Notebook: Frazier plays more than expected

Michael Frazier knew on Wednesday that he would play in Florida's season opener after missing time with mono. Trainer Duke Werner told the sophomore guard they wanted to get him 8-10 minutes on the court but no more than that. He ended Friday night with 24 minutes and was second on the team with 19 points.

Frazier spoke with the Florida coaches and trainers on Wednesday and decided it was time for him to see if he could get back on the court. He practiced lightly on Wednesday but didn't do much. In practice on Thursday, they threw him into the fire to see how much he could handle.

Frazier woke up sore and tired on Friday morning, but he wanted to get on the court Friday night in the season opener against North Florida. The 8-10 minute window decided by the trainers seemed like the perfect fit, but once the sophomore guard got on the floor, he felt like he was in midseason form.

"Coach D did a good job of subbing me in and out," Michael Frazier said. "I wasn't too tired. I felt (like myself). I'm not 100 percent yet, but I felt good today."

Frazier weighted 199 pounds when he was diagnosed with mono, and once the symptoms cleared up and he started to feel better, he was down to 187 pounds. He took the court on Friday at 195 pounds, close to his normal weight. There's still room for him to gain weight back as he continues to get his legs under him.

He didn't look far behind on Friday.

Fraizer finished the night second on the team with 19 points and a team-high nine rebounds. He also went 6-10 from the field and made all six free throw attempts.

"When I first came back, the ball felt like it was 100 pounds," Frazier said. "I'm getting better and shooting every day."

PRATHER SPARKS THE TEAM: After his standout performance in Florida's exhibition win, Casey Prather followed it up with a career-high 28 points. He went 10-15 from the field and stacked the stat sheet with eight rebounds, two blocks, one assist and one steal.

"Just playing aggressive and doing things I can to help the team," Prather said. "I was driving when I could drive and trying to be in the right spot for my teammates."

Prather also credits the new NCAA rules that cut down on hand checking for making him more aggressive in attacking the rim. Most of his points came in the paint while going to the basket.

His teammates saw the boost Prather brought.

"That's what he can do – put up numbers like that when we need him," Frazier said. "His versatility and athleticism, it's a great aspect of our team. We need a guy like that."

HILL DEBUTS: Freshman point guard Kasey Hill made his official Florida debut on Friday, posting 15 points on 5-9 from the field in 27 minutes. He got in foul trouble early played limited minutes in the first half but took over in the second half, using his speed in transition.

It was easy to see how different the Florida offense looked when he was on the floor, but Billy Donovan was still disappointed with him after the game. His issues were similar to the ones he had with the entire Florida team not handling adversity well on Friday.

"I was disappointed in him today, and I told him that on the bench," Donovan said of Hill. "He's a great kid, unbelievable kid to coach. He has got a sponge in terms of trying to learn. But the one thing that really stood out and got under my skin by our team and by him was this look of -- I don't know if the right word is entitlement or everything is supposed to go my way and when it doesn't, I get deflated."

SUSPENSIONS IN TACT: Donovan announced after that game that Dorian Finney-Smith, Damontre Harris and Scottie Wilbekin would remain suspended when Florida plays at No. 20 Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Fightin Gators Top Stories