Jimmer Fredette Isn’t Satisfied With His Magical March Madness Run With BYU
Jimmer Fredette captivated the basketball world in 2011 with an electric run through the Mountain West Conference Tournament to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The sharpshooter never panned out in the NBA, but he’ll always be remembered as a BYU legend and a March Madness icon.
Eleven years after Jimmer Mania swept the nation, Fredette reflected on his college career and even admitted he’s still mad he couldn’t lead BYU to its first Final Four in school history.
Jimmer Fredette is a college basketball legend
Everyone who loves college basketball remembers Jimmer Fredette.
The dynamic shooting guard played with a swagger no one else in college basketball possessed at the time. Defenders had to pick him up as soon as he crossed half-court, because if they didn’t, he would heave three-pointers from 40 feet out and legitimately feel like every one was going in.
Fredette was an exceptional scorer throughout his career at BYU, but he exploded as a senior in 2011. He led the country in scoring (28.9 points per game) and made nearly 40% of his three-point attempts that season. Most of them came from well beyond the arc, too.
“I knew I could make the shots from deep ranges,” Fredette said in a recent interview with Barstool Bench Mob. “I did it when I was a young kid, I started shooting from long ranges. And my coach at first was like, ‘Oh, no, you can’t be shooting those shots.’ And then he sees them going in, so he’s like, ‘Alright, well, they’re going in, so I can’t really say much. It’s helping our offense.'”
Jimmer truly became Jimmer when he dropped 43 points in a nationally televised win over Kawhi Leonard’s San Diego State squad, and he went nuclear once the calendar flipped to March. Fredette scored 52 points against New Mexico in the MWC Tournament and later led BYU to its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1981. The Cougars wound up losing to Florida in overtime, but Jimmer still averaged nearly 33 points per game in three NCAA Tournament games.
Fredette is arguably the greatest player to ever put on a BYU uniform, but he still holds one regret from his legendary college career.
Jimmer is still mad he couldn’t lead BYU to the Final Four
Fredette led BYU further in the NCAA Tournament than it had been in 30 years, but he still feels as if he could’ve done more.
“Being a competitive person, I know that we could’ve made the NCAA Final Four,” he told Barstool Bench Mob. “I think we could’ve still made it even without Brandon [Davies, who was suspended for the tournament for violating the BYU honor code]. We lost in overtime in that Sweet 16 game. So I still think about that time. I text my teammates about it, too, and they’re just like, ‘Man, I’m still mad about that.’
“But at the same time we had such an incredible season. We did so many great things. People remember us and our team forever.”
He’s not wrong about that. BYU’s run might be 11 years old, but Jimmer Mania will live on for as long as college basketball is around.
“I think I gave a lot of people and kids hope”
Fredette is no longer a basketball superstar, but he still gets recognized by fans who were inspired by his magical run with BYU. He’ll never get tired of that.
“I love it when people say, ‘This is what made me love basketball.’ That happens a lot, too, and I love hearing that because I love basketball,” he said. “I tried to play with passion. I tried to play the way that I could, and I think a lot of it just had to do with like, this kid honestly, he looks just like me. Why can’t I do it? I think I gave a lot of people and kids hope.”