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Projecting Jimmer Fredette, with numbers

Jun 17, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT

Gonzaga v Brigham Young Getty Images

Jimmer Fredette was a great college player and something of a folk hero during his time at BYU, but nobody can really seem to agree on what he’ll do in the NBA. Will he be the next Mark Price? The next Steph Curry? The next B.J. Armstrong? Or the next Adam Morrison? It’s hard to say.

The latest people to try and take a crack at projecting Jimmer are Dean Oliver and Peter Newmann of ESPN Stats and Information, and their thoughts are a must-read. Here are a few excerpts:

Jimmer Fredette led the NCAA in scoring as a senior, averaging 28.9 points per game. But scoring doesn’t necessarily translate to NBA success.

Plenty of scoring leaders went on to tremendous NBA careers — Oscar Robertson and Rick Barry, to name a few — but many never made it to the league.

Fredette has been compared to Curry because both shoot from deep and neither was a clear point guard entering the NBA draft. Curry shot a little better from behind the 3-point arc, 41.2 percent to 39.4, and shot it more often. Curry was also a better overall shooter, with a 58 effective field goal percentage in college while Fredette was at 54 percent.

But Curry, facing questions about his transition to the NBA, worked on being a point guard in his junior year and improved his PPR (pure point rating) from minus-2.0 to 0.0. Fredette’s PPR actually dropped his senior year, from 1.1 to minus-1.8.

And as a freshman, Curry was dominant, scoring 21.5 points per game, while shooting 40.8 percent on 3-pointers on a team that went 29-5. Fredette played 18.5 minutes per game and scored 7.0 points per game (fifth on BYU) on a 27-8 team. Curry burst onto the national scene as a 19-year-old freshman. A lot of scouts didn’t pay much attention to Fredette until he was a 21-year-old junior. This leaves little reason to believe Fredette can be as good as Curry in the NBA.

Superficially, Fredette’s scoring volume has inflated his value to the point where he may be a lottery pick. His ceiling is lower than others because of his age, and his ability to develop into a passer is in question. When evaluating the entire package, Fredette projects better to the NBA as a late first-round or early second-round pick, given his one specialty skill. That way, he can begin to carve out a career as a designated shooter, with a chance to improve his overall game.

Word is that Fredette has been impressing teams in workouts with both his passing and his defense, but Oliver and Newmann are right — based on what he showed in college, Fredette will need to seriously overhaul his game to be successful in the NBA. Almost everyone agrees that he will try to do exactly that, but at this point nobody can be sure exactly how well adjusting from firing up off-the-dribble jumpers at will and not being asked to play a lick of defense to trying to run an offense and knock down open threes will work out for Jimmer.

  1. captainwisdom8888 - Jun 17, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    This kid is a fearless baller and will easily acclimate himself to the NBA. Conventional wisdom might translate his game to a Kyle Korver type player but due to his knack for viciously taking games over I can’t help but feel like he could be a special player in the league. His situation approaching the pros reminds me of Tebow’s…both guys are fiery competitors and winners, yet their pro potential continues to be questioned.

    • baboushka - Jun 17, 2011 at 9:48 PM

      I agree. The NY Knicks are hoping and praying everyone will be dumb enough to let him slip down to them. They vision him as a young Steve Nash, they can pair with Carmelo and Amare. He can shoot from anywhere on the floor. And he can be taught defense. he wouldn’t even need it in NY because they don’t play any D in D’Antoni’s system.

  2. baboushka - Jun 17, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    I hope this kid finds his way to Utah. It is a natural fit. I like him! And Fredette to Favors could become the new Stockton to Malone over time. Don’t out think yourselves here Jazz. This kid will be a great NBA player in your system with Al Jefferson, Milsap, Derrick Favors and the Heyward kid from Butler. That team could be seriously dangerous in 2 years if left to develop chemistry together.

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Jun 17, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    My Sixers could use a guy capable of hitting a clutch shot…

  4. passerby23 - Jun 17, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    In a draft so watered down, would it be that much of a risk taking him anyway? The potential payoff is huge. The kid is a fearless winner, a hard worker with a good attitude, with a high basketball IQ. He will adapt and expand his game. I would not pass up on Fredette. I think he’s gonna be a solid pro.

  5. goforthanddie - Jun 17, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    All I see is Adam Morrison. Sorry.

    • passerby23 - Jun 18, 2011 at 12:30 AM

      Morrison was a skinny SF who lacked agility, strength, and athleticism to play the position. Fredette has speed, strength, and creative playmaking ability. You put Fredette on New York, Utah, or Phoenix and the kid will thrive.

    • Doug - Jun 19, 2011 at 7:52 PM

      Another Ute fan dissing a Cougar.

  6. chargerdillon - Jun 17, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    For Jimmers stats I see 8 wives, 47 children, 1 compound in utah, and a 10 million utah jazz jerseys sold with the name Fredette on the back of it.

    Everybody wins

    • Bryce - Jun 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      You’re an Ignoramous

  7. 00maltliquor - Jun 18, 2011 at 4:12 AM

    How about he is the next James “Jimmer” Fredette!? Jeez! I absolutly loved watching him play and I hope he turns out to be the surprize ROY. I hope he proves everyone wrong and has a great career. At the very least he’ll be a better JJ Reddick.

  8. watermelon1 - Jun 19, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    What’s wrong with being the next Adam Morrison? Dude has 2 championships, 2 rings… Lebron has none. Fredette could do a lot worse than being the “next Adam Morrison!”

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