SCHMIDT: The rise of Jimmer Fredette

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Somewhere between Adam Morrison and Larry Bird, from a primordial soup without color or credence, came the birth of Brigham Young guard Jimmer Fredette.

His existence thus far has been pretty simple, if not deliberately straightforward. He scores points. Tons of them. In his senior campaign alone, Fredette has registered enough twos and threes to fill LeBron James’ South Beach hacienda to the gills. He hordes his precious numerals like a sharp-shooting Scrooge.

In fact, as of today, he leads the entire country in scoring at 26.7 per game. His only competition for the scoring title is Connecticut’s hot-dogging wisp Kemba Walker, who managed only 14 points against Marquette on Tuesday. Chump change. Fredette scored 42 in his last game.

And that wasn’t even his season-high. He racked up 47 against Utah on Jan. 11. Two games before he dropped 39. That came after totals of 26, 33, 25, 28, 25 and 34. Are you sensing a trend? The Jimmer loves numbers. He has more of them than anyone else. Now here comes the impressive part:

Fredette is only 6-feet-2-inches, 195 pounds. He goes to school in Provo, Utah and hails from Glen Falls, New York. If his name hasn’t given it away yet, he’s white. Like a freaking Weezer concert. He has no tattoos. He’s not flashy. Actually, he’s a Mormon.

His golden boy combination of NBA-ready skills and boy-next-door looks should make him a national treasure. He should be on street corners kissing babies. Moms should be auctioning off their daughters to marry him.

Yet no one has heard of the guy.

If a casual basketball fan was asked who currently leads the nation in scoring, he or she would probably say Walker or Duke’s Kyle Singler or Kentucky’s Terrence Jones – all fine picks. Those three are supposed to be great. They have the big-time credentials and the major university pedigree.

But Fredette has my attention.

Not since Gonzaga’s Morrison has there been a player I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. Morrison, as everyone will remember, was the sweet-stroking forward who had an atrociously groomed mustache, ran like Frankenstein and had a Karl Marx poster plastered to his wall. He led the nation in scoring with 28.1 a game in 2005.

He was one of college basketball’s most prolific scorers and memorable characters. The Jimmer has him beat.

Never mind that Fredette looks like Beaver Cleaver and his older brother T.J. is an aspiring rapper. It’s the on-court things that make him sports’ must-see athlete.

When the Jimmer returned to Glen Falls to play against Vermont in front of 6,300 hometown fans – nearly half of the town’s population – he dropped 26 in a 86-58  blowout.

Then, in the virtuoso performance against Utah, he had the play of the year. With time expiring, Fredette dribbled down casually to half-court, zeroed in on to the rim the same way homing missiles lock onto rogue aircraft, and unleashed a 40-foot bomb as the buzzer sounded.

The crowd exploded. His teammates jumped for joy. Fredette walked off the court like he was going to get his haircut.

There are star players who will throw down nastier dunks and scream and primp and pose. That’s all well and good. For now, I’m letting the Jimmer wash over me one week at a time.

The Jimmer. Looks like the Beav. Plays like Bird. Yep, that’s the baddest Mormon on the planet.

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