Scouting Outlook: Jimmer Fredette

Jimmer Fredette signing for PAO BC was one of bigger splashes of European transfer market this off-season. Former No. 1 scorer at college level has not succeeded to transcend tremendous college career at NBA level so far, but he is one of the highest paid brand names in China past few seasons.

Everything so far about Jimmer was full ups and downs. After stardom during NCAA period, he struggled at NBA level no matter he was elected 10th at 2011 NBA draft. Four NBA seasons, with short stint in Phoenix Suns this year and 2 games only for NY, was all what was produced by Fredette in best basketball league in the world. His style of play and attitude were definitely not perfect fit for strict and rigid NBA life. Luck was found in Far East, but this season is something new for Jimmer – he will test his abilities vs the best European competition.

Physical Profile

Jimmer Fredette is strongly built 188 cm – 89kg combo scoring guard coming from pretty famous Brigham Young University program. His athleticism is far from elite one, as well as size, but physicality was rarely main issue in the career of this fellow. His lateral quickness is below average, which affects his defensive game quite a lot.

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Offensive Game

It is obvious that you don’t bring Jimmer to be your defensive anchor. Quite the contrary, this player is totally offensively minded capable of bravura performances every night on the court.

Fredette offense is consisted of impressive shooting, good pick and roll game and ISO, while being effective enough in transition as well.

Jimmer is sniper shooter from every point inside half court. He is fantastic stretcher always focused to pull a three or mid ranger out of impossible situation. That can cost him minutes, as well as coach getting gray haired, but his range is unlimited. Pull up jumper is one of the best, if not at the very top, in Europe while his release is smooth, gentle and consistent. He is very dangerous from both off dribble and catch and shoot situations with many different ways of scoring a basket. He uses floaters as well and the only area where he is not elite is finishing around the rim in traffic or under contact. His body can stand it up, but he is over concentrated at drawing 2+1 at times so he loses balance and misses open lay ups.

Pick and Roll game for Fredette is mostly built around his ability to finish from 2 on 2 game. He can do it multiple ways: favorite is 3pt jumper, then comes easy swaggy penetration with additional options being mid ranger or floater. His balance when jumping on 3pt line off pick and roll is impressive. Fredette is making room for his shot quite easily due his polished ball handling with both hands and creativity in moves he never lacked at any moment. Smooth moves and soft touch helps him gain numerous admirers of his game all round the world. At times he looks hesitant, mostly when he has other ideas in mind then shooting from pick.

Jimmer’s passing out of pick and roll situations is area of his game which is not developed to the maximum extent. His passes are nicely timed mostly, but sometimes he is bit late and way over turnover prone. He has good understanding of game, so basketball IQ in this case is not the main issue: more the fact he tends to be (over)creative or too risky.

When you have player such as Fredette in the team, ISO situations are sets which you will use against every level of opponent. Jimmer can finish out of ISO many ways, but he is disturbed a bit by lack of athleticism at higher levels. He is strong in ISO no matter if it is left, right or centered with bunch of fakes and unpredictable moves.

Additionally, Fredette is not dangerous only with ball in his hands. He can be very deadly off ball, with solid but slower movement and capability of using good screens for his shots. He is not guy to run around the screens, just he uses it as small help for the open look.

Finally, transition is area of game where he should flourish. Well, it is not the case mostly due his bad decisions at times, too many shooting instead of passing and slower running. Still, his game in transition should be taken into serious account: mix of good ball handling, with ability to draw many fouls and shoot all the time makes him tough opponent to stop.

Defensive Game

Jimmer Fredette is player who is underestimated since his college games for his defense. His guilt is immense: defensive body language in Jimmer case was/is awful at times, he looked totally out of focus at that end of the court and his body lacked tools to contribute.

Covering oppositions shooters is not something Jimmer adores. He is often late through screens with no real willingness to fight through it. Not so active hands doesn’t help him that much. He is often lacking concentration in rotations, but when he is 100% in defense he can do many good things such as reading, timely rotations, and contesting shots.

Jimmer can’t defend quick point guards/guards due his limitations in lateral quickness and non athletic body, but his pick and roll game has some good aspects. The first thing to mention here is his exceptional understanding and anticipation. The second one is his pretty active status in such sets where he is trying his best to recover on time.

In general, even in China, Jimmer was hidden on the opposition worst offensive player in guard line. At Euroleague level there are numerous question marks in his defense, but if his attitude is right one, he can be quite solid even in the area of his game mostly under criticism.


Final Opinion

Jimmer Fredette will bring lot of fun to spectators through Europe. PAO fans will adore his creativity and “crazy” style of play while coach Pedoulakis will not be that happy at some moments. Still, Jimmer in Europe is something big and Panathinaikos, no matter how far from previous budgets, did amazing thing for European basketball another time: after hurricane splash with coach Pitino, there is another one with Fredette.

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