Dick Harmon: Jimmer Fredette has a chance to impress NBA scouts
"He's in very good shape now," Taft said of Fredette. "It wasn't that way after the season. It took about two weeks before he could really work out like he needed to.
"We had a workout yesterday, and he's doing fantastic, really looking sharp.
He's going to be in good shape going into the combine.
"I didn't have access to him in college like I did when he was growing up. I worked with him in the summer times. We worked on technique, the progressions and building back up his multidirectional speed and lateral quickness, his retreat-back move and acceleration. It's all technique based. He's already a very good athlete."
In postseason sessions, Taft added ball handling and shooting drills and perfected Fredette's angles and cuts. "It's a process," Taft said. "It varies from day to day."
Taft said Fredette's impressive height and balance off his shot speaks for itself, but his vertical isn't his strength and doesn't matter. "He can get to the square above the rim. I don't remember what his vertical measured at, but I wouldn't be concerned, it is good enough and it isn't a big part of his game to finish at the rim."
"His game is skill with the ball. Balance, quickness, agility, body control, movement, creating angles and his quickness in execution. It isn't a primary focus to get his vertical 2 or 3 more inches; it does help as a by-product by the training we do."
Another area Taft believes Fredette will impress in is his strength. Combine invitees will be tested on how many reps players can press 185 pounds.
"Jimmer did that 13 times without even practicing, and that's as good as most guards will do," said Taft.
"Jimmer is extremely strong. When he puts his shoulder into somebody, he is solid and it's hard to move him off his line. He has always been naturally strong. He's not the kind of player who is going to dunk over people. He's not going to get any taller, so we have to increase his abilities in other areas. He has big shoulders, he's thick and he didn't always lift weights until he got to BYU. When they test him, he will be impressive."
"Excellent," is how Fredette put his preparedness on Friday. "Lee has gotten me in great shape, and I am definitely ready for the combine."
Jimmer credits his uncle for the agility and moves.
"Lee has helped me with my quickness, speed, body control and my core balance so I was able to get to the basket when I wanted to. He worked a lot on lateral moves with me. He has taught me how to move more efficiently, taught me how to take good angles on my cuts, and helped me with a quick start and to be able to stop on a dime and keep my balance to shoot."
"I wouldn't be where I am today without him. He's the person who made me move as well as I do."
Fredette will join SDSU's Malcolm Thomas and Kawhi Leonard from the MWC at this week's affair in Chicago.
After the last workout together in Provo on May 10, Taft told Jimmer he'd worked for this NBA moment all his life and he was extremely excited for him.
"If you know Jimmer, he isn't a guy who says a lot. He looked at me and said, 'You've got that right. I've been waiting for this day a long, long time.'
"So, he's ready. He's put himself in a position to do well. He's only going to get better. He's going to show people all the facets of his game, and it will be fun."
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