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All cheers for Jimmer during BYU return

Published September 22, 2011 11:03 pm

Basketball • Former Cougars star delights crowd in exhibition.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • Passionate Brigham Young fans stood up and stood out in the stands. The noise inside the Marriott Center was at times deafening. And Jimmer Fredette walked on to the court to a standing ovation and exited the hardwood to an even louder applause.

Fredette was back at home Thursday night, and home was very good to Jimmer.

The Sacramento guard scored 27 points on 9-of-20 shooting and dished out 10 assists during a 140-126 losing effort in an exhibition game that bore his name. An announced crowd of 11,124 — mostly screaming BYU students wearing Cougars gear — relished the opportunity to watch Fredette up close during the NBA lockout. The 2011 Wooden Award said memories from the outing will instantly be placed on his personal trophy shelf.

"Great crowd. A lot of energy," Fredette said. "It reminded me of a BYU basketball game. Not quite as many fans in the stands, but it felt like it when we were out there playing."

The lockout-inspired contest marked Fredette's first public matchup since he was selected by the Kings with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Fredette's agency organized the exhibition, loading the roster with NBA rookies such as Charlotte's Bismack Biyombo and Kemba Walker. Fredette held his own, displaying the range that made him a lottery pick and showing off muscular shoulders that have become chiseled during the NBA's 85-day work stoppage.

Asked to evaluate his outing, Fredette said he did "all right." He was pleased with his overall performance, but found himself adjusting to everything from stricter defensive rules to increased television timeouts.

"I've got to continue to get better," said Fredette, who was 3 of 8 behind the 3-point line and added six rebounds while playing a game-high 41 minutes.

Portland's Nolan Smith scored a game-high 30 points, while Denver's Kenneth Faried recorded 23 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Former BYU guard Jackson Emery totaled five points and five rebounds.

Fredette wasn't the only one touched by the contest. San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said that nothing can compare to the Marriott Center in the throes of Jimmermania, while BYU coach Dave Rose was given another chance to coach the guard who carried the Cougars to the Sweet 16 last season.

"This was just a special game with Jimmer," Rose said.

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Storylines Happy homecoming

R Former BYU guard Jimmer Fredette scored 27 points on 9-of-20 shooting.

• Portland's Nolan Smith scored a game-high 30 points.

• Denver's Kenneth Faried adds 23 points and 17 rebounds.