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With his NBA predraft workout circuit completed Wednesday, former BYU guard Jimmer Fredette's parting words at the Jazz's practice facility included an acknowledgment that he cheated in college.
When it came to defense, Jimmer rested.
"I thought I could have done better on the defensive end of the floor," he said. "Definitely, there were times I was lacking there and times when I was more intense. At this level, I know I'm going to have to give a consistent effort, and I'm looking forward to doing that."
The Jazz's evaluation process is more complicated than judging how much Fredette's phenomenal shooting ability which they certainly lack outweighs their pressing need for defensive help. They have to consider the Nos. 3 and 12 picks as a package, which obviously affects how they view Fredette in that second slot.
Just the same, Jimmer's defense is an issue. The apparent answer to that question is he's capable of doing more than he showed in Provo, where his primary missions were to score nearly 30 points and stay on the floor for almost 40 minutes. That basically required him to avoid fouls and save energy.
Asked how he responds to NBA teams asking about Fredette's defense, BYU coach Dave Rose said: "I tell them he's a great player, and great players figure out how to play. So it'll take a little time to adjust to the NBA game, but I think he'll be fine."
Rather than showcase individual defenders, BYU's approach was "team-oriented," Rose said. Translation: The coaching staff managed to hide Jimmer.
Look, we were all complicit in that regard fans, media, coaches. Nobody wanted Jimmer exhausting himself defensively at the expense of his offensive exploits.
So playing a lot of zone defense, while asking guard Jackson Emery to do most of the work out front, worked pretty well for BYU. The Cougars went 32-5, and Fredette's shortcomings probably did not cost them any wins except maybe the overtime game with Florida in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, when one possession would have made the difference.
Regardless, whatever deficiencies that body of work showed, Fredette seemingly overcame them in recent weeks.
In his workouts, he showed NBA scouts he's "a little more athletic than they think," Fredette said. And "I wasn't afraid to go in there and be aggressive, be physical with guys and get it done at the defensive end of the floor. I thought a lot of teams were impressed that way."
In Wednesday's workout, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said with a knowing chuckle that Fredette "did better [defensively] than he showed on the films."
UConn guard Kemba Walker said Fredette's defense was "pretty good," adding, "I don't want to say anything wrong."
Fredette's self-evaluation versus Walker was he "played really good defense let's leave it at that."
All of which gives the Jazz another week to sort out everything. Barring trades, here's the bottom line: If the Jazz go big at No. 3 and Fredette is available at No. 12, they have to take him. But if they somehow judge Kentucky guard Brandon Knight or Walker as being genuinely worthy of the No. 3 pick, there's no sense duplicating.
"If you've got a left-handed relief pitcher, I'm not sure you draft another left-handed relief pitcher at that spot," said general manager Kevin O'Connor.
Personally, I still like Turkish big man Enes Kanter at No. 3 and Fredette at No. 12. Label those picks defensible at both ends of the floor.