Florida's Frazier excited for USA tryout
Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 10:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 10:59 p.m.
After a strong freshman season, Florida rising sophomore guard Michael Frazier II is looking forward to a chance to showcase his skills in international competition.
Frazier is among 26 players invited to tryouts for Team USA’s 19-under national team, which begin Friday in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Very excited to have the opportunity to get invited and have the opportunity to go play against very talented players and just have the opportunity to be able to represent my country,” Frazier said. “It’s just really fun when I learned the news.”
Tryouts will run through June 19. The top 12 players selected will compete in the FIBA 19-under World Championships in the Czech Republic from June 27-July 7.
Frazier will compete for a spot on the team against several college basketball standouts, including Oklahoma State All-American guard Marcus Smart, Tennessee center Jarnell Stokes, Memphis guard Shaq Goodwin and Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon.
“Obviously, they are all good players,” Frazier said. “I just have to go there and handle my business and work hard and show them that I could be on the team.”
But Frazier could find a role on the team as a shooter off the bench, similar to the role he developed in his freshman season at UF. Frazier shot 46.8 percent (52 of 111) from 3-point range as a freshman, averaging 5.6 points and 3.1 rebounds. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard earned Southeastern Conference All-Freshman honors twice during the season and was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team.
Frazier said he still shoots at the gym every night. Sometimes he stays until he makes 400 shots. Other nights, it’s 500.
“I think my shot has actually gotten better since the end of the season because I’ve had time to actually go in the gym and get up a lot of shots,” Frazier said. “We’re not practicing, so I’m putting a lot of my energy into that and working on my game.”
Besides the sharp-shooting skills, Frazier could benefit from the presence of a familiar face on the sidelines. Florida coach Billy Donovan is coaching the 19-under team with assistants Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Shaka Smart (VCU). Frazier said Donovan gave him advice before he left for the tryouts.
“Just to stay in shape,” Frazier said. “They want to see who is in shape and who can get up and down the court. And just play your game, do what you can do. Don’t try to step outside of yourself. Do what you do, why they brought you there.”
Frazier said conditioning has been a big emphasis of his offseason program, which will be tested this week in the high altitude of Colorado Springs. But it should serve him well beyond this week’s tryouts. With Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario graduated, Frazier has a chance to win a starting job in his sophomore season. That will mean having to adjust to staying on the court for longer stretches. As a freshman, Frazier averaged 17.97 minutes per game.
“I really didn’t need to do that for a role, and this year, I’m thinking that my role is going to be expected to produce a lot more in other areas,” Frazier said. “So, just trying to get my game better in all areas is what I’ve been working on.”
Other players invited for Team USA 19-under tryouts include guard Bryce Alford (La Cueva High School, Albuquerque, N.M.), forward Robert Carter (Georgia Tech), forward Brandon Ashley (Arizona), forward Damyean Dotson (Oregon), forward Jerami Grant (Syracuse), guard Javan Felix (Texas), guard Kris Dunn (Providence), guard Rodney Purvis (Connecticut), center Mike Tobey (Virginia), guard Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose, Calif.), guard Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova), forward Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), guard James Robinson (Pittsburgh), guard/forward Marcus Georges-Hunt (Georgia Tech), guard Elfrid Payton (Louisiana-Lafayette), guard Justise Winslow (St. Johns H.S./Houston, Texas), center Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.) guard Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep/Happy Valley, Ore.), forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Chester H.S./Chester, Pa.) and guard Canyon Barry (College of Charleston). Barry is the son of Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry, and Alford is the son of UCLA coach Steve Alford.
Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or email@example.com. Also check out Brockway's blog at Gatorsports.com.