Mike Sorensen: Is Jimmer Fredette the best to ever play in the state?

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  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    April 18, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    The state of Utah has been host to some awesome players. I did not begin to watch until forty years ago. I lived in the great white wilderness of Canada until 1968. Never saw Estes play. Too bad. Great player, wonderful human being. Ainge played on a very fine team. Jimmer's supporting cast was not to the same level as was Ainge's. So not a fair comparison. Back then teams used a box and one against Ainge. Didn't dare give him a double team as there were other weapons alongside Ainge. Give Jimmer the two big men who were on the bench with their size,(Collinsworth& Davies)then give him some consistent support on "O" and this is a NC quality team for sure. So now it's back to Jimmer and the original question whether he is the best ever to play in the State. Definitely top three for sure. As someone already stated his 2010/2011 season is EASILY the best single season EVER in the State of Utah.

  • Al Bundy murray, ut
    Feb. 1, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    I am a die hard Ute, and I will not bash Jimmer! It can be decided where he ranks later, He is a Stud! The Sports Center guys love him! Jim Rome loves him! I hope we hold him 30 points and the Utes pull a shocker! But in the real world, I will enjoy watchin him play

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    What about Michael Smith?

  • flyfish41 Ashton, Idaho
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    I knew Estes and he had 4 goals in life. To set the USU field house record - to score over 2000 points - to be first team all American and to play in the Olympics. Not only did Estes score 48 the last day of his life to set the field house record but he scored his 2001st point (before 3 point line era), he was named first team All American after his death and had already been selected to the Olympics. Had he lived he would have added several hundred points to his total. I have watched them all except McGill and IMO Estes was the best.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 9:15 a.m.


    I did not dispell BYU's 1984 national championship. I simply stated that BYU played the schedule they had just like Utah played the schedule they were given in 1944. I was cheering for BYU in that 1984 game but comments like yours make it hard for me to keep cheering for BYU.

    It is BYU fans that keep dispelling Utah's 1944 championship in the NCAA and subsequent victory over NIT Champ St. John's. I am only defending.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Feb. 1, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    It's impossible to say who among these players is THE BEST. The played in different eras and many of them played different positions.

    But here's what we know. Jimmer is the best shooter who's ever played in the state of Utah. Jimmer has the best cross over. Jimmer is the best at driving to the basket and either making the shot or drawing the foul or both. Jimmer is the best free throw shooter. Jimmer is the best player in the state of Utah this year. Jimmer is also the best at making ridiculous shots(other than the Harlem Globetrotters) that I've ever seen play the game.

  • J1234 Spanish Fork, Utah
    Feb. 1, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    I find it interesting that the same Utes that try to dispell BYU's 1984 National Championship, are those who hold so dearly to the 1944 NCAA championship. They say that 1984 was so long ago and we're living in the here and now, yet 40 years added to the equation means nothing to them.

    Jimmer Fredette does nothing but improve. He is obviously a special player and those who disagree are typically just trolls and downers. Really, the lame comments the Utes make about BYU and Fredette show more about them than they do about BYU and Fredette.

    GO BYU!

  • netmaster Farmington, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    Duckhunter, As for the best player to have been raised in Utah, add Greg Grant to your list. Look up his stats sometime, and you'll be amazed. He either led or was among the career leaders in almost every category in his conference, which included UNLV. He was fantastic as a rebounder, passer, ball stealer, shooter and defender. Never lost to BYU in eight tries. Lost to the NCAA champion UNLV rebels in overtime. In fact, never beat UNLV during the Rebels' glory years but usually lost by one or two points or in overtime or double overtime. Probably the best player to have played college ball in the state without an NBA career. Was considered too small for his position in the NBA and was drafted by Detroit when they had a full roster, which won NBA championships. Too bad. He was like Bird in that he was super smart and did all the little things right. He was kind of like Alex Jensen at Utah -- certainly capable of helping almost any NBA team but never really got the chance to show where overall playing ability really counts, which is during games and during crunch time.

  • larri3 Farmington, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    Brave Sir Robin, Andre Miller and Keith Van Horn did not average 25 ppg even as freshmen. Miller averaged 12.1 ppg in college, and Van Horn averaged 20 ppg over his college career. They were excellent players and might end up with better NCAA playoff records and NBA records, but Fredette is a better scorer as a college player, especially when you take out his freshman year, when he played less than half of each game on the average. He didn't start a single game as a freshman.

  • oldschool Farmington, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    In almost 50 years of college games I've seen in Utah the two most exciting players have been Cosic and Fredette. Best shooters: Fredette, Carroll, Ainge. Best scorers: Fredette, Estes, McGill, Grant, Nate Williams, Van Horn, Newlin, Ainge. Rebounders: Grant, Warner, M. Smith, Bogut, and Carroll and Miller as guards. Best defenders? Grant, Ainge, Emery, Jensen, Price. Ball handler: Fredette, Oscar Williams, Miller. Best passer: Miller, Cosic, Jeff Tebbs. Blocker: Bradley, Bogut.

    What sets Fredette apart is ball handling. He is among the best ever, and that would include Nash, Stockton, Thomas, Curly Neal, DWill and CP3. He is still young and will continue to make mistakes, but I bet he ends up with a higher assist to turnover ratio than Darren Williams. He would have been the best ball handler on the court last night in Bobcats vs. Jazz. He will pass more in the pros, and will have a chance to show his passing skills. He's actually a very good passer even today. I've watched him carefully on defense, and he is quick, plays good position D but obviously doesn't want to foul out.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 7:43 a.m.


    I noticed you didn't challenge the fact that Utah played and beat the best team that year recruited and created by the Navy in Dartmouth College. We all know from BYU's 1984 national championship that you play the schedule you are given. Only in this case Dartmouth College was a formidable foe made up of the top players in the east brought there by the Navy.

    Utah then played the NIT champs, St. John's. The national media especially the eastern newspapers billed the game as the national title game. It was played in Madison Square Garden before 18,000 fans. It carried all the hype of a BCS national title game. The players and coaches certainly treated it as such. Utah beat St. John's. Are you satisfied now or is someone else going to challenge a great college basketball accomplishment?

    And yes, I have been to many tournaments including a final four.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 11:48 p.m.


    So beating one good team out of seven was all it took to get invited to and win an NCAA tournament in 1944?

    "Explain to me how a red cross benefit game would differ from a tourney game in terms of intensity and competition"

    How you ever been to the Maui Classic, the Great Alaska Shootout, or the Cancun Challenge?

    Now compare those pre-season tournaments to today's NCAA Tournament and you'll understand the vast difference between a charity game and a championship tourney game.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    A little note about Utah's 1944 NCAA and 1947 NIT Championships:

    Back in the day, the NCAA wasn't what it is today -- the NIT was actually more prestigious. in 1944 the Utes LOST in the NIT and were picked as a last minute replacement for the NCAA tournament, which they won. In 1947 the Utes won the NIT with many of the same players which won the 1944 NCAA, some of whom had returned from the war as someone previously stated.

    The trolls who constantly tout the 1944 NCAA Championship generally know little of this, illustrating the limitations of comparing eras. One, few have actually seen the players from the different eras. Two, the game advances. Players from later eras generally have better ball-handling and shooting skills and run faster and jump higher. Often, however, they have a lower basketball IQ and despite their better skills are not necessarily better players.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:29 p.m.


    "And the few teams that remained were composed mostly of freshman and sophomores because all of the upper-classmen were off fighting a world war."

    Again, that was true of Utah in 1944 but not of Dartmouth College. Did you even read my posts? Dartmouth was turned into a training Center by the Navy and had most of the talented upper classmen from the east ordered there to train and play their sport. Dartmouth was a formidable foe in 1944. Utah beat them to win the 1944 NCAA championship.

    Explain to me how a red cross benefit game would differ from a tourney game in terms of intensity and competition and the will to win and the pride to be the winners when Utah beat the NIT champs in 1944. I think you want to denigrate Utah's accomplishment so much that you will do anything to explain it away.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:09 p.m.

    I have to laugh......those who have never made a basket in their entire life are posting...NO Jimmer is not the best ever.......LOL


    Jimmer is the best this state has ever seen....

    Better than Ainge, Vranes, Bogut, Nemelka, McGill, Newlin, Van Horn, Congdon, Miller, Nate the Skate, Bradley...... and even Wayne Estes who was considered the best player in the nation averaging 26 pts a game and who scored 49 pts a few days before being electrocuted.....Estes was 1st team All American along with four other names you might be familiar with unless you have never made a basket in your life?.... Rick Barry, Bill Bradley, Gail Goodrich and Cazzie Russel...

    But there is no doubt, Waybe Estes was the best ever....Until Now! Now Fredette earns that distiction, flatout, hands down, no agruments......

  • Duh west jordan, ut
    Jan. 31, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    I think Brave Sir Robin said it best that this may be the best single season ever but not the best player ever but even that is suspect. Even though I love BYU and Jimmer is fun to watch, Danny Ainge or Andre Miller were two players that really showed what a great player is. As for those comparing Jimmer to how well someone has played in the NBA, that is not fair. We won't even know that until he has played. I am sure no one thought John Stockton could play in the NBA at the level in which he did but, Frank Layden saw something that no one else did and look what happened. Let's just focus on today and quit speculating about what will happen at the next level. If Jimmer took BYU to the final four or better, then the argument can be had as the best season only. Until then...........

  • Y4LYFE Lubbock, TX
    Jan. 31, 2011 7:10 p.m.

    Easily at least the last 30 years.

  • Duckhunter American Fork, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    I hope pebbles doesn't read your post CG because he has been clinging to that 1944 tourney like it was the holy grail. This could seriously damage his self esteem.

  • CG Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 5:16 p.m.


    The Utes accepted the NIT bid, because the NIT tournament was the older and more prestigious tournament.

    The fact that Utah LOST to Kentucky in the opening round makes it irrelevant that the Utes beat the NIT champion in an EXHIBITION game with no championship on the line.

    Utah's ENTIRE schedule for 1944:

    Idaho State 54-43
    at Colorado College 48-34
    at Idaho State 52-40

    Kentucky 38-46

    NCAA Tournament
    Missouri 45-35
    Iowa State 40-31
    Dartmouth (OT) 42-40

    Utah didn't even win a conference championship in 1944, because there was no conference for them to play in because everybody else, like BYU, had suspended their basketball programs.

    And the few teams that remained were composed mostly of freshman and sophomores because all of the upper-classmen were off fighting a world war.

  • Duckhunter American Fork, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    Jimmer is a great college basketball player and deserves to be in the conversation. That's really good enough. But of course he isn't a product of this state anymore than Ainge is or Estes, Kosic, McGill or Smith. All played college ball here but aren't from here.

    To me there are two condidates for best basketball player to ever come from this state. Danny Vranes and Devin Durrant. Neither had much of an NBA career but that really doesn't matter. Vranes was an absolutely unbeleivable high school player as was Durrant. I've never seen two better than those 2. They have my tie vote.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    Can I follow with Mr. Sorenson's premise, that there is a "best" player in the history of college basketball?

    Who is the "best" player in Utah Jazz history?

    Who is the "best" player in Laker history?

    Who is the best player in "Celtic History"?

    Wno is the best NFL player ever?

    Who is the best NBA player ever...

    I do wish that Mr. Sorensen would worry who is the best newspaper sportswriter ever, because then he couls carry that person's notepad....

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    Jan. 31, 2011 4:37 p.m.

    Best player ever. Gino Torretta won the Heisman because his team was undefeated and he wasn't even close. Team does not = player. Many great players do/have not had great supporting casts. What is the players abilities. A player can be great and have a hard time of it simply due to the supporting cast. How many "mediocre" college players end up in the Hall of Fame. Before you attack or praise a player in a team sport look at his team. I knew a coach once to say that if he had one other player he could beat any team in the state. He had one great player but no support. I'm not saying Jimmer is the best and I'm not saying he's not. I'm saying look at the player and his abilities. I also don't think you can compare from years gone by.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    cynic | 8:21 a.m.
    Appleton, WI
    What is the obsession with declaring everyone and everything "the best" at this or "the best" at that?



    I wondered the same thing when Mr. Sorensen declared the Utah football team of 2008 "the best in the history of the state of Utah"...

    Without even bringing up other schools, I said then I thought the 2004 team was better.

    Why compare? Why not enjoy?

    Fredette backed up a solid PG in Ben Murdock his freshman year.

    Miller had Doleac, and was a heck of a rebounder.

    Ainge had a good PG in Steve Craig.

    Cosic was a PG in a long body.

    I would guess that Mr. Sorenson is getting tired of "Jimmermania" is because he (I guessing here) never stepped foot on a field or court, put in the time and effort these athletes do, or dealt with the physical and emotional strain of season-long competiton. That's why I take Dave Fox with a grain of salt.

    When Vai writes a blog about who is the best football player out of Utah, I'll pay attention.

    But Hedge, uteology, utahcountyute, ChrisB, you kids get the hate on the street...

  • TheSpiker Alpine, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 4:10 p.m.


    I agree 100% with you. I am as big a fan of Jimmer as anyone, but I grow tired of the constant comparisons and the need for absolutes.

    It is good enough for me that he is in the conversation for POY and that he is fun to watch.

    But, it does give something for the ute trolls to complain about, so it isn't all bad I guess.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Jan. 31, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    @79 Ute

    Have to concede...you are right... It was Denver Univ in Nelson Fieldhouse in Logan. I did see him in the old Smith Field house where he scored over 30 points twice in a tournament. One was for 37 or 39 points. I do remember the night he was killed and that it was his best game ever. Sorry I should have taken the time to touch up on the facts. Yes 45 years ago does get a little cloudy. But the date was right...and he was as good as they say he was. There's no denying that.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 3:38 p.m.


    Check your history. The Navy had converted the Dartmouth campus into a training base, making it home to such basketball stars as Cornell's Bob Gale, Fordham's Walter Mercer and NYU's Harry Leggat, as well as future NBA guard Dick McGuire, who after playing in 16 games as a St. John's freshman received his orders from the Navy and immediately suited up for the Indians. In 1944 Utah was invited to both the NIT and the NCAA tournaments. They selected the NIT because it was held in Madison Square Garden and the tournament paid all their expenses. Utah lost in the first round and was headed home when the NCAA called and said they needed a replacement team for Arkansas because two Arkansas players had been killed in an automobile accident. Utah accepted and won the NCAA by beating Dartmouth. Three days later Utah played the NIT Champion in a benefit game sponsored by the Red Cross and beat the NIT Champs.

  • uteBusters Park City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 3:10 p.m.


    lol at Utah's 1944 NCAA "championship"

    The Utes were only 6-1 against actual college teams in 1944 and got destroyed by Kentucky in the real national championship tournament of the day -- the NIT.

  • Skippy West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 2:38 p.m.


  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    Billy McGill scored 60 without the benefit of a 3-point line or shot clock.
    Jimmer is GREAT, no doubt about it, but he's not the best college player in the history of the State.
    He can score in college but that doesn't mean that ability will translate to the NBA game. It will be fun to watch though.

  • b2b Ogden, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    He may be the 'best' but his team sure isn't good. Where was the team on saturday....Jimmer was there. If you look at the statistics from the San D. game he had NO assists! Who else plays for BYU??? Jimmer, but there is no J, F or I in TEAM!!

  • 79Ute Irvine, CA
    Jan. 31, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    Memories sometimes betray us. Wayne Estes died in Logan, not Provo, after a game against the University of Denver.

    In your list of standout players in Utah, don't forget Mike Newlin. He averaged 23+ points and 7+ rebounds a year at Utah.

  • MJB Tooele, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    Many things have been noted here about the three point shot and that the pre-Ainge era banned freshmen from playing on the varsity team. Had those that played prior to Ainge been able to play for 4 years like the others, the scoring champ would have one of them, not Van Horn. They were all great players, but to me the one that I remember most as being the best would have to be Estes. Jimmer is good, but not best by any means.

  • bikelehi Lehi, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    What about Kresimir Cosic?

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Jan. 31, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    Feb 8 1965. That's a night that I'll never forget... watching Wayne Estes a Sr. 6'6" Forward for Utah State score 48 points and 3 hours later hearing on KOVO radio that he had died from electrocution while a bystander at the aftermath of a traffic accident just off the Y intersection on University Avenue. He was the best...there was no doubt. Even today 45 years later he's compared with Pete Maravich as one of the best all time in NCAA history. They said at the time after he was killed that if he had only been a couple of inches shorter he would have never grazed that power line. Give Fredette credit but Wayne Estes was one of the most complete and balanced players ever to play College Basketball. The NBA actually honorably drafted him in Memorium that year. It was really a sad time in Utah sports History.


  • TheMuss sandy, ut
    Jan. 31, 2011 11:50 a.m.

    Don't like BYU never have never will. However, Jimmer is doing a fantastic job and is a great ball player. The problem however with all the so called great BYU players is none of them have done great in the NCAA tournament. If Jimmer can lead his team then he will go down as a great basketball player. Andre Miller is the man though, no second to him.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    Dutchman - I know, painful. But it was great to see the 1960 team at halftime.

  • cla Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    He's a great, great player...but until he takes his team to the national championship game, comes within 10 minutes of winning a national title (against Kentucky), and then goes on to play over 10 years as a starting point guard in the NBA, I'll take Andre Miller. Anyone remember the triple double he had in the tournament against that great Arizona team? When Jimmer does all those things, I'll declare him the best ever. Till then, Andre's the man.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 11:03 a.m.


    I agree with your assessment. We should also bring Jerry Chambers into this discussion. He led Utah to the final four in 1966 and was the NCAA Tournament MVP. Utah, BYU and Utah State have had some great players. I particularly liked to watch Cosic and Ainge on the BYU side but of course Jimmer is terrific. The rule of thumb has always been that it takes three NBA type players to get to the NCAA final and/or win the title. I believe BYU has the one NBA player in Jimmer but that is it. So, probably a run to the elite 8 would more than meet expectations.

    By the way UU32, I am coming around to your way of thinking about Boylen. After a week of preparation and he can't win a home game. What is with that? When it comes down to the final possessions to win a game Boylen doesn't set it up to put the ball in the hands of the right player. Where was Clyburn at the end?

    Many of those frosh and sophs from 1944 entered the War and then came back in 1947 to win the NIT.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 31, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    As a Utah fan, I can say without reservation that Jimmer is having the best SINGLE SEASON anybody in the state has ever had.

    If we're talking about entire college career, it's not even close. Miller and Van Horn both put up 25 ppg as freshmen and continued it throughout their 4 years.

  • carman Alpine, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    Don't know if Jimmer is the "best", but he is loads better than the blue haters on this board. At least he is positive and making the world beter rather than tearing it down. No props to the haters...

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    You may be right, but this is a classic chicken or the egg debate. Why would Aggie fans even come to this site? The Tribune is still bad, but miles ahead of the DNews. The coverage is a joke, and when they do cover them, they get no respect.
    I just think that most people know this is BYU's paper.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:46 a.m.

    Not even close. Ainge had a much better NBA career than Jimmer will.
    Utah has several players who had and are having better NBA careers. Andre scored 55 in a game just last season. Wake me up when Jimmer gets anywhere near that.

  • MacNasty Rexburg, ID
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    In considering scoring, one must remember that the shot clock was initiated in college basketball during the '85 '86 season forcing offenses to shoot the ball. This is another factor to consider when comparing offensive stats of players throughout the years.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    Dutchman - great comments on the 1944 team. I also know you have the historical context of this discussion - Would you say that I have a fair comparison in Jimmer and Ticky Burden? Great scorers, need to dominate the ball and a defensive liability? Just curious.

  • Mount Olympus Holladay, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:14 a.m.

    I would actually say that the competition in college basketball is worse than it was 10 or 20 years ago.

    If players are any good they'll leave and go to the NBA. There are a lot more players now that leave after 1 or 2 seasons.

    It used to be that you had to be very, very good to leave early. Competition in college is not what it once was.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    Ainge was not only better than Jimmer, but far better at BYU. He was tenacious on both ends of the court. Scored more efficiently that Jimmer - even without the 3 point line. Don't get me wrong, I think Jimmer is absolutely incredible. I love watching him shoot - I even applauded him when he beat my Utes. But he's not nearly as great as Ainge.
    Van Horn was great, but also had the benefit of playing with numerous other NBA talents, including Andre who is in the running in this conversation as well.
    I'd put Jimmer somewhere along the same lines as Luther "Ticky" Burden at the U. An amazing scorer (28.7 ppg before the 3 pt line) who captured America's admiration (leading Team USA scorer until Kevin Durrant came along), but was a defensive liability and had to dominate the ball to be effective.
    McGill was unbelievable.
    Bogut was great but left early.
    Kresmir Cosic was an international legend
    Estes was awesome too.
    Chambers and Vranes were a national story.
    Even if Jimmer takes the Cougs to the Final Four, it would be really tough to call him the best.

  • MESOUTE Albany, NY
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    Lots of short memories in the press corps but the comments on this board are pretty honest. Being a great basketball player is much more than being a great scorer. Bogut made everyone around him better.
    He dominated both ends of the floor. He affected the game in more ways than scoring.The consumate teammate. Andre Miller and Keith Van Horn were also incredible basketball players. Van Horn would defer to Miller and Miller to Van Horn. And Travis Hansen was a heck of a player. He made his teammates better. I don't see that one bit with Jimmer, although I concede he is lethal on the offensive end. His defense leaves much desired.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    If Jimmer takes his team to the NC game on his back, we might have a discussion.

    That's what Andre Miller did and he is not even considered the best to have ever played at the U.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    Go Big Blue!!!

    I used to wonder why you guys get ignored so much by the Utah papers as well, because you have been consistently good for a while now. But then I went over to the Aggie board and saw that hardly anyone comments there. Newspapers write articles for the people who read the paper. Get your fellow Aggies to read and comment more and you'll probably get more coverage.

    Good luck with the rest of your season.

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    It is nice to see Estes mentioned. He is certainly one of the best. Extremely sad story. He had the game of his life and then died tragically trying to help others.
    I will echo what others have said. Jimmer is fantastic, but not the best. If he takes them deep in the tournament, you can revisit the subject. But I still think he would fall behind a few others.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    McGill posted his numbers when there was no 3 point shot and freshman couldn't play. He put 60 points on BYU in the Smith Fieldhouse on February 24, 1962. He was also the NBA's number one pick that year.


    I hope that you are not disrespecting Utah's 1944 championship. If you are, I suggest that you read up on it. Because of the War many programs like Utah had to rely on freshman players because the upper classmen were at War and the freshman and sophs were waiting to go. The Military set up training camps at some Universities and ordered the best athletes there to train and play their sport. Utah was not one of them. The Navy set up training and virtually took over Dartmouth College ordering some of the best college basketball players from other schools in the east to go there. Dartmouth inherited a great basketball team in 1944 thanks to the Navy. Utah and its freshman beat Dartmouth for the 1944 NCAA championship.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    Who is the best? I don't know but enjoy it when he is still around and who knows what going to happen when ncaa comes around. Come on, blame it on ncaa for putting in 3's, no foul boddy contact and shot clock. Who knows ncaa going to allow first time 4 pointers beyound 40 footers. Get a life and enjoy it and I think today is the day SI going to release about Jimmer and T.J.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Jan. 31, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    How could anyone consider such a defensive liability the "best"?

    Put it this way, if jimer was an "average" shooter he would not be playing D1 basketball.

    Now, if you want to rank the states best shooter of all time maybe jimer should be in the discussion.

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    I generally agree with the story that Jimmer will not go down as the greatest to ever lace them up in UT. He can't compete with Van Horn, Miller, or Ainge until they go to at least the elite eight. But man, he is fun to watch and I am going to savor watching him and the Cougs this year. Enjoy the moment.

    Good comment on the three's for Estes and Ainge. a three point line could have put those scoring numbers beyond reach forever.

    Go Cougs. Come back from the loss at the Pit and show us what you are made of.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    Wow, throw 47 on the Utes and you can generate some vicious hatred.

    You cannot compare generations. The 3 point shot did not exist and offenses are run differently now because of it. McGill was "only" 6'9"" and while great size back then, may have been undersized now. Estes was incredible, but may not be quick enough now. Van Horn, Cosic, both Chambers, Miller were all really good. Athletes are better now. Lets just say that Jimmer is really good and enjoy the show.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    All scoring numbers are misleading because many of these players did not have the 3 point shot, for gunners like Ainge and Estes it may have changed things.

    Estes, had he lived, would possibly have been the leader.

  • cynic Appleton, WI
    Jan. 31, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    What is the obsession with declaring everyone and everything "the best" at this or "the best" at that? How can you accurately compare different basketball players who played against different competition in completely different eras?

    Can't we just agree that Jimmer is a gifted and exciting player, capable of doing just about anything on a basketball floor? He'll only play in Provo 5 more times. Can't we just enjoy it while it lasts?

    Let history compare these players 20 or 30 or 50 years from now. When it does, we'll be able to write to the Deseret News and say we actually saw Jimmer play. That will be the time to reflect on our memories. Now is the time to be making them.

  • MESOUTE Albany, NY
    Jan. 31, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    Jimmer is a great scorer. Jimmer is a great scorer. Once again, Jimmer is a great scorer. Jimeer is NOT a great basketball player. Assists versus SDSU last week? ZERO. Can he rebound? NO. Can he distribute and create FOR his teammates? NO. Jimmer is a fantastic scorer and he will stick in the NBA for a few years. But I wouldn't even put him in my top 15 players all time in the state of Utah. I wish Jimmer all the success in the world, but that is my view.

  • Balan West Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    Yes - from an individual standpoint, no one at BYU, Utah or USU has ever had a season comparable to what Jimmer is having - NO ONE. And this comes from a huge Ainge fan.

    BYU is not the best team to ever come out of the state of Utah - not even close. However, Jimmer is the best player and has the chance to lead this team to places no BYU team has gone before.

    We shall see.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 7:28 a.m.

    Another day another Jimmer article. It would be nice if there was just one non-AP article about the Aggies,who will move up in the national rankings today.

  • Resolute Voice Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 7:10 a.m.

    He might be if he takes BYU to the Final Four or Elite Eight. That is the where the bar has been set. So until then he is just very, very good.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Jan. 31, 2011 7:03 a.m.

    Does it really matter if the team once again doesn't advance beyond the 2nd round in the tourney? Short of doing that, the BYU haters will continue to mock and hurl their venomous insults! Reach the Sweet 16, or better yet the Final Four, or the Championship game, and all else will be fine, including the scoring title, because by then, Jimmer would have by passed everybody else on record. Go Cougars!!!

  • What's up? Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 5:50 a.m.

    Not even near "best ever" in state. not sure he in top 5 at BYU. All he does is score and we know that doesn't mean win,

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2011 3:05 a.m.

    Nope.. BYWho basketball has never won anything, Untill they can meet the U's 1944?? championship.. they or who is the best!

  • Cougarbib2 Honolulu, HI
    Jan. 31, 2011 2:15 a.m.

    I well remember Wayne Estes as a player and his tragic death when he stopped to help others after a traffic accident only to be electrocuted by a downed power line iirc. A great guy and a great player. When Billy "The Hill" McGill played at Utah, I was too young to be aware - no internet and no tv for me back then. But I heard his name echoing around for many years after that. All great players as are the others you listed. Many others were great - Jerry Chambers, Merv "The Magician" Jackson, and a few others in SLC and down in Provo as well. But Jimmer is already up in the elite group you named and it is way too early to tell how far he will climb - maybe to the very top.