Saturday.  He did so as much with his passing as he did with his scoring.

    He demonstrated that he's not only an elite scorer, but a true point guard as well.  

    Despite leading his team in assists all year long, plenty of critics have questioned Jimmer's point guard skills.  He answered the questions by breaking down numerous double-teams and dishing out nine assists.

    And he did so against a team that most experts said possessed the kind of athleticism that the too slow and too white Fredette couldn't deal with.

    Fredette has already played his way into the lottery for the 2011 NBA Draft.  If he continues to play like this through the Mountain West tournament and into the NCAA Tournament, he could be a top-10 pick.

    If he does slide to the middle or end of the first round, don't be surprised if he makes every team that passed on him very sorry.

    Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors faced a lot of the same criticism that Fredette is dealing with now.  He went on to put together a serious case for Rookie of the Year in 2010.

    Fredette could be on track for a similar run.

    He's not the only player with a shot at the award, though.  This slideshow will rank the top 10 Rookie of the Year candidates for 2012...

10: Nolan Smith

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 22:  Nolan Smith #2 of the Duke Blue Devils in action during the CBE Classic game against the Marquette Golden Eagles on November 22, 2010 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 21.4 points, 5.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 38 percent from three-point range

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    After freshman Kyrie Irving went down for Duke, Nolan Smith slid over to point guard and has been fantastic in that role.

    Duke may have lost to Virginia Tech on Saturday, but they've been great all year long.  And Smith has been great for them.  In fact, he's been the best Blue Devil this season.

    His shooting and quickness will translate to the NBA.  Plus, the basketball knowledge he's acquired from Mike Krzyzewski over the last four years won't hurt.

9: Jordan Hamilton

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    GREENSBORO, NC - DECEMBER 18:  Jordan Hamilton #3 of the Texas Longhorns against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Greensboro Coliseum on December 18, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 41 percent from three-point range

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    Hamilton is a great outside shooter, averaging 2.6 threes made per game.

    Year after year, we see that the skill that most easily translates from college to NBA is shooting.  Plenty of teams would love to have his range on the roster.

    If he can knock down two or three treys a game in the NBA, he could have a solid scoring average in his rookie year.

8: Kemba Walker

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    LOUISVILLE, KY - FEBRUARY 01:  Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies looks on during the Big East Conference game against the Louisville Cardinals on February 1, 2010 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 23 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    Kemba Walker can score.  He can score a lot.

    He's a volume shooter, and doesn't hit at a high percentage from the field or three-point range.  However, he does have some offensive skills that will translate to the NBA.

    He's very quick, and he'll be able to create shots for himself and his teammates at the next level.

7: Perry Jones

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    2010-11 Stats: 14.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 56 percent from the field

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    Based on potential alone, Jones could go as high as the top overall pick in 2011.  Quite often, players drafted on potential don't make an impact in their first season in the NBA.

    However, Perry Jones does offer a bit more than his potential.  He's been a very important player for the Baylor Bears this year.  He's second on the team in both points and rebounds.

    He'll be a nightmare to match up with, even at the NBA level.  He's a 6'11" player with legitimate small forward skills.

6: Terrence Jones

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    LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 31: Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats dribbles the ball during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center on December 31, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 17.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, two blocks

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    Jones has been very effective all season long.

    Even as a true freshman, he clearly has an NBA body.  He's 6'8" and can play small forward because of his ball handling and decent shooting touch.  

    He can also slide over to power forward because of his strength and athleticism.

5: Alec Burks

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10:  Alec Burks #10 of the Colorado Buffaloes shoots a free throw in the first half during the first round game of the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at the Sprint Center on M
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 19.2 points, 6.1 rebounds

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    Alec Burks could play shooting guard for several NBA teams right now.  He's 6'6", and can score in a variety of ways.

    His size and production are very reminiscent of a healthy Brandon Roy (a former Rookie of the Year winner).

4: Jared Sullinger

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    COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 15:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts while playing the Michigan State Spartans on February 15, 2011 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 56 percent from the field

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    Sullinger may be a bit undersized in the league, but players like DeJuan Blair and Paul Millsap have shown how smaller power forwards and centers can be successful.

    If he can follow the blueprint those guys have drawn up, he could be pretty effective in the league.

    He has great lower body strength, and knows what to do with the ball around the rim.

3: Derrick Williams

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    LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 26:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats drives in front of Marc Trasolini #15 of the Santa Clara Broncos during the third round of the Las Vegas Invitational at The Orleans Arena November 26, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Pho
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 19.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 62 percent from the field, 63 percent from three-point range

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    He doesn't shoot a ton of threes, but 27 out of 43 is absolutely ridiculous. 

    Derrick Williams has shown this year that he is an incredible scorer (and he rebounds very well, too).  

    He may have a tough time finding a position in the league, but whether he ends up at small forward or power forward, he'll be able to put in some buckets.

2: Kyrie Irving

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    DURHAM, NC - DECEMBER 01:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates during their game against the Michigan State Spartans at Cameron Indoor Stadium on December 1, 2010 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 17.4 points, 5.1 assists, 53 percent from the field, 45 percent from three-point range

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    Kyrie Irving has been limited to eight games this year, but he could still be the top overall pick in 2011. He's a true point guard, and many teams are building around that position in today's NBA.

    He has the ball handling and explosiveness of many of the league's young point men.  And it looks like he might be able to shoot better than most of them.

1: Jimmer Fredette

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Jimmer Fredette #32 of the Brigham Young Cougars celebrates the win against the San Diego State Aztecs during the second half at Cox Arena on February 26, 2011 in San Diego, California. BYU beat SDSU 80-67. (Photo by Kent Hor
    Kent Horner/Getty Images

    2010-11 Stats: 27.4 points, 4.2 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 46 percent from the field, 41 percent from three-point range, 90 percent from the free-throw line

    Why He Can Make an Impact as a Rookie

    If you're one of the many people who gobble up what many of the experts feed us about Jimmer Fredette, you may not like this slide.

    Over and over, we hear that Jimmer doesn't have the quickness or general athleticism to compete in the NBA.

    Can he create his own shot?

    Can he play point guard?

    Can he defend anyone at the next level?

    These questions and many more are constantly asked about Fredette and I find it hard to believe that anyone asking them has actually watched much BYU action this year.

    Many of the same questions were raised a couple years ago about Davidson's Stephen Curry.  He responded in fine fashion, and I expect Fredette to do the same.

    Although he gets to the rim more than Curry did, he has a game that is very similar to the Warriors' point guard (and a body that is very similar to Deron Williams). 

    Rather than try to convince you of Fredette's legitimacy through logical arguments (which I've done in several other articles), I thought I'd provide some video evidence that may help you form an opinion of your own.

    Drops 49 on Arizona

    42 against Colorado State

    47 on Utah

    43 on San Diego State...They were supposed to overwhelm him with athleticism right?

    There's plenty more evidence of that variety, but I think this should do the trick...

    Teach Me How to Jimmer

    In all seriousness, this guy has the talent to average around 15 points and five assists as a rookie in the NBA.  The only question is: Can he overcome the stigma that the culture of basketball has applied to white American guards?

    If he's on the floor, and getting an opportunity to handle the ball, he'll be extremely productive.

    More On Fredette

    Is Jimmer Fredette the Next Steve Nash?

    Jimmer is the Best Point Guard in the NCAA

    Kevin Durant Calls Jimmer Fredette the Best Scorer in the World

    Breaking Down Celebrity Tweets on BYU's Superstar

    Is He the Next Stephen Curry?

    Comparing Jimmer and the Rest of the Top 30 Prospects to Current NBA Players

    Drafting Jimmer Fredette Would Ease the Pain for Utah Fans

Is Ben Hansbrough Better Than Jimmer Fredette?

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    LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 08:  Ben Hansbrough #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish dribbles the ball during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2010 DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational at Freedom Hall on December 8, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Hansbrough Deserves More Credit and Attention Than He's Getting

Who Do You Think Will Win 2012 Rookie of the Year?

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    ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 08:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers attempts a shot during the game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena on February 8, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by down
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The 2011 award belongs to this guy.  Who do you think will win NBA Rookie of the Year in 2012?