As a BYU fan I am excited for the 2012 NBA season to finally get tipped off later this week and get my first look at Jimmer Fredette in a Sacramento Kings uniform. While Jimmer's success in the NBA will have to remain to be seen at this point, his legacy at Brigham Young University is set in stone. At the same time I look forward to Jimmer's NBA career, I wanted to take a look back on my top five games of Jimmer Fredette's career at BYU:
#5 - March 11, 2011 vs. New Mexico
Stat Line: 52 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Asts. 22-37 FG, 7-14 3-Pointers
Jimmer dropped a career-high 52 (pronounced "fiddy-two") in a BYU victory against the Lobos in a Mountain West Conference tournament game, pushing the Cougars record to 30-3 and advancing BYU into the MW championship game. It was in this game that Jimmer became BYU's all-time leading scorer, passing the previous record held by Danny Ainge.
#4 - March 19, 2011 vs. Gonzaga (NCAA Tourney)
Stat Line: 34 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Asts. 11-23 FG, 7-12 3-Pointers
Just one win away from the Sweet 16, Jimmer drained seven three-pointers against Gonzaga and dished out six assists to lead third-seed BYU to a 89-67 blowout win and a trip to the Big Dance in New Orleans. As the time on the clock ticked down, joyous BYU students chanted, "You got Jimmered!" Yes, Gonzaga, you got Jimmered, as did the three remaining teams on my list.
#3 - January 11, 2011 vs. Utah: Game played at Utah. BYU wins 104-79.
Stat Line: 47 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Asts. 16-28 FG, 6-9 3-Pointers
The 11th-ranked Cougars took their 16-1 record to Salt Lake as heavy favorites against an irrelevant, struggling 7-9 Utah team in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Cougar fans were giddy with the anticipation of unleashing The Jimmer against their hated in-state rival, and Jimmer did not disappoint in leading BYU to a 104-79 scalping of the Utes. BYU fans seemed to outnumber Utah fans in the Huntsman Center that memorable night. Jimmer could seemingly do not wrong, even hitting a 40-foot buzzer-beater to end the first half, giving him 32 points going into the locker room. The BYU victory was the Cougars fourth straight against the Utes and gave BYU a 126-125 all-time lead in the heated rivalry.
#2 - December 28, 2009 vs. Arizona
Stat Line: 49 Pts, 7 Reb, 9 Asts. 16-23 FG, 9-13 3-Pointers
This game was Jimmer's national coming-out party. Fredette led the Cougars into Tucson and lit up the Wildcats for 49 points in a 99-69 road victory for BYU. Jimmer's 49 points set a new BYU single-game record surpassing the previous mark of 47, set by Bob Skousen in 1961. Fredette also set a new single-game scoring record for the legendary McKale Center. The remarkable Arizona game put Fredette on the national radar, and Jimmermania was born.
#1 - January 26, 2011 vs. SDSU
Stat Line: 43 Pts, 4 Reb, 0 Asts. 14-24 FG, 5-8 3-Pointers
In the biggest game in Mountain West Conference history, Jimmer proved once and for all he is the best player the MWC has ever seen. The ninth-ranked Cougars (19-1) hosted the undefeated No. 4 Aztecs (20-0) and Jimmer was largely a one-man team in leading BYU to a 71-58 victory. Jimmer's 14-24 (58.3%) field goals carried the Cougars as the rest of the team struggled, shooting a paltry 11-32 (34.4%) from the field. As San Diego State began fouling at the end of the game, Jimmer hit seven straight clutch free throws to ice the first ever Mountain West matchup of two Top-10 teams.
Andrew Sweat is a Utah native and proud graduate of Brigham Young University. More from this author:The Five Most Memorable Mormons in the NBA
Without a Prayer: Three Reasons the Faith-Based WCC Will Be Basketball Purgatory for BYU