Jimmermania, Reilly, and BYU fans

By: Mormon Heretic
June 20, 2011

Jimmer Fredette

It is my opinion that there are far too few sports posts on Wheat and Tares.   Since the NBA draft is this week, it’s time to revisit Jimmermania!  Despite the fact that I’m a Utah alum, I like Jimmer.  He’s fun to watch.  He was the leading scorer in the NCAA this year, and I do believe he was the best player in the nation.  But will he be a force in the NBA?

It looks like he will be a first round pick in the NBA, but I think he will be a role player.  The biggest question here in Utah is “will the Jazz pick Jimmer at the #12 pick?”  I don’t think so, but we will find out soon.

Many people have compared Jimmer to Danny Ainge.  To me there is no comparison–Danny was way better.  Rick Reilly of ESPN created a firestorm at BYU for his article Jimmer Grows Dimmer.  Perhaps Reilly was a little harsh about Jimmer’s bad game against Florida, but I have to agree with Reilly on almost all counts.  Jimmer doesn’t play defense.  While he has NBA range, he is a ball hog.

I was at my in-laws house one day, and they were complaining that Reilly was ripping the LDS church.  WHAT????  I pulled up the article, and said, “where is Reilly ripping the church?”  My brother-in-law didn’t know exactly–he had heard it from others.  While I was reading Reilly’s first article to them, I discovered Reilly wrote a 2nd article based on all the hate mail he had received from BYU fans.  See Rick Reilly’s mailbag:  Jimmer fans react.  The funniest thing Reilly said was

The best hate mail in America comes from BYU fans. Even when they’re spitting 20-penny nails, they’re still incurably nice. Alabama fans will write hoping you die a slow, painful death, staked to an anthill while your mom watches, but the worst a BYU fan will say to you is that you’re not going to heaven.

Truly great article!  I thought Reilly was right on the money.  Not everyone agrees with Reilly.  Former ESPN talent DanPatrick called out Reilly and ESPN’s Colin Cowherd for their remarks about Jimmer.  Check out this video.


So what to you think?  Will Jimmer be a force in the NBA?  Was Reilly too harsh on the LDS church?

There are 3 mock drafts that place Jimmer as high as the #7 pick (Sacramento) and as low as Phoenix at #13.  With the Jazz picking at #3 and #12, they have 2 chances to take Jimmer.

Which team will pick Jimmer?

  • Kings (46%, 6 Votes)
  • Jazz (23%, 3 Votes)
  • Suns (23%, 3 Votes)
  • Somewhere else (I'll state my pick in the comments below.) (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Pacers (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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40 Responses to Jimmermania, Reilly, and BYU fans

  1. joe on June 20, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    it hard to predict without knowing about the trades. Keep an eye on Houston to make some moves. Most of the mock drafts have either utah or sacramento, but my $ is on phoenix.

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  2. shenpa warrior on June 20, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    I always love to talk basketball, so post away!

    I would love for the Jazz to take him at 12. Having TWO lottery picks (in addition to having two lottery picks from last year in Favors and Hayward), I can’t see HOW it could possibly be a bad idea to take him then. We do NOT want another project center (or project anyone), or really young guy. Jimmer is mature, and I think, will be a very solid role player by the end of his rookie season. If you can get a great role-player with the 12th pick, that’s pretty good. The Jazz have had so many busts in the past… I’m more concerned though with the #3 pick. I’m worried they’ll take Kanter, only because big men almost always seem to be a bust when they come to Utah in the draft. Idk, hopefully I’m wrong.

    As for Reilly, I’m not a fan – I appreciated his second article more, but yeah. Actually, some of my friends (not members) don’t like him at all either.

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  3. Alice (alliegator) on June 20, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    I don’t see Jimmer as a big NBA star. He’s like (forgive me) the Stephanie Meyer of the basketball world. Huge talent within the LDS sphere, not so huge to the rest of the world.

    (but I’m not really into sports all that much, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about)

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  4. Will on June 20, 2011 at 9:17 AM


    Exactly what I was going to say, he just does not have it in him to make any substantial contribution in the NBA. He is not very tall and he’s white – two big, huge strikes against him. Steve Nash and John Stockton are aberrations, freaks of nature. He was, however, fun to watch in the tournament.

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  5. shenpa warrior on June 20, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Alice I disliked your comment (zing!).

    We’ll see. Time will tell. If he flops, then you’ll all be right!

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  6. Bishop Rick on June 20, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    I think you guys are all selling the Jimmer short.
    If we round up the quarter inches on both Jimmer and Deron Williams, Jimmer measured 6’1″ without shoes and Deron measured 6’2″ without shoes. Jimmer has a 6’5″ wingspan (better than all guards in the draft except Knight), Deron has a 6’6″. Jimmer’s max vertical is 33″, Deron’s 35″. Jimmer is by far stonger than all top guards in the draft (only checked top guards) with a Bench Press of 14. Knight posted 10, Kemba posted 7, Kyrie didn’t test. For comparison, Deron Williams posted 15. In running without the ball, Jimmer was a respectable 3.2 though slightly behind the top guards that tested. HOWEVER, with the ball (Lane Agility) Jimmer scored better than all top guards.

    Kemba walker is quoted as saying Jimmer was the best guard in the draft that he has gone up against…not even close. (Kemba has not gone up against Knight or Irving).

    I think Jimmer will be a lot better than expected.

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  7. Alice (alliegator) on June 20, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Shenpa- Ouch, the betrayal…

    I’m not hoping Jimmer does poorly, and I think he’ll do just fine, I just don’t think he’ll be as big of a star in the NBA as he has been at BYU. :)

    My FIL would be thrilled if I’m wrong (he wanted us to name one of our children Jimmer).

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  8. shenpa warrior on June 20, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    LOL I felt bad and went back and liked it. Now I’m a sell-out. Family comes first. ;)

    @BR – Interesting – I had heard some but not all of those results… honestly I think he will be a fantastic back-up PG on ANY team, and could probably be a starter if he had a 2 like Kobe or Wade with him… a la Derek Fisher.

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  9. Alice (alliegator) on June 20, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    It’s okay shenpa- apparently comparing Jimmer to Stephanie Meyer was kind of sacrilegious or something. I’ll have to do some repenting.


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  10. mh on June 20, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    I have no idea if the jazz will take jimmer. phoenix or ny with the run and gun style might fit jimmer’s talents best.

    I think people conflate byu with the church. I didn’t see anything wrong with what reilly wrote about byu. reilly didn’t take aim at the church, but it seems to me that some people view criticism of jimmer to be criticism of the church. that seems like byu fans are hyper-sensitive to me.

    I like dan patrick and rick reilly. I thought it was interesting to see patrick claim that reilly piled on jimmer’s bad game against florida.

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  11. Irony on June 20, 2011 at 4:04 PM


    Maybe the problem is self perpetuating… especially when so many BYU fans/students conflate the church with BYU…

    It is, as many LDS refer to it, the “Lord’s University” (I know some here on W&T have used that exact language at times).

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  12. Bishop Rick on June 20, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    I attended BYU and remember having Professors and Bishops refer to BYU as the “Lord’s University” so it is no wonder why so many people use that phrase. I’m sure many here have attended BYU and heard that.

    I read the Reilly”s article, and though I didn’t agree with much of the assessment, I didn’t see any jabs at the LDS church either.

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  13. Bishop Rick on June 20, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Shenpa, all that information (and more) is available on Draft Express.

    I also failed to mention that Ty Corbin was impressed with Jimmer’s intangibles. The example given was during 3 on 3 drills, Jimmer’s team mates were not running the correct play and taking bad shots. Jimmer got frustrated and took over the game.

    Some people call that being a ball hog. In the NBA that is called taking over a game…something Miami fans wish King James would have done.

    I like the Fisher comparison. That is the first time I’ve heard that one and totally agree. Jimmer’s 2 could go a long way to determining how good Jimmer becomes. Only place I might disagree, is Fisher is nails as a defender. Jimmer is still unproven there. I think he will improve though. He knows its a weakness and has worked hard to improve, and held his own in workouts. Rumor is that he shut Kemba Walker down in SLC, but I can’t verify.

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  14. shenpa warrior on June 20, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Good point re: defense. Fisher is taking charges ALL the time. We’ll see!

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  15. mh on June 20, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    shenpa, with byu moving to the wcc, will your allegiance stay with gonzaga?

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  16. FireTag on June 20, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    I gave up on the NBA a couple of years ago. All I know is that unless he is willing to pull a gun on a teammate in the locker room, Jimmer is unqualified to get picked by the Wizards.

    Why did we change our name from Bullets again, exactly?

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  17. shenpa warrior on June 21, 2011 at 6:15 AM

    mh – most definitely. With Utah and BYU being in different conferences now, I AM glad that I will have a new rivalry with Gonzaga vs. BYU in basketball… Gonzaga usually (not always) has little competition in their conference, so I welcome the c00gs to the WCC.

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  18. Alice (alliegator) on June 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    (well, now I have to admit I was wrong- I told my Mister that I didn’t think Jimmer was all that outside of mormondom, and he spent all morning showing me ESPN articles about Jimmer…) :)

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  19. shenpa warrior on June 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Welcome to the “I’m wrong” club. We’re basking in our humility…

    Oh wait…

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  20. joe on June 21, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    did i miss your official pick in the comments? my official pick is indiana. they sure love them some white boys on the pacers

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  21. MH on June 21, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    My official pick is “I have no idea.” My brother always makes me do a mock draft, so if I have to pick, I’ll go with Phoenix. They pick #13 and I think will break Jazz fans hearts.

    I remember the Jazz had a chance to take Tony Parker and passed. Rumor has it that San Antonio is dangling Parker for a lottery pick. Hmmmm–sounds very tempting.

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  22. MH on June 21, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    FireTag, if I was a Bullets/Wizards fan, I would have lost interest in the NBA about the same time Dick Motta left the team. The fat lady has been singing in Washington for a long time!!! (But hey, it looks like Gilbert Arenas was trying to bring back the Bullets name! Perhaps he should have pulled out a Harry Potter magic Wizard wand instead of a handgun…) Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

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  23. eastside on June 22, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    it will be kings – you are welcome. if i am right i want 100 like votes.

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  24. MH on June 23, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Eastside, the Kings passed on Jimmer. Are we supposed to give you dislikes?

    So Jimmer to Milwaukee. Hmmm. Jimmer turned down a request to work out for the Bucks, so it sounds like he didn’t want to go there. I wonder how he and Andrew Bogut will get along…

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  25. Bishop Rick on June 23, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Let me be the first to give eastside a like for getting it right.
    I like Kanter but Burks seems like another Brewer to me.

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  26. MH on June 23, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Draft day trades make all these Mock drafts ridiculous to pick. So how long was Jimmer in Milwaukee–like an hour?

    But technically Eastside didn’t get it right because the Bucks got him and then gave him to the Kings.

    Good luck Jimmer and the Kings!

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  27. shenpa warrior on June 23, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Didn’t Milwaukee plan to trade Jimmer even before they picked him? Maybe Eastside is a prophet in his own right. :)

    @Bishop Rick – I hope Kanter is good… as a center, if he’s not a borderline all-star in a year or two I’ll be disappointed. We’ve had SO many centers in the last decade. As for Burks, I totally agree. I don’t know who else they would have taken at that pick, but they do need shooters, and that apparently is Burks’ weak spot. Putting the ball in the basket. You know, the basic stuff, haha.

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  28. Bishop Rick on June 24, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    I guess we should give Kanter (and Burks) the same chance we would give Jimmer. I heard an interview with a local Kentucky reporter who is the UK beat writer. He saw Kanter practice with the UK squad all last year. He said Kanter was easily the best big on the team…well on the floor. That’s saying a lot. I feel pretty good about him. 5% body fat, 6’11 3/4″, 266 lbs. That’s like a bigger Karl Malone. We can only hope.

    Burks can score, but not from outside. He is a brewer clone, and who knows if he is as talented on defense. I was hoping they would have picked Leonard or Singleton. At least we know Leonard can play defense.

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  29. shenpa warrior on June 24, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    If Kanter turns out to be a really good player, and does better on D than many have for the Jazz, I LOVE having him next to Favors at the 4. Both are really long. Maybe we can trade Jefferson or Millsap for a better PG.

    I guess the Jazz are high on Burks, so maybe he’ll be okay. I like that he’s a little bitter and has something to prove. Hopefully that translates into hard work… especially with the potential lockout, these players will all have a lot of time to get ready.

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  30. Heber13 on June 24, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    I hate hype…so I was averse to the whole Jimmermania crap…until I watched him play, and in college he was just flat out amazing.

    So I guess I’m interested in the Kings now. I will admit, I will check out their team and watch their games, never paying attention to Sacramento in the past, but now there’s interest in seeing if Fredette’s game translates on the pro level.

    Even the best players of all time had to take a couple years to start showing they can make an impact. So I don’t expect incredible feats, but I have interest to watch how it unfolds.

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  31. mh on June 24, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    colin cowherd has called this the worst draft in years. I think derek williams was the only impact player. the rest will be journeymen like paul millsap. I don’t think there is anyone else as good as carlos boozer in the draft. I could be wrong about enes kanter, but I don’t think anyone else is future all-star material. the best we should expect are a few starters and off the bench role players without all-star appearances.

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  32. mh on June 24, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    check out the kings home page at nba.com/kings. they have been officially infected with jimmermania.

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  33. Heber13 on June 24, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    NBA is different than college. It is a business. While fans are loyal, or they are haters (they are called “fanaticals” after all for a reason), college has a loyalty to the institution, no matter if the team is good or bad, and the players rotate annually.

    In the pros, Jimmer will have to contribute and show results, or he will be forgotten. It is a business.

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  34. Bishop Rick on June 24, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    I was really hoping Minnesota would pass on Williams. He was my #1 pick. I think Cleveland blew that one.

    I have read that if Kanter had played at UK this year, he would have been the overwhelming #1 pick. He is being compared to Pau Gasol by some scouts.

    I will be happy if he is Marc Gasol.

    Doing some research on Burks has tempered my disappointment with that pick. Apparently he has 2 intangibles that translate well in the NBA:
    Rebounding 6.5 per game at the 2
    Ability to get to the line and convert
    Can play 1-3
    I’m hearing his ability to play 1 could spell doom for Watson or Price.
    He scored 20pg at 54% inside the arc – 29% outside the arc. This doesn’t concern the Jazz because they feel he can get better at his jump shot with good coaching (Hornacek)

    I’m actually starting to feel pretty good about this draft. At first I was disappointed that both picks didn’t go the way I wanted. Now I’m getting on board.

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  35. FireTag on June 24, 2011 at 10:23 PM


    Typical Wizards marketing. Their sister WNBA team, the Mystics, at least had the sense for their mascot to be a bunny. After a year of “Fear the Bunny” instead of Maryland’s “Fear the Turtle”, they switched out the bunny for the same guy wearing a basketball head for a suit.

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  36. MH on June 24, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Well FireTag, at least the Wizards were smart enough to get rid of Jordan in the front office. Now it looks like Jordan is making the Bobcats worse….

    I’m sure you long for the days of Wes Unseld…

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  37. shenpa warrior on June 25, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    Re: Jazz – I’ve also heard that the draft board the Jazz had was 1-Irving, 2-Kanter – so they would have taken Kanter over Derrick Williams, which I though was surprising. As for Burks, I also read that they would have taken him over Walker, Jimmer, or Thompson. If he turns out to be an improvement over the myriad 2-guards we’ve had, AND/or can play the point well, it will be a great pick. The thought of a 6-6 PG, Hayward at 6-8 or whatever at the 2, Millsap at 3, Favors at 4, and Kanter at 5… that is a HUGE team.

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  38. MH on June 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    I don’t think Millsap is quick enough to play the 3.

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  39. Bishop Rick on June 25, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Right now the starting lineup could be:
    Backup in parenthesis

    1 – Harris (Burks)
    2 – Burks (Bell)
    3 – Hayward (Millsap)
    4 – Favors (Millsap)
    5 – Jefferson (Kantor)

    No one else has a current contract

    I agree that Millsap is not quick enough for the 3. He is also not tall enough for the 4 against the elite PFs. I love him coming off the bench though. He can dominate any backup 4 in the league. Jazz need a strong bench.

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  40. Bishop Rick on June 26, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    I forgot about Memo, but I’m not sure he will ever play again.

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