Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
BYU basketball coach Dave Rose talks with guard Jimmer Fredette during the MWC tournament in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 10, 2011.
Editor’s note: Fifth in a series examining Division I college basketball transfers.
PROVO — As a freshman in 2007-08, BYU guard Jimmer Fredette didn’t start a game and averaged a modest seven points per contest.
As a sophomore, Fredette became a starter, averaging 16 points in a supporting role on a team that also featured veterans Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari.
It wasn’t until midway through his junior season that Fredette exploded on the national scene. By his senior year, in 2010-11, he earned consensus All-American honors while leading the Cougars to their first NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance in 30 years.
BYU associate head coach Tim LaComb frequently shares that story with recruits, and current players, to illustrate how exercising patience can play a big role in achieving success.
“Jimmer came here with a big-time reputation. With that comes expectations, both from the team and the player,” LaComb said. “In Jimmer’s case, as a freshman, he had a veteran group of guys in front of him that may not have been as talented as he was but were experienced and understood how things went. Not to say he wasn’t frustrated but he did accept his role and worked through some tough things, which is probably something you don’t see as much anymore.
“It was a combination of Jimmer understanding his role and also understanding that BYU was a really good fit for him from a system standpoint,” LaComb continued. “After that first year, he went into coach (Dave Rose) and rather than demanding things and saying, ‘If it’s not this way, I’m going to transfer,’ he had a really good conversation with coach and laid out why he felt like he could become the player he became.”
Of course, not everyone can be Jimmer. But in a world of instant gratification, Fredette’s experience at BYU can be…