Fredette's 37-point game reignites NBA talk
Oklahoma City » Not long after scoring his 37th point against Florida in BYU's 99-92 NCAA Tournament first-round win on Thursday, junior guard Jimmer Fredette found himself answering a familiar question.
Will he forgo his senior season and enter the NBA Draft?
Fredette and his family members have said all along that he will likely put his name in the draft to test the waters -- just as former Cougar Lee Cummard did in 2008 -- but will not hire an agent. Several people close to Fredette say he won't leave BYU unless he is certain he will be picked in the first round -- which appears highly unlikely.
A survey of NBA scouts and general managers conducted by The Tribune in early February found that Fredette would be a middle second-round pick, at best, if he came out this year.
The Web site probasketballtalk.com explored the topic Thursday and noted that NBA scouts like Fredette's high basketball IQ and shooting range, but have concerns about his lack of athleticism and his liabilities as a defender due to a lack of lateral quickness.
Whatever the case, BYU coach Dave Rose is thankful to have the prolific scorer for today's second-round game against Kansas State (6:10 p.m. MDT, Ch. 2).
"He's good," Rose said. "He's a good player. It doesn't take too many people to see a tape or film or a game live to understand that he's a really versatile guy. He's hard to stop from scoring. ... Those two big threes he hit late [against Florida], we've seen that all year long, and he's confident."
Reason for redshirt
After playing as a freshman, guard Michael Loyd Jr. was asked by BYU coaches to take a redshirt year his second season. That was seen as an unusual move, because usually players are asked to sit out a year at the start of their careers, not during them.
Rose explained why Thursday after the redshirt sophomore Loyd's career-high 26 points against Florida.
"When we redshirt players, we think they are really good," Rose said. "And with Mike, we wanted to split Jimmer and Mike out of the same class. Mike redshirted last year and got a lot better. He was big today."
Fredette has moved into 13th place on the BYU career scoring list with 1,510 points and will likely pass teammate Jonathan Tavernari and Cougar legend Kresimir Cosic , who are tied for 11th at 1,512. Cummard finished last year in 10th, with 1,569 points.
"It's funny, because you don't ever really expect him to miss, especially when he gets to the rim," Rose said of Fredette. "His teammates are surprised when he misses."
The junior is already third in career three-pointers (171) ninth in career assists (350) and 11th in steals (117).
Tavernari is the school's career leader in three-pointers (264) and has played in more BYU wins (103) than any player in school history.
BYU improved to 3-0 against Florida with Thursday's win. ... Thursday's game lasted two hours, 40 minutes. ... The Mountain West Conference went 2-2 on Thursday, with BYU and New Mexico winning close games and UNLV and San Diego State dropping close games.
BYU vs. Kansas State
At the Ford Center, Oklahoma City Today, 6:10 p.m. MDT (approx.), TV » Ch. 2