Tie game. Shot clock is off. Who do you want taking that last shot?
As we mercifully crawl to the end of the week and towards a much needed three-day weekend, the basketball “Nuts” duo of Connor and Justin are back again with a new debate. Last week, we debated who our all-time Ohio State starting five would be. Connor went with an older lineup of Dennis Hopson, Jim Jackson, Jared Sullinger, Gary Bradds, and Jerry Lucas. Justin interpreted the prompt a bit differently, and went with his favorite at every position, rolling out a lineup of D’Angelo Russell, Jon Diebler, Evan Turner, Jae’Sean Tate, and Greg Oden.
With 61% of the vote, Connor’s lineup won, continuing his dominant streak in this “Nuts” series. Just like the previous week, 25% of the voters went with the “You’re both nuts, seek help,” option, which in all honesty is correct most days. Justin’s lineup garnered the final 14% of the vote, as his personal favorites weren’t quite as strong as the lineup of all-time Ohio State legends.
Connor now leads the Nuts World Series 3-0 over Justin, but there’s plenty of time for a comeback, as we will continue to write this nonsense every Friday until someone tells us to stop.
After 3 weeks
This week we are expanding our horizons, and allowing each person to choose any player, ever — as long as they played college basketball. That’s literally the only stipulation. Mark Titus counts. Kyrie Irving counts (technically). LeBron James not count, so on and so forth. They could have played for any team, for any amount of time. Capiche?
As always, if you agree with one of us, let us know in the comments below, or respond on Twitter! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic in particular, and anything Ohio State hoops-related.
Today’s Question: Who do you want taking the final shot in a tie game?
Connor’s pick: Jimmer Fredette
Were there more efficient scorers? Probably. Were there guys with better-rounded games? For sure. But was anybody more of a certified BUCKET than Jimmer Fredette was in the late 2000’s? Absolutely not.
Fredette — the 27th-leading scorer in college basketball history — didn’t start a single game as a freshman, but still wound up as the all-time leading scorer in BYU and Mountain West Conference history with nearly 2600 career points. He won the Naismith, Wooden, and AP Player of the Year awards during the 2010-2011 season, when he averaged 28.9 points and 4.3 assists per game, while also playing nearly 36 minutes per contest. Fredette has the highest player efficiency rating (PER) in Mountain West history at 30.7, which ranks him 12th all-time in NCAA history as well.
Aside from the personal stats, Fredette helped lead BYU to a 114-25 record during his four seasons and carried the ‘Cougs to their first Sweet Sixteen in 30 years during the 2010-2011 season. Fredette scored 34 points in BYU’s 89-67 win over Gonzaga in the second round of that year’s tournament, punching their ticket to the second weekend for the first time in three decades.
If you need a refresher on just how silly this man was, here’s every bucket he made during BYU’s throttling of Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament:
The stats are eye-popping, but Fredette had a flair for the dramatic and always showed up in the most crucial moments. When Fredette arrived in Provo in 2007, the Cougars had won three Mountain West championships over the past 14 seasons. Pretty good, no?
They then won three conference titles during his four seasons, and have not won another since he left. Fredette was a program-changing player who left a mark not just on that school, but college basketball in general. People all over the world know who Jimmer Fredette is, and the term “Jimmer range” has become the universal term for a shot taken far beyond the three-point line.
Fredette had a short career in the NBA, playing parts of seven seasons for the Sacramento Kings (who drafted him with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft), Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, and Phoenix Suns.
He also played in TBT in 2018, suiting up for “Team Fredette” and leading his second-seeded squad to the TBT semifinals, where they eventually lost to seventh-seeded Eberlein Drive. Fredette scored 41 points in his team’s opening-round victory over the Fort Wayne Champs, and then scored 28 points and dropped seven dimes in their quarterfinal win over The Scarlet and Gray (now Carmen’s Crew) in Columbus. Talk about disappointing the hometown crowd.
The bottom line is this: Jimmer Fredette was a walking bucket in college. He took a ton of “bad” shots, but canned most of them. When Jimmer got going, there wasn’t much anyone could do to stop him. He took the college basketball world by storm from 2007-2010 and got his BYU team on national television more often during those four seasons than they probably were in the previous decade combined. He was one of the few players of the past decade whose brand transcended the program he played for.
As a parting gift, I’ll leave you with this.
Justin’s pick: Trey Burke
So last week was not exactly my week, as since I am younger I felt I was doing a disservice to attempt a “greatest” buckeye list, so I simply did my favorites. I recognize, however, that is not a great way to garner votes, so I accept my defeat. Unfortunately, for me at least, even though I like my pick this week and think its a solid one, it will NOT be a popular one amongst Buckeye fans.
My pick is from that team up north: Trey Burke.
Burke is an Ohio kid and played high school ball with Jared Sullinger. There is a universe that every Buckeye fan imagines occasionally in which Burke donned the Scarlet and Gray and, with all respect to Shannon Scott, it is hard to imagine that squad not winning a national championship.
There is another thing Trey Burke was — a stone cold killer.
Burke had many huge plays, a couple coming against Ohio State unfortunately, but that shot against Kansas stands out as the best of them. The stakes, the level of play and the difficulty of the shot make it a 10 out of 10. Damian Lillard against Oklahoma City and Paul George vibes.
Burke could kill you in any way he wanted too and there were times you even felt like he was toying with you, setting you up on defense just to hit you where it hurts. Burke averaged 17 points per game and six assists per contest for his career, and was an immediate impact when he got to Ann Arbor.
The unique factor that made Trey Burke special was his ability to hit you on three levels. He was just as dangerous from 35 feet as he was from four. Again, Dame Lillard vibes.
In the 2013 NCAA tournament, Burke led the Wolverines to the national title game, averaging 18 points and seven assists per game while facing the toughest defenses the nation had to offer. They had one mission: slow down Trey Burke — and they still couldn’t do it.
Like I said, I realize this isn’t the popular pick, but it is the right one.