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Saturday, February 20, 2010
One man's vote for Jimmer Fredette

By Eamonn Brennan

The player of the year voting is going to come down to two players: Ohio State's Evan Turner or Kentucky's John Wall. This is the common consensus. Common consensus determines player of the year voting. This is perfectly fine, too, because more than anyone else, Evan Turner and John Wall -- with the possible exception of DeMarcus Cousins and maybe Sherron Collins -- deserve to win the award. One of them will. This is the way the system is supposed to work.

Fredette
Jimmer Fredette is averaging 21.5 points and five assists per game as 24-3 BYU enters tonight's game against Wyoming.
Still, though, it's always fun to throw a random name or two into the mix, and that's exactly what John Perrotto did yesterday, saying he would be giving his Oscar Robertson award vote to none other than BYU's star guard Jimmer Fredette. Perrotto's reasoning is not unsound:
My Robertson ballot has yet to arrive. However, if I had in my hand today and was forced to send it in, my choice would not be Turner, Cousins or Reynolds.

My pick would come from a mid-major, a player who is having an incredible season for a team that is talented enough to crash the Final Four party in Indianapolis. That would be Fredette, the best player nobody ever sees play because the Mountain West Conference has its national television package with CBS College Sports.

Fredette's line is 21.5/3.2/5.0/31.0 for a Brigham Young team that is 22-3. However, Fredette's true worth can be found in Pomeroy's tempo-free stats as the junior guard ranks in the nation's top 100 in seven categories: 1.4 fouls called per 40 minutes (18th), 31.0 percentage of possessions (27th), 122.1 offensive rating (59th), 31.5 assist rate (67.5), 30.6 percentage of shots (82nd), 1.4 fouls called per 40 minutes (85th) and 61.9 true shooting percentage (61.9).

Those are impressive tempo-free numbers for any player, but especially for one leading a Cougars team to its best season in years. So, Fredette's candidacy begins. Can he actually win the award?

Ha, just kidding. No. Of course Fredette isn't going to win any player of the year awards, because he's playing on a team that doesn't get much national attention, that doesn't compete in primetime, and that doesn't rank as a traditional basketball power. That's part of the reason. The other part, is that it's very hard to argue by any realistic standard that Fredette actually deserves the award more than Evan Turner or John Wall. He doesn't.

But hey, if tossing the occasional vote Fredette's way helps him get the national love his play deserves, there's nothing wrong with that, right?