Frazier is hitting a familiar ring for Glenelg

January 25, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Had Earl Frazier's name been mentioned to any opposing boys basketball coach before the high school season started, the response probably would have been: "Earl who?"

Now the word is out around the league that he's a player to watch.

"He's always the first one opposing coaches ask me about before games," Glenelg coach Klaude Krannebitter said.

Frazier, a junior shooting guard averaging 17.0 points, did not play last season because of a knee injury . The knee was not operated on but healed through rest. Frazier wears a brace on the knee.

On Jan. 14, Frazier made his best showing this season by scoring 26 points against Centennial during a 74-65 Glenelg victory.

"I'm impressed by his quickness and composure and by how he can hit his free throws," Centennial coach Jim Hill said. "He's a pretty complete package."

The Centennial game turned into a foul-shooting contest after Glenelg point guard Jeff Cline fouled out. Glenelg made 27 of 45 free throws overall, and Frazier made 13 of 18.

"There were about two minutes left when Cline fouled out, and I told our team the ball must go to Earl so he could shoot the free throws," Krannebitter said.

Frazier scored the game-clinching shot after a teammate missed the front end of a one-and-one and Frazier rebounded the ball and scored. He was fouled and turned it into a three-point play.

His other top-scoring games this season include 24 points against Spalding and 21 against Pallotti.

Through Glenelg's first eight games, Frazier was shooting 71 percent (28-for-38) at the foul line. He also was shooting 63 percent (43-for-68) from two-point range and 43 percent (6-for-14) from three-point range.

In three league games, Frazier is averaging 21.0 points. The Gladiators (7-4) lost to Atholton and Wilde Lake in other league games.

He and teammate Kevin Curtin combined to spark a Glenelg comeback in the fourth quarter against league-leading Atholton. The Gladiators sliced a 22-point Atholton lead to nine points with 4:56 to play.

Frazier had a steal that he converted into a layup early in the rally and also scored on another layup near the end of that rally.

"He's quick and has a nice shot," Atholton coach Jim Albert said.

Frazier has a good on-court relationship with Cline. The two team up for two or three fast-break baskets per game.

Frazier (5 feet 11 and 165 pounds) started the season at point guard but after three games switched to shooting guard, the position he prefers.

"He's good. He's really helped us this year," Cline said. "He's always out there on the fast break and can finish it. He's a good jumper and likes to shoot off the dribble from 15 to 18 feet."

Frazier thinks his strength is his versatility. He can shoot, dribble and score inside. And he also thinks that his desire to play hard is a strength.

Krannebitter thinks Frazier's strengths are that he sees the floor well, can create things and takes the ball to the basket.

"And he's always there at the end when you need him," Krannebitter said.

Frazier started slowly this season because he wasn't in good shape after not playing last year.

"Not playing really set back my stamina and I got tired easily even though I played with the team in a summer league at Liberty," Frazier said. "It's just recently that I've gotten my stamina back."

He thinks that stamina and his defense have been his weaknesses, although Krannebitter also thinks Frazier needs to improve his bounce passes.

Krannebitter describes Frazier as a quiet player. "Sometimes he's completely engrossed before games and I have to ask someone if he's depressed about something. But it's just that he's concentrating," Krannebitter said.

Frazier is vocal during games, however, and inspires his teammates to step up.

L Krannebitter won't describe Frazier as a star player -- yet.

"After every game, you look at the scorebook and he's got his 17 points and you wonder how," he said.

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