Penn State Basketball off to Strong Start in 2011
This young Penn State team has been steered by junior guard Tim Frazier, who currently leads the team with 20.0 ppg, 6.6 apg, and also ranks second on the team with 5.4 rpg. Frazier put up over half of the team’s points on Monday, scoring 27 against the Bulls to go with six rebounds. He will need more support once the lions start facing stiffer competition, as was the case when the team fell to Kentucky over the weekend. Outside of Frazier, Penn State scored just 36 points against the Wildcats and shot 26% from the field. Penn State has relied heavily on the three point shot this season, with over 41% of the team’s shots being from beyond the arc. The lions have not shot the ball well at all, making just 37% overall and 31% from long range. 6’8’’ forward Billy Oliver has been the primary culprit with 28 of his 34 shots being threes and he is leading the team in three point attempts despite making just 28%. Currently Frazier is the only starter shooting at greater than a 40% clip, sitting well above the pack at 47% for the year.
Tim Frazier appears to have grown up quickly for the Nittany Lions this season, and it would not surprise me if he plays at an All Big Ten level throughout the course of this season. But until Penn State can develop an inside presence and compliment Frazier with other consistent contributors, this team is going to be very limited in what they can accomplish this season. The Kentucky loss definitely showed us the floor of this Nittany Lion team and established the already known fact that they are not ready to challenge elite competition. But we will get a better sense of this young group when they take on other teams that are comparable to the Lions’ skill level. Penn State faces another cupcake at home Wednesday against Youngstown State before having two reputable road matchups at St. Joseph’s and Boston College.