Jimmer Fredette’s victory tour is now complete. BYU’s senior scoring sensation collected his sixth postseason award Friday night – this time it was the Wooden Award – making him the consensus player of the year. (Kemba Walker will have to console himself with the national title and the MOP.)
Guess Jimmermania lived up to the hype.
Fredette, a guy hoopheads knew but could rarely watch (unless you subscribed to The Mtn), wowed us this season with his ridiculous shooting range and superb scoring efforts (15 30-point games and four 40-point games). He scored the most points in a season (1,068) since Glenn Robinson broke 1,000 back in 1994 and led the Cougars (32-5) to their best season ever. Everywhere you turned, there was a Fredette story.
“I definitely enjoyed the ride,” he told reporters Friday. “I had a great time being with my coaches and my teammates. It was the most fun I ever had in my life.”
The fun came from how the nation embraced Fredette.
Who else could’ve inspired rap songs, countless features and a social media network coming to his defense? Every week brought about some new Jimmer craze, and he usually responded by scoring oodles and oodles of points.
He’s gotten so big, he can’t even go to class. His mere prescene is too disruptive.
It wasn’t just fans embracing him, either. Clyde Drexler couldn’t wait to meet him. Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley both expressed delight at watching Fredette (and pumped up his NBA prospects a bit). It was hard not to love a guy who seemingly couldn’t miss, even though he seemingly shot the ball every time.
And now … the Jimmer ride is over. He belongs to the NBA.
With any luck, he’ll enter a situation similar to what Steph Curry – the last true college craze among guards who couldn’t miss – has in Golden State. A place where he can run the show, grow as a point guard and still produce a memorable game or two.
If not? If this is the best we’ll ever see Fredette? Well, we’ll always have YouTube.
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