Being one of the highest rated recruits in SMU basketball history, freshman guard Keith Frazier has plenty of expectations to live up to.
Playing at Dallas Kimball, known as one of the rougher schools in DISD, Frazier earned the reputation as a tough and relentless scorer.
Now, Frazier plans to bring that same ability to a team some think might be tournament bound sooner rather than later.
"I feel like I can bring a lot of toughness to the team from growing up and playing in an environment like Oak Cliff," Frazier said. "My first year, I just want to play my role. Whatever coach wants me to do that's what I'm going to do, but I'm going to do what I do best, and that's score the ball.
"I've always been a scorer and I believe that I can be an elite scorer at the college level. Scoring runs through my blood."
With practices just recently getting underway, head coach Larry Brown has yet to figure out what individual role each of his players will play. And with the team being significantly deeper than last year, he will have plenty of options.
Since arriving to SMU in the summer, Frazier has already noticed a change in his game and is looking forward to continuing his progression.
"I've seen a big improvement," Frazier said. "I'm more patient now, I take better shots, and my passing has gotten way better than it was in high school."
But the most noticeable difference between high school and college basketball for the 6-foot-5, 190 lb. athlete has come on the defensive side of the ball.
"There's a big difference because the game is way faster," Frazier said. "You can't take plays off on defense, you can't leave anybody open. In college you have to play defense."
Another change that Frazier is undergoing has zero to do with his progress on the court and everything to do with who he is as a person.
"When I was in oak cliff I had more of an attitude," Frazier said. "But here they kind of straightened up my attitude. They're starting to get the bad Keith out of Keith and putting more of the good Keith inside of Keith."
Perhaps the easiest transition for Frazier also went on off the court.
With SMU known for accepting students coming from well-to-do backgrounds, many of the students aren't shy about flaunting their wealth and to this, Frazier has no objections.
"It's crazy, but I like it," Frazier said. "I'm not used to seeing it, but it's cool seeing young kids with a lot of money. That's really a lot of motivation for me because I want the same thing."
With Frazier being as young and as talented as he is, he has plenty of time to accumulate the wealth he is seeking. And he knows the only way to acquire that wealth is to earn it through hard work and achieving the goals he has set for himself.
"My overall goal is to get to the final four and hopefully past the final four and win the championship," Frazier said. "I want to get better, help my teammates get better and get to the league. That's my goal to get to the league."
When asked if he has thought about his plans proceeding his freshman year, Frazier said the answer is no mystery.
"Of course I've thought about it," Frazier said. "If I'm good enough to leave after this year, I'm leaving, it's no secret. But if I need to stay and my coach tells me I need to stay then I'll stay."
Getting to know Keith Frazier
Hoops Feature: Keith Frazier
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