Tim Frazier was the only known commodity entering this past season with valuable playing experience, but that didn't mean there weren't questions surrounding his game. Here was a player who constantly frustrated his upperclassmen teammates the previous year with his constant refusal to shoot the basketball. There is something to be said for unselfish players, but there comes a point where it's detrimental to the team. How was a player that was so trigger-shy suppose to lead a team devoid of any proven weapons? We got our answers.
Not listed here is Tim Frazier's season assist rate, which just so happened to be the best in the country at a 45.3 mark. I already took a deeper look into Frazier's assist numbers earlier this season. However, it needs to be reiterated how incredible these numbers are despite being on a team that shot the ball so poorly (38.4% without Frazier).
By the way, Frazier officially accounted for 60.1% of PSU's total FGM on the season whether scoring or assisting. No big deal.
Tim's progress this year was out of this world. It was the greatest single season improvement from a PPG standpoint (+12.5) since former PSU guard Sharif Chambliss in 2001-2002 (+13.3). He was depended upon to be PSU's primary scorer and playmaker, and he produced consistently throughout the year. Not once in conference play did he score less than 10 points and only scored under 15 just twice.
His game was so much more than scoring, though. He continued to be the leading assist man in the Big Ten. He also did his part on the glass by grabbing 4.7 rebounds a game. Oh, and by the way, he was a Big Ten All-Defensive team selection with 2.4 steals a game. One of Frazier's biggest strengths was drawing fouls on opponents and getting to the foul line. He made 159-201 free throws on the year (79.1%), 3rd best in the Big Ten.
The obvious flaw in Frazier's game this year was his efficiency. He led the league in FGA, but his shooting percentages were ugly, especially from deep. If Frazier has any NBA aspirations, developing a consistent perimeter jumper will go a long way for him. There's not much else his game needs other than the 3-point threat which would make him that much harder to defend. He also needs to continue to develop confidence in driving and finishing with his weak hand.
vs. Nebraska - 23 points (7-9 FG), 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals
Frazier completely dominated Nebraska this year. He was the only Lion to show up in the road loss in Lincoln (30 points), but at home, he calmly dismantled the Huskers on both ends of the floor. It's a shame he didn't get the triple-double, but it was still one of the best performances I've ever seen in the BJC.
What is it going to take for Frazier to improve his efficiency? The most important factor is the improvement of his returning teammates in Jermaine Marshall, Jon Graham, and Ross Travis. Chambers is already expecting the best backcourt in the country with the addition of DJ Newbill. If these guys can make plays on their own, the challenge for Tim will be finding the balance between being a playmaker and a facilitator. He won't have to use 33% of the possessions next year. If Frazier can continue his top-notch production while using a manageable 22-25% possessions, we could actually be talking about a possible All-American campaign.
Final Grade: A