SALT LAKE CITY — Former BYU guard and scoring sensation Jimmer Fredette was back in Utah Friday night, as his current team, the Sacramento Kings, beat the Jazz 104-103.
Fredette was excited to be playing back in Utah again.
"It's a special place for me, obviously for the last four years and always will be," he said.
The 16 minutes Fredette played were more than he has been playing lately, but he doesn't believe it was because of the support he gets in Utah. Fredette said Kings' coach Keith Smart would play him if he felt Fredette can help the team.
Fredette only gave the Kings four points, and missed two of his famous 3-pointers, but he said he tries to have a short memory and tries to focus on the next play instead of dwelling on the last.
Fredette said Smart supports him and that he is learning a lot from him.
"(Smart) says I'll be a great player in this league. Just to stay patient and to stay with it," Fredette said. "He knows it can be frustrating, but to keep playing, keep working hard, and that is what I've been doing."
Smart is in only his second season as an NBA head coach, but he feels that he and his young team are heading in the right direction.
"I just try to keep my entire basketball team ready to play," Smart said "I want to always have every guy ready to play."
Fredette is doing everything he can to be ready for when Smart calls his name. He didn't expect to get a lot of playing time when he came into the NBA.
"Eventually, I think things will get where I get more playing time, but right now it's just buying your time; trying to work as hard as you can," said Fredette.
He said he has been getting better at defense and staying in front of his man, as well as getting better coming off of ball-screens and keeping his dribble alive.
This wasn't Fredette first time playing the Jazz in Utah. Last time they met the Fredette had a chance to score a game-winning shot but missed. This time he is just happy the Kings won.
"We just really needed a win," Fredette said, "We lost some really close games so we really wanted to win this one."
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