Channing Frye: The New Craig Hodges

Back in his college days, Channing Frye was one of those centers that drove opponents crazy. At 7’0″ tall, Frye dominated the interior for the Arizona Wildcats, rarely encountering a defender in the Pac 10 that could contain him.

Fast forward a few years, and Frye is now one of the premier three-point shooters in the NBA. I know what you’re thinking. How the hell did this happen?

A product of the Phoenix Suns’ run-n-gun offense, Frye has thrived in his first year in the desert. The 26-year-old spent his first four pro seasons toiling on the benches of the New York Knicks and Portland Trailblazers, receiving limited playing time, and doing so in the mold of a traditional big man.

At just 245 pounds, Frye was often overmatched by bigger opponents in the paint. Hence the lack of minutes, and in turn a lack of respect.

As a free agent for the first time this past offseason, Frye found his way back to Arizona where the coaching staff discovered a new way to use his talents.

Rather than allow him to be exploited on the interior, the Suns’ coaching staff felt the ex-Wildcat could best be deployed beyond the arc. Never mind the fact that entering the ’09-’10 season, Frye had taken just 70 professional treys, connecting on 20 of them (28.6%).

In just half a season, however, Frye has gone from Brad Lohaus to Steve Kerr. Which is funny, since Kerr is the Suns general manager, the same guy who first saw the long-distance potential in Frye.

The center has taken 260 longballs this year, knocking down 144 of them and logging a 43.8% three-point percentage in the process.

And now, in recognition of all his hard work, the NBA has named the center to the All-Star Weekend Three-Point Shooting Contest, the first center to earn such a distinction since 1997 when the Sonics’ (R.I.P.) Sam Perkins was so honored.

It’s been a long, strange journey for Frye, who should hold a special place in the hearts of local sports fans.

For now, Frye will undoubtedly be among the oddest participants in the Three-Point Shootout of all-time. And for that reason alone, you should be rooting for him.

4 thoughts on “Channing Frye: The New Craig Hodges”

  1. Brad Lohaus, wow!! Now that is an obscure reference. How old do you have to be to make that reference, or get that refernce?

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