PROVO — The preseason honors bestowed upon BYU basketball star Jimmer Fredette come with welcome prestige, but also a challenge.
On Monday, the Associated Press named Fredette as a first-team All-American, the fifth preseason All-American team that has included the senior from Glens Falls, N.Y.
"It's quite an honor for all of us, our coaching staff, Jimmer as a player, our program and the university. It's quite impressive," BYU coach Dave Rose said.
Fredette appreciates the AP honor more than any other.
"I think it's the one that everyone looks at," Fredette said. "It's an exciting thing for our program, an exciting thing for myself, my family and friends, and I'm looking forward to proving it this year."
Fredette, who received 49 first-team votes from 65 ballots nationwide, joins Duke's Kyle Singler (62 votes), Kansas State's Jacob Pullen (53 votes), Purdue's JuJuan Johnson (46 votes) and North Carolina's Harrison Barnes (17 votes.)
Fredette has played and practiced against them all during various camps and this past summer's USA Basketball Camp in Las Vegas.
"They are all good guys and they're all very good basketball players," he said.
The honors Fredette is receiving not only recognize him, but give credence to the Cougars basketball program as well, he said. National attention always seems to help in rankings and in obtaining a high postseason tournament seed. The Cougars are ranked No. 24 in the AP preseason Top 25.
"Hopefully people will know about us right at the start of the season, so it's a big thing for our whole program," Fredette said.
However, Fredette and Rose know preseason honors don't guarantee anything. None of last season's preseason AP All-Americans was named on the postseason All-American team. One goal the Cougars and Fredette have is to change that this season.
"That's a challenge," Rose said. "Hopefully between our team and our coaching staff and Jimmer's ability, I mean he will be a marked man every game, so we're all really going to have to support him. We know he's a good player, and everyone else is going to know he's a good player, so the rest of us are really going to have to improve our games to make sure he's successful . . . I'll have to be careful, not to mess up an AP All-American. It's the first time I've ever coached one."
Add one more honor to the list: It was announced on Wednesday that Fredette is one of 60 NCAA men and women student athletes selected as candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Those on the list have notable achievements in community, classroom, character and competition. The list will be narrowed to 10 men and 10 women midway through the season, with the media, coaches and fans selecting the award winner who best exemplifies the four Cs.
INSURANCE: Because the NCAA considers Fredette one of the nation's elite athletes, it offered Fredette and his family the option of signing up for catastrophic injury insurance for his senior season — which Fredette accepted. Basically, if Fredette has a career-ending injury this season, he'll get paid the amount the NCAA figures (estimated to be in the low seven figures) he would earn being drafted next summer. The premium is $25,000, but doesn't come due until after Fredette's college career is over.
INJURIES: Senior guard Jackson Emery has missed two straight practices with a mid-foot sprain. Junior forward Noah Hartsock, hampered by a sore hamstring, is back at practice for the first time in more than a week. Both are game-time decisions on whether they'll play in Friday's second exhibition game against BYU-Hawaii.