Jimmer Fredette has won the 2011 NCAA scoring title. Leading Brigham Young to share of the Mountain West championship, Fredette has vaulted up the NBA mock drafts. He could easily be a top 10 selection now, and now Fredette will get a chance to really show what he can do in the Mountain West Tournament as well as the NCAA Tournament. He helped lead BYU to a 28-3 overall record this year, and we may not have even seen the best game he has played yet. Fredette finished the regular season with 27.9 points per game, distancing himself from everyone else in the country.
There were some other great numbers put up by players around the country not named Fredette, but they have had to settle for less attention during this past season. It was Marshon Brooks of Providence that came the closest to catching Fredette, as Brooks averaged 24.8 points per game this year. Right behind him in the final regular season rankings was Adrian Oliver of San Jose State, who ended up with a scoring average of 24.3 points per game. All three players have proven to be great leaders of their respective teams, even if Brooks and Oliver didn’t receive as much national coverage as a few of the other players.
Some of those players that are bound to receive the most attention as the NBA Draft approaches include Kemba Walker, Nolan Smith, and Klay Thompson. Walker has averaged 23.1 points per game heading into his final game against DePaul on Sunday, but that is expected to be an easy game for Connecticut that might not even see Walker on the floor for very long. Smith finished up his season for Duke against North Carolina on Saturday, and ends the 2010-11 regular season with a scoring average of 21.6 points per game. Finally, there is Klay Thompson, who was suspended for the final regular season game at Washington State. He still finished with 21.4 points per game to win the Pac-10 scoring title.
Scoring certainly isn’t everything in the college game, but it is the easiest way to get noticed before the postseason tournaments. Now that the conference tournaments are about to get started, a number of players that have had great individual seasons have to prove that they can elevate their teams to the next level. Thompson is one of those players that have additional pressure being placed upon him. If he can’t lead his Cougars to a Pac-10 Conference Championship, it is likely that his Cougars won’t even make the NCAA Tournament, and thus provides him less coverage on the national stage.
For Jimmer Fredette, he now has to hope he doesn’t fall to the curse that some people have been saying comes along with leading the league in scoring.
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