"In Florida, because it's SEC country, everybody compares him to Pete Maravich because the old-timers remember Pete coming into Gainesville and scoring 50 points a game."
Bianchi said college fans in Florida are very aware of who Jimmer is and all the celebrity that surrounds him.
"Jimmer is kind of a mythical figure in college basketball," he said. "It's good for the game because there aren't that many people in college basketball that people know and people embrace.
"Jimmer Fredette is a great story. Gator fans remember him from last year when he scored 37 on them and knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament. But they respect him and they love watching the guy play."
Bianchi said the NCAA Tournament is great because people who have not seen Fredette play in a game finally can tune in and watch what he does and see what they've been reading about and seeing in clips here and there.
"It's a shame that college basketball has become such a three- or four-week sport (at this time of year) and this is when you can really see many of these players and get to know them," Bianchi said. "The TV contracts, the glut of games and games out West make it so we really don't get to see him much back East in Florida."
And it's true.
Too bad college football doesn't have a playoff like this.
Can you imagine the stories, the intensity, the focus on athletes and the games?
For instance, while Rose and Fredette were answering questions about the demands on Jimmer and his teammates this season, somewhere between Houston and New Orleans, Jimmer's family, including his father Al and brother T.J., were driving to New Orleans in Jimmer's car. In a few months, Jimmer could be a multi-millionaire.
But this week?
The Fredettes couldn't afford to fly.
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