Thursday, March 07, 2002

Xavier's Frey shooting for scoring spurt


Injury-plagued Sr. finding his touch going into tourney

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        PHILADELPHIA — Kevin Frey will play today in his 126th career game, tying a Xavier record. His number of healthy games also is a record: zero.

        The four-season starter admitted frustration with his surgically repaired left ankle, one of many ailments in his star-crossed career. Yet he said he sees signs his shot is rounding into form, which could pay great dividends for a team that has him as its only senior starter.

        “I'm getting there healthwise, though I'm still not 100 percent, which is very disappointing,” Frey said. “But when your legs start getting better, your shot comes around better; you get off the floor a little better.”

        Frey had surgery July 16, yet the ankle has hurt all winter. Though XU coaches laud Frey's rebounding (5.8 avg.) and every other aspect of his game, the ankle pain disrupted his jump shot.

        Frey has averaged 8.5 points, fifth-best on the team and his lowest average since he was a freshman. His 35.4 percent overall shooting and 22.2 percent from 3-point range are by far career lows.

        During Atlantic 10 play, when opponents played zone almost exclusively, Frey got fewer shots and more heavily guarded ones. After shooting 39.3 percent and averaging 11.2 points in nonconference games, he shot 31.9 percent with a 6.6-point scoring average in league play.

        He made three or more baskets in five of his last six games, sinking three of his last six 3-point tries, as his form improved in the season's final weeks.

        “We would love nothing more than for Kevin to score more,” XU coach Thad Matta said. “That would be an added bonus. But he does all the other little things that help us win.”

        Frey's production is often paramount. Dating to the start of his sophomore season, XU is 32-5 when he scores in double figures (including 9-1 this season) and 32-20 when he doesn't.

        “I'm not going to guarantee offensive productivity, but I'll guarantee that I'll take advantage of any situations that come to me,” Frey said. “It's my senior year, and there's just a sense to keep playing. I'll be ready.”

        E-mail nschmidt@enquirer.com
       

       



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