Will's Last Hurrah

He has gone to hell and back during his career at UM going through injuries, off-the-court issues and more, but being one of only two seniors of the 2004-2005 Hurricanes basketball team, Will Frisby is becoming the team leader coach Frank Haith and his teammates need him to be.

After struggling last year under former coach Perry Clark and starting off a little slow this year, Frisby cracked the starting line up after coming off the bench in the first five games of the season.

He is also becoming a more assertive player down low and giving the ‘Canes contributions they so dearly need to complement the outside play of Robert Hite, Guillermo Diaz and Anthony Harris.

"Frisby's commitment to want to do well has been great," said coach Frank Haith. "Having a guy like him who can be a scorer helps our perimeter guys so much because there are going to be nights when we are not going to shoot the ball well."

He is not the ordinary senior though whom one would automatically consider a team leader.

Why?

Because in all reality, this is Frisby's first season at UM that has seen him healthy.

He played sparingly in 01-02, his first year at UM, and when he was expected to be a key contributor in 02-03, he broke his foot prior to the start of the regular season which forced him to redshirt that season.

Returning in 03-04, Frisby played in 22 games while making eight starts. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 55.1% from the field, but did not emerge as was hoped for.

Frisby was a guy who averaged 23.2 points and 14.3 rebounds at Fresno City College in 00-01 before transferring to Miami.

Finally the ‘Canes are getting the player they have been waiting for since they recruited him out of FCC as Frisby has solidified himself as the ‘Canes number one post threat offensively and a great energy player.

Being incredibly athletic, Frisby is able to take bigger guys out to the perimeter and break them down as well, which is an added dimension that he will be able to take advantage of when he meets up with some bigger players in ACC play.

Either way, his force has been felt and Haith sees the improvement daily.

"He is stepping up and starting to play better basketball and that's important," Haith said. "Being a senior, I've told him this is your last hurrah, this is your last chance, your last opportunity and he's really taking advantage of that. He's worked very hard on his game. It's been a gradual process, but I am very pleased with his commitment with wanting to do well."

Haith also notes how key it is for Frisby to play well because the guard trio will not always shoot the ball well and the ‘Canes will have to find other ways to win games.

"Having that one guy that can be a scorer and do some things like that, it helps our perimeter guys so much cause there are going to be nights when we're not going to shot the ball well," Haith said.

And Haith shows Frisby in games how important he is by utilizing him in the game plan.

"Early in the games, I am calling for our post guys. I run plays to get those guys going early in the game," Haith said.

It has shown in Frisby's stats as he is averaging 9.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, numbers that expect to go up as the season continues. In each game, Frisby takes something out of it to improve to the next game.

"We're always pushing up to the next notch and we learn something from each game and apply it in the next," Frisby said.

That is what Frisby and company have certainly done since dropping back-to-back contests to South Carolina State and Xavier.

"After every game, expectations go up another notch. We treat every opponent like they're Duke. We want to win. We're hungry. Our team wants it," Frisby said.

And Haith sees it in Frisby and the entire club.

"They have a chance to play under these lights against the best in the country," Haith said. "You relish that opportunity."

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