With all due respect to Courtney Cox, Demi Moore, and Catherine Zeta Jones the hottest cougar in the country is a BYU Cougar.That’s right, Jimmer Fredette officially went viral after dropping 43 on number four San Diego State last night. Everyone from Kevin Durant to Nelly was tweeting about the man affectionately knows as ‘The Jimmer.’
For the record, Jimmer Fredette has been on my radar since December 28th, 2009, when he dropped 49 on Arizona. BYU was scheduled to play UTEP in El Paso on January 9th of 2010. I knew little about the 2009 edition of our former WAC rival, and was looking at some box scores to see who their ‘playas’ where. The guy with the funny name I had never heard before stood out. Even though Arizona wasn’t the Arizona of old last year, anyone who almost drops 50 in Tucson can flat out play. I couldn’t wait to see him play the Miners at the Don. As luck would have it he came down with Mono, and was in street clothes when the Cougars came to El Paso for the first time since 1998. At the time, it wasn’t a big deal because nobody really knew how good he was. Can you imagine how disappointed Miner fans would be if BYU were coming to El Paso this season and ‘The Jimmer’ was going to be scratch due to a bad case of Mono?
I officially jumped on the Jimmer bandwagon during the 2010 NCAA tournament. He was brilliant in a double overtime win over Florida, and almost single-handedly beat a great Kansas State team in the second round. He tested the NBA waters, didn’t like his draft status, and to the relief of BYU and college basketball fans came back to Provo for his senior season. Because BYU doesn’t get the exposure and attention of other national programs, Jimmer was still not a household name before last night. Everything changed when number four and previously undefeated San Diego State came to the Marriott Center. BYU finally had a hyped game and national stage (even though the game was on CBS College Sports). The Jimmer did not disappoint. He scored 34 of the Cougars first 50 and finished with 43 as BYU handled San Diego State 71-58.
When someone lights up college basketball, one question is inevitably asked. How will his game translate to the pros? The critics will say he is slow, small, and unathletic. The truth is no one knows what kind of pro he will be. With his unlimited range and ballhandling skills I think he will be in the Stephen Curry mold of a great two guard who can play the point when needed. Rather than speculate what kind of pro he will be I am going to enjoy ‘The Jimmer’ much like I enjoyed Tyler Hansbrough when he was at North Carolina.