While exhibition contests are typically known for highlight-reel dunks and little-to-no defense, last night's Jimmer’s All-Stars game provided another small glimpse into the Sacramento Kings’ bright future. All three of the team’s 2011 draft picks – Fredette, Tyler Honeycutt and Isaiah Thomas – played in the former Brigham Young University star’s all-rookie game, and turned in impressive performances on the Marriott Center hardwood in Utah.
Fredette, the 2011 National Player of the Year, expectedly drew the loudest ovation from the BYU faithful, who chanted for him to shoot the ball each time he touched it. The 10th overall pick in the draft certainly didn’t disappoint, finishing with a terrific all-around stat line: 27 points (9-20 FG, 3-8 3PT, 6-6 FT), 10 assists, six rebounds, one steal and one block. Fredette showed off his unlimited range by hitting several shots from well beyond the NBA three-point line, and frequently found his teammates for open looks after commanding double-teams.
He was also able to get to the rim with a few quick moves, splitting two defenders with a crossover dribble and putting in an up-and-under layup in the first quarter, and finishing in the lane after absorbing contact later in the game. Although he missed five of his final seven shots, the ultra-competitive Fredette wanted the ball down the stretch as his team attempted a late comeback.
Meanwhile, Thomas quickly won over the Utah crowd when he bounced the ball off the floor and threw down a two-handed slam in the first quarter, leading to “We want Thomas!” chants from the fans. The second round pick came back, hit consecutive three-pointers, and capped off the game with another thunderous dunk, after which he hung on the rim for emphasis. The explosive guard finished with 19 points (8-18 FG, 3-6 3PT), eight rebounds, two assists and two steals, and it won’t be long before the 5'8" dynamo becomes an instant fan favorite in Sacramento along the lines of Bobby Jackson, Tyus Edney and Ronnie Price.