4GuysinBlazers

Jimmer was almost a Saint

Can you imagine Jimmer Fredette in Siena’s backcourt? Well it almost happened. Siena was one of only two D1 schools to offer the BYU star a scholarship. Below is the transcript of a question asked to former Siena head coach Fran McCaffery about the subject.

.

Q.  You had a little publicity during the BYU/San Diego State game, a story on Jimmer Fredette, the Sports Illustrated; can you talk a little about recruiting him and did you have a shot at him?
COACH McCAFFERY:
Oh, we had a real good shot, yeah.  We offered him before he played a game in his junior year.  We had him over for practice with his dad.  His dad is a terrific guy.  His dad helped the AAU program, for the Albany City Rocks that he played for.  He played in the same backcourt with Talor Battle and Mark Lyons from Xavier.  Those three guys played together on that team and Jimmer’s dad was one of the assistants.  Really good basketball guy.  Great basketball family.  His mom was really intuitive in that.

.

So we felt like for us, he’s from Glens Falls, about 40 minutes away versus BYU which was across the country.  We knew he was Mormon, and there’s a Mormon Church a quarter of a mile, not even maybe, an eighth of a mile from campus.  So for him it became, do I go across the country to the big Mormon institution, or do I stay closer to home.

.

He had a phenomenal reputation locally.  So anybody that didn’t see this coming, you know, they saw it coming in Albany, and then that part of New York State.

.

So what we tried to do was we tried to out work him, figuring, we’re closer, and we’ll try to out work him.  So we were at every game that he played.  And to Dave’s credit, he was there.  He really worked.  He got in and got after him.  And then he’s going to visit two places.

.

BYU is a pretty impressive place and when he went out there, he just fell in love with it and that’s what we he decided to do.  But yeah, we were very close, became close with his family.  I think    I don’t know for sure, but I think his mom was kind of hoping he went to Siena  She really liked the situation there.  But the kid could not have been any more professional.  If ever you lose a kid that you worked really hard for and you don’t get him, because as you know, in recruiting, you come in second, you really don’t get any benefit from it.  It’s all that effort.

.

Now when I say we were at every game, we were at every game he played the entire month of July.  But he could not have handled it with any more class.  I’m so happy for him that he’s doing so well.  I’m not surprised.

.

I can remember this.  I was sitting next to Tubby Smith, who was at Kentucky at the time, and he was looking at the big kid on that team who ended up going to St. John’s.  He came in to take a peak at him and was down in Orlando and he said, “Who is that guy?  That’s the best shooter I’ve seen all summer.”

.

And of course, I’m playing a little dumb; “He’s okay.”  You know.  I thought Kentucky was going to get him.  A lot of people liked him but nobody really got involved for whatever reason.  He’s going to be a pro, no question about it.

One Comment

  1. Lori

    March 5, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I believe that the administration at BYU really messed up with this honor code thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *