Posts tagged ‘DJ Newbill’

From The Magazine: Tim Frazier is Back

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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October 24, 2013 at 9:47 am 1 comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Oct. 18, 2013

From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.

A “legend” passes: Larry Foster ’48, a giant of the public relations industry and one of Penn State’s most prominent and dedicated alumni, died Thursday. He was 88. Foster’s great impact on the PR world came in the early 1980s, when he guided Johnson & Johnson’s response to the infamous and still-unsolved Tylenol poisoning of 1982. It remains a case study in the right way to handle a corporate PR crisis. His impact on his alma mater has been similarly profound. Along with his wife, Ellen Miller ’49, Foster was a generous and far-sighted donor to Penn State, and particularly to the College of Communications, where they endowed faculty positions and scholarships and supported renovations to the Carnegie Building. A three-term member of the Board of Trustees, Foster also served as president of the Alumni Association, and was instrumental in creating the Alumni Fellows program.

Courting success: The men’s basketball team held its preseason media day Thursday, and while third-year coach Patrick Chambers wouldn’t be specific about how many wins he’s aiming for, or whether this squad has NCAA tournament potential, he made one thing clear: He likes this team. (more…)

October 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm 1 comment

Backcourt Valuation

For Patrick Chambers and the Nittany Lion basketball team this season, it’s all about the backcourt.

For months, Chambers has been talking up the Lions’ 2012-13 backcourt as (possibly) the best in the nation. It sounds like craziness from the second-year head coach, but think of it as exaggeration with a purpose. Chambers absolutely believes that his starting backcourt of Tim Frazier and DJ Newbill can be among the best in college basketball this season; just as important, he wants to make sure Frazier and Newbill believe it, too.

“I have to do a great job of managing expectations, because I put it out there—but why not?” Chambers said Monday at the team’s preseason media day. “Why not us? I know people are shocked, because usually when people say that, it’s Ohio State or Michigan State. But it’s Penn State. I’m saying it, I’m the head coach at Penn State, and I think we have a great backcourt.”

The presence of Frazier alone means the claim isn’t that far-fetched. A first-team all-Big Ten pick as a junior last season, Frazier averaged a league-high 6.2 assists per game, and ranked second in the conference in points (18.8) and steals (2.4). Statistically, it was one of the best seasons ever by a Penn State guard.

Newbill is the unknown half of this potentially dynamic duo. A redshirt sophomore from Philadelphia, Newbill sat out last season after transferring from Southern Mississippi, where he made the Conference USA all-freshman team. Word of Newbill’s athleticism, intensity, and defensive prowess trickled out last season, when he and Frazier battled relentlessly during practices. Now, they get their chance to work together.

“If we keep working hard, the sky’s the limit,” Newbill said Monday. “I think Coach said what he said because he knows that. Me and Tim, we heard him make the statement. We’re glad he believes in us, to make a bold statement like that.”

Belief isn’t lacking in the Penn State locker room; now they just have to convince everyone else. The Lions were picked near the bottom of the Big Ten by the league’s coaches and media, folks who know little to nothing about Newbill (a team co-captain before he’s even played a game) and don’t see enough talent elsewhere on the roster to help Frazier win games. We’ll find out soon enough: A 79-54 exhibition win over Philadelphia University last Saturday was a nice warm-up for the games that count, starting with Friday’s tip-off against St. Francis. Not for the first time, a Penn State basketball team will be out to disprove the doubters.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

November 5, 2012 at 9:05 pm Leave a comment


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