Facebook Twitter Google+ Tim Frazier was considered a coach on the floor for Penn State, but this season, he’s been a coach from the sideline.Last year, the point guard put together one of the Nittany Lions’ finest single-season performances, garnering first-team, All-Big Ten honors. But Frazier tore his left Achilles tendon in PSU’s 25-point loss to Akron on Nov. 18, an injury that took him off the court for the rest of the year.“To hear the news you can’t play the game you’ve been playing for your whole life, it was devastating,” Frazier said. “I honestly didn’t know how to handle it.”The Nittany Lions haven’t figured it out, either. After Frazier went down in the fourth game of the year, Penn State (8-13, 0-9 Big Ten) has sunk to the very bottom of the conference, and is still searching for its first conference win of the year. Guards D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall, both averaging 15 points per game or more, have picked up some of the scoring slack, but the Nittany Lions still miss their star.Last season, Frazier topped the Big Ten with 6.2 assists per game and finished second in the league at 18.8 points per contest. His 2.4 steals per game ranked second in the conference and at just 6 feet, 1 inch, the point guard led PSU with 4.7 rebounds per contest.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFrazier’s only the third Nittany Lion ever to lead PSU in scoring, assists, rebounding and steals in the same season. With him sidelined, the Nittany Lions are next to last in the Big Ten in team offense.“He makes everyone’s job easier,” said associate head coach Eugene Burroughs in the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference on Monday. “We saw last year that he’s one of the best guards in the conference. You take that away from a team that’s really dependent on his ability to score and run your offense, his void is hard to fill.”Before the season, Frazier was listed as a watch-list candidate for both the John R. Wooden and Naismith Player of the Year awards, as well as earning a preseason all-Big Ten selection.Now the senior has brought his leadership to the Penn State bench, where he sits next to head coach Patrick Chambers and sees basketball from a new point of view. The game has slowed down for Frazier, he said, and his new perspective is allowing him to keep contributing to the Nittany Lions.“It’s been a different aspect,” Frazier said. “I feel like it’s been a great experience for me to watch it from the sideline.”Senior guard Nick Colella said Frazier is constantly on the PSU sideline during practice, and often pulls his teammates aside to tell them what he sees. Frazier has helped mentor Newbill, who has taken over at the point guard position since Frazier ruptured his Achilles. Frazier is even running drills in practice, Chambers said.The projected recovery time for Frazier’s torn Achilles was 6-12 months, he said. Now 11 weeks removed from surgery, he’s out of the walking boot and rehabbing, he said. The workouts have begun, including both upper-body and leg-strengthening exercises.And the scar looks good, too, the medical staff tells him. The recovery’s going smoothly.“I know he’s motivated to get back to work,” Colella said. “I can see the drive on his face right now – we’re at practice right now.”But whether Frazier can return to Penn State next season has yet to be determined. After this season, Frazier and the Nittany Lions will file paperwork with the NCAA in hopes of receiving a medical redshirt and a fifth year of eligibility.Should the NCAA not grant the request, Frazier will need to be prepared for workouts leading up to the NBA Draft in June.“If that was the case, I know that I have great strength and conditioning (coaches) as well as trainers as well as great coaches that will train me and prepare me for that,” Frazier said. “I’m already on my 11th week and I feel great so I don’t think that would be a problem.”But Frazier likes his chances of obtaining the redshirt, especially considering he only played three games and six minutes of basketball this season.If Frazier does return to Penn State for a fifth year – which he said he would choose over starting his professional career – Chambers doesn’t expect his star guard to be the same player he was when his season ended two and a half months ago.“I think he’ll be better. When you’re a fifth-year senior and when you’re sitting out and you’re next to the head coach most of the time, you start to see things that I see,” Chambers said. “And he’s starting to really understand a lot more.“I think we’re going to see a new and even more improved Tim Frazier.” Comments Published on February 4, 2013 at 11:42 pm Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb
TOPANGA – Armed with his video camera, William Preston Bowling has stood on the sidelines of countless public meetings over the past year, recording the angry, sometimes boring, but always controversial debate over the Santa Susana Field Lab. Using emotional interviews of cancer survivors and footage of flames devouring the old Rocketdyne lab buildings during a wildfire last September, the Topanga resident, real estate agent and aspiring documentary filmmaker has tried to stir up debate over the massive cleanup at the former nuclear research and rocket engine testing facility. His first short film – “H2oh No!” – introduced viewers to the Santa Susana Field Lab in the hills between Chatsworth and Simi Valley, and recounted recent findings of radioactive tritium in the groundwater at the lab. Tonight, he’s screening his second 10-minute film, “Afterburner: The Fire at Rocketdyne,” based on neighbors’ concerns that the Topanga Fire released contamination into the air as buildings, soil and vegetation burned. Typing the words “nuclear” and “cancer” in an Internet search engine, he came across a site that mentioned Topanga. “I said, Wait a minute; I live in Topanga.” He read about the Santa Susana Field Lab and the partial nuclear meltdown that took place there in 1959. Attorneys investigating the site for a lawsuit estimated the meltdown released 260 times the amount of radiation that escaped during the incident at Three Mile Island near Middletown, Pa., in March 1979. And the cleanup continues today. “I couldn’t believe this existed. I thought, oh, my God, I’ve driven by this place. I’ve seen the sign at Woolsey Canyon,” Bowling recalled. Shocked that he and most of his neighbors in Topanga Canyon had never heard about the meltdown 11 miles away, Bowling decided to begin filming the public meetings. Soon he was a familiar face among the lab watchdogs, and women whose husbands worked at the lab and who died of cancer told their stories to his camera. A one-man operation, Bowling hopes to turn his short films into a full-length feature documentary. “I’m an out-of-work actor and, of course, every actor wants to direct. This is the only way I can do it on my own without a million-dollar budget.” Last summer, Bowling’s piece was screened at the Topanga Film Festival, one of 17 films chosen from 100 submissions. Film festival founder and director Urs Baur said reaction to Bowling’s film was mixed. Some criticized his naive approach to filmmaking – the short movies offer more questions than answers – but others were moved by the story of a radioactive, contaminated site in their backyard. “We thought the film had merit for several reasons,” Baur said. “Beyond the importance of making people aware of Rocketdyne, we are interested in people, like Bill Bowling, that are simply moved by something, pick up a camera and fearlessly and single-handedly pursue a story and make a film.” Kerry Cavanaugh, (818) 713-3746 [email protected] IF YOU GO: “Afterburner” will be screened at 7:30 tonight at Topanga Community House, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The Boeing Co., which owns the lab, has said there was little risk from burning vegetation, and air quality tests during the fire showed no sign of contaminants. Spokeswoman Inger Hodgson said company officials haven’t seen the films, but are committed to answering people’s questions and concerns about the ongoing environmental investigation at the site. Bowling said his goal is to use film to get people interested in the field lab cleanup. “I stumbled across this and then started digging and digging in deeper. I don’t think 25 percent of the people living around the lab know about it. Once people know, they can make their own decisions, but a lot of people don’t know.” Bowling, 37, said he learned about the field lab while researching his grandfather, who was a downwinder exposed to radiation from nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site in the 1950s and 1960s.