Fredette Named 2011 Naismith Men's College Player of the Year, Beating Out Smith, Sullinger and Walker
Senior leads BYU Cougars to 1st NCAA Sweet 16 since 1981
HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 3, 2011) – Jimmer Fredette, the regular season NCAA scoring leader and first team All American who led the BYU Cougars to their first NCAA Sweet 16 since the 1980-81 season, was named the 2011 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. He edged out Ohio State Freshman Jared Sullinger, Duke Senior Nolan Smith and UConn Junior Kemba Walker to become the first player from BYU and the third from the Mountain West Conference (MWC) to win the award, joining UNLV’s Larry Johnson and Utah’s Andrew Bogut.
Fredette was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's National Voting Academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, in addition to fan voting via text message, which accounted for 25 percent of the final results - more than any other national college basketball award. The voting academy based its criteria on player performances throughout the season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.
“As it is most years, this year’s decision was incredibly difficult. In the end, Jimmer’s exhilarating play for the Cougars this season was simply too much for voters to ignore,” said Atlanta Tipoff Club Executive Director Eric Oberman, “We congratulate Jimmer and all the finalists on a remarkable season and wish each of the best of luck in their future basketball careers.”
Today, the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is regarded as the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the men’s college basketball player of the year.
“We join the Atlanta Tipoff Club in congratulating Jimmer Fredette, a truly impressive student-athlete,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “We know the fans are also proud of his accomplishments – their text votes accounted for 25 percent of the final tally. We’re glad our network was there to help connect Jimmer and his fans throughout the season and through this award.”
Fredette won the MWC Player of the Year this season while averaging an NCAA-best 28.9 points and 4.3 assists per game and winning eight MWC Player of the Week awards. Fredette’s 43 points on 14-for-24 shooting against previously unbeaten and then No. 4 San Diego State capped off three, 40+ point performances in four games for Fredette. Finishing off the regular season with a MWC regular season championship, Fredette led his team into their 26th NCAA Div. I Men’s Basketball Tournament as a No. 3 seed, where he averaged 32.7 points and 6 assists per game before losing in overtime to No. 2 seeded Florida in the Sweet 16.
“Jimmer has put in the time and hard work to make himself the player he is today and is as committed to winning as anyone I’ve ever coached,” said Dave Rose, BYU men’s basketball head coach. “Jimmer truly is a great player, a great teammate and an even better person and is very deserving of this award.”
Other notable men’s college player of the year winners include Michael Jordan (1984), Ralph Sampson (1981-1983), Larry Bird (1979), Patrick Ewing (1985), Bill Walton (1972-1974) and last year’s winner, Evan Turner, from The Ohio State University.