Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa's Frazier lands SEC player of the week

Michael Frazier averaged 17.5 points, three rebounds and 2.5 assists in wins at Alabama and against Tennessee.

AP photo

Michael Frazier averaged 17.5 points, three rebounds and 2.5 assists in wins at Alabama and against Tennessee.

GAINESVILLE — In his mind, Michael Frazier is nowhere near the player he hopes to become. He's still working on improving his defense, and admits he's sometimes too hard on himself when his shots aren't falling.

But that doesn't mean he's not playing well, particularly this past week.

On Monday, the Gators' sophomore guard from Tampa was named SEC player of the week.

Frazier averaged 17.5 points, three rebounds and 2.5 assists in wins at Alabama and against Tennessee. He hit 48 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range and against Alabama had five 3-pointers for the fifth time this season, more than any UF player had last year. He also matched a career-best three assists in the game. He made every free throw in both games.

"It's a great honor," Frazier said Monday. "But it just shows that hard work pays off. Continue to strive to get better each and every day. Continue to focus on the team."

Frazier is averaging 12.3 points and 3.4 rebounds.

"He can shoot the ball," senior F Will Yeguete said. "He's quite a leader. I think he's going to be able to lead us, as well. He's loud. And he's been a better defensive player. The way he shoots the ball, that helps us a lot."

RISE IN POLLS: Florida moved up three spots on Monday to No. 3 in the AP poll, and is ranked No. 4 in this week's USA Today Coaches Poll. The No. 3 ranking is the highest for the Gators since they were No. 2 the week of Feb. 4, 2013 — before losing to Arkansas that week.

QUICK TURNAROUND: For the second straight week, the Gators have a 48-hour turnaround between games. Florida will play at Mississippi State on Thursday, then host Texas A&M on Saturday. Florida is 17-1 under coach Billy Donovan in Thursday-Saturday games. He said he doesn't know the reason for that success, but having a group like his four seniors is a positive.

"You've got to have a group of guys that if you can't drill it as hard as you want to because time, fatigue doesn't allow it, I think you've got to have a group of guys that can get through those things with an understanding of what they're going to have to do and need to do with that situation," Donovan said.

WALKER NO SAVIOR: Gators freshman Chris Walker continues to await word on his playing status from the NCAA Clearinghouse, but in the meantime he's practicing with the team and working on getting college-ready. He's also gaining a cult-like status with Twitter followers using the hashtag #freechriswalker. And that, Donovan said, has him more concerned than anything.

"My biggest fear for Chris is you have a highly explosive player and sometimes when the guy's not playing, the legend of Chris Walker grows greater than who he really actually is," Donovan said.

"It's the same thing with Doe-Doe (transfer Dorian Finney-Smith) last year. He's sitting out, and everyone's talking about this guy like he's Magic Johnson. Chris Walker now, it's like, my God, this guy is going to end up being Kevin Garnett. I mean, he's not that. And I think if anybody, whenever he gets able to play, if that's your expectation of Chris Walker, then you're going to be very, very disappointed.

"And my biggest fear for him is there's a level of anticipation or excitement whenever he gets cleared to play, but I hope that there is at least a level of understanding in terms of how much he's missed coming in to where he's coming in and if anybody's expecting him to be a savior, it would really be unfair."

Antonya English can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @TBTimes_Gators.

Tampa's Frazier lands SEC player of the week 01/27/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 27, 2014 10:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays series preview: Who are the Mariners?


    The Rays are back home again, duking it out with another club in the American League Wild Card chase — the Mariners, who have a slight advantage over Tampa Bay. Here's the information you need to know about Seattle before the action kicks off.

    Record: 61-61, third in AL West

    Starter Erasmo Ramirez will face the Rays after they traded him to the Mariners in July.
  2. Florida Gators' Malik Zaire: 'This is everything to me'


    GAINESVILLE — We're two weeks and one day away from the Florida Gators' Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan, and the quarterback position remains unresolved.

    "This is everything to me..." said Malik Zaire, the grad transfer from Notre Dame. "I have everything to prove, everything to lose."
  3. 1997 USF Bulls: Charlie Jackson navigates life's speed bumps


    USF wide receiver Charlie Jackson (1) strives for extra yardage as he is brought down from behind by the Citadel's Rob Nichols (29) in the first quarter on Sept. 14, 1997. (Times 1997)
  4. 1997 USF Bulls: Scott McCready trades green and gold for black belts


    USF WR Scott McCready (16) attempts to get past Jacksonville State LB Duriel Hardrick (31) durin a Sept. 2, 2000 game. (Times 2000)
  5. 1997 USF Bulls: Cory Porter regains passion for game 10,000 miles away


    Brian Surcy (25) and Cory Porter (80) celebrate USF's first victory, against Kentucky Wesleyan. (Times 1997)