SleepersJuly 30, 2005

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Sleeper Watch

By Arlo Vander

He doesn’t have Shaq’s physique or Tim Duncan’s savvy, he lacks Zo’s experience, and he doesn’t come with Andrew Bogut’s upside. But if you’re looking for a big man with potential who won’t cost you a fortune, Channing Frye might just be your man in the middle.

A good big man is hard to find, both in fantasy leagues and in the NBA. Just ask the Knicks, who have been trying to solve their problems in the middle ever since Patrick Ewing left town, and were very happy (not to mention relieved) to be able to land Frye in this year’s NBA draft.

Frye may not be generating much of a buzz outside of the Big Apple, yet he’s well worth keeping an eye on as an inexpensive fantasy option. His college resumé is solid, with a stat line of 15.8 points, 7.6 boards, and 2.3 blocks per contest along with an assist-turnover ratio of 1.1 during his senior campaign at Arizona. His fundamentals are sound, and perhaps most importantly, he won’t be riding the pine for most of his rookie season like so many others in this year’s draft class. The Knicks plan on giving the rookie considerable court time right off the bat.

Naturally, you can look for Frye to go through some freshman growing pains. There’ll be rookie mistakes such as unnecessary fouls, and days when the league’s elite centers will eat him for lunch. But on the whole, you can expect decent overall numbers, including a solid field goal percentage from the player who never finished a collegiate season lower than .548 from the floor.

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