Last season during the NCAA Tournament Jimmer Fredette captured the nation’s attention with his ability to shoot from anywhere on the court, finish in the paint, and drop buckets in bunches against any team in the country. BYU used the momentum from the NCAA Tournament win to get off to a great start this season and they haven’t looked back since. The Cougars are the number three team in the country and they have the National Player of the Year on their side so it makes them very dangerous.
As the regular season winds down, it’s becoming crystal clear that Jimmer is the best player in America and there is nobody that means more to his team than Fredette. While there are other players that can be dangerous for BYU, without Jimmer, the Cougars would be a team fighting just to get in the NCAA Tournament. Instead they have their sights set on a number one seed in March and a deep Tournament run.
Unfortunately BYU got some bad news that could have a huge impact on Final Four hopes this season. It was announced yesterday that their starting forward, Brandon Davies has been dismissed from the team for the remainder of the season because he violated the team’s Honor Code. This is a significant blow because Davies started 26 of their 29 games and was the team’s leading rebounder as well. Without him, the Cougars lose one of the few big men that they have on their roster and will be forced to play even more up-tempo than they do right now. The Cougars still have Jimmer on their side and while he gives them a fighting chance, this might be a loss that the Cougars won’t be able to recover from this late in the season.
Jimmer Fredette joined Into the Night with Tony Bruno to talk about the atmosphere this past weekend in San Diego, whether or not he thinks BYU will get a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament, what he thinks about people saying that BYU is just a one man team, whether or not he wants to play in the NBA, and what he has heard about his NBA Draft stock.
On the atmosphere this past weekend for the game against San Diego State
“It was a great atmosphere. Great college basketball arena to play in, their fans go crazy and are very passionate about San Diego State basketball. Their cheering section is great. They know everything about you and your teammates, they make big signs, and do all these things to try and distract you, so it’s just a lot of fun. It’s what you work hard for. To play at this level you want to play in those types of games. We were fortunate enough to play in one and get a big win.”
If he thinks BYU will get a number one seed:
“I think we’re right there in the conversation. We’re right there in the mix of maybe five, six, or seven teams that could get a number one seed. I don’t know if we’ve done quite enough yet. There’s some great teams ahead of us and it really depends how those big name teams do in their rest of the season and the conference tournament. Maybe if they lose early in their tournament and we win our tournament and win out, we might possibly get one. We’re just focused on one game at a time and if we can win this game against New Mexico next that will be big for us. We will move forward and worry about that when it comes.”
On BYU being more than just a one man team:
“Yeah we have a very good team. I think not a lot of people knew about that because they don’t see us nationally televised a lot. That was the first time I think that we have been on national TV this year so people could see our team and it was a great showcase to show that we have other guys on this team. It’s not just me. I’m definitely a big part of it, but I’m a willing passer and I know that a lot of times teams will double team me and we have guys that can make shots and make plays for themselves and that why we are 27 and 2. It’s not just a one man team and I’m glad that everyone can see that and knows that now.”
Whether or not he wants to play in the NBA:
Yeah definitely. That’s been a goal of mine ever since I was a young child. Now that it’s starting to come up pretty quickly, hopefully those dreams will come true. Just try to work as hard as I possibly can every single year and show everybody that I can play at any level and play against some of the best players. Hopefully a team will take a chance on me and I will be able to prove I can play well.”
What he has heard about his draft stock:
“I’ve heard many different things. I’ve heard lottery, mid first round, late first round and I think most people think I’m going to be in that first round area. I’m just really worried about finishing out the season right and finishing out and playing well for the rest of the season. If I can do that and go into the draft camps with a little bit of buzz then hopefully I will get picked as high as I can.”
Listen to Jimmer Fredette on Into the Night with Tony Bruno here (Audio begins 22:25 into the podcast)