Blog Entry

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

Posted on: March 23, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 2:37 pm
Jimmer Fredette has lit up the college basketball world all the way to the Sweet 16. But what do his pro prospects look like?
Posted by Matt Moore

Jimmer Fredette was easily the most recognizable player coming into the NCAA Tournament this year, and remains the most prolific player in the Sweet 16. He's the type of player who brings people's imaginations out to play. They're captivated by what he does. And what he does is score. As long as you have an incredible scoring ability at the college level, people will proclaim your greatness and defend you from the scrutiny of draft evaluations. Take for example, some of the comments from Ken Berger's latest discussion with NBA personnel on the BYU senior:
"The old saying is that hopefully you can teach people to defend at least to a certain point," one Eastern Conference GM said. "But you can't teach the offensive skill set that he has."

Or, as another GM put it:
"You start talking about elite shooters, which he's proven himself to be, how many of those guys have come into this league as elite shooters and failed? Not many."

It's really great to see NBA executives willing to take a chance on a player based on the results he's shown in college, not based on upside or potential or athleticism or defense or explosiveness or ability to guard any competent NBA player for a single possession. 
You see where I'm going with this, right?
Have the GM's learned nothing from Adam Morrison? Has the long and prolific history of draft busts who were awesome at shooting in college but had questionable athleticism, size, and defensive prowess completely whipped past their heads on the way to Jersey Sale Island? Fredette, as Berger repeatedly mentions, is terrific at creating off-balance shots from either foot. Which will be really helpful when he's getting swallowed alive by guards with more wingspan than three Jimmers put together with an Ammo. He really is a brilliant college scorer. But that's just it. The NBA isn't college. The game's rules and objectives may be the same, but how they operate is completely different. 

For starters, offensively, Jimmer's basically looking at a Kyle Korver type role. A spot-up shooter only, since his speed, leaping ability, and size will ensure that any mid-range floaters, leaners, or runners will wind up getting eclipsed by the long arms he'll find at the pro-level. Korver can't defend either, after all, and he really just needs to stick to the perimeter. But Korver's 6-7. He's got five inches and a bulkier frame on Fredette, which limits teams' ability to drive him into the post and abuse him. Fredette would have to play point guard due to his height, and from there, he's looking at guarding either the fastest players in the league at a time when the ability at that position is at an all-time high, or getting put into the post against players like Deron Williams who will bruise him into a pulp. 

The other obvious comparison for Fredette is J.J. Redick, as we mentioned. Redick was a pure shooter coming out of Duke and many questioned his ability to play in the NBA. But Redick spent two years bulking up on muscle and focusing on defense. Now he's one of the better defenders on the perimeter Orlando has and arguably the best defender of Ray Allen in the league, thanks to a near-pathological drive to bust through repeated screens by the Celtics.  Can Fredette copy that model? Tom Ziller of pointed out in January that Redick is stronger and bigger than Jimmer. In short: whatever limitations can be mitigated in regards to Jimmer's size are emboldened by his physical abilities and whatever shortfalls can be mitigated in regards to his abilities eventually overwhelm his stock due to his lack of size. 

But hey, lots of players can't play defense in this league. Many of them will be teammates for Fredette when he lands on a lottery squad. So what's the big deal on that front? The issue is that you have to find an offensive repertoire you can rely on to create open looks. Fredette's best option when faced with a capable defense at BYU is to simply step back and shoot from longer range. The first time Fredette launches a 40-foot J in the NBA will be the last time a teammate passes to him. Maybe he can adopt the leaning shots that Manu Ginobili routinely drains over more athletic opponents. Except Ginobili is four inches taller than Fredette and his speed is good enough to create havoc against a defense, even if he's not explosive like C-4. 

In reality, there's no real comparison to Fredette in the NBA, and that's a bad thing. It's one thing to have no comparable set of athletic talent because you're so superior in that regard. After all, there was no one to compare LeBron James to when he entered the league at 18, either. But with Fredette, it's difficult to find a comparison because most players of that mold have not lasted long enough to succeed. 

This isn't to say Fredette has no shot. There are always exceptions, and those are often times some of the greatest players. (One colleague suggested Larry Bird to me this week. After I was through cackling my way into choking on a sandwich, I pointed out that Bird was about as brutally big and tough as a forward comes and that Bird was 6-9, for crying out loud.) And as Berger notes, he could be a fine bench option. But who uses their first-round draft pick north of the 20th overall to draft a 15-minutes-per-game pure shooter who you can't leave in if you need stops?  No one drafts for reasonable value in the NBA, everyone tries to get that special player that's fallen to your spot. Ironically, it's that same idea that will draw GMs to draft Fredette, thinking he has something special to offer, based off how special he's been in college (and he is a wonder at that level). 

But before they do, they should check and see the measurements Fredette provides in his pre-draft workouts. Check his vertical leap, his shuttle time, his 40-time, his standing reach. See how they measure up not only against the more athletic members of his class, but against the players who have tried, and failed, before him to bring the pure skill game of college to the sharp and brutal athletic gauntlet of the NBA. Someone will be brave enough to take Jimmer high in the first round. In this instance however, fortune may not favor the bold

Since: Mar 16, 2011
Posted on: April 21, 2011 5:04 pm

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

This writer is up in the night, but he is doing his job in trying to get people to read the website.  See

Mr. Writer, did you even bother to look up how Jimmer did in the NBA evaluations last year.  He jumped 36 inches vertical, for crying out loud.  Do you even know the average jump of the starting NBA point guard?

My vote is that you are so biased against white players that you can't see what is standing right in front of you.  I also guess that you didn't watch Jimmer tear up some great teams led by future NBA players, such as Arizona and San Diego State.  And you probably missed his last game against New Mexico.  You can youtube it and still not get a true appreciation of this kid's greatness. 

Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2011 6:28 pm

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

Risky Business you say, wow there's an old saying "Get a Grip" ! Matt Forget about your fredette about it business. If anyone has a pair of eyes and is half-way paying attention lets take this one step at a time. (1) GM of the Boston Celtics has sat every game he's come to watch Jimmer by none other than Mr. Fredette parents, do you see a connection here, do you think he was just in love with the fact Fredette was going to break most of his records, or that they are both Mormons?. (2) all this talk sence the Florida game about Fredette can't play Defense, Hmmm I sat there plenty of games this year and sat and listened to the announcer's talk about how Jimmer doesn't just Score, But can play defense too. (3) I suppose you think every NBA Market is going to ignore what Jimmermania Could do for their ticket sales. You have wrote pleny of Good Articles Mr. Norlander, But this isn't one of them. Your wrong, Jimmer goes high in the Draft even being a Lottery pick, The $ signs are there for whoever drafts him, I can't even imagine how many he scores if he plays with some Length on an NBA Team.

Since: Mar 13, 2011
Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:44 pm

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

he wont make it in the nba period! ask danny ferrey,adam morrison,ed obannon,m.cleaves,etc great in college but next level?

Since: May 4, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:33 pm

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft


Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:24 pm

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

From what I have seen, Jimmer is Larry Bird only 6 inches shorter. That being said, this is clearly another "Tebow cant make it" article aimed at riling up supporters of Jimmer. There is no point to arguing this, as the answers will come. He might make a solid pro, and he might struggle.

The media cycle..... hype up a player,...... then say he'll never make it at the next level...........then when he does, act like he overcame the most incredible obstacles in the universe to reach his goals. All he really did is do what he's always done. Play the game, and give it his all. I look forward to seeing how he fares in the NBA seasons to come. I dont look forward to more articles like this one, that lack any substance and make comparisons so biased and irrelevant, they can only be meant at an attempt to shake up a hornets nest of responses.

Since: Apr 23, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2011 1:33 pm

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

Jimmer is pretty smart, I think he knows what he has to improve upon before entering the NBA. Lets let him play in the NBA before we start calling him a bust or anything like that.

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 1:19 pm

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

  Last I checked, you really can't see into the future, so to say he is goin to be a bust is pretty sad.  The Jimmer has done everything he had to do to become one of the better players in college basketball.  I think that if someone has a good work ethic, then they will be able to come out and get to the next level.  Don't know of any players coming out of college their first year in the NBA and winning the title.  (Very few, if any)  So you still have 2-3 years to get him into shape for the NBA and make him a defensive player, but why... The NBA isn't about defense, it's about offense.  GET REAL!!!!

Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: March 25, 2011 1:05 pm

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

Not John stockton, think Vinnie Johnson

Since: Mar 31, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2011 1:02 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:55 pm

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

I love Jimmer, but he's awfully small and marginally athletic for the NBA. Yes, he can get off some acrobatic shots, he he shows amazingly touch at times, but he's not going to look athletic at all on the court with NBA players. If he proves he can distribute (which he didn't do much of at BYU) and get his shot off against NBA athletes, he has a chance. But that's a big if. Some want to think he can be the next John Stockton. Anything is possible, but at this point, that is a tremendous reach.   

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