When point guard Tim Frazier committed to Penn State in the fall, Nittany Lions' fans may not have known exactly what they were getting. After an MVP-like season leading Strake Jesuit to the state semifinals, that picture is getting much clearer.
TexasHoops.com named Frazier the No. 1 overall player in the state, the Houston Chronicle made him the Boys Basketball Player of the Year and Rivals.com has him as the No. 20-ranked point guard in the country.
Read what he had to say about his commitment to Penn State, his season, and more below!
BWI: What were the things you liked about Penn State and why did they ultimately get your commitment?
Frazier: When you're going to make a major decision like that you're always asking your family for help. So I know that I was kind of looking at a same place where when I have to make more serious decisions and I have to go to family. The fact that Coach DeChellis, Coach Earl, Coach Preston, all of them are right there and they all have a family atmosphere where I feel like I can always come to them if I have a problem of any sort.
BWI: Was that any different than some of the other schools you were looking at?
Frazier: I don't think it was different I just think theirs was more out there, especially when I went on my official and I was with Talor and even with the teammates. The teammates were very open to taking me in. Sometimes it's kind of hard to find... the coaches are hard to find but the teammates are also hard to find that are able to take you right in, not knowing your background and things like that. Then, with the fans and the atmosphere around there, it just felt like a family, not knowing who I was, just knowing I was a recruit.
BWI: When you made your decision, it was before Penn State's successful season. At the time, did you feel there was an opportunity for a parallel experience at Penn State as you had at Strake, helping to turn around that program?
Frazier: Yeah, there definitely was kind of a parallel but I didn't really look at Penn State as, Yeah, they're kind of down or they've been down or things like that like. I always look at a situation as, How can I make them better? I wasn't expecting to come in and we were just going to win the NCAA Championship and now it's possible now that they won the NIT. It was always just the fit of the right spot. At Strake, that's exactly how it was. I was coming into a place where basketball wasn't really known. I came in with a couple guys in my grade and now we went all the way to the state championship undefeated. It was definitely a great challenge and that's the way I looked at Penn State.
BWI: What was it like seeing Penn State succeed this year along with your own accomplishments?
Frazier: A lot of people would ask, Why did you choose Penn State? You always get that but as the season went on and Penn State was winning games and won the NIT, everybody was like, Now I know why you chose Penn State. It wasn't really where I had to explain because Penn State and the team and Talor, they all pretty much described it themselves on TV. Especially watching them beat Notre Dame where one of my teammates in high school was going there, that was great. Everything is just set on the table for me. I'm coming right into a great team, great people that are going to be there, and an up and rising program.
BWI: You had a tremendous season this past year. What happened for you that your game was able to take the next step?
Frazier: My game, I don't know, it just hit that next level. I was always a player, I was always pretty good but I was never able to take that next step. But, I just kept working hard and with Penn State, that just took off pressure there by picking a college. It was just open and ready for me to go ahead and do what I had to do to give it my all in my senior year. That's the way I looked at it.
BWI: How hard of a decision was it for you to finally come up with Penn State? What were the other teams involved with you down to the wire?
Frazier: It definitely was a hard decision. It eventually came down between Stanford and Penn State. That was definitely a hard decision because you have Stanford with awesome academics and then you have Penn State who also has awesome academics, which was my main decision. It came down to those two. I just look back and feel that I made the best decision of my life with those two, just thinking about how great the season the basketball team is coming off of and I feel there's great academics and great alumni there. I just looked at my parents, my coaches and my family and felt they were behind me 100 percent. They all wanted Penn State and I wanted it too so I just went on with it.
BWI: The distance from home clearly isn't a factor for you.
Frazier: No, I don't think it will be a factor because to me, I always look at it that I'm just a plane ride away from home, even though I probably won't be able to get there that much during the basketball season.
BWI: What did you think you did particularly well this past season?
Frazier: To me, I just think I was a better overall player. My whole game stepped up with everything. My assists went up, I had the ball most of the time in clutch decisions, my decision-making was better, my shot selection was better. I just felt like I had a great overall season. My teammates loved me, I love my teammates. It was just a great family atmosphere and we took it all the way to state. I think the accolades were deserved because it's what I've been working for and that's why it was so hard. I know I have things to improve on like getting stronger but I'm pretty sure Brad will have me OK on that.
BWI: What are you at right now?
Frazier: I'm at 165, 6-foot-1 and a half.
BWI: What were some of your stats this past year?
Frazier: I think I was at eight rebounds a game, six assists a game and between 16-18 points with three or four steals a game.
BWI: You're a pure point.
Frazier: Right, I wasn't always about a whole bunch of scoring, as long as we win. But, I'm also the type of person that when it comes down to it, if I have to score to win, then I definitely will.
BWI: It seems like the plan is that you're going to be able to come in right away and give Talor a spell, which he didn't get much of last year. Is that accurate?
Frazier: That's definitely fine with with me. I'm not sure what the plan is coming in. I would love to come in and play right away, I would love to come in and get minutes and things like that. I'm just here so as long as we're winning and I'm just doing my part, it's all fine with me. So if I have to be just a practice team player, then that's just what it is. As long as we're winning and the team is happy and everybody is just doing well, then that's fine with me.
BWI: Outside of bulking up, are there any areas of your game you'd like to really focus on improving this summer?
Frazier: I don't know. I think a lot of people are really deceived about my jump shot because I didn't take a lot during the season. It was just the fact that I was so quick and I was able to get to the rack a lot that sometimes it really wasn't needed for me to take a shot. So, I think if I just work on that a little bit more and make it more... people always play me for the drive so if I was able to have my whole package game and be able to have people have to play me for the shot and the drive, then I'd be fine.
BWI: Your coach said you've had a pretty strong dedication to being in the weight room lately.
Frazier: Just knowing when you're coming into a new situation what you're really going to need, you try to get prepared. Just like coming into a test, you like to study as much as possible or as much as you need to be ready going into the test. I know that I'm going into this test from high school basketball into one of the best conferences in the Big Ten where there's a lot of big players and things like that, and big point guards. Why should I wait all the way until I get there and then have Brad put it on me? I think I should just go ahead and put it on myself early enough so I can be prepared.
BWI: Have you met any of the other guys being brought in with this class?
Frazier: When I came up to visit to watch the Minnesota game, which we won, I saw Taran and then I was with Jermaine also. I haven't met Sasa.
BWI: Anything you'd like to add?
Frazier: I'm just here, happy, excited and ready to come in and have fun. That's mostly just the type of person that I am. I'm kind of a laid back, funny person. I'm not kind of out there with too much seriousness. I was always the guy on the team that makes people laugh. I'm coming in to be a hard worker and be able to be laid back where people can just come talk to me at any time. I'll be there on June 28.