Frazier drawing Humphrey comparisons

The overall success this season isn't the only reason Billy Donovan is having flashbacks to his team's back-to-back national title seasons. Michael Frazier has given the Gators a sharp-shooting threat from behind the three-point line, just like Lee Humphrey did in those years. Frazier is having similar results to what Humphrey did, and it all starts with the way both shooters prepare.

Donovan got another look at the dedication of Michael Frazier before Florida played at Ole Miss on February 22. The game was set to tip off at 11 a.m. central time, but Frazier was inside Tad Smith Coliseum at 6:45 a.m. getting shots up. He didn't like the way his shot felt at the previous night's shootaround, and he wanted to get that feeling out of his mind.

So he got there before the sun came up to shoot by himself.

The scariest part about it is that what happened at Ole Miss isn't rare. Frazier has done this multiple times before games this year, including Saturday when he showed up at the O'Connell Center at 7:45 a.m. to get shots up before Florida hosted Kentucky.

The times weren't that extreme, but the hard work and focus on being comfortable with the shot is exactly what Lee Humphrey used to do in his time at Florida.

"I would say those two guys in particular are unbelievable in the amount of personal investment they make in terms of getting up shots every day," Billy Donovan said. "Those guys just have an incredible will to go in there and work to the point that they've got their shot down so well."

Frazier, a sophomore, still has work to do to reach the impact Humphrey had on the Florida program. The two-time national champion left Gainesville as the school's all-time leader in three-pointers made (288) and remains the NCAA Tournament's all-time leader in three-pointers made (47). He hit 18 three-pointers in two Final Fours. Humphrey's consistency was also impressive, hitting exactly 113 of 246 three-point attempts in each of his junior and senior seasons.

Frazier is shooting 44 percent (97-220), just lower than the 45.9 percent Humphrey shot in his final two seasons. With the remainder of this season left and two more seasons of eligibility, Frazier is 139 three-pointers away from Humphrey's school-record total.

The consistency of both shooters has helped them, and it comes from being experts at their own technique.

"They know their shot better than anybody else knows their shot," Donovan said. "I always find, when I'm working with a guy shooting the basketball and I ask them why they missed, and they say, ‘I don't know,' that's generally a problem. That's like a golfer, when you swing the club and right when you make contact with the ball, a great golfer understands why you missed the shot and where the ball is going to go and what's happening. Humphrey and Frazier know their shots better than I know their shots. They know why they missed, why they make, what they need to do, they know their routine."

Frazier and Humphrey both have similar personalities and have dealt with issues because of it. They aren't the ones to hog the ball or try to lead Florida in scoring in every game. Both have needed prodding from the coaches and players to shoot throughout their career.

For Humphrey, he started shooting because of the players around him. Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Chris Richard saw his shooting ability and encouraged him to keep shooting after they noticed him passing up open shots. As Donovan recalled, the Florida big men told him, ‘just shoot it because we're going to rebound it.'

Frazier needed the same prodding. Ask his teammates about it now and they roll their eyes, get a shy smile and shake their head. They didn't understand Frazier passing on shots earlier in his career, and they let him know about it. The sophomore guard was passing them up, trying to be a good teammate, but all it did was frustrate his teammates. Patric Young even said weeks ago that Frazier passing up an open three has the same impact on the team as a turnover.

"Our guys here have done a good day when Frazier has struggled or missed some shots," Donovan said. "They've stayed with him in terms of trying to help him continue to shoot the ball."


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