Winsome Frazier: Ready to Take a Leadership Role

When May rolls around, Winsome Frazier is set to pick up his bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies at Mississippi State.

The Bulldog senior guard definitely encountered enough experience to qualify a minor in time management.

The 6-foot-4 and 180-pound Miami, Fla., native is the one and only Bulldog serving as a husband and father along with his duties to Bulldog basketball.

After a day full of classes, practice and weights, Frazier simply drops one role for another as soon as he gets home. Then he's a husband to Keweshia Frazier and father to Rachad Wildgoose, and Winsome, Jr., and Trevon Frazier.

"Two years ago, my little boy (Winsome Jr.) was born and then my other boy (Trevon) was born last year," said Frazier. "All of that in affect with practice and time scheduling. The coaches are still on you and don't really understand what you go through off the court, at home or in the classroom.

"I just had to learn to put it all in time management. And it all came into place and I was able to put it all in a bunch. It all happened for a reason. Last year was a good time for me, on and off the court. So this year I want to try to make it even more interesting and time consuming."

Frazier is the second-leading returning scorer (13.1 ppg) for the Bulldogs, and has added yet another role - being a senior leader.

Among a large class of five seniors, Frazier has made the smooth transition like he has numerous times before.

"You always want to put it on yourself being a senior," said Frazier. "You want everything to happen right. The season is coming up next week, our last season. It puts a lot on you as a senior. It's the last time you will go through conditioning. It's the last time you will be in a room with this group of 15 guys.

"But this is what you look for. When you get out of high school, you have four years to go. This is what any senior would look for now. It is working out for us right now, and it will be special right up to that Senior Day."

Although fellow classmates Shane Power, Lawrence Roberts and Ontario Harper were tabbed tri-captains, Frazier noted how the responsibility of leading this squad depends on the entire senior group.

"Our role right now for the seniors coming back is leadership," said Frazier. "I know we have captains and co-captains. But I can say right now that this senior class has formed a bond. We want to go out with a bang since this is our last go around.

"Having such a big class, we will have the freshmen coming in looking up to us. We just have to take it like we did last year and try to take this team even further."

And Frazier has already made his mark with Bulldog rookies Charles Rhodes, Walter Sharpe and Jerrell Houston.

A year ago, the Bulldogs spent most of the season with only two or three prominent performers off the bench. Frazier strongly believes the success of the Bulldogs depends on the impact of those three guys.

"I know Coach is wanting to build more depth on the bench," said Frazier. "You have the starting five but you want about three more quality players that can come off the bench and give you some quality minutes.

"I expect much out of them this year and for them to try to help us win. We are trying to progress every year and try to get that national title. I look forward to them helping us this year."

Frazier leads by actions as well.

Serving as the team's best outside threat, Frazier has always maintained a shooter's mentality. Never one to shy away from a last-second shot, Frazier has produced many individual highlight shows.

As a junior, he drilled six treys against Western Kentucky. Frazier also helped the Bulldogs snap the Arkansas' jinx in Fayetteville with five three-pointers, including four in the game's first seven minutes.

But even when he hasn't found his range, Frazier keeps firing away, and rightfully so.

Last year at Santa Clara, Frazier had missed his first six long-distance attempts, and was just 1-of-9 from the field. But it was his three-pointer with 23 ticks left in regulation to send the Bulldogs to an overtime victory.

"I put that pressure on me, not only to take that last-second shot or whatever," said Frazier, who needs just 349 points to notch 1,000 career points at MSU. "But being a shooter I go into a game with that mentality. You keep shooting. Like that Santa Clara game (last season), if you noticed I wasn't shooting good at all. But I hit the three (to send the game into overtime) and that was the only one I hit. It just came at the right time and the right moment so anything is possible."

Frazier has also made a name, defensively. He enters his senior season currently just three steals away from entering the school's Top 10 career theft leaders.

Frazier collected 71 steals last season to lead the Southeastern Conference.

Combining quickness and pure athleticism, Frazier has become a household name among Bulldog defenders.

During the team's preseason press conference, head coach Rick Stansbury was asked about sophomore Dietric Slater and his defensive capabilities.

One of the terms Stansbury used to describe Slater was "Frazier-like".

Frazier knew exactly what the comparison meant.

"It means you are an animal," said Frazier. "(Slater) plays the passing lanes well like I do. I tell him it's all about timing. With him, he has aggressive action. He's going through a set of bruises right now but when he gets healthy, you will see his excellent skills. And that's what I put on him right now, getting back and helping the team."

hr width=150"> Paul Jones is a writer for the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website. Paul, also a sports writer for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch, can be reached by email at pjones@cdispatch.com.


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