Rick Reilly kicks Jimmer Fredette while he’s down

Brigham Young Cougars’ guard Jimmer Fredette reacts during a break in overtime of his team’s play against the Florida Gators during their NCAA Southeast Regional college basketball game in New Orleans, March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Ah, Rick Reilly. We love him here at The Scores Report. Whenever Anthony and I get together for a drink or dinner we always start off with a moment of silence in honor of Sir Rick. (That’s what we call him.) Without Rick Reilly’s genius, neither of us would have ever become writers. It was Sir Rick who inspired us.

Juuuust kidding. Can’t stand the guy. He can write, and he’s the King of the Schmaltz, but we can’t stand the guy.

Example #247, his postmortem on the BYU/Florida game, entitled, “Jimmer grows dimmer.” (Like I said, genius.)

Except for a stretch in the middle, when he was brilliant, Fredette was brutal.

Yes, he scored 32 points, but he took 29 shots to do it. He seemed to be wearing a blindfold from the 3-point arc — 3-for-15. Plus, he committed six turnovers and wandered aimlessly through the lane on defense like Moses in the desert. I’ve seen dead people play better defense. At least they occasionally trip people.

If his last college game is what he’s bringing to the NBA, then I’d say, in five years, he’s got a really good chance to be your Provo area Isuzu dealer.

As Reilly notes later, Fredette played 44 minutes against Florida and is asked to carry most of the scoring load for his team. His defense is definitely suspect, but he can’t be expected to expend a lot of energy on that end of the court if his team needs him to score 40 points to win. Cut the guy some slack.

“He’s a little Maravich,” a guy in a BYU shirt told me.

No! No, he isn’t! He’s not within a mile of Mardi Gras floats of Maravich. Maravich could get his shot off from the bottom of a swimming pool. He could get 40 in handcuffs. He averaged 44 points a game in college (to Fredette’s 28 this season) and that’s without the 3-point shot. With it, studies of his game film have shown, he would have averaged over 55.

Of course he’s not Pete Maravich, but why is Reilly devoting precious column space on ESPN.com on the rambling delusions of a BYU fan? Fredette doesn’t have Maravich’s handle, though he does have a wide range of scoop shots that would make Pistol Pete proud.

It was one of Fredette’s worst shooting nights of the season, but he still managed to score 32 points and lead his team to overtime. Reilly only wants to kick him while he’s down.

Where was he when Jimmer dropped 52 points on New Mexico, or 43 in a home win against a very good San Diego State defense? Or even five days prior to the Florida loss, when Fredette hit 7-of-12 three-pointers en route to BYU’s 18-point win against a pretty hot Gonzaga team?

Shooters shoot. And sometimes they have a night like Jimmer did against Florida.

After all the kid has accomplished this season, why does Reilly feel the need to devote 900 words about what he’s not?

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