Jimmer Fredette: A Rookie of the Year Favorite?

Basketball Prospectus’ Kevin Pelton put together statistical projections of players from next year’s rookie class for ESPN.com.  His method explained in his own words:

My projection system translates NCAA performance to the pros using the performance of past rookies and adjusting for strength of schedule. To that is added the pace at which each newcomer’s NBA team played last season and a guess at minutes per game to create a projected stat line. Here’s a look at the most impressive of next season’s rookies (whenever they finally get to take the floor)…

His analysis of Fredette, which is a favorable one, after the jump…

Jimmer Fredette: 32.0 mpg, 17.0 ppg, 3.7 apg, 2.5 rpg

The leading projected rookie scorer is the No. 10 pick, Fredette. Because he carried such a heavy load at BYU, Fredette’s projection doesn’t quite match the role he will likely play for the Kings. Expect Fredette to use less than the 27.3 percent of Sacramento’s plays his projection calls for, while at the same time shooting much better from the field than his projections (39.7 percent on 2s, 33.6 percent on 3s). Entering the NBA, Stephen Curry had similar projections but ended up shooting 43.7 percent from long distance. As a likely starter for a fast-paced team, Fredette has a chance to put up big enough numbers and win Rookie of the Year.

Considering Pelton’s analysis, those stats would not only be good enough to put Fredette in running for rookie of the year, but perhaps sixth man of the year as well.  Head Coach Paul Westphal told our own James Ham that he “can’t envision (Fredette) taking a spot ahead of Tyreke Evans or Marcus Thornton, assuming we re-sign Marcus.”  However, he doesn’t rule out the possibility of Fredette starting next season.

I agree with Pelton’s minutes projection of Fredette.  Though he’s a rookie, Fredette is NBA ready having played all four seasons of his college career.  Dealing Beno Udrih has opened up minutes for him in what could be a three-guard rotation with Evans and Thornton.  There may be nights where Fredette plays 20 minutes and nights where he plays 38 minutes.  That’s why I think his average time on the court will fall right around the 30-minute mark for the year.

Scoring-wise?  17 points per game seems doable, but not likely.  Evans, Thornton and Cousins rank higher on the offensive hierarchy will have more leeway to create their own shots off isolation than Fredette.  And then there’s John Salmons to remember also.  Perhaps somewhere around 12-15 points seems about right for the Kings heralded rookie.

What do you think Jimmer will average statistically next season ?


Jonathan Santiago
Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.

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