From The Magazine: Tim Frazier is Back

October 24, 2013 at 9:47 am 1 comment

Expanded content from the pages of The Penn Stater.

We were talking with Tim Frazier a few weeks back in the otherwise quiet practice gym at the Bryce Jordan Center. Off in the far corner, out of camera view, Frazier’s coach, Patrick Chambers, was chugging away on an exercise bike. Frazier started talking, but he got distracted. He tried to ignore the whirrrrr of his coach on the bike, but finally, after about 20 seconds, he couldn’t ignore it anymore.

“I just hear a bike in the background, and it just reminds me…” Frazier said. “When [my teammates] were running and doing sprints, I was on the bike. When they weren‘t doing sprints, I was on the bike.”

He can laugh about it now. Frazier ’13 was talking about the months-long rehab that followed the ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered last November, just four games into the 2012–13 season. (And yes, as Frazier mentions, it’s the same injury his older sister suffered while playing for Rice in 2006). A first-team all-Big Ten pick as a junior in 2011–12, Frazier came into last season intending to put himself and his team in the national spotlight. Instead, he watched from the bench in a suit, and spent practice time—hours and hours of practice time—churning away on that bike.

Now, Frazier is back, healthy—”100 percent,” he insists—and eager to make up for lost time.

Frazier was an easy choice for the athlete profile in our November/December issue—not least because he’s so darn good. As a junior, the 6-foot-1 guard from Houston led the Lions in points, rebounds, assists, and steals, becoming the first Penn State player to total at least 500 points, 150 assists, and 50 steals in a season. His 198 assists set a new single-season school record, and he led the Big Ten in steals. Maybe most impressive of all his numbers, his combined field goals and assists accounted for 58 percent of the Lions’ offense—the highest rate in the nation.

He was back on the court this summer during the team’s three-game European tour, the “appetizer” for the season to come. But neither that brief off-season excursion nor the handful of games he played before his injury last season gave fans a sufficient chance to see Frazier make the most of his pairing with DJ Newbill, the former transfer who led Penn State in scoring last year. Together, they give the Lions what Chambers last year predicted would be one of the best backcourts in the nation.

If the coach ends up being anywhere close to right, he might well credit the knowledge Frazier gleaned while watching from the bench last winter. More than once since his injury, Frazier has talked about the benefits of enforced time off the court: ample opportunity to fine tune various aspects of his game, and being forced to think and observe like a coach (oh, and he also finished his degree).

Frazier makes a great point, too, about his teammates: “Everybody got better.” For all the expectations that Frazier will come back at least as good as the do-everything all-Big Ten pick of two seasons ago, he’s surrounded by a supporting cast that, he hopes, will be much more than just a “supporting cast.” Regardless, we’re excited to see him out there. And it sounds like Frazier is just happy to be off the bike.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

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Entry filed under: The Penn Stater Magazine. Tags: , , , .

Gift from the Class of 2014: HUB Green Roof Terrace The Penn Stater Daily — Oct. 24, 2013

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