We have all heard the hype: BYU has a guy that averages of 27 points per game; he can shoot from anywhere and can drop 40 on you on any given night.
I had heard the legend, but I had never gotten to see it. Not on TV, not in person, until tonight.
Jimmer Fredette is as good as they can come in college basketball. He can make all the shots, he can drive when he needs to and he can whip a pass down to the post.
The man does it all.
He didn't follow his trend of putting on a clinic tonight at Air Force; in fact, he had a relatively pedestrian night by his standards. His 25 points came with ease though.
He didn't just make it look easy, he made it look like he wasn't even trying. I'm not saying he has a lack of effort, that's just how he plays.
Fredette made his presence known from the moment the game started, connecting on a deep three on the Cougar's opening possession. He was 5-8 from beyond the arch, but that wasn't what was so impressive about him tonight.
Fredette doesn't just score points, he distributes to ball like a pro. He didn't take any unnecessary shots in this contest, he didn't need to. If the shot wasn't there, he didn't force it; instead, he just fed the ball to one of his counterparts and let them finish the job.
The Cougars were impressive overall, handling the Falcons by nearly 40 points. Air Force tried to make it a game for as long as they could and it was a valiant effort, but they got beat by a superior team tonight.
Fredette handled the atmosphere as well as any player could. On the road in front of a sold out crowd at Clune Arena, Fredette was booed anytime the ball was in his hands. Whether he was on the court or not, he was getting heckled.
Like any great player, he had tunnel vision, he wasn't fazed at all. No insult or scream seemed to even register in his head. He just kept on playing his game, smooth and confident.
It should be noted that the BYU faithful did their part in helping Fredette deal with the crowd.
Cougar fans seem to be as passionate as any in the nation, many times drowning out the home crowd tonight. Those fans love to yell, especially when their poster boy boy makes a big play.
Fredette is a player that is on a completely different level than that of most college basketball players: mentally, physically and skill wise. He played almost every minute of the game, never showing fatigue.
I really can't say enough to do this guy justice.
Fredette and the BYU Cougars looked great tonight, and it was a treat to watch such a high caliber team in person. BYU will give any team a run for their money and I know Cougar fans are dying for March to get here.
With Fredette leading the way, BYU can really make some serious noise come tournament time.