The injury Tim Frazier suffered Sunday in Puerto Rico against Akron has proven to be a ruptured Achilles tendon upon further review from the Penn State medical staff. The team's leader in nearly every major statistical category will miss the entire 2012-13 season, and speculation is that Frazier will seek a medical redshirt in order to play next season. This situation only applies if a scholarship opens for next year, as the roster is currently at full capacity for the 2013-14 campaign. Forward Sasa Borovnjak has been cited as player who may graduate instead of seeking his final year of playing eligibility, opening a spot for Frazier to return.
To say that this is a death blow to the Nittany Lions is an understatement. While the team performed valiantly in the remaining minutes of the first half against Akron after Frazier suffered the injury, their second half performance indicated just how massive the senior point guard is to this program. Akron outscored Penn State 53-24 in the second period after securing a four point lead at halftime. D.J. Newbill will likely be asked to run the show for the rest of the season, and while he performed admirably in spot duty (20 points, six rebounds, five assists), the team lacks a true point guard.
Head coach Pat Chambers had this to say:
Tim is a tremendous player, a great team leader and just a fantastic young man who put a ton of hard work into having a terrific senior season. I have no doubt he will meet this challenge and will again be one of the top players in the nation.
The early signs showed that this may be a rough year after a disappointing showing in Puerto Rico, even with Frazier on the floor. Without him, this team is likely to be at or near the bottom of the Big Ten. On the plus side, Chambers will find out exactly what he was to work with for what could be a potentially exciting 2013-14 season, as only Nick Colella and perhaps Borovnjak will be departed from this year's team.
Godspeed, Tim. Hope to see you back on the floor as soon as possible.
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