Jimmer Q&A: Fredette on 'fun' trip to Utah, BYU hoops, his playing time, struggling Kings and more
SALT LAKE CITY — Jimmer Fredette is back in the state where he became a household name with his sensational shooting and fun play with BYU's basketball team.
Interestingly, Fredette's Kings are in Utah, his college state, after playing Saturday in his home state of New York against the Kings.
"New York to Utah, yep. It's funny," the native of Glens Falls, N.Y., said. "But it's been a good trip."
Fredette's wife Whitney thrilled him with a surprise visit to Utah in time for a Super Bowl party on the Kings' day off Sunday.
Another fun moment?
"I was happy for Dennis Pitta, a BYU guy," he said, smiling about the TD the tight end caught in the Ravens' 34-31 over the Niners.
Of course, the former BYU standout hopes tonight will be a continuation of an otherwise fun trip back to his old stomping grounds.
The Jazz (26-22) and Kings (17-32) tip off at 7 p.m. at EnergySolutions Arena, where the inconsistently used Sacramento guard will be greeted with his usual chorus of boos and cheers whenever he steps onto the court.
This morning, Fredette took time after the Kings' shootaround session to discuss a wide variety of topics with Utah media — from his team's struggles, his hit-and-miss opportunities to BYU's basketball team and his old teammate, Tyler Haws.
— What are the emotions like when you play in EnergySolutions Arena and come back to Utah?
"It's always fun. I always have a great time coming back, seeing friends and family and familiar faces, just with the BYU crowd and people that you have learned to love the last four years that I was in college. It's always an exciting time. I'm glad to be back again. Hopefully, this time we'll be able to come out with a win."
— How are you doing? It's been a struggle to get minutes (14.2 mpg) and consistent playing time:
"It still has been, but I'm biding my time and trying to play the best I can when I get the opportunity, working hard everyday in practice and in the games and doing what I can when I get on the floor and trying to help the team as much as I can. I feel like I'm confident and progressing as a player, but hopefully at some point we'll continue to get more minutes and have more of a role."
— The Jazz just played former Weber State star Damian Lillard and saw how well he's doing. Does it give you hope or make you frustrated to see guys have early success like that when you had success against them in college:
"I still have a lot time, I think, in this league. People take different paths. Everybody who comes out of college is a big-time player and then they take different paths in the NBA, whether they're a guy that develops slower and has a better career later or if the guy starts playing well right away.
"Obviously, Damian's been playing really well right away (in Portland), getting a lot of minutes and shooting the ball well, leading that team and doing a great job of it. And, myself (I'm) trying to find more minutes. That happens. You can't get frustrated. You've got to stay the course, continue to progress and I know I'll have my time."
— On what's happening with the Kings, who've lost seven of eight and are 17-32: "It's been a tough road. Teams go through that during the season. It's our turn right now. The biggest thing to get out of it is for us to play as a team, move the ball and play for each other. If we do that, we play well. But at times we get away from it. When we get into a hole, I think sometimes we move one-on-one too much. We need to try to stay away from that as much as we can."
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