It’s going to be a long time before we see anyone like BYU's Jimmer Fredette again. That being said, over the holidays, I bumped into a guard who samples from Fredette's game, knows Jimmer well and is going to also attend BYU.
Meet Nick Emery (Lone Peak, Utah/Lone Peak), the next candidate to replace Jimmer.
Emery's a 6-foot-2, 2013 shooting guard who is the brother of former BYU standout Jackson Emery. That means he witnessed the Jimmer show from a good seat the past few years. During the summer, Nick even hooped with his brother and “The Jimmer” at his discretion.
Look, it’s easy or maybe even inappropriate to call anyone the next Fredette. White kid, brother played there, shoots 3s, knows Jimmer. It’s all very convenient but by no stretch is Nick Emery another Fredette. However, he does try to emulate him.
Emery shoots eight or nine 3-pointers a game in high school. After having watched him at the Beach Ball Classic in December, I can tell you that the 3-point line is merely a guide. Like his buddy Jimmer, Emery will launch trifectas. For Lone Peak, Emery makes 39 percent of his chances from deep, which suits coach Quincy Lewis just fine.
“[His teammates] do know he’s going to shoot some shots but he’s going to make enough of them,” Lewis said. “He’s shooting 39 percent with the number that he’s taking and that’s a pretty good possession rating.”
Often with high-volume shooters and scorers, their teammates tend to resent their chances and their successes. However, that isn’t the case with Emery and it wasn’t with Fredette either. In fact, Emery’s the consummate energy-giver, an excellent passer and willing distributor. In fact, he’s a gunslinger with a conscience. It’s almost like he wants to launch shots and spread the wealth at the same time.
While Fredette backed into BYU because no other high-major program had an angle on him, Emery could have gone to Kansas. Following a game at KU’s team camp, Bill Self laid it out for Emery.
“Self took Emery into his office and told him he could play there,” Lewis said. “They started out calling him and then as the months went by they dwindled until [the interest] was nothing. He would have gone to Kansas. It’s a process for the out-of-state schools.”
That “process” Lewis is referring to deals with extracting a Mormon from the state of Utah when he’s on an LDS mission schedule and his parents and brother went to BYU. You think recruiting against Duke and North Carolina is tough, try taming the state of Utah and the lure of the Cougars.
“That’s why a lot of guys don’t recruit Utah too heavily because they know and they aren’t prepared to get on that mission schedule,” Lewis said.
Emery is going to go on a two-year mission, that’s a fact. When he takes said mission is up for debate. He could unleash his scoring antics on the Cougars in the fall of 2013 or wait until 2015 to make his debut. His decision may in fact depend on another member of the Class of 2013.
“If [BYU] could get Jabari Parker they would want Nick to stay and play with him,” Lewis said.
I’ll bet Dave Rose would love that. Take the stylish scoring antics of Emery and pair them with Jabari Parker (Chicago, Ill./Simeon), the No. 1 player in the land, and see what the Cougars are really made of. Parker, also a Mormon, is looking at the Cougars.
Should Parker not attend BYU, it may be three more seasons before America gets to see the act of Nick Emery. Trust me, this kid is fun. Keeping in mind he’s not Jimmer, he is a guard with range, swagger and the confidence to think he’s good enough to beat you. Like Jimmer, he’s going to need to prove he can guard you and, more so, take care of the ball.
In the first two rounds of the Beach Ball Classic, Emery shot 11-of-26 from 3-point range and turned it over six times. As his team advanced to play stiffer competition, Emery closed the final two games going 7-of-20 from deep and had two assists and eight turnovers. Lewis knows there’s room for improvement.
“I would attribute that to he needs to learn how to make better decisions and they also just went after him,” Lewis said.
Eventually, another Emery is going to show up on BYU’s campus. When he does, consider yourself warned. Nick Emery is a player of his own doing. There’s something that tells me this kid won’t mind following in the footsteps of the greatest showman who’s ever worn a BYU jersey.