I'll start off with brutal honesty, I have a man crush on Jimmer Fredette, and this piece of writing will absolutely reflect that. Now I'll move on.
You all know his story, his brother taught him to play in hallways, backyards and even prisons. Most people noticed him at the beginning of his senior year, although astute college hoops fans noticed him as he had a phenomenal junior year. Jimmer-mania swept the nation as he terrorized the Mountain West conference and is a leading candidate for National Player of the Year.
However, disappointingly, we'll never get to see The Jimmer tear up a college basketball court again, and many "experts" predict that Fredette will be a bust at the NBA level. Some say his game won't translate to the pros, some say he is to short and still others say he isn't capable of playing defense. I, however, will provide a counterargument for every one of those knocks.
You say The Jimmer's game won't translate into the pros?
Last I checked, the ball and the basket are the exact same size, The Jimmer can hit shots from well beyond the NBA three-point line and to win games you still have to score more than the opposing team. All of that seems pretty familiar.
Dave Rose and BYU asked The Jimmer to score in bunches, and he responded by putting up nearly 29 points per game (playing defenses catered to stopping him) and leading an average supporting cast to a number three seed and a Sweet 16 berth.
You say The Jimmer is too short?
The Jimmer isn't big enough to play shooting guard in the NBA, and that he doesn't distribute the ball and see the floor well enough to play the point is a common knock on him. But don't put his basketball abilities in a box.
As I mentioned before, The Jimmer was asked to score, and he did just that at a torrid pace. The BYU game plan never read, "Use The Jimmer to draw a double team and have him pass to the other open white guys."
Game in and game out it read, "Get the ball to The Jimmer every chance possible and watch him go." Oh, and I guess it doesn't matter that for all that scoring, he averaged 4.3 assists per game.
You Say The Jimmer doesn't play defense?
The Jimmer played 35.8 minutes per game, and if the game was relatively close he would likely be in the entire game. The Jimmer played harder on the offensive end of the court than anyone in the nation, in large part because his coach asked it of him.
Fredette wasn't surrounded by McDonald's All-Americans, top 150 recruits or guys that could create their own shots. Fredette was surrounded by a bunch of hustle players, who play incredibly hard and can knock down an open shot.
So naturally Dave Rose (who did a phenomenal job) asked his guys to play twice as hard on defense to make up for The Jimmer who he needed to play 10 times harder than everyone else on the offensive end. So again, don't knock The Jimmer for following coach's orders.
So, ignore the experts that claim Fredette is the next Adam Morrison, as the only true similarity between them is their skin color. Ignore Rick Reilly's latest article. Ignore the critics who say he'll never stand a chance. Also, ignore me, because I'm far from an expert.
All I care about is that you give The Jimmer a fair chance. Oh, and watch this.
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