Jimmer out to prove he's more than a shooter
May 31, 2011
That Jimmer Fredette can shoot, the world already knows. Still, when you see it in person, it's no less impressive.
As he made his way around the 3-point line, Fredette made his first 12 attempts and wound up needing just 22 shots to make the required 18 to complete the around-the-world drill. Even unguarded, 82 percent from the NBA 3-point line is remarkable -- moreso when you consider this display came after an intense workout of nearly 90 minutes with five other NBA Draft prospects for the Pacers Tuesday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
His ability to put the ball in the basket at Brigham Young not only made him the consensus national player of the year, it turned him into something of an international phenomenon.
"Where he shot the ball from, what he did for his team, I enjoyed watching him, seeing how many points he was putting up," said Duke's Nolan Smith, who matched up with Fredette in the workout. "It was quite a show."
Despite his prolific scoring ability (Fredette led Division I with a 28.9 average in 2010-11), the BYU guard is not widely projected to be a lottery pick in the June 23 draft. That works out nicely for the Pacers, who hold the first non-lottery pick, No. 15 overall.
For Fredette, it's the same old story -- the shooter has to prove he's a player. Is he quick enough to play point guard in the NBA? Is he athletic enough to create his shot at this level? Can he defend even a little?
Somebody asked Fredette how he'd deal with matchups like Chris Paul and Derrick Rose.
"The guys in the NBA are still trying to figure out how to defend those guys," he said, "and that's why it's turning into a point guard league."
Make no mistake, the 6-2, 195-pound Fredette considers himself a point guard. And he thinks he'd fit well with the Pacers.
"I think they play the style of play I like," he said. "They have a good point guard in Darren Collison, they use a lot of ball screens, get up and down the floor. They've got a couple of good big guys that are still young and Danny Granger, I played with him when I was on the USA Select Team and got to know him a little bit.
"So they have some very good players and obviously did well in the playoffs this year. They're a good young team and I think I'd fit in well."
Fredette didn't have to look far to find reason to believe a hotshot from a second-tier school in a non-BCS conference could carve a prominent swath in the NBA. The guy supervising the workout from his bleacher seat was Larry Bird.
"When he came in I think people doubted his athleticism a little bit. Same here," Fredette said. "It's just all about playing basketball, being able to go out there and compete, play to the system and be a winner like he was."
Honeycutt, Singler due in Wednesday
Smith's teammate at Duke, Kyle Singler, and UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt are among the six players due in for the Pacers' third pre-draft workout on Wednesday.
Joining those two first-round prospects are Joffrey Lauvergne (6-10, 240 pounds, France), Jimmy Butler (6-7, 222, Marquette), Jon Diebler (6-6, 200, Ohio State) and Jamine Peterson (6-6, 225, Providence).
One of the most productive players in Duke history, Singler (6-8, 230) averaged 17.7 points and 7.9 rebounds for the Blue Devils in 2010-11. Honeycutt (6-8, 187) averaged 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots and entered the draft after his sophomore season.