Granted, Kemba Walker is a very special talent. He is quick and clutch, and he has enjoyed an enormous of amount of success in this 2010-2011 college basketball season.
But, frankly, I don't get the recent Kemba-Jimmer comparisons, and I certainly don't understand the idea of him winning player of the year.
Jimmer “The Chucker” Fredette
One of the biggest criticisms of Jimmer in the last week is that he is a "chucker." This stems from his last game in which he scored 32 points but took 29 shots to get there.
Sure, 29 shots does seem like a lot when you are only getting 32 points, but that kind of result from Jimmer is pretty much an aberration.
In all of the 2010-2011 season, Jimmer only had four games with an equal or worse ratio of Field Goal Attempt to Points Scored (0.91).
Kemba had 12.
The ratio of 0.91 for FGA-PTS really isn’t very good, so what happens when we lower the bar on the FGA-PTS ratio to 0.85? Jimmer had five games with that.
Kemba had 16, including one in the most recent game against Arizona.
In fact, over the course of the season the FGA-PTS ratio for Jimmer was 0.72.
Kemba’s was 0.76.
If you are going to call Jimmer a “chucker,” because, in one of his worst shooting games of the season, his points and shots taken are too close, you can’t cover your eyes and ears when Kemba takes 14 shots to get 8 points (2/2 at home vs. Syracuse) or 27 shots to get 22 points (1/8 at Texas).
“I've seen dead people play better defense”
Clearly, Rick Reilly had not actually seen a corpse play better defense than Jimmer Fredette when he wrote that. However, defense is likely Jimmer’s biggest weakness on the basketball court.
But I look at it differently.
The opposing team often doubles and even triple-teams Jimmer in hopes of containing him. Sometimes it works (somewhat), sometimes it doesn’t.
Also, Jimmer hardly goes a night without two or three players rotating the defensive assignment of stopping Jimmer. They take rests and get back on him.
Jimmer doesn’t get a break from being Jimmer.
Would any of these haters care to be Jimmer Fredette for a game, have the ball in your hands as much as he does, dribble as much as he does (whether you like it or not), run around as much as he does, use as much energy as he does on offense – and then be expected to shut down quick guards on the other end?
We would have all liked to see Jimmer play better defense, but we sure did love his offense, didn’t we?
“…and a set of teammates who looked like pizza delivery guys”
We could argue all day about how good the other players on BYU are or aren’t, but that is not the issue.
The issue is that even with a team Rick Reilly deemed as being as good as “pizza delivery guys,” Jimmer still did what he did this season, and that should be impressive.
Here are the ratings of Kemba’s teammates, according to ESPN Recruiting:
Jeremy Lamb, 92
Alex Oriakhi, 96
Shabazz Napier, 94
Roscoe Smith, 95
Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, 94
How many guesses do you want to figure out how many of Jimmer’s teammates were ranked at 92 or higher? Or even in the 90s? Because the answer is “0.”
Now I don’t think Jackson Emery and Kyle Collinsworth are stiffs or “pizza delivery guys,” but if you’re going to trash Jimmer’s teammates, shouldn’t you expect more from someone with Kemba’s teammates?
Other Kemba NOT for Player of the Year notes:
As important as March is, should the "Player of the Year" award be given for waking up in March? People were high on Kemba after his Maui performance, but he disappeared for several months.
You shouldn't able to win POY if you "led" your team to a 4-7 record during any stretch in a season. If a Heisman candidate has one bad game, some write them off. Two bad games? You're done. Why should this award be given to a guy whose team was 9-9 in the Big East?
Frankly, I prefer the Jimmer bandwagon now compared to two or three weeks ago. Getting rid of all of the national media has made it a lot faster.