Replacing Bradley Beal won’t be easy. But it appears that one incoming UF freshman shooting guard has made an early impression.
Michael Frazier, a 6-foot-4 guard and Tampa native, has caught the attention of Florida coaches during summer workouts.
“I’m hearing good things,” said Kevin Boyle, Frazier’s coach this past season at Montverde Academy in Clermont. “I’m hearing that the coaches up there are very pleased with him, that they think he may even be a little better than they thought he was when they first recruited him.”
This isn’t a case of just Boyle pumping up his former player. Former UF point guard Taurean Green also mentioned Frazier as a player to watch based on playing against him in pickup games.
Boyle coached Frazier at Montverde this past season after Frazier spent his first three years at Plant High in Tampa.
“He plays hard,” Boyle said. “He gets after it defensively. He’s in great physical condition. Living in the state of Florida, he has an incredible desire to play well for the Florida Gators. You may hear kids say it is their dream to play for the Gators, but for him, it’s a passion, it’s an obsession.”
Boyle arrived at Montverde in 2011 after spending 20 years as a head coach at St. Patrick’s High in Elizabeth, N.J. During that span, Boyle coached several future NBA players, including Samuel Dalembert, Al Harrington, Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
In his one season coaching Frazier, Boyle worked on trying to expand his game.
“He had a reputation coming into the program as being a guy that was mainly concerned about shooting and scoring,” Boyle said. “I think he’s gotten much better off the ball. He’s become a better on-the-ball defender. And he’s a kid who jumps fairly well so during the course of the season he started rebounding better from his position.”
That rebounding will be important, considering Beal was among the best rebounding guards in college basketball last season. Beal averaged a team-high 6.7 rebounds per game for the Gators last season. That void won’t be easy to replace.
“There are kids who may have more talent than Michael,” Boyle said. “But there are no kids who are going to out-work him.”
— ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi released his latest offseason 2013 Bracketology. Lunardi has the Gators as a No. 3 seed in the East Region, playing its first two games in Austin, Texas.
— Here’s a look at UF’s 2012-13 men’s basketball roster, with updated heights and weights. The big news? Senior Erik Murphy is up to 238 pounds, which should serve him well at the power forward position. For you uniform number buffs, Frazier will wear No. 20, Dillon Graham will wear No. 12, DeVon Walker will wear No. 25 and Braxton Ogbueze will wear No. 11. Transfers Dorain Finney-Smith will wear No. 10 and Damontre Harris will wear No. 2. And walk-on Jacob Kurtz is listed on this year’s roster.