BYU stars with scoring exploits
PROVO, Utah – “Jimmermania” is reaching a new level of crazy.
Just hours after frenzied fans stormed the court and tried lifting Jimmer Fredette into the air after he scored 43 points to help BYU knock No. 4 San Diego State from the unbeaten ranks of college basketball, the rest of the sporting world was chiming in about BYU’s star guard.
The NBA’s top scorer, Kevin Durant, tweeted that Fredette “is the best scorer in the world.”
The Harlem Globetrotters issued a “Trotter tribute” for a Curly Neal-like performance in Wednesday night’s big matchup.
And Fredette wasn’t even hitting 3s from NBA range as he has done in topping 40 points three of the last four games for the No. 9 Cougars (20-1).
“It’s something I’ll never forget, especially with such a big win and all the hype around the game,” Fredette said of the NCAA tournament-like atmosphere Wednesday night in the sold-out 22,700-seat arena. “It’s a special memory, something I’ll remember forever.”
While the momentum has been building at BYU since last year when the Cougars advanced to the second round of the NCAAs, only lately has Fredette been getting respect at the national level.
ESPN analyst Chad Ford moved Fredette up to No. 12 on his NBA draft board after the big win.
“NBA scouts are tough to impress but even they are giving in,” Ford tweeted. “Huge game for his draft stock tonight. San Diego State has NBA-caliber athletes. If Fredette can score against them, he can score in the NBA.”
No one can deny Fredette is doing something big if his following has risen beyond sports into the entertainment world.
Rapper Nelly tweeted that Fredette is “definitely the truth!” And musician Adam Duritz of the band Counting Crows said Fredette reminded him of Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams.
The 195-pound Fredette has never met Williams, but mixed it up in Las Vegas last summer with some of the NBA’s best as part of a select team composed of 20 top college players.
“I’ve seen guys that are unbelievable and D-Will is a guy I look up to … when I see how he handles the ball,” Fredette said Thursday. “Hopefully that will help my game get better.”
Fredette is leading the nation in scoring with a 27.4-point average, which would be the highest since Stephen Curry averaged 28.6 in 2008-09. He is shooting 48 percent from the field, 42 percent on 3-pointers and has averaged 38.2 points over the last four games.