Thursday will be a huge day in the life of Jimmer Fredette.
The Glens Falls native and Brigham Young all-world basketball player should be selected in the NBA draft, which will be televised at 7:30 p.m. by ESPN and ESPN HD. The question is whether Fredette will be taken in the first or second round.
Fredette was the player of the year in college basketball. He averaged 28.9 points per game in his senior season, leading BYU into the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16.
Even though he had an incredible year, ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla is concerned about Fredette handling the basketball. He had a 3.5 turnover average per game.
“He had a high turnover rate, but he had the ball in his hands a lot,” Fraschilla said during a Thursday conference call. “I would probably lean more towards being a designated spot shooter that could play some back‑up point guard, combo guard. Not quite a two‑guard like a JJ Redick, [but] someone that can play both spots.”
Fredette’s shooting ability will help him make it in the NBA. He shot 45.2 percent from the field, including 39.6 percent from three-point range.
“His ability to stretch a defense makes what I would call momentum changing threes,” Fraschilla said. “A guy that you put in the middle of the third quarter, you’re down two and when he leaves, you’re up seven because he’s made three threes. So, I’m looking at him that way.”
ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas said Fredette won’t fail in the NBA.
“He’s a tough-minded compet-itor,” Bilas said. “He’s underrated as an athlete. I kind of go back even though it’s more of a neat story than anything, but when he signed that contract to be an NBA player with his brother when he was a little kid, he follows through on things. He fights, and he competes.
“Last year, when he played against the select team, he played against the best young talent in the NBA and didn’t back down from anybody. I don’t think he’ll back down in the NBA. I think he’s going to be a very good NBA player.”
ESPN.com NBA draft Insider Chad Ford believes Fredette will be selected in the first round.
“He goes between the Kings at seven and the Pacers at 15,” Ford said.
We will find out Thursday night.
Finals do well
The playoff championship series clinchers for the NBA and NBC did very well for the networks that carry the two leagues.
Plenty of people made “The
Decision” to watch the Dallas Mavericks send LeBron James and the Miami Heat into the offseason without a title.
Nielsen Media Research said Monday that the Mavericks’ title-clinching 105-95 victory Sunday over the Heat earned a 15.0 overnight rating for ABC. It’s the highest-rated Game 6 ever on the network (ESPN reacquired rights to the league in 2002-03), and the highest in 11 years.
The 15.0 overnight rating was up 35 percent compared to an 11.1 overnight rating for Game 6 of the 2006 Finals, when these same two teams met in the Finals. The overnight rating for the broadcast was an increase of 22 percent over a 12.3 overnight rating for Game 6 last year between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
Sunday’s Game 6 generated the third-highest overnight rating for an NBA game on ABC, trailing only last year’s Game 7 (18.2 overnight rating, Lakers/Celtics) and Game 5 of the 2004 NBA Finals (15.5 overnight rating, Lakers/Pistons).
It seemed that everyone, except for James, stayed around in the fourth quarter. The game peaked with a 20.9 rating from
Of course, James is being rid-iculed for failing to show up in the fourth quarter of this series. Add to the fact that he made his announcement to leave the Cleveland Cav-aliers and take his talents to South Beach and the Heat on the now-infamous “The Decision” on ESPN last summer, and no one is feeling sorry for James that he didn’t win his first NBA title.
Meanwhile, Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final Wednesday may not have delivered a double-digit rating like the deciding game of the NBA Finals did. However, NBC should be pleased.
The Boston Bruins’ Cup-clinching 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks earned a 5.7 overnight rating and 10 share for NBC. That tied 2003 for the best NHL Stanley Cup Game 7 overnight on record, according to overnight data released Thursday by The Nielsen Company.
The overnight was up 14 percent compared to the most recent Game 7 in 2009, which featured two U.S. teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.
Two other notes: The 5.7 overnight for Game 7 ties for the second-best Stanley Cup overnight rating in 37 years, behind only last year’s Chicago-Philadelphia Game 6 which registered a 5.8/10 overnight. The record is 7.6 for NBC’s coverage of Game 6 of the Boston-Philadelphia final on May 19, 1974, a game that was played on a hot Sunday afternoon at the Spectrum which saw my Flyers win their first Stanley Cup.
It was the highest Stanley Cup overnight rating for a game featuring a Canadian team in 38 years.
NBC13 and NBC13 HD have the final two rounds of the U.S. Open today at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. If there is a tie at the end of Sunday, there will be an 18-hole playoff Monday. ESPN and ESPN HD will have the first half of the playoff, and NBC13 and NBC13 HD cover the second half. . . .
FOX23 and FOX23 HD will have the Yankees-Cubs at 4 p.m. today. ESPN and ESPN HD will carry Sunday’s game at 8 p.m. . . .
College baseball’s World Series starts today on ESPN and ESPN HD. Game 1 at 2 p.m. features Vanderbilt against North Carolina. At 7 p.m., Texas takes on Florida. On Sunday at 2 p.m., California plays Virginia. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD has the 7 p.m. game between Texas A&M and South Carolina. . . .
Versus and Versus HD has the first round of the NHL draft at 7 p.m. Friday. . . .
Wimbledon gets under way at 7 a.m. Monday on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD.