Over the next few weeks, we'll be taking a look back at the season highlights and lowlights for the key contributers of the Penn State basketball team. We'll review what each player did and didn't do well in 2010, and look at what he needs to do to be successful individually, and as a member of the team in 2011. First up is point guard Tim Frazier...
Penn State entered 2009-2010 looking to replace the departed Stanley Pringle with the raw talent of freshman Tim Frazier from Houston, Texas. For what it's worth, Scout ranked Frazier as a three-star prospect coming out of high school, making him one of the more highly touted players Penn State has added in the last few years.
Frazier's Penn State career started out like gangbusters. After a quiet debut against Penn, Frazier exploded for 19 points against defending NEC champion Robert Morris in his second game as a Nittany Lion. He went on to average 7.8 points per game in the 12 games of the non-conference portion of the schedule, and it appeared as if Frazier was on the fast track to become a regular contributor to the Penn State attack. But with the aggression on offense came mistakes as well, as Frazier averaged two turnovers per game through the first 12 games.
Then the Big Ten schedule began...
Frazier's minutes and production decreased when the Lions moved into conference play. After playing more than 20 minutes in nine of the first twelve games, Frazier reached 20 only five times the rest of the season. He fell off to 2.8 points per game, but did manage to cut his turnovers considerable, coughing it up more than once only three times against Big Ten opponents.
-Frazier showed that he has to potential to be a scorer from the one position, and not just a facilitator of the offense. Coach Ed DeChellis gave him some freedom in the non-conference, and Frazier showed he has a nose for scoring. Once the pressure of Big Ten play arrived, DeChellis took some control back, and Frazier took more of a back seat role on the score sheet to Talor Battle and Chris Babb, but Frazier showed early on that once he adapts to the pressure and stakes of Big Ten play, he'll be a threat to post a solid scoring average off the bench and eventually as the starting point guard.
-Frazier rebounded at a 2.3 per game clip, pretty good from a reserve guard. For all the attention Talor Battle has garnered for his rebounding prowess, Frazier showed he, too, can get involved on the glass and take some of the pressure off his bigs. If Frazier can continue to develop this aspect of his game, and eventually average between three and five boards per game, he'll be a valuable weapon on both ends of the floor.
-Frazier shot 37% from three-point territory. He's never really been known as much of a shooter, so it was nice to see the young guy play within himself and pick his spots with his deep shots.
-Frazier quickly became known as "Crazy Train" in these parts because of his recklessness with the ball and frequent turnovers. As he becomes more comfortable in the offense and matures as a ball handler, he needs to boost that 1.4:1 assist to turnover ratio, a number often time more important when evaluating a point guard that his point per game average.
-Frazier looked overwhelmed by the several Big Ten backcourts this year when he was handling the point, often times just holding the ball at the top until he could give it back to Talor Battle. He needs to do a better job of running the offense on his own and finding opportunities for his other teammates to score. If he can open things up when the Lions have the ball, defenses will begin to sag off of Battle, and Penn State will get many more solid shots in 2011 than it did in 2010.
-It'd be nice to see Frazier become the hound of defense that Stan Pringle was. The Lions will need to force more turnovers in 2011 to be successful, and Frazier needs to be part of that. Pringle averaged 1.3 steals per game his senior year. If Frazier can push his number from .7 to around one, he'll be well on his way to becoming the solid two way guy Pringle was before him.
Year In A Youtube Video