SLAM 144: Jimmer Fredette is separating himself as one of the best guards in college basketball.
The city of Glens Falls had been looking forward to this day. The day their hometown hero returned and put on a show for the town that saw him grow into an All-American. In front of a sellout crowd at the Glens Falls Civic Center, Jimmer Fredette walked off the court with a standing-ovation after scoring 26 points and dishing out 5 assists in an 86-58 victory over Vermont that maintained BYU undefeated at 9-0. The highly anticipated homecoming had been in the works for a while. In SLAM 144, currently in newsstands nationwide, Fredette spoke of his future aspirations. — FC
by Franklyn Calle
After testing the NBA waters last spring, BYU guard Jimmer Fredette decided to return for his senior year and take care of unfinished business. Last season, the Glens Falls, NY, native led the Cougars to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993 by scoring 37 points in a double-overtime win against the 10th-seeded Florida Gators. This tied Danny Ainge’s BYU record for most points scored in an NCAA Tournament game. Fredette, a 6-2 guard rated among the best in the nation, led the Mountain West Conference in scoring last season after averaging 22.1 points and was the obvious selection as this season’s MWC pre-season Player of the Year.
Fredette caught national notoriety last season after putting up big numbers and carrying the program with his great scoring ability. In a late-December game against the Arizona Wildcats, Fredette’s 49 points set a school record for points in a single game. During the MWC Basketball Tournament in March, the then-junior, who has been compared to Ben Gordon, dropped a Tourney-record 45 points in a 95-85 win against TCU.
The Cougars, who will be playing their final season in the MWC before moving to the West Coast Conference next season, will be looking to leave with a bang. And Fredette has his eyes on the prize. “I always wanted to win the conference tournament championship,” he says. “We won the conference regular season championship a couple of times but never a tournament championship while I was here. I’m looking forward to trying to get to the Sweet 16 and then hopefully beyond.”
Fredette pulled back from the Draft after not getting any guarantees from teams. But this time around, he knows what it takes to get one. “I decided it would be best for me to come back, have a great senior year, play well, be consistent and then hopefully get picked in the first round.”