Tony Snell entered college basketball's collective consciousness with his two-way performance in New Mexico's upset over BYU on Saturday.
I've reviewed film of the game and Snell did an excellent job in simultaneously using his lateral quickness to stay in front of Jimmer Fredette and then extended vertical with his arms as tall as possible once he gave up his dribble. Snell did a remarkable job in simplifying his responsibilities of defending Fredette, almost using a strategy that resembles the rope-a-dope.
Fredette is such a lethal scorer because of the way he combines shiftiness into space with a nearly automatic jumper when he gets a semi-clean look at the basket.
Collectively, New Mexico succeeded in forcing Fredette into shooting off-balance and from deeper than he would ideally prefer. The Lobos also succeeded in Fredette simply having a few of his looks go in and out.
Nevertheless, Fredette still scored 32 points and was 6-for-9 from distance, but he was a modest 6-for-17 (35.2%) in his two-point attempts.
Fredette is a lights-out three-point shooter and has been on an amazing streak even by his standards since the start of Mountain West play against UNLV when he went 7-for-13, but he is at his most dangerous when he can get into his mid-range game as he did against Utah for 47 and San Diego State for 43.
Comparing Fredette's performance against San Diego State on Wednesday to the New Mexico game, it is clear that it is self-sabotage to put a short defender like D.J. Gay on him. His looks are too clean and it isn't as if he has too much quickness to blow by most semi-athletic players between 6-5 and 6-8.
The Aztecs had more success, albeit still modest success, when they put bigger defenders on Fredette and this is undeniably the book on how to defend him on the collegiate level.
As far as his standing as an NBA prospect, he is absolutely someone who will be able to score at the next level. But Fredette will be the kind of player that comes off the bench to provide instant scoring rather than be a 35-minute per night starter. I've seen comparisons to both Stephen Curry and Eddie House this week and lean much more to the latter.