Scouting Report: Jimmer Fredette

Photo: Justin M. Bowen

With #9 BYU upending #4 (and undefeated) San Diego State last night, 71-58, I thought I’d take the opportunity to focus on BYU point guard Jimmer Fredette (43 points, 14-for-24 from the field) and look at him through an NBA lens. Everyone wonders what kind of professional player he’ll turn out to be, so read on to hear my take.


On this end of the court, Fredette is clearly one of the most explosive scorers in the country. And it’s important to note, he’s a scorer, not just a shooter. He’s averaging 27.4 points, 4.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. He shoots 48.2% from the field (which is outstanding for a guard who shoots so many threes) and 42.1% from long range. He shot 44.0% from 3PT last season, so these numbers are no fluke. He’s also outstanding from the free throw line, hitting 90.1% of his attempts this season. He was an 89.2% shooter last year.

He can score from all areas on the floor. He already has NBA range, and doesn’t need to have his feet set to get a good shot at the basket. His pull up jumper is accurate and he can hit it fading away as well. His upper body and core are strong which makes it easy for him to get his shoulders square even if his feet aren’t. He likes to use a wicked crossover going right to left and you’ll see a great example in the highlight package below. His strength also allows him to have a very quick release.

He has a good handle, but is sloppy with the ball at times even though he does a great job of splitting the double team on the pick-and-roll. With his upper body strength, he’s able to finish well at the hoop and is able to finish with either hand in a variety of ways. He also has an effective runner/floater which will be important at the next level where the defenders are going to be taller and more athletic. I’d definitely describe him as a “crafty” scorer.

He is a good passer in transition and made all the right choices on the break against SDSU. However, he is not much of an assist man in the half court. When he drives, he is typically looking to score, which makes sense given the makeup of the BYU team. In the NBA he will have to get used to setting other people up in the half court — right now, it’s a weakness. (He had zero assists against SDSU, but had a couple of “secondary” assists that led to buckets.) He has a tendency to get caught in the air and bail on his shot when a defender is in his face. At this level it usually doesn’t cost him, but in the NBA it will.

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Jimmer Fredette hits a half court shot [video]

Fredette scored 47 points on the night in a 104-79 win over the Utah Utes.

The Top 10 Conference Shake-Ups

Real Clear Sports compiled a top 10 ranking of the biggest conference shakeups in college sports. At No. 1 is the conference that has been talked about the most recently, the Big 12.

The existence of the Big 12 is now in jeopardy because other conferences can offer more money through television deals. The irony is that that is why the Big 12 was formed in the first place.

The Southwest Conference was in trouble due to greed and the fact that one-time power Southern Methodist University had never recovered after receiving the “Death Penalty” from the NCAA in 1986. The Big Eight saw the opportunity to swoop in and expand its television audience into the state of Texas, with huge markets in Dallas and Houston. In 1994 the Big Eight cannibalized half of the old SWC (adding Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor) and became the Big 12.

But in reality it was Texas that really swooped in to form the Big 12. The headquarters for the conference not only moved from Kansas City to Dallas, with a Texan at the helm, but it considered itself a new conference, leaving all the history of the former Big Eight behind. A lopsided deal favoring the University of Texas left traditional power Nebraska feeling jilted, triggering the latest round of conference realignment that the Big 12 nearly did not survive.

You can check out the rest of the site’s top 10 here.

It’s easy to forget how conferences came to be, so it’s interesting to take a walk down memory lane. How quickly we forget that Penn State and Florida State used to be independents, Miami used to be in the Big East and most of the current Mountain West used to be in the WAC (which once again was robbed by the MWC when Boise State recently decided to bolt).

Speaking of the Mountain West, the addition of Boise State will only help them gain full BCS privileges soon, including an automatic bid for the conference champion and a greater share of the bowl payout. The conference has been held back due to how the average computer rank of every team in the conference at the end of the regular season has been so low. But assuming the Broncos don’t drop off the face of the earth with their play, that won’t be a problem soon enough. (TCU, Utah and BYU will also have to stay competitive too, of course.)

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Boise State’s move to the Mountain West breeds better competition

Boise-State TCU every year? Sign me up.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been vocal about how expansion could ruin tradition and rivalry in college football. If Texas and Texas A&M split when the Big 12 eventually falls apart, that’s not good for the sport. To think a rivalry so enriched in tradition would evaporate because conferences want to increase revenue should make most fans sick. (Although it’s rumored that both programs will join the Pac-10 now that Nebraska has accepted its invitation to join the Big Ten.)

But count me in as someone who loves the Mountain West’s announcement that Boise State will be joining their conference in 2011. Assuming Boise, TCU, Utah and BYU continue to stay relevant, the Broncos’ move promotes competition without ruining any traditions in the process.

WAC fans certainly have come to enjoy their annual Boise-Fresno State matchups, but it’s safe to say that outrage isn’t about to ensue because the Broncos are heading to the MWC. At least, not like there should be outrage if Texas and Texas A&M leave the Big 12 for separate conferences. For as good as the Boise-Fresno games have been over the years, obviously that rivalry pales in comparison to UT-Oklahoma, Michigan-Ohio State, Alabama-Auburn and yes, UT-A&M.

The good news is that even though Boise is moving on, it can still schedule Fresno State on an annual basis if it wants. In fact, the Broncos need to schedule as many tough non-conference opponents as they can in order to have a remote shot at one day playing for a national title. For years they’ve been criticized for having a weak slate of games, but in moving to a better conference, that argument can be disputed. Let’s see what happens if they run the table playing the likes of TCU, Utah, BYU and Fresno in order to force the BCS to make a decision about whether or not they’re worthy to play in a title game. The BCS has always had a built-in excuse for keeping Boise out of the national championship when the program was playing in the WAC, but starting in 2011, it won’t be quite as easy to put down the Broncos’ schedule.

This is one of the rare cases where I think expansion makes sense.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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