Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Frazier to SMU means talent meets teacher
By Paul Biancardi
It was only a matter of time before a big-name recruit went to play for Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown at SMU. Tuesday he got his man in No. 11 shooting guard Keith Frazier (Dallas/Kimball)
What makes Frazier so highly ranked is his combination of athletic ability, length and a knack for scoring with an emphasis on making deep jumpers.
There is no denying Frazier’s basketball talent, especially when it comes to scoring. His 3-point shot-making ability screams out and his range is clearly out to the NBA line. Also worth mentioning is his soft touch to hit a midrange jumper, which can at times be a more difficult shot than a long-distance attempt.
He is most comfortable from a catch-and-shoot scenario, although he has shown a beautiful pull-up jumper. When he puts the ball on the deck going to his left, it’s for the pull-up jumper. When he goes to his right, it’s to drive all the way to the basket.
Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown is Keith Frazier's perfect teacher.
His scoring comes in transition, as he will not hesitate to launch a 3, and when the game slows down, he is at his best running off of pin-down screens (both tight and wide) or stagger double-actions along the baseline or at the arc.
Perhaps what separates him is his uncanny ability to make contested shots from anywhere on the floor. When aggressive, he can pick up points at the free throw line, where he shoots a fairly high percentage.
He passes the ball better than most will give him credit for and can find an open teammate on penetration. And he rebounds down from the perimeter on the defensive end with his length and bounce.
His handle needs to improve as he dances with the ball in his hands far too often, trying to make multiple moves when one simple move will create space for his jumper or drive. speaking of driving, he must learn to lower his shoulder to pass a tight defender and play low when making his move.
As mentioned above, one of his strong suits is making challenged shots, but that becomes a double-edged sword as he does display a poor selection throughout the course of the game, which hurts his percentage and his team’s chances of winning.
His reputation is of a volume scorer, which means he needs to take a lot of shots to score a lot of points. Under Brown, he will have to learn the entire defensive gamut from A to Z, along with new terminology and effort that has not been witnessed before on a consistent basis.
I witnessed Brown's coaching prowess firsthand in his days as head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. He is a master teacher in defensive schemes and skill work and will teach Frazier how to cut, read screens and defenders to be a more efficient offensive player, which will make him a more dominate performer.
A talent such as Frazier not only needs an experienced, successful coach who can hold him accountable while developing him, but he also needs a high-level point guard to play alongside. Nic Moore, who transferred in from Illinois State, is the ideal point guard, as he makes everyone around him better and will score when needed. Moore is known for getting his teammates shots, which is exactly what Frazier needs. Add 2013 signee Sterling Brown from Chicago Proviso East, and you see the pieces coming together for the Mustangs.
Frazier's Kimball team won the Texas 4A state championship last year and lost in the title game this season. He went through the playoffs averaging nearly 20 points per game and 10 rebounds per contest while handing out some timely assists.
Frazier has undeniable talent and Brown has the success and expertise to push and develop him into his best if he wants it. Brown has won in big fashion, as he owns an NCAA championship title with Kansas in 1988 and NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons. Talent just met the teacher.