In the ramp up to the 2008-09 basketball season, I will be profiling key Tar Heels who will likely be major contributors this season. Today's profile looks at senior PG/SG Bobby Frasor.
Weight: 210 lbs
Career Stats: 71 gms, 4.2 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.16 A/TO
2007-08 States: 12 gms, 3.2 ppg, 2.1 apg, 2.50 A/TO
What Happened Last Season
Bobby Frasor came into the season the clearcut #2 on the depth chart behind Ty Lawson at PG. Frasor also saw time at SG, especially if Roy Williams wanted to put a smaller lineup on the floor. Frasor logged huged minutes in the game at Ohio State with Ty Lawson out with the first of two ankle injuries. Against the Buckeyes, Frasor was not spectacular but also only turned the ball over once. The following game versus Kentucky was Frasor's best of the season as he scored nine points on 3-4 three point shooting. Almost a month later his season was ended by a freak knee injury during the 2nd half of the game against Nevada. At the time of the injury, Roy indicated Frasor's loss was huge to the team not so much for what happened on the stat sheet but for his leadership on the floor and his defense. When Lawson injured his ankle a 2nd time, Frasor's absence was felt but Quentin Thomas filled the gap. However, missing Frasor's presence on the defensive end of the court was felt all season long even when Lawson was healthy. Frasor underwent knee surgery to repair the torn ligaments in his knee.
Outlook For This Season
Frasor was cleared to play during the summer and is expected to be at 100% when practice begins in mid-October. The fact Frasor was given a green light so far ahead of the season is a good sign in terms of getting him back to full conditioning. The question that will dog him until he prover otherwise if whether he can be the same player he was his freshman season. During his first year in Chapel Hill, Frasor started at PG and was very effective. Granted he was not going to blow the doors of an opposing defender or penetrate at will but Frasor was smart with the basketball posting a 1.81 A/TO ratio. The Heels went 23-8 with Frasor running the point and a young team of players balance by the presence of David Noel and Reyshawn Terry. Frasor has really never been the same since. He struggled with a foot injury during part of the 2006-07 season and lost his starting job to Lawson. Then last season he had the knee injury but really did not play well even before that save his defense and penchant for taking care of the basketball. This season, getting Frasor back to the form he showed as a freshman would be highly beneficial. The state of his knee and his general focus having been severly injured will be points of concern. His importance to the team cannot be underscored enough. Obviously UNC will be the odds on favorite to win the title but to do that great leadership is required. Frasor fits that mold. He is a natural leader who has a great understanding of the game. Frasor, if he is fully healthy, is capable of playing great defense. Since we are not sure what the situation with Marcus Ginayrd will be early on or if Lawson is truly ready to live up to the standards Roy sets for on the ball defense, having Frasor available will be important.
Frasor will again be the primary backup to Ty Lawson at PG and possibly see some time at SG. Granted Larry Drew might have something to say about that, but somehow I think Roy is going to give Frasor the bulk of the minutes in spelling Lawson, at least early on, just to get him warmed back up to playing. Plus, if Frasor does come back and play as well as he did two years ago, I cannot imagine Drew being better since he will be well behind Frasor in experience.
The knee and his ability to play at a high level again. When Frasor steps on the court November 15th versus Penn, it will be his first meaningful game since December 28th, 2007 versus Nevada. That is nearly 11 months of rehab, scrimmages and an exhibition or two. You also have to account for the pyschogical toll the injury takes. Players, who have been severely hurt, tend to get skittish. The upside in this respect is Frasor's injury was a freak twist of the knee not something that happened in traffic or coming down from a layup. When you get injured in those types of situation I think it makes you less willing to put yourself in a place where you have been injured before. That hopefully will not be an issue here.
1. Frasor shoots 40% or better from three point range.
2. Frasor is a lock down on the ball defender that Roy can deploy with Ginyard to shut an opposing team's backcourt down in key situations.
Frasor might be the best liked Tar Heel on the team. His wit and personality make his a key ingredient to the team's general chemistry. It will be good to have him on the court as a leader and hopefully as a contributor on the stat sheet.