UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State senior guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) picked up another early season honor on Tuesday (Nov. 13) as he was named to the Naismith Award Early Season Watch List by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Frazier, a preseason All-Big Ten selection and the league's leading returner in scoring and assists, was named to the Wooden Award Men's Preseason Top 50 last week.
Frazier led Penn State with 23 points and six assists, his 19th career 20-point game, in the Lions' season opening win over Saint Francis last Friday (Nov. 9).
The 50-player watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012-2013 college basketball season. The Naismith Men's College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 7, 2013 in Atlanta.
In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow the list to the four finalists.
Notable Naismith Men's College Player of the Year alumni include two three-time winners in Bill Walton and Ralph Sampson, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant and last year's winner, Anthony Davis of Kentucky. The Naismith Men's College Player of the Year presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's best player.
Frazier returns for his senior campaign after leading the Big Ten in assists (6.2) and finishing second in scoring (18.8) and steals (2.4) during a superlative junior campaign that saw him lead the nation accounting for 58 percent of his team's offense. Also a Big Ten All-Defensive Team selection, Frazier was the only Division I player to average at least 17 points and six assists per game and set a Penn State season assist record with 198. The first Lion to lead the Big Ten in assists and just the third to lead the Big Ten in steals during the conference season, Frazier posted the seventh-best season point total in Penn State history and enters Thursday's game needing just seven points to become the Lions 30th 1,000-point scorer and currently stands sixth on the all-time assist chart, 151 assists shy of eclipsing the career assist record of 600.