SportsBeat Jimmer: Early days at BYU

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Without the killer crossovers, deep threes and uber creativity around the basket, there would have been no "mania". Jimmer's genius raw talent was refined on the 90x50 basketball court the native New Yorker turned into his very own Broadway stage.

Jimmer came to BYU with little fanfare. He started his career off the bench, but thanks to a lot of hard work it wasn't long before Jimmer developed into a star.

Jimmer showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman for a team that won 27 games and a Mountain West title. But in 35 games he never started, playing behind senior Ben Berta.

"He comes into my office after his freshman year and says, 'Coach I'm your point guard, I'll be your point guard next year. I'll spend all summer working on everything that I need to work on so I can run the program' and the next year he's first-team all Mountain West Conference," said Coach Dave Rose. "That's a hard thing to do."

Patience paid off as a sophomore where he scored 20 plus points eight times, including 28 at San Diego State. He followed that with 25 points in a victory over Utah.

The Cougars won another Mountain West title but fell short once again in the NCAA tournament, something Jimmer was determined to change as a junior.

He raised his game to another level his junior season, highlighted by his record setting performance at Arizona. "Jimmer Fredette is just somebody that we don't have an answer for," Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller said.

"We played so well as a team, but Jimmer was just phenomenal and you just see the national media begin to recognize Jimmer and our team," said BYU Coach Dave Rose.

Even a bout with mono couldn't keep him from dominating the competition, scoring 33 points in a win at San Diego State. He added 36 more in a win against Utah, and scored 45 against TCU in the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

But it was his March Madness performance that made Jimmer a household name.

His 37 points against Florida helped BYU get their first NCAA tournament win in 17 years and set the stage for an epic senior season.

Email: jjensen@ksl.comTwitter: @JJSportsBeat

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Jeremiah Jensen


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