In 2011 Penn State not only had to break in a new coach, but they also lost four of their top five scorers. A decimated roster heading into the season led to a pessimistic outlook, but junior guard Tim Frazier became the sole bright spot thriving in his role as the team’s leader. At the end of the season Frazier ended up second in points per game in the conference, second in steals and led the conference in assists per game.
While Penn State’s 12-20 record to end the season wasn’t exactly thrilling, there was some optimism heading into last season as Frazier returned and the Nittany Lions came into the season with much more experience compared to the year prior. Of course that all came crashing to a halt early on as Frazier ruptured his left Achilles tendon and was lost for the year. The rest of the season went as expected, with Penn State looking lifeless throughout conference play (outside of a massive upset of Michigan) and only winning two games in the Big Ten.
There were some questions over if Frazier would be able to return, but he was granted a medical hardship waiver in April, allowing him to return for one more season. While Penn State’s season suffered due to the loss of Frazier, it did allow the young Nittany Lion squad to earn some valuable experience. Now Penn State is looking forward to the idea of a healthy Frazier joining forces with their 2012-13 leading scorer D.J. Newbill, as well as forwards Ross Travis and Brandon Taylor, and improving on a disappointing last two seasons.
The reported recovery period for Frazier’s surgery was originally estimated at six to twelve months, with Frazier being fully cleared around eight months after the surgery. Frazier’s return to practice was well welcomed in Happy Valley and went well, with the fifth year senior showing no lingering signs of his injury throughout practice. Penn State’s potential to improve this season will be heavily influenced by the return of Tim Frazier, so his health will be of the upmost importance. Frazier will finally return to game situations this month, as Penn State is slated to head overseas to Europe for three preseason games.
While Frazier’s season was cut short due to injury, it’ll be interesting to see if Frazier can make a full recovery. If Frazier is able to regain his original form, he should be one of the conference’s best players and will be as exciting to watch as anyone else in the country. A healthy Frazier also means Penn State will likely be competitive enough to climb out of the Big Ten cellar after finishing last the previous two seasons. Either way, the return of Tim Frazier will definitely be one of the more interesting stories to follow heading into the upcoming season.