A trip straight through Memory Lane

November 23, 2009

Three the Hardway

Part 1 of 3– It was 2005 and three promising  basketball players were awaiting to see what team would draft them into the national basketball association. They all came from different backgrounds and cities, paving their way into the league uniquely trying to prove themselves as young professionals. Who would of thought that the bright lights of New York city would be their first stop or last for that matter…..

more after the jump….

Channing as a Blazer

Channing Frye was born in White Plains New York and moved to Arizona when he was seven years old. He attended the University of Arizona for four years excelling at the power forward and center position for head coach Lute Olsen. He quietly established himself as one of the nation’s top big men, possessing a strong work ethic and a sweet looking solid mid range jump shot. He played all four years at Arizona starting in 52 out of 66 games. He averaged 14 points per game and led the Cats to two NCAA tournament appearances.

Frye was only considered to be a top 20 pick in the 2005 NBA draft but increased his stock impressing scouts during pre-draft training camp, by demonstrating athleticism, intelligence and finesse on the court. Something that is rarely seen in  a player nearly seven feet tall, his ability to run the floor and shooting prowess catapulted him into lottery status. That June the New York Knicks used their eighth pick in the first round to select the baby-faced senior from Arizona.

Channing showing his emotion as a Wildcat

Frye exceeded expectations and excelled in his first year in the league. He was considered as one of the top rookies of his class and consistently ranked high in the NBA rookie ratings. In his matchup against the number one pick of the 2005 draft Andre Bogut, he scored a career high 30 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, quickly establishing himself as a regular in Larry Browns’ rotation. That year he also made an appearance alongside fellow Knick teammate Nate Robinson in the rookie versus sophomore challenge during all-star weekend.  His year however was cut short due to a knee ligament injury he suffered while playing against Toronto. He finished the season respectably averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds leading to an NBA all-rookie first team selection.

His second year with the Knicks did not pan out so well. There was a controversy brewing when newly elected coach Isaiah Thomas started Channing over David Lee. Lee who was also a starting forward led the team in rebounding and field goal percentage and over matched Channing statistically. Thomas claimed that he started Frye because of his perimeter shooting ability and for the fact that he would make it harder for teams to double team center and leading scorer Eddy Curry.

In addition to his promotion Frye worked hard during the off-season to add weight to his lanky frame. Coaches felt that he was too skinny and needed to develop some strength to help solidify a weak  post game. Frye never demonstrated a consistent post game as he was a more natural shooter and was most effective shooting inside the three-point line. The extra weight and focus on being more of a “banger” instead of a “finesse” player hurt Channing, and his season averages dipped significantly from his stellar rookie season. That summer on draft day the Knicks traded Channing to the Portland Trailblazers for Zach Randolph.

Frye spent two seasons in Portland averaging 6 points, 3 rebounds playing 14 minutes per game, a far cry from his first and second season with the Knicks. He became a free agent this past season and signed a two-year $3.8 million dollar deal with his home town team the Phoenix Suns.

Channing has made an immediate impact since returning to the desert and is having a great season so far. He has worked himself as the teams starting center and is averaging 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block per game, numbers he hasn’t seen since his rookie year with New York. Frye who has always been known to have a great mid range jumper has greatly extended his range, he is shooting a red-hot 44% from beyond the arc which is the highest in his five-year career as a pro. He has fit perfectly in first year coach Alvin Gentry’s system and has helped Phoenix attain the best record in the west at 11-3.

One comment

  1. […] Part 1 of 3- Channing Frye […]

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