Comparison: Deron Williams/Stephen Curry
Weight: 195 lbs
I'm sure plenty of you will be up in arms when you realize I've ranked Jimmer Fredette above Kemba Walker.
This isn't going to make things any easier for me, but I'll say it anyway. This ranking isn't suggesting that Jimmer will get drafted first (he won't), but I do think he's the better player.
There's no question that he's the better shooter, so we won't even get into that.
The biggest questions surrounding Jimmer concern his athleticism and defense.
In terms of athleticism, Fredette may be as underrated as anyone in the country. Experts lead us to believe he's slow and glued to the ground. But that's simply not true.
He has a 36-inch vertical leap and was also recruited to play Division-I football while he was in high school. He was a fantastic wide receiver and return specialist, and his quarterback had this to say about him:
"I remember him being just a straight-out athlete—I could put the ball anywhere, and he'd catch it. He's one of the most gifted athletes I've ever known. He still is a lot quicker and faster than people give him credit for."
All that is nice evidence for Jimmer's athleticism, but anyone who actually watched him play more than a few games this year already knew he was a great athlete.
The elevation he gets on his jump shots, the way he makes defenders look foolish with his extremely quick crossover and his acrobatic finishes at the rim are all great displays of his physical abilities (the ones the experts tell us he doesn't have).
Plus, he went right by Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton whenever he wanted to when BYU met Florida in the NCAA tournament (both were supposed to be vastly superior athletes).
As for his defense, the questions there are legitimate. The thing is, we didn't really see what he's capable of defensively because of coaching.
Dave Rose had BYU run a zone for most of every game and allowed Jimmer to stand around at the top of the zone. Many have speculated that this is because the team wanted him to save himself on that end of the floor and stay out of foul trouble.
Defense is all about athleticism and desire. Anyone who can average 29 points a game, scoring in such a wide variety of ways, has the athleticism to play solid defense.
The desire part can still be developed. You see, despite everything we've heard to the contrary, Jimmer Fredette does have potential and will get better at the things he isn't already great at.
He has a bigger, stronger, more NBA-ready body than Kemba Walker. His size and strength are reminiscent of Deron Williams, as is the style with which he handles the basketball.
His ability to make shots from anywhere on the court in the blink of an eye is the parallel with Stephen Curry.
He should be a good player no matter where he ends up. But he can be a superstar if he lands in the right system and learns from a coaching staff that helps him overcome all his weaknesses and possibly even turn them into strengths.