By Kings.com Fan Correspondent Alex Kramers
Past: Jimmer Fredette, the 10th-overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, led the nation in scoring (28.9 points per game), to go along with 3.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals in his final season at Brigham Young University. A sharp-shooting guard with seemingly-unlimited range, Fredette shot 45.2 percent from the field, 89.4 percent from the free-throw line and 39.6 percent from downtown as a senior, leading BYU to a 32-5 record and a Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1981.
The 6-foot-2 guard set numerous school records, including total points (2,599), three-pointers (296) and 30-point- (24) and 40-point-games (six), notching a career-high and Mountain West Conference single-game record 52 points against New Mexico. Fredette was named First Team All-American and earned every major National Player of the Year accolade, including the Wooden Award, Naismith Award and Oscar Robertson Trophy.
Present: No. 7 hosted Jimmer’s All-Stars in Utah this September, an exhibition game for first-year NBA players, where he finished with an excellent all-around stat-line: 27 points (9-20 FG, 3-8 3PT, 6-6 FT), 10 assists, six rebounds, one steal and one block. He showed his renowned outside touch by drilling several shots from well beyond the NBA three-point line and was also able to get to the rim with quick moves. He split two defenders with a crossover dribble and converted an up-and-under layup. Commanding frequent double-teams, Fredette also consistently found his teammates for open looks.
“Jimmermania” has already spread to Sacramento, where the enthusiastic crowd chanted for him to shoot the ball nearly every time he touched it in the Goon Squad Classic charity game in November. The Sacramento rookie didn’t disappoint fans in attendance, nailing eight three-pointers – including several from nearly 40 feet from the basket – en route to 34 points. Displaying his on-and-off court versatility, Fredette showed off his moves in a halftime dance contest against fellow Kings rookie Isaiah Thomas.
Future: Fredette’s skillset and high basketball IQ fit in well with Sacramento’s high-powered offense, in which he can stretch the floor and provide Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins room to score in the paint. With the size and fundamentals to play either point or shooting guard, combined with his deadly long-range touch, Fredette will give the Kings another playmaker alongside Evans.
“I think it’s a great combination,” said Coach Paul Westphal. “I think Jimmer can pretty much play with most anybody because he can play with the ball or without it. He’s really good in the pick-and-roll and his ability to stretch the defense makes the defense honor his presence.”
The electrifying rookie will give the Sacramento offense an added dimension, while his exciting style of play is certain to ignite Kings fans nationwide.