Tag:Jimmer Fredette
Posted on: January 26, 2011 5:50 pm

Tonight is Jimmer's night to become a star

Posted by MATT JONES

Tonight is a huge night for Jimmer Fredette. Yes, his BYU Cougars have a chance to make a national splash and beat one of the two remaining undefeated teams left in college basketball. And if you ask Fredette, I am sure he will say that winning is his focus and helping his team take an early lead in the Mountain West Conference is all that is on his mind. That is all fine and dandy. But more importantly for my purposes, tonight is about something much bigger than which team wins the first of two battles in the MWC. See to me, tonight is about one thing and one thing only…making Jimmer Fredette a national star.

Jimmer is on the cusp of reaching the tipping point for stardom at this very moment. After a string of absurd scoring games and a set of highlights that have dazzled (the three he hit from 32 feet in the flow of the offense on Saturday has already become YouTube gold), Jimmer has grabbed the attention of most college basketball fans. The mainstream media is now ready to shift gears from the NFL to college basketball and thus they have also gotten a sniff of the gift that is Jimmer Fredette. It is rare for any college player to find himself the featured interview on PTI in January, and with his Tuesday appearance, we can’t exactly say that Jimmer is unknown.

But even with the rising attention, he still hasn’t yet entered the average sports’ fan collective consciousness. To the average sports fan whose main interest in college basketball is March Madness, the names on the front of the jersey matter much more than those on the back. It is very rare for any player to get national appeal until the brackets are announced in March, and those that do prior to Tournament time are usually something special. Last year, John Wall reached star status early and ended up the eighth most searched athlete in all of sports for the year, thanks to his dazzling early performances and obvious professional potential. But that is rare. College basketball is usually a one-month sport to the average fan and its players are transferrable, rarely becoming household names, especially this early.

But Jimmer is on the cusp of changing that. With his uncanny ability to score and Maravichian flair, sports fans are starting to wonder what is happening in Utah and collectively, Jimmer Fredette is becoming the medium to begin following this college basketball season. There is a buzz around tonight’s San Diego State-BYU game in the sporting world at large and it centers around getting a glance at the underground Jimmer hype. With no games on ESPN or CBS, BYU has been under the national radar, but this game has the attention of all sports fans. Have a big game tonight and Fredette is headed towards the most mainstream attention for a non-BCS league player since Adam Morrison. Throw up a dud and he will lose the average fan until March arrives.

BYU and San Diego State fans care about tonight’s epic battle because it is the biggest game on their favorite team’s schedule. College basketball fans are ready to see two heavyweights go to battle and determine whether they can hang with the big boys in March. But for the average sports fan, tonight’s game on the CBS College Sports Network is about seeing whether the exciting guard with the funny name is worth all the buzz they have been hearing. Both San Diego State and BYU can survive a loss tonight and still chase conference and national glory. But for Jimmer, tonight is about becoming a star. As a Fredette fan from way back, my fingers are crossed. Having the spotlight on college basketball is always good….tonight is the time for Jimmer to seize it.

Posted on: January 12, 2011 12:00 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 10:35 am

Jimmer scored 47. Will you now please watch him?

Posted by MATT JONES

Jimmer had 47 tonight, eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for his career and, chances are, virtually none of you saw it. I have already expressed my Rick Majerus-sized man-crush on Jimmer Fredette on this blog before, but I am not sure that people are truly getting the message. 

Because the Mountain West has a conference television contract that seemingly only puts its games on The Food Network, the Mountain Friends and Family Network and C-Span 3, finding a BYU game on television is only slightly easier than finding an admitted Rafael Palmeiro Hall of Fame voter.  The league’s games are not on regular college basketball channels and thus viewers simply forget they exist.

But you as a college basketball fan must go the extra mile to watch Jimmer play .  Take tonight’s effort, in which Fredette scored 47 points on the road at rival Utah, and put up a dazzling array of moves that had some excitable folks on Twitter recalling the days of a guy named Maravich.  Jimmer scores so many different ways and so easily, that at times you lose track of what you are watching.  He can beat you with the three, take you off the dribble, catch and release quickly or simply drop an assist that leaves you shaking your heard.  On Tuesday, he scored in bunches, including a 32 point barrage in the first half that may end up being the single most impressive individual half of basketball we will see this year.

Unfortunately, I know you didn’t see it.  And that hurts me. Because I want you to get the same joy out of Jimmer that I do and chances are that unless you live in Utah or have no spouse/kids/girlfriend prospect/library card, you haven’t made the time to do it yet .  So please take this as a warning.  Watch a Jimmer game ASAP.  The amount of times you will get to see him get you out of your seat in college are quickly diminishing.  By March, everyone will know Jimmer and discovering him will be cliché.  Get out in front of the masses, upgrade your cable package and buy whatever version of the Home Shopping channel is showing his next game.  I want us to share in this glory together and it is now your move.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 7, 2011 1:47 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 10:31 am

Falling for the Jimmer Show

Jimmer Posted by Matt Jones

In order to better serve you the readers, we here at the College Basketball Blog have loosely divided up the conferences so that we each have three that get our sharpest focus.  For me, those three are the SEC and Big Ten, with which due to geography I am very familiar, and the Mountain West, a conference that up until this point, was most notable in my mind for always being confused with the WAC.  Up until this point, my experience with the Mountain West was generally limited to hoping to see a game at The Pit in New Mexico, making Steve Fischer jokes with all my friends and looking at my vintage Fennis Dembo poster that hangs in my office.  But now that I watch the Mountain West regularly, I can finally admit it…I am falling for the Jimmer Fredette Show .

I of course knew of Jimmer going into the season.  I watched in awe as he dropped 37 on Florida in the NCAA Tournament and hit two clutch threes in double-overtime that showcased his Robert Horry-like potential for game-winning heroics.  Going into the season, he made my preseason All-American team and I firmly believed he was the best upper classman in all of college basketball.  But those accolades were more about my admiration for his skill.  In the same way that we can all appreciate the beauty of Megan Fox from afar but only truly fall for those that we know, it takes something beyond gaudy statistics to make a player hit Stephen Curry-like levels of affection for me.  I need to see flair that recalls Harold “The Show” Arceneaux, not just box score domination.

Well now, after forgoing my usual routine of late-night Seinfeld reruns for a number of BYU games from the West Coast, it is official.  I am all-in for Jimmer.  Watching a game involving Fredette is an exhilarating experience.  As he comes down the floor, it is clear that literally anything can happen.  His tremendous handle allows him to take quicker players off the bounce, while also being able to stop on a dime and rise for a three that seems to come out of nowhere.  His game oozes with a confidence that some would mistake as arrogance, but I would classify as a “white boy swagger” that recalls former Kentucky guard Patrick Sparks (before he got fat).    He knows he is better than you and he also knows that because of the way he looks, you don’t really believe it.  So he is determined to not only show you he is better, but do it in the most dramatic way possible.

Before BYU’s victory on Wednesday night over UNLV, Rebel guard Tre’von Willis made the mistake of telling the media that Jimmer was “supposedly” the best player in the Mountain West Conference.  Whether Willis meant his adverb to motivate Jimmer is unclear, but Fredette noted after the game that he saw the comments.  While he told the media that it wasn’t a motivating factor, his play showcased a different conclusion.  He looked more focused and played with a spring in his step that seemed to suggest a different gear.  It shouldn’t however be a surprise.  The best play with a different swagger when the game means the most, and the win over UNLV gave BYU a very important early flesh wound over San Diego State for the conference crown.      

I admit that neglecting the Mountain West used to be a way of life for me.  Whether it was because of the late start times, the fact that every school seemed to be located in the desert or the impossibility to find the channel of the games, the Mountain West used to rank just below anything involving Jay Leno in terms of my list of priorities.  But now because of Jimmer, I would suggest that games in the MWC, specifically those involving BYU, are must-see tv.  While Kemba Walker and Jared Sullinger may be this season’s breakout stars and Duke is without question the nation’s best team, the part of college basketball that is most guaranteed to put a smile on your face is located in Provo, Utah.  I have fallen for the Jimmer show, and it is time that you do too.

Posted on: January 5, 2011 2:16 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 2:23 pm

Game of the Night: BYU vs UNLV

Posted by Matt Jones

Tonight brings another round of one of my favorite matchups in college basketball, the great societal dichotomy of BYU versus UNLV.   Brought to us by the greatness that is the Mountain West Conference, the battle between the two Universities brings together, at least in theory, two polar opposite cultures onto one court.  You have the moral high ground of BYU, nestled in beautiful Provo, Utah, where citizens say their prayers, eat their vitamins and cast a beacon of light upon the world.  And then on the other hand, UNLV, the bright lights and glamour of a night on the town in Las Vegas, complete with an appearance by Penn and Teller and a run-in with forty year-old divorcees reliving their youth one dirty martini at a time.  Nowhere in life would these two groups of fans ever choose to spend time with another outside of the sporting arena, and that is what makes the matchups so intriguing to me.

In addition to the regular Orrin Hatch vs Harry Reid fandom differences, tonight’s game also has real basketball significance as well.  The Mountain West has become a power conference in college basketball this season, and by most power indicators, is ahead of the SEC and in some cases, the Pac 10, nationally.  BYU and UNLV will be fighting with San Diego State for the alpha dog spot in the MWC and tonight’s game will determine who draws first blood in the battle.  BYU comes into the game 14-1 and on the verge of serious national attention with a win.  With star Jimmer Fredette already having the killer combination of a great game and a better name, a road win in Vegas can take BYU to a degree of national relevance that hasn’t been seen since Danny Ainge was making buzzer beaters in Provo.

As for UNLV, the game is a third opportunity to prove its legitimacy outside of the West Coast.  After an impressive early win versus Wisconsin, the Rebels blew a chance to make a splash at Louisville, playing lackadaisical in a 77-69 sleeper.  Then, when the team hit the road to Manhattan, Kansas to pull a Kansas State shocker, the pre-game suspension of the Jacob Pullen made the ensuing win much less credible to the college basketball world.  For UNLV to win the MWC, it has to hold serve at home and tonight’s game is thus crucial to its hopes of conference supremacy.  The balanced Rebel attack, in which five players average between 9 to 12 points a game, will get a test tonight in a game that will need at least one epic performance.

It is rare that anything could overshadow the season debut of our man Seth Davis’s television show at 7 pm tonight .  But unfortunately Seth will have to share the spotlight with this clash at 10 pm on the CBS College Sports Network.  If you like your social settings awkward and your basketball top-notch, then this game will be for you.

Photo: AP
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com