Jimmer Fredette finished with 3 steals and 1 block in a 115-114 win over the Reno Bighorns on Friday. During the game, a mic’d up coach of the Reno Bighorns was overheard saying, “Jimmer can’t guard anybody. I can tell you that right now.” Well, that’s not very nice. Especially considering the source.
Opponents are shooting 48% from the field against the Reno Bighorns this season, which is second-worst in the league and Reno is giving up a league-high 115.8 points per game.
Where it gets interesting is that the Westchester Knicks are so good defensively. Despite playing Jimmer 37.1 minutes a night in 16 of their 21 games, they’re one of only three teams giving up fewer than 100 points a night and have held opponents to 43% shooting this season. (Second best in the league.) Jimmer, who has never been much of a defender, has a defensive rating this season of 102.2. You’ll find his name on page 3 of 6 if you sort by that stat. So, he’s not exactly killing the Westchester Knicks defensively.
This isn’t to say that Jimmer is going to turn into Bruce Bowen, but don’t throw stones about opposing player’s defensive abilities if you’re a Grinnell product who was hired because of a gimmick his dad came up with. Yes, “Reno coach” is most likely David Arseneault Jr., the son of Grinnell’s David Arseneault Sr. David Jr.’s claim to fame is setting the college record for assists in a game. That record deserves to be celebrated as much as Jack Taylor’s two 100-point games. From Rick Reilly’s 2013 column on the Grinnell system:
“We had a rule that night,” says Dave Jr. “Anybody could take any shot they wanted, but only if it came off a pass from me.” His 34 assists that night are still the national record.
So as the NBA tries to turn the D-League into a legitimate minor-league with teams having direct affiliations with NBA teams, of course the Sacramento Kings hired a 28-year old D-III assistant coach for their D-League team using an experimental system that almost immediately failed.