For anyone who regularly visits the BYU section here on Bleacher Report, you would have recently seen two articles that created a little bit of a stir related to the beloved Jimmer Fredette.
Now let me clarify that I am a BYU fan, and that I am a big fan of Jimmer.
Is he the best player in the country? Maybe.
Does he deserve to at least be in the conversation? Absolutely.
You can get into all the garbage about what conference he is in and what teams he has played against, but the reality is the kid can straight up play ball, oftentimes with two or three guys defending him.
Obviously his numbers would be different if he played in the Big East or the ACC, but he would also have a much stronger supporting cast. To say any team or player would be substantially better or worse in a different conference or on a different team is shortsighted and naive. There is way too much that is not being considered when those assumptions are made, but that is for a different article.
You want the numbers that show Jimmer is the National Player of the Year? Well, here they are (keep in mind these numbers don't include yesterday's games):
Jimmer leads the nation in scoring by four points per game. To give you some idea what that means, if you consider total points, Jimmer scored almost 150 more points than the next closest player (Kemba Walker).
It has been pointed out that Jimmer is not even in the top 100 in field goal percentage.
Guess how many guards are in that group? One.
So let's see where he falls compared to the top 10 scorers in the country: No. 5, with two players only .003 ahead of him.
Jimmer shoots 40 percent from three-point range, which will never lead the country, but when you look at where some of those shots are coming from (and how many of those go in), it is a reasonable percentage.
The other thing you must consider when looking at Jimmer's scoring is that he is always double-teamed, and often triple-teamed. There is not another player in the country who attracts near the amount of attention Jimmer does.
With all of that attention, he naturally draws quite a few fouls. When it comes to shooting those free throws, he lands at No. 17, but he also shoots about twice as many as almost everyone above him on the list.
He does not get as many assists as other guards, but that is also not his role. He is there to create offense in all of its many forms. Oftentimes, that means he will shoot, but he also creates a lot of shots for his teammates. That doesn't always lead to an assist on the stat sheet though, because it often takes one more pass for a better shot.
I could keep going, but the point is that Jimmer has to be in the conversation. I could just as easily go through the stats and point out his weaknesses, but every player has them. No one player will lead the nation in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
Jimmer is an amazing, exciting player, and as was previously mentioned by a BYU fan, I hope he has a few more games left in his college career.