LAS VEGAS -- After Cuonzo Martin took over the head coaching gig at California, he pulled big man Kingsley Okoroh from his commitment to Tennessee, then signed the 7-footer, as well as point guard Brandon Chauca in a frenzied finish to hi first signing class in Berkeley.
His first true commit, though, was 2016 prospect Oscar Frayer out of Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic.
Frayer was important for several reasons: He was a local, for one, and he played for the vaunted Oakland Soldiers AAU program. With Martin’s son now playing for one of the Soldiers’ younger squads, and his relationship with the program’s founder, Hashim Alaudeen, the commitment of Frayer helped to pave the way for another Oakland Soldier -- Ivan Rabb -- to pledge to Martin and the Bears this past recruiting cycle.
But, since he committed, Frayer’s star has fallen a bit. He’s been downgraded to a three-star, and his motor questioned. This summer, he set out to get his good name back, after he felt like he plateaued.
“Definitely, definitely. Last year, I didn’t go on two trips, and this year, I didn’t go on two trips, as well,” said Frayer, who missed those AAU trips because of summer school. “I want to continue to get better, see my growth as a human being, as well as a basketball player.”
Going to summer school has been a big deal for Frayer, who wants to be sure his academic house is in order so that he can enroll at Cal a year from now. His focus on academics, though, hasn’t been at the expense of basketball.
“I was in the gym every day after school. Every day. School got out at 1:05, and I was in the gym by 1:15,” Frayer said.
That dedication to improvement was put to the test last month, when the entire Cal staff watched Frayer participate in the Las Vegas Classic during the final open viewing period of the summer. What kind of improvement did they want to see?
“My overall skill set, being able to be versatile on the offensive end, and on the defensive end, as well,” said Frayer. “It makes you play with a chip on your shoulder, because you know they’re sitting here, watching your every move, and everything that you need to improve on, everything you say that you’re improving on.”