Jimmer Fredette remains much more a cultural sensation than one on the NBA court. He’s still the pride of Glens Falls, N.Y., where he was a high school star. He is still revered like few others in Utah, a positive public model for many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the Mormons).
But on the court for the Sacramento Kings last year, he looked like a rookie who has work to do to get his game to fit in. He shot 36 percent from three (where he took nearly half his shots) but he struggled in a ball handler’s role. And on defense.
Fredette thinks his sophomore campaign will show his game does fit in the NBA. He told the Deseret News that a large part of it is mental — he got married this summer and he thinks that support system will help him.
“Mentally, I’m more prepared.”
He said he’s worked extensively on his offense and defense, worked to create space and get his shot off quicker and worked on the pick-and-roll — a play he must master at that level.
“I’m working on making floaters and other things that have to be a part of my game. I’m better than a year ago, my skills are better and I’m excited about the season and being part of it.”
We’ll see. Isaiah Thomas has emerged as the starting point guard in Sacramento and Tyreke Evans will get time with the ball as this is the season where we see if and where fits in (probably, for his sake it better be).
But there are minutes there, minutes to be grabbed. But Fredette is going to have to earn them. If he really is better mentally prepared, that is a big start down that road.