Coming into the Marquette game last Thursday, Michael Frazier was just 4-for-16 from behind the three-point line. He put on shows during practice, but once he got on the court during the season, it hasn’t translated.
That changed with one game.
The freshman went 5-for-8 from the field, pumping his three-point percentage to 37.5% (9-24) through six games this season.
“We tell him, ‘don’t be shy. Come in and be aggressive.’ We tell that to all our freshmen,” senior guard Mike Rosario said.
Frazier took advantage of his open shots, hitting four of his three-pointers in the first half to give the Gators a double-digit lead at halftime. He hit three-pointers on back-to-back possessions twice in the first half of the game to get the momentum back on the Florida bench.
“Michael had not been shooting the ball like he’s capable of,” Billy Donovan said on Monday. “I’m happy that Michael got the award, but if he doesn’t make five three-point shots, no one knows of anything he did in the game.”
There were still mistakes that took place, despite the Gators winning their Elite Eight rematch with Marquette by 33 points. Frazier’s youth played a part in some of the defensive miscues that would have been exposed if the shots were falling for Marquette.
“He needs to get better defensively right now,” Donovan said. “Some of the (mistakes) in the Marquette game, he was part of it and one of the guys with things they need to do.”
The question now becomes how well Frazier can handle the success. After struggling during the first five games with his shot, Donovan wants to see him continue to work hard at improving the other areas of his game.
“How do you handle that? When you’re dealing with it in high school and have a big game, it’s expected,” Donovan said. “When you’re a freshman and draw positive attention to yourself, how do you handle that attention?”