Dick Harmon: Jimmer Fredette joins some exclusive company with Cougars
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY —
The Jimmer Fredette postgame buzz hovered a long time after he dropped 47 points on Utah Tuesday night.
The reason? Jimmer Mania has taken on a national hue.
The Fredette Show made ripples all day Wednesday and will continue this week because he was named a preseason All-American by several publications. It started with that Sports Illustrated comic book cover, a huge performance in a win over UNLV at Las Vegas, taking over the No. 1 NCAA scorer's position statistically, and Tuesday's near-half-court buzzer-beater that topped ESPN's Top Ten plays of the day.
The day after, Fredette found himself on the national media interview circuit, including the Dan Patrick Show.
A topic of ESPN's Around the Horn, Bill Plaschke said Fredette "can't get his own shot." The Denver Post's Woody Paige says Fredette can — probably because Paige gets The mtn. network and Plaschke doesn't.
Fredette's performance Tuesday found a way to surpass its limited exposure on The mtn., which couldn't produce the game in high definition or provide significant distribution. None of the MWC's TV partners, Versus or CBS C, stepped up to air Tuesday's rivalry game featuring the All-American.
Versus aired an NHL game, and CBS C didn't broadcast a college hoops game.
That Fredette got a lot of play, regardless of his league's TV package, says a ton about the performance.
Fredette's 47 was remarkable on a lot of fronts. Here are some refreshers:
It placed him in BYU's elite "2,000 Career Points" club with Danny Ainge, Michael Smith and Devin Durrant.
It marked the highest scoring performance by a player in the Huntsman Center in 37 years.
No other BYU player had ever scored more than 35 in Utah's building. Fredette, with his draft status as a possible NBA first-round pick becoming a serious debate, had a school-record 32 at halftime, witnessed by 13 NBA scouts.
Fredette's halftime tally of 32 is more than any other MWC player had scored in a game at any time this season.
Fredette scored his 47 points in 35 minutes, or an average of 1.34 points per minute of playing time.
Fredette's 47, which could have been more than 50 and at least 49 if his dunk attempt had been successful, would be at least 50 percent of the scoring output average of every team in the MWC including BYU, which leads the league in scoring at 84 a game.
47 points is 63 percent of the average scoring per game of No. 6-ranked San Diego State and 69 percent of the average scoring of Air Force this season.
Fredette's 47 points made the Cougar point guard the nation's leading scorer in NCAA Division I basketball. In 18 games this season, Fredette is now averaging 26.1 ppg, ahead of UConn's Kemba Walker, who scored 18 points against Rutgers on Tuesday.
Durrant, who played at BYU from 1983 through 1989, says Fredette is more than welcome in the BYU's's 2,000-point club.
"He's a beautiful player," said Durrant. "He's welcomed with open arms. He might be breaking ground in what will be known as the 2,500-point club by the time he's done."
One part of the Fredette Show folks might not realize is he's in the 2,000-point club despite not starting as a freshman like the other three did. Fredette averaged seven points a game as a freshman, a point less than Smith, who had to give way to Durrant, who was a senior. "I got all Mike's shots when he was a freshman."
Durrant averaged 13.0 points a game as a freshman, Ainge 21.
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