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Provo-- That collective sigh of relief coming from Provo was BYU Basketball fans breathing a little easier as guard Jimmer Fredette announced he would return to play for the Cougars his Senior year. Though the two-time pre-season All-American declared himself eligible for the NBA draft in April of this year, Fredette never hired an agent, leaving himself the option of returning to BYU for the 2010 season.
KSL's Rod Zundel spent some time with Fredette recently and talked "expectations."
"Obviously last year I wasn't able to get that ‘Player of the Year,'" said Fredette, "but we were able to have a really good year as a team and I think that's more important."
But Fredette hasn't given up on shooting for that particular accolade. "Well, you know, I want to [be ‘Player of the Year']. It's going to be great to try to..reach that goal so I'm looking forward to it." he said, but reiterated "...it's more important for our team to be successful ...and reach the goals for our team."
It is not uncommon for talented Juniors to declare themselves for the NBA draft to see where they stand. Fredette thinks it helped him as a player.
"Playing at that elite level you need to elevate your game to play with them or else you're going to look like a fool out there." he said. "I think the biggest thing is that it really gave me a lot of confidence to know that I can play at that level and that guys at the top level think I can play at that level."
Fredette definitely believes he's a better player for the experience and it came with the added benefit of getting a lot of court time in this summer.
Senior guard and teammate Jackson Emery was quoted as saying that this year's Cougar team will have what it takes to go undefeated for a fourth straight year. Fredette has his opinion as well.
"Yeah, I think so. I think we definitely could because we have a really talented team...if we can, that would be an amazing season, obviously."