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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Scouting Player of the Year Candidate Jimmer Fredette

Preface: I've been hearing the hype about Jimmer Fredette for a while now, but I wanted to reserve my opinion until I actually saw him play for myself. The games I saw were against San Diego State (highlights and commentary courtesy of LTSB's ALR) and New Mexico. With that, here are my thoughts on Jimmer...

Offensively, I don't see too many individuals or schemes containing him on the college level. His offensive, and I do stress offensive, IQ is extremely high. As a defender you want to make an opponent settle or do something out of their comfort zone, but you really can't do that with Jimmer. All you can do is hope he takes a bad shot, but he'll still probably get the bucket. I think one thing people may not notice is that he plays at his own pace, which makes it tough to get him outside his comfort zone. He seems to jog up the court, kind of lulling a defender to sleep, one or two cross-overs later he has buried a step back 3. BYU also seems to run a high ball screen offense to get him into open space. I mention the offensive set because Jimmer's handle is very smooth. Running off high screens he often splits the defenders and has a clear path to the basket or pull up jumper. He also has the ability to run off curls for the catch and shoot, range probably not limited to 30ft and moves well without the ball. With all that said, Jimmer Fredette can flat out hoop on the offensive end of the floor and I if you haven't seen him play, don't wait until March Madness to do so... 7 games of 40+ points, just saying...

The coaching staff of BYU deserves credit for primarily playing zone because Jimmer's man to man defense is not a strength. To his credit he plays well within the zone. Jimmer covers his area well, and often has a hand up when he is supposed to. If a play breaks down though, more often than not, he will get scored on. I don't mean that disrespectfully, like he just can't play defense. I'm just saying that his lateral quickness is not where it needs to be and if he gets a dribble move put on him, the recovery may not happen. I know defense is not what BYU is concerned with, but I also know it needs to be for Jimmer if he wants to be on the floor to make an impact in the NBA.

Obviously there are comparisons to BYU and Boston Celtic great Danny Ainge. I think Jimmer Fredette is more gifted than Ainge offensively, but defensively and an intangible of intensity is where any team now or past will take Ainge over Fredette. I've also heard comparisons to Stephen Curry, but I think that's due to the green light that Jimmer has at BYU. Curry put up ridiculous numbers at Davidson and took them to the Tournament promised land, but during that process Steph learned to be a point guard. That is something Jimmer is not focusing on right now, which is highly understandable. With that said, I think Jimmer could be a valuable role player at the next level if lands in the right system. I could see him being an asset to teams like the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, or maybe even the San Antonio Spurs (system shooter).

- @lostherod

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