warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Jimmer Mania Sweeps Denver as BYU Advances to Sweet 16

Jessica Benson |
March 22, 2011 | 7:31 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Jimmer Fredette celebrates at Pepsi Center. (Jessica Benson)
Jimmer Fredette celebrates at Pepsi Center. (Jessica Benson)
DENVER -- BYU fans decked out in blue and white engulfed the Pepsi Center during NCAA regional games in Denver last weekend.  Scattered amongst the Brigham Young colors were bright, colorful signs praising the team’s superstar, Jimmer Fredette.

Welcome to Jimmerica.

The senior co-captain of the BYU Cougars has become an icon for the school as well as college basketball this season.  After scoring 43 points in a win over San Diego State in January, fans across the country became increasingly fascinated by “The Jimmer Show.”

Fredette averages 28.8 points a game and recently became the Mountain West Conference’s all-time leading scorer.  When the Cougars played New Mexico on March 11, Fredette outdid himself once again with a career-high 52 points. He accounted for more than half his team’s point total (87), and BYU beat New Mexico by 11.

Throughout the season, Fredette has been nothing short of incredible, and he hasn’t let his ever-growing fan base down. With wins over Wofford and Gonzaga, he and the Cougars have advanced to the Sweet 16 of this year’s NCAA Tournament.

In the Cougars’ game against Gonzaga Saturday, the crowd was nearly silent for the first eight minutes of play. Fans anxiously held their “Jimmer” posters on their laps.  The minutes ticked by, but Fredette had yet to sink one of his usual three-point, living-on-a-prayer shots. 

 “What’s so great about this Jimmy, Jimster, Jimmer character anyway?” said one Gonzaga fan.

Then he scored. 

The arena erupted.  Signs went up throughout the BYU fan base, ranging from “ABC’s= Jimmer, Jimmer, Jimmer” to “It’s Peanut Butter Jimmer Time.”  The Pepsi Center didn’t quiet down the rest of the game.

“He’s the greatest player we have ever had,” freshman BYU student Joey Ashcroft said.  “People camp out to see him.  They idolize him.  He’s the big man on campus.”

At the end of the day Fredette was 7-of-12 from behind the 3-point line, and the Cougars swept past Gonzaga with an 80-67 victory.

Thirty-four of those points came from Jimmer.
Fans flooded the bottom levels of the Pepsi Center hoping to catch a glimpse of their star as he was interviewed after the game.  Jimmer flashed a smile and had the girls, and boys, screaming for over 20 minutes before finally retreating back to the locker room.

Even after he left, his biggest advocates refused to settle down.  All anyone could talk about was seeing “The Jimmer Show” in person.  It was a star-struck mentality. All because of the boy who seems to be able to shoot through arms, 6-foot bodies and double-teams all night long.

The Cougars move on to play Florida this Thursday in New Orleans. With that honor code intact, the Cougars can surely handle Bourbon Street.  The question is: Can Bourbon Street handle Jimmer Nation?

Fredette about it.


To reach Jessica Benson by email, click here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.