Injured Penn State guard Frazier leads from sidelines

first_img 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] | @PhilDAbblast_img read more

Man United line-up against Arsenal: England defender to be recalled?

first_img Louis Van Gaal is dealing with an injury crisis ahead of the Red Devils’ trip to Arsenal tomorrow. 1 Louis Van Gaal is dealing with an injury crisis ahead of the Red Devils’ trip to Arsenal tomorrow, which is live on talkSPORT, Saturday, from 5pm.As many as 12 first-team players were on the treatment table earlier this week as players returned from the international break with knocks, but the Dutchman has been boosted by returns to training for David De Gea, Angel Di Maria, Michael Carrick and Luke Shaw.United travel to the Emirates one point and one place behind their London rivals and a further two points adrift of 4th place West Ham United in the battle for Champions League qualification.Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind will certainly be out, while Chris Smalling could be recalled following his red card at Manchester City, but Van Gaal will definitely be without Radamel Falcao who suffered a calf injury in training ruling him out for a further two weeks.Here’s how Man United could line up against Arsenal:GoalkeeperDavid De Gea suffered a disclocated finger on international duty with Spain and was considered a major doubt for the clash at the Emirates.But Van Gaal revealed the Spaniard has recovered from the injury and should start against Arsene Wenger’s barring any recurrence of the problem. Dane Anders Lindegaard is on hand to deputise.DefenceDaley Blind’s knee injury in the Netherlands’ 6-0 win over Latvia is expected to keep the Dutchman out until the new year, creating a problem for United’s midfield and defence.The versatile ex-Ajax man replaced the injured Marcos Rojo in defence for United’s previous league game against Crystal Palace and Smalling could deputise after a solid performance for England midweek.Van Gaal has been reluctant to play two right footers together so Tyler Blackett could partner the Englishman, although Paddy McNair is in form and deserves to keep his place.MidfieldCarrick withdrew from the England squad after a groin problem but returned to training yesterday. Spaniard Ander Herrera could be recalled in his absence, while Marouane Fellani is set to continue following a string of impressive performances.Angel Di Maria was also a doubt after United loanee Nani’s strong tackle on the Argentine during Portugal’s 1-0 midweek win, but he should be fit to play after scans revealed only bruising.AttackArsenal’s defence is vulnerable so Van Gaal will rely on in form captain Wayne Rooney and former Gunner Robin Van Persie to provide the goals.Monaco loanee Radamel Falcao has been hit by a new injury setback as the Colombian striker injured his calf and will be out for another two weeks, causing many to question his long-term fitness.Juan Mata’s super-sub winner in United’s narrow win against Palace last time out should see the Spaniard get the nod ahead of Adnan Januzaj, but he may have to play out wide and not in his preferred number 10 role, if Van Gaal continues with the 4-2-3-1 system.Man Utd fans, how do you think you’ll line up against Arsenal? Comment below…last_img read more