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Drafting the NCAA Tourney: BYU's Jimmer Fredette

Mar 18, 2010, 8:43 PM EDT

Jimmer Fredette? Who?

Fredette is the first guy to come out of nowhere into the national consciousness with a big NCAA Tournament game — 37 points, stoking threes in the clutch and leading BYU to a thrilling double OT win that screwed up brackets throughout Florida. College guys knew who he was, but most of us had not seen him play.

You had to be impressed with his desire and leadership, plus his high basketball IQ. He can shoot the rock and his shot has NBA range already (although it may not be consistent yet), he’s not afraid to take big shots.

But can he ball at the NBA level? Depends on who you ask, but nobody is really sold. According to a couple people we spoke to (including a brief exchange with friend of the blog Joe Treutlein, Assistant Director of Scouting for, there are a lot of questions.

His big problem is Fredette is just not very athletic. In the NBA that is going to be a bigger problem on the defensive end. This is from the DraftExpress profile:

He’s a below average on the ball defender and lacks the lateral speed to keep up with quick guards. When watching him, it’s easy to see he’s giving a step to his opponent, almost baiting them to shoot and he still struggles to stop dribble penetration. Off the ball, he’s often out of his stance and appears to be resting. He’s a step slow on closeouts, but does make an effort to contest almost all jump shots when isolated on the perimeter.

On offense is very good at covering up his athletic shortcomings because he is clever and strong — he can drive into the lane and physically hold off defenders. In the NBA everybody is strong. And those little finger rolls that he hit on Florida would be swatted into he third row at the next level (or the fifth row if it is Marcus Camby coming from the weakside). He’s going to have to have a bigger arsenal of shots (like a floater).

Still, GMs love a gamer and Fredette is that. ESPN’s Chad Ford quotes a GM who thinks Fredette will find a way to get it done at the next level. Maybe so, but he will likely be picked in the second round if at all. He’s going to have to prove himself at Summer League and a training camp, to start.

  1. Hairline - Mar 19, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    Before you make all the plans about Fredette as a pro, keep in mind he’s a college Junior, and is planning on playing his Senior Year!

  2. paulfrancisformerfoodblogger - Mar 19, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    How about charisma? After getting knocked to the floor today, he looked up at the camera hovering over him, smiled, and waved. It’d be nice to have a player in the NBA whose reaction to a foul was…aw, forget it…he’ll never last.

  3. bob - Mar 19, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    I have watched Jimmer play many times in 3 yeras, and you stand corrected in saying he needs to improve his “arsenal of shots”. He has scored every which way is possible, including finger rolls. Also, you say he needs to be more consistent on his long range? No… he has made 27-28 footers at crunch time. His cross over is also lethal….. This guys has a cross over like Deron Williams of the Jazz, with more range on his shot. Also, when you take in the consideration of playing in 5 sick game this year, his average is really closer to 26-30. Now the country is finding out about him. Uof Arizona coach compared him to Mark Price, after Jimmer lit it up for 49 at the McKale Center……He is also a great passer.

  4. Hoopfan69 - Mar 30, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    The All American List came out today, Fredette had better stats than all of the #1 team choices and he was a honorable mention, he also scored 37 and 21 in his 2 NCAA Tournament appearances. Keep hearing Pullen shut him down, Jimmer hit his average! in AAU Fredette outplayed many of the best Div I players in the nation and also did the same last summer. Look at what he accomplished this year, no other player came close. What do you NBA analysts look at? Compare his stats and efficiency to other top players in Div I, Fredette is the best PG in the nation! If he didn’t get sick he would have been the leading scorer in the nation by leaps and bounds! He is VERY athletic, very strong, very basketball intelligent, creative, can shoots the lights out, is a good passer and his speed and defense can improve. But like other great athletes what makes him so good is his passion, hard work and vision. His biggest handicap right now is BYU, no paint pressence and too slow, the reason he had any turn overs. The guy should go 1st round!

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