Entertainer of the Year

The writers for theunofficialreview.com have voted, and their player of the year candidate is, wait for it…Jimmer Fredette! Okay, seeing as though all of us have attended BYU, I don’t think anyone is surprised, but let’s look at why we all voted this way. Each of the other candidates for player of the year is definitely talented and each of them has helped his team to impressive seasons. However, there are several reasons why we selected Jimmer (and not just because we have been smitten with Jimmer Mania). So let’s look at them tête-à-tête.
Out of the four major candidates Jared Sullinger is the only forward, making it difficult to compare him to the other three. He has indeed had an incredible season, more than a dozen double-doubles, a conference championship, and a number one seed. This award has predominately been awarded to forwards the last fifty years, only eight times has it gone to any other player, and four of those times the player doubled as either a guard/forward or forward/center. Considering that this is Sullinger’s debut year I would easily nominate him freshman of the year, but in terms of forwards he doesn’t stick out as much as he has been hyped to. San Diego States Kawhi Leonard has one point less per game, but more rebounds, blocks, steals, and assists per game. JaJuan Johnson from Purdue has posted comparable numbers to both of them.
Nolan Smith and Kemba Walker swapped places half way through the season. Kemba was projected as a candidate for player of the year early on, but lost significance as the season wore on, excepting his performance in the Big East tournament. Nolan Smith on the other hand, was only noteworthy the second half of the season. Both of them had their strengths compared to the other main candidates; Smith had the most assists per game, and Walker had the most steals per game, and both put up more than twenty points per game. However, none of the other candidates come anywhere close to Jimmer’s ppg.
At a whopping 28.8 points per game Jimmer Fredette is the nation’s leading scorer, not to exclude his 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 3.5 rebounds per game. The other Cougars have talent, but nobody stands out more than the Jimmer. After finishing third in the nation in points per game last year, Jimmer contemplated entering the draft, but for the enjoyment of not just BYU fans, but of all college hoops fans, Jimmer came back for the best senior season imaginable. He was voted AP All- American at the beginning of the season, and he has been relevant ever since. Unlike the other players in the race, Jimmer both started and stayed in the conversation for player of the year, and magnified his importance as the season rolled on. And let’s face it, EVERYBODY loves to watch Jimmer play. Whether he is breaking ankles, squeezing between defenders, or launching it two steps past the half court line, Jimmer is the most entertaining player to watch, and linguistically his name has been adapted to every part of speech. Even the opposing teams enjoy watching him. After Jimmer dropped 49 points on Arizona, their head coach gave him a hug. When Jimmer hit a half court shot and finished with 47 points in Utah, the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Don’t forget this kid came out of high school a two star recruit, and came off the bench his freshman year. Not only is he our player of the year, we thank him for coming back and giving us something to watch in college basketball this year.


March Sadness

Tuesday, 22 March 2011, 5:03 | Category : Basketball, College
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Despite having a solid first couple of days on your bracket, chances are you’re not quite so happy now.  In my group on ESPN.com, I was among the leaders (tied with Jimmy).  There were 8 or 9 almost upsets in the second round (excluding 8-9 match-ups), but none of them happened so I was in good shape, but then Sunday hit.  Fortunately, I don’t have any money on my bracket so I’m happy to see as many upsets as possible.

I love seeing the madness begin, but I wish it could’ve happened to teams that would have hurt others more than me.  For example, as a life-long Michigan fan I hate Ohio St, so I had them losing in the Elite 8 to Syracuse.  Why couldn’t they lose?  I also had Duke losing early, but they managed to avoid a loss to Michigan in the final seconds.  At least Notre Dame and Purdue hurt just about everybody’s brackets.

VCU Rams, Richmond Spiders, March Madness, NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Will these Richmond rivals play for a spot in the Final Four?

So now that we’re down to the Sweet 16, let’s take a look at who is left.  There’s 1 team remaining from the Big XII, Pac 10, Atlantic 10, CAA, and Horizon conferences.  Other conferences with 2 teams still in the Big Dance include the Big East, Big Ten, SEC,and Mountain West.  Only the ACC has 3 teams left, not even the Big East.  That’s right, the mighty Big East with 11 teams in the tourney is down to 2 teams in the Sweet 16.  That’s the same number of teams left from the city of Richmond, Virginia (my hometown).  In fact, the Big East only had 5 teams make it to the third round.  Can you say overrated?

(In the Big East’s defense, due to two conference match-ups in the third round the most they could have had move on was three.  The fewest they could have had was two.  They have two.  so much for my defense.)

Now back to my bracket.  I still have three of my Final Four and both in my championship in it.  In the East all I have left is Ohio St winning one more game, but it helps me more if they lose.  So I’m rooting for Marquette to come out of that region.  In the Soutwest, I have Kansas alive and winning it all, but I’m rooting for Richmond and VCU.  That would be some Elite 8 match-up.  UConn is all I have left in the West.  I have them losing in the championship so it would be nice of them to keep winning.

I don’t really care what happens in the the rest of the bracket as long as BYU keeps winning in the Southeast.  I had enough faith to put them in the Final Four.  The rematch from last year’s 2OT first round game with Florida should be a good one, but if BYU keeps clicking like it did against Gonzaga, then it’ll be hard for anyone to stop them.  Now with Pitt gone, BYU’s road to making it further than it ever has in the school’s history has just gotten that much more realistic.  We know Jimmer is going to do his thing, but when he gets double teamed the rest of the team needs to make shots (much like what happened against the Zags).  If they make it to the Final Four, I’m going to be out-of-my-mind excite and I’m pretty sure Jimmy’s head is going to explode.

I’m just confused how the Obama bracket I made is leading my group.  He picked 5 upsets in his entire bracket, and they were all in the first (second) round.  I’m waiting to see his bracket get Jimmered.

This was maybe the maddest ending to a basketball game this March weekend and it was in Spain…

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