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?

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jimmer Fredette hits a half court shot [video]

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

Five players that have made a name for themselves during March Madness

Most of the players on this list were stars during the regular season, but for one reason or another, they didn’t capture national attention until making serious noise in the NCAA Tournament.

1. Omar Samhan, St. Mary’s
Hands down the most quotable player in this year’s tourney, Samhan has led the Gaels on an unlikely Sweet 16 run. But St. Mary’s deserved to get there — the Gaels are better than Richmond and they proved on Saturday that they were better than a slumping Villanova team. The 6’11” Samhan was the key in both games. He posted 29-12 against Richmond and followed that up with 32-7 against Villanova. Moreover, he has been extremely efficient, hitting 75% from the field. St. Mary’s has the tools to beat Baylor, but the Bears have size and athleticism inside to give Samhan trouble.

2. Ali Farokhmanesh, Northern Iowa
Farokhmanesh is the one player on this list that didn’t average double-digits in scoring during the regular season. But he hit THE biggest shot of the tournament thus far when he drilled a three to give the Panthers a four-point lead in their upset of #1-seed Kansas. The shot was big, but his balls were even bigger. Before nailing the game-sealer, Farokhmanesh had missed seven straight shots in the second half and he launched the three early in the shot clock when UNI was nursing a one-point lead. After averaging just 5.6 points in his previous five games (on 6-29 shooting from deep, no less), the senior guard now has 33 points in two tournament games and has nailed 9-19 shots from long range. Here’s another look at his bracket-busting shot:

Even a certain despicable historical figure has felt the impact of that shot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts