- David Auguste, ESPN NFL
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This summer, ESPNHS will sit down with some of the nation's elite players to break down their game, talk about the inevitable comparisons to college and pro players and get their take on who they pattern their game after.
Player: Nick Emery
School: Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
Position: Combo Guard
ESPN 60: No. 52
Who is Nick Emery?
Emery is a smooth-stroking lefty whose game consists of seemingly endless range on his jumper, combined with an uncanny ability to get to the rack at will. The combo guard’s immense talents, non-stop motor and extreme competitiveness endears him to fans and coaches while frustrating opponents to no end. Emery pumped in 21.7 points, ripped down 4.3 boards and dished out 2.4 dimes a contest to cop Class 5A MVP honors this past winter. The BYU commit led the Knights to their second consecutive state crown in April and earned a spot on the ESPNHS Underclass All-American squad. He is the younger brother of former Cougar guard Jackson Emery and garnered Gatorade State Player of the Year honors as a sophomore.
According to ESPN RecruitingNation, Emery is an extremely confident player who is a prolific shot-maker and can finish in the lane through contact despite not having prototypical 2-guard quickness. He is a calculated player who bides his time with the dribble before unleashing a textbook jumper and makes sagging defenders pay with his NBA range. When he’s not filling up the basket, Emery is adept at creating easy buckets for teammates. His knack for burying long-range daggers helps space the floor for other wing players and could make him an instant hit whenever he lands on BYU's campus.
ESPNHS Comparison: Jimmer Fredette
Come on, a 6-foot-2 guard heading to BYU with ridiculous scoring ability and range? You know you were thinking it, too. ESPN senior analyst Dave Telep cosigns the comparison stating, “During his formative basketball years, the guy Nick saw the most was Jimmer. It's easy to say, here's a white kid from Provo, Utah, going to BYU and think Jimmer. But I think with this kid it works. Someone else could try and take some of the things Jimmer could do and it would look fake. But this guy has that game and an unwavering confidence."
Before slaying Mountain West Conference defenders to the tune of 18.7 career points, Fredette made a name for himself at Glen Falls High (N.Y.) with his scoring punch. The 6-foot-2 scoring machine kept rolling once he got to BYU, emerging as Division I's premier perimeter shooter while leading the nation in scoring as a senior (28.9 ppg).
Emery's height, ability to play either guard spot and penchant for pulling up from long distance mirrors that of Fredette's. There’s no questioning either player’s ability to score, but one constant knock on their game is their ability to defend at the other end. Quickness and ball handling are other areas of concerns but take a back seat to the duo's production on the offensive end.
Nick’s Comparison: Fredette
Emery fully embraces the comparisons to Fredette and admits he models his game after the BYU legend.
“My brother was at BYU, so I watched Jimmer play a lot in college,” Emery said. “I try and emulate the way he moves and the way he finishes around the basket.
The similarities in Emery’s game can also be attributed to one-on-one sessions the two engaged in at BYU's practice facilities. There, Emery got a first-hand look at what catapulted Fredette to the 2011 AP Player of the Year.
"He likes to shoot from deep and I like to shoot from deep,” Emery says. "If I feel open once I cross halfcourt, I’m shooting.”
To become a more well-rounded player and a better offensive threat, Emery is looking to incorporate more of Ginobili’s repertoire into his own arsenal. This summer’s focus will be on honing his handle and crossover as well as fine-tuning an already potent euro step.
“I want to be a blend of those two guys and I love how crafty Manu is,” Emery said. “I love winning, and being in a winning environment. Both of those guys are winners.”