Despite the fact that he probably won't be selected in the top 10 of the 2011 NBA draft, Jimmer Fredette is this year's most talked-about NBA prospect.
Many of you already know that I think Jimmer will be successful at the next level. Some have gone so far as to call me a homer (even though I don't live in Utah, nor am I a BYU fan).
This article will examine every aspect of Jimmer's game. I'm going to give him a score that can range from 25-100 on each of the attributes players have in the popular basketball simulation, NBA 2K11...
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Dominant Hand: Right
Position: Point Guard
Play Style: Scoring
Secondary Position: Shooting Guard
Weight: 195 lbs.
Many experts are wondering whether Jimmer Fredette is a point guard or a shooting guard, but there are several reasons his best NBA position is the point.
Anyone who's actually watched more than a few BYU games this year would know this. He has the ball in his hands on almost every possession and showed the ability to create shots for himself and others.
He may be turnover-prone (3.5 a game this year), but that's something he can improve upon. When basketball becomes his occupation, he'll have plenty of time to work on his flaws.
In terms of his body type, Jimmer is very similar to Deron Williams, as he was entering the league. Williams' pre-draft measurements had him at just less than 6'3" (with shoes on) and 202 lbs.
Now let's get into his actual skills...
Shot Inside: 87
He can shoot from anywhere, and that certainly includes around the rim. He has a good variety of runners and flip shots that help him score where the big men typically are.
Shot Close: 86
This attribute deals with his ability to hit jump shots from six or seven feet out to 10 or 11 feet. He doesn't put up a bunch of shots from this range, but he hits most of them.
Shot Medium: 88
From 10 feet out to the three-point line, Jimmer is fantastic. Because of the coverage his long bombs get, this is one of the most underrated aspects of his game.
Shot 3PT: 88
He hit 40 percent of his three-point attempts this year, and many of those attempts came from way behind the line and with multiple, longer defenders on him.
His ability to hit the three will absolutely translate to the next level, especially since he'll be getting more open looks. Defenses will not be able to pay him the same kind of attention on an NBA team.
Shot Low Post: 45
While Jimmer can obviously hit shots from this range, this attribute deals with his ability to hit shots out of post moves, which I don't see him doing much of in the NBA.
He hasn't really showed any low-post game at BYU, and he certainly won't in the first year or two of his pro career.
Free Throw: 89
He showed the ability to get to the line all year long (averaging nearly eight free-throw attempts per game), and knocked 'em down once he got there.
For his four-year career at BYU, he shot 88 percent from the free-throw line. In the NBA, that line is the same distance from the hoop, and that hoop is still 10 feet high. He'll keep hitting most of his freebies.
Jimmer's shown the ability to finish around the rim his whole career.
Those who didn't watch many of his games over the last few years still got a chance to see his deft finishing in BYU's tournament loss to Florida.
He can finish at the rim, among much taller defenders and with either hand.
He can dunk, but it will be extremely rare at the next level.
Standing Dunk: 25
This is the lowest possible value you can assign a specific attribute on NBA 2K11. Jimmer will never dunk from a standing position.
Shoot Off Dribble: 92
Nobody in the country could shoot off the dribble as well as Jimmer this past year (and yes, I'm including Kemba Walker).
Shoot in Traffic: 86
He faced double- and triple-teams all year long. Opposing teams built their entire defensive schemes around stopping Fredette.
Still, he scored tons of points from all over the floor, in crowds and against longer defenders.
Ball Handle: 78
Jimmer has been a fairly underrated ball-handler this year, but he'll need a lot of work before he gets to the level of an NBA point guard.
His crossover looks a lot like Deron Williams' (Jimmer himself has said he models much of his game after the Nets point guard), and he uses it as a great setup to his pull-up jump shot.
He's also shown the ability to split double-teams, but the ball sometimes gets away from him in those situations.
Like I said in an earlier slide, he'll have a lot more time to work on his game when he's in the NBA, and ball-handling is an acquired skill.
Off-Hand Dribbling: 73
Fredette has a pretty strong handle with his off hand, so this skill is only a few points behind his overall ball-handling.
Ball Security: 53
Of all the point guard skills, this is the one Jimmer needs the most work on. He averaged 3.5 turnovers a game this past season and looked pretty careless with the ball at times.
At first, these issues will be painfully exposed at the next level and could be the biggest hurdle to him getting significant playing time.
Here is another skill of Jimmer's that is pretty underrated.
He averaged 4.3 assists a game, but that stat could have been much better if his teammates had been more consistent in finishing the opportunities he set up for them.
He can use his quickness and strength to get into the lane and draw defenders with him, then has the ability to find and deliver accurate passes to the open man.
This attribute relates to Jimmer's ability to catch the ball, which isn't often thought about in basketball. Let's just assume that he's pretty good at catching a ball.
Jimmer managed an incomprehensible 12 blocks over four seasons at BYU.
If he averages any more than 0.1 or 0.2 blocks per game at the next level, I would be shocked.
He averaged 1.2 steals per game during his career. It's a decent number, but he'll be up against much better ball-handlers in the NBA.
He may get to a point in his career where he can average one steal a game the way that Steve Nash did in his fifth season in the NBA.
On-Ball Defense: 48
This is another area that Jimmer clearly needs a lot of work on.
BYU coach Dave Rose allowed him to stand around at the top of the zone, without ever holding him accountable for playing defense.
In the rare situations when BYU did play man-to-man, Jimmer didn't look awful, but he didn't look great either.
In reference to Jimmer's shortcomings as a defender, assistant coach Dave Rice said, "A lot of that is really on us. We expect so much of him on the offensive end. We can’t afford to have him in foul trouble. He’s a much, much better defensive player than he’s given credit for. A lot of that is part of our game plan."
If a good defensive-minded coach can get a hold of him, he may be able to channel some of the gifts that help him to score toward defense.
He'll probably never be an elite defender, but he can certainly develop into a passable one (again, much like Steve Nash).
Offense Rebound: 36
This number is almost as low as an attribute can go, but I think Jimmer will grab an offensive rebound every now and then.
Defense Rebound: 44
Best-case scenario: Jimmer will eventually be a 3-4 RPG player.
Offense Low Post: 40
He rarely, if ever, found himself with the ball in the post at BYU. He probably won't spend much time down there in the league either.
However, a lot of NBA point guards are starting to work on their post game, and whatever team drafts Jimmer may want him to develop in that department as well.
He has the body to post up a lot of smaller point guards.
Defense Low Post: 29
At least in his first couple years, Jimmer will get beat like a drum in the post by big guards like Deron Williams or Jason Kidd.
Offense Awareness: 75
Jimmer has a great understanding of how to score, get open, find the open man, run an offense and lead a team.
The NBA game is obviously different, so there will be a learning curve that he has to go through before he has great awareness at the next level.
Defense Awareness: 40
On defense, he often looks disinterested, unmotivated and even lost at times. He needs a ton of work on this aspect of his game.
Offense Clutch: 35
He was a fairly clutch player in college, but I don't see many teams giving Jimmer the final shot for at least a few years.
With his shooting ability, I wouldn't be surprised to see him develop into a great closer at some point in his career.
Defense Clutch: 25
It's hard to ever see him making a defensive play to win a game.
Jimmer was the model of consistency all season long.
He averaged 28.9 points per game as a senior and didn't have a single month this season in which he averaged fewer than 20 points a game.
He scored at least 20 points in 33 out of BYU's 37 games. He scored 30 points in 16 games and topped 40 points four times (including a 52-point outburst against New Mexico).
He shot 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range.
The somewhat low rating is the result of the jump to the next level. He'll probably have a few more shooting slumps against NBA defenders but will still be consistent by rookie standards.
Jimmer averaged 36 minutes a game, and the only time he looked tired this year was the end of the BYU/Florida game. He should get a bit of a pass on that though. He was physically abused all game long as the referees seemed to forget how to operate a whistle.
NBA players will wear him down much faster than college players did, but his conditioning will still be good right off the bat, and could become great.
He doesn't have great top-end speed, but he's also not as slow as many make him out to be.
Again, plenty of draft experts and media personalities would have us believe that Jimmer has no quickness to speak of. That's not true.
He has a great first step and a wickedly quick crossover.
In BYU's last game of the year, Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker defended Jimmer all game. They were supposed to be significantly more athletic, and Jimmer beat them and got to the rim whenever he wanted.
If someone on BYU's staff could have convinced Jimmer to keep attacking, they may have won that game.
He was stronger than most point guards in the NCAA and will enter the league already stronger than quite a few NBA point guards.
He'll get stronger over the next few years, and this will be one of his best assets.
Let me tell you a little secret—Jimmer can jump. He reportedly has a 36" vertical. That's a better number than Deron Williams put up when he was coming into the league.
Had he channeled the same energy, attitude and hustle he applied offensively to the other end of the floor, he could have had a much higher rating here.
No player in the country endured as much punishment from defenses as Jimmer did.
Every team sent multiple players at him, knocking him around in any way they could think of, but Jimmer just kept on going.
What bugs me more than anything about Jimmer haters is the fact that they try to convince people that he isn't going to get any better as a player.
With his attitude, work ethic and desire to learn, he should get much better over the next few years.
On the video game, this refers to the way a player reacts to foul calls. The higher the number, the more aggravated the player gets.
Jimmer typically has a pretty level head, but he did get on the refs from time to time.
I gave Jimmer good ratings in shooting, terrible ratings in defense and rebounding and left everything else at a pretty mediocre level.
The overall rating may seem a bit low, but when compared to rookies from NBA 2K11, he'd be in the upper-middle of the pack.
If he lands in the right situation, he could have a pretty productive rookie year. No matter what team drafts him, I think he'll be able to develop into a very solid pro.