Don't stop shooting

Michael Frazier doesn't usually struggle to pull the trigger -- until the ball stops going in. If the Southeastern Conference's leading three-point shooter gets off to a slow start, he gets hesitant. When he started 1-8 from behind the three-point line on Tuesday, the sophomore started to look to set up other teammates. Florida coach Billy Donovan used a timeout to convince Frazier to shoot again.

In Frazier's mind, it just wasn't his night. With 8:35 left in the game and Florida leading by 17 points, the sophomore missed another three-pointer that pushed him to 1-8 from behind the three-point line for the night. Forty-one seconds later at the television timeout, Donovan focused his attention on Frazier.

"I went after him because I thought he passed up some shots," Billy Donovan said after No. 7 Florida completed a 72-50 win over Georgia.

It wasn't just Donovan. Teammates were in his ear at every break to keep shooting. Assistant coach Matt McCall was easy to hear from the Florida bench, echoing the encouragement from everyone else.

"They miss a shot, it's like the end of the world," Donovan said. "You'd think this guy never missed a shot in his life. You've got to work through it, especially when you're open."

There aren't many players like this. Even when shots aren't falling for Frazier, his teammates and coaches want him to keep taking three-pointers. They know what happens to the team, to the Florida crowd and to the opposition when Frazier gets it going from behind the three-point line.

"He's that kind of guy," Dorian Finney-Smith said of Frazier's game-changing ability. "We've got confidence in him. We get mad at him when he hesitates. He can change the game."

Once Frazier got the message on Tuesday, he kept shooting. It took one final message from Donovan, when the Florida coach said on the bench that he believes he has more confidence in Frazier than the sophomore has in himself. And in the final 7:32 of play, Frazier went 4-4 from behind the three-point line to end the game with a career-high 21 points.

Tuesday night was the fourth time in Florida's 16 games this season that Frazier has made at least five three-pointers. Last season, Frazier and Erik Murphy -- who was in attendance on Tuesday since his Chicago Bulls play in Orlando on Wednesday -- both did it only twice, leading the team.

So why stop shooting?

Sometimes, it's as simple as listening to what the coaches are saying. Donovan has been preaching about ball movement, and that can creep into Frazier's mind when he's stepping into a three-pointer. Sure it's an open shot, but what if another teammate can get a better shot off a pass from Frazier? It's a tough balance, but the message from teammates remains the same. They don't think Frazier shoots enough.

"I know they tell me that, but coach always says to keep the ball moving," Michael Frazier said. "I feel like somebody might have a better shot so I'll pass up on one."

The fear of avoiding selfishness can sometimes hamper the team. That's not an area Donovan wants his sophomore to head into. He wants Frazier to continue being aggressive and believe in his strength from behind the three-point line.

"He's got to understand that he has a responsibility to himself and his team," Donovan said. "He's got to shoot the ball with confidence."

And in the final 7:32 on Tuesday, he did.


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