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Channing Frye NBA Draft Scouting Report
by:
May 8, 2005
Strengths
His biggest strength has to be his size, at nearly 7 feet tall. For a player his size, he runs the floor extremely well and can get up off the floor to finish plays at the basket, change shots defensively and rebound in traffic. On top of that, he has a very nice wingspan which makes him an excellent shot blocking threat at the college level, especially coming from the weak side. When he is focused and motivated, his timing can be very impressive.

Offensively, Frye is a finesse player who prefers to face the basket and owns a very nice looking jump shot. He has range out to about 16-18 feet and can consistently knock down the mid-range jumper if you give it to him. His numbers from the free throw line most certainly back that up, at 83% which is outstanding for a big man. In the pros, the pick and pop should be a great play to run for him. Around the basket, Frye can score as long as he isn't being contested too fiercely thanks to his height, length and athletic ability. He has a nice little jump hook shot that could become his go to move in the pros. Frye is an efficient scorer who makes the most of his touches, shooting 56% from the floor in his four years at Arizona on over 700 field goals made.

In terms of character and intangibles, Frye is about as solid as you'll find. He is an intelligent, soft spoken kid who carries himself well both on and off the floor and will be an excellent locker room presence in the pros.

Weaknesses
Physically, he has a very narrow frame that will likely not be able to carry too much weight. Right now he gets pushed around an awful lot and this hurts his potential as a big man in all aspects of the game. His foot-speed is fairly average, although at his height that usually wouldn't be too much of a concern.

Offensively, he lacks the strength or tenacity to establish and hold position in the paint. If he does get the ball, he does not have the lower body strength or footwork to back his man down to the basket or finesse his way towards the hoop. A quick shove in the back and Frye usually finds himself outside the paint. Not being the most contact loving player in the world, he's hardly the type of guy that will really push back either, so this could be even more of a problem in the much more physical NBA. When he does catch the ball inside the paint in a position to score, he often takes too long to gather himself for a strong finish, giving the defense time to react and stop him. He has some trouble finishing around the basket sometimes due to the fact that he is lacking in upper body strength. At times, usually when he is tired of being banged around inside, Frye has a tendency to settle for extremely soft shots outside of the paint.

Defensively, he does not have the strength to guard NBA post players right now, or the lateral quickness to take care of power forwards if they take him out to the perimeter. His man to man defense is fairly poor, using his hands far too much rather than his feet, although he makes up for this at the collegiate level with his shot-blocking ability. He also has a tendency at times to bite on pump fakes and leave his feet, or rotate over to help on defense and sacrifice his position for the defensive rebound in the process.

On the glass, Frye tends to rely too much on his size, length, athleticism and the fact that he is usually 3 inches taller than anyone else on the floor to come up with rebounds. He lacks great positioning and sheer desire in terms of boxing out his man and crashing the glass. It's not rare to see him being out-muscled by a smaller player for a loose ball, simply because the other guy looks like he wants it more.

Frye didn't seem to have a problem being a role player at the college level, despite the fact that he VERY rarely faced anyone in college who can match his size and talent level. Consistency has been an issue for Frye and his mental toughness has been questioned over and over again in his four year at Arizona, as he has problems staying focused and hungry throughout the course of an entire game, and can get extremely passive and tentative. He's not the type of player who can really score many points if you aren't running plays for him.

Some of the bigger questions around Frye are: what position is he going to play in the pros? Who exactly is he going to guard? How is he going to score his points?

Competition
Frye logged heavy minutes for four years at one of the top NCAA programs in the country, the University of Arizona, under the well respected coach Lute Olson. Not an extremely highly touted recruit, but has been a fixture in Arizona's starting lineup almost since day one. Expectations were sky high for Frye to develop into one of the most dominating centers in the country after a terrific freshman year where he averaged nearly 10 points, over 6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in just under 24 minutes, but his development as a player came slower than expected over the following three years. In his sophomore year he had 12.6 points, 8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in 25.4 minutes, helping Arizona to within one game of the final four before losing to Kansas in the elite eight. The following season Frye put up 15.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, but Arizona was upset that year in the first round of the tournament by Seton Hall. This year Frye put up similar numbers, with 15.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks, once again helping Arizona to within one game of the final four before relinquishing a double digit lead in the final minutes and losing a heartbreaker to Illinois in overtime. Frye was excellent in his last college game with 24 points (11-14), 12 rebounds and 6 blocks, although Illinois' front court did not really strike fear in any big man's heart this year.

Outlook
Projections on Frye are all over the board at this point, with some scouts believing he will end up as a top 20 pick and others hinting that they would not give him consideration before the 2nd round of the draft. Workouts will be extremely important for him. He is the type of player that could help his stock out tremendously by playing at the pre-draft camp in Chicago, but (and this is just a hunch) it's unlikely that we will see him there considering that he most likely will think that he doesn't have to be there. Therefore, private workouts will most likely help decide where he ends up landing. Frye has been hovering around 25-35 in our mock draft for most of the season.

Comments
For reasons already stated, I personally do not see Frye's game translating very well over to the NBA. I could see him becoming a decent rotation player in the league for someone, but not much more than that. Hopefully he will prove me wrong next season, though. It's possible that he will get drafted higher than we thought he would, but how he fares in the pros will ultimitely decide who was right here.

 


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