Final Four Berth Would Have Secured Jimmer Fredette's Top 10 NBA Draft Stock

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2011

DENVER, CO - MARCH 19:  Jimmer Fredette #32 of the Brigham Young Cougars looks on against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

If BYU makes the Final Four, Jimmer Fredette could be a top-10 pick in this summer's NBA draft.

Fredette has been the biggest story in college basketball all year long. From 40-point outbursts to a 52-point explosion to great tournament play, he's been in the limelight for months.

If you're one of those rare people who hates Jimmermania, that noise will get much louder if BYU makes the Final Four.

Considering the current state of the NCAA Tournament's Southeast Region, it's a serious possibility.

Tonight, they play Florida in a Sweet Sixteen matchup that a lot of "experts" have the Cougars losing. A close look at both teams reveals why BYU could easily be considered the favorite in this one.

They beat the Gators in the first round of last year's tournament and personnel-wise, both teams are essentially the same this year.

Before you cry "Brandon Davies," consider the fact that he averaged five points and three rebounds a game last season. He grabbed six rebounds and scored zero points in last year's BYU/Florida showdown.

His absence isn't as big of a difference as you might think in this matchup.

Plus, consider how much better Fredette is this year. He's a much more confident player and he's on an absolute roll right now.

Don't be surprised if the Cougars are an Elite Eight team after tonight.

They'll play the winner of the Butler/Wisconsin game in that round, and they can beat either of those teams (but that's a story for tomorrow).

Winning two more games this weekend would put the BYU Cougars in the Final Four. To get those two wins, Fredette will have to be his typically phenomenal self.

And the deeper he gets into this tournament, the more high-profile the competition gets.

All those things add up to a boost for Fredette's draft stock.

Right now, a lot of people have him going in the lottery (and pretty much everyone has him at least in the top 20).

Based on the next few days, and how the ping-pong balls fall in the lottery, Fredette could very well make into the top 10 in June.

Several teams at the top of the draft board could use someone like BYU's superstar point guard.

He's an incredible shooter (41 percent from three-point range while taking ridiculously difficult shots). He's an underrated passer as well—his 4.3 assists per game could be up around six if he had more consistent teammates to pass to.

Plus, he's got great work ethic, a Deron Williams-like point guard body and solid handles.

After a couple years with NBA coaching and experience, he could be an elite point guard.

As BYU marches toward the Final Four over the next couple days, it will become abundantly clear that Fredette 's well worth a top-10 draft pick (and maybe even top-five).


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