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You know Jimmer now

Jimmer Fredette. If you hadn’t heard of him at this time yesterday, you better have heard of him by now.The one and only Jimmer FredetteHe’s the BYU guard who scored 43 points Wednesday night in the Cougars’ win over San Diego State, which I saw in non-high def on the CBS College Sports Network. At least I saw as much of it as I could make out in non-high def.

Call me spoiled, and you’re probably correct in doing so, but if a sporting event isn’t in high def in these technologically-advanced times, it’s really irriting to me. So, Cox, let’s work on getting CBSCSN in high def. OK?

Now, back to the game. Fredette was unbelievable. He caused me to utter several exclamations, most of which weren’t vulgar. Fredette’s game, after all, is anything but vulgar; it’s a thing of beauty.

He scores from anywhere, any time. His cross-over gave me a headache. His toughness is incredible. Did you see that scratch that spread from his back to his arm as he left the court for halftime Wednesday night? It looked like he had run dead-on into a barbed wire fence.

Fredette scored 43 of his team’s 71 points in a 13-point victory, which means he scored a tad more than 74 percent of the points that San Diego accumulated.

And, rightly so, the country is buzzing a day after. Fredette is the talk of the basketball world. Never mind that he’s been doing this kind of stuff for the past three seasons; his performance against the fourth-ranked Aztecs, before a packed house in Provo, Utah, and a big national TV audience (I hope most got to watch in high-def) catapulted him into legendary status.

Jimmer’s story only feeds the legend. He’s from upstate New York and had only two offers to play college basketball, from BYU and Siena. He was a role player for the Cougars during his freshman season, but when he got more of a chance to play two seasons ago he blew up.

Fredette is no secret amongst those who pay close attention to college basketball. But because BYU’s games are not often on ESPN, and because the guys who talk about basketball on ESPN can’t get their minds off the East Coast, he hadn’t become a household name despite having one of the best names in sports.

Jimmer? Is there another Jimmer anywhere in the world? Who names their kid Jimmer?

Well, here’s what Fredette told “The Sporting News” about how he got his name:

It's basically from my mom. She has a lot of Jameses and Jims in her family, and James is my real name. But she decided she wanted to make it unique, so she added the extra "m" and "er" to the end and started to call me Jimmer from birth. She wanted everybody to call me that. She would always tell my teachers, and if she'd hear someone call me something other than Jimmer, she'd yell at them, say, "His name's Jimmer. Call him Jimmer." So, that's how it started and it's stuck. I really like the name, and I think a lot of people enjoy it.

* Tiger Woods is back at it today, playing - and playing pretty well – in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. It’s one of hisTiger Woodsfavorite courses and, judging from what others are writing about Woods, he’s in a much better place mentally than he was a year ago.

Of course, it’s difficult to imagine where a worse place would be, but that’s beside the point.

We love predictions, and many are taking a shot at forecasting Woods’ season. This morning on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” radio show, the two hosts were asked whether they would take the over or under on Woods’ major tournament victories if the number was set at 1 1/2. It’s a great question and both took the under.

I’ll take the under, too, just because I don’t see Woods, or anyone else, winning two majors. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. Let’s not forget how dominant Tiger was on the PGA Tour before his transgressions.

You know how driven he is and how much he’d love to go out and have a 2011 season for the ages. I laughed this morning when I read an accounting of Tiger’s mental state that used his Twitter postings as a gauge of how the guy seems to be doing pretty well.

Really? We know judge people’s stability on their tweets?

As somebody who manages to put his best foot forward on Facebook, I highly doubt that either social media outlet provides an accurate assessment of one’s emotional well-being.

Even so, I do expect Woods to have a big season. But I don’t really need Twitter to help me come to that conclusion.

A sports writer’s memory

Watching Fredette play Wednesday night got me thinking about the most exciting players I’ve seen in person. He’s one of them, although I watched him struggle in the NCAA Tournament’s second round last season against Kansas State.Dave Stallworth back in the dayI decided to limit my choices to current and former Wichita State players and I would have to say it’s Dave Stallworth, without question.

Now, I was just a lad who knew nothing about sports writing (you’re saying I still don’t, aren’t you?) when Stallworth played during the early- and mid-1960s. Some of my memories are a little foggy. But Stallworth was a 6-foot-7 gazelle. He could handle the basketball, pass it and shoot it. He had guard-like qualities, but was a fierce rebounder.

He and Fredette aren’t that much alike, but there are similarites. Fredette, though smaller, attacks the basket the way Stallworth did. He has no fear. Fredette is easily a better shooter than Dave the Rave, but Stallworth wasn’t a slouch.

Because he played so long ago, Stallworth doesn’t get enough credit as one of the best college basketball players in history. Fredette didn’t either, but I suspect his performance against San Diego State is causing people to take notice.

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