Card Eye Future in Frasor

With today the first day of 2004, I felt it appropriate to launch into our full coverage of the all-important Stanford Basketball recruiting class of 2005. The team is currently enjoying arguably its best ever success and is earning national acclaim, but behind the scenes experts are saying this junior class is crucial to the future of Mike Montgomery's elite program. And atop that '05 list is PG Bobby Frasor...

Like the searches for the Lost City of El Dorado, the Fountain of Youth, and the low-beta high-return blue chip stock for our retirement, Mike Montgomery has been engaging in the mythical quest for a point guard in his recruiting efforts for the past several years. So many of his recruited floor general targets have faded from reality to fantasy, due to admissions, distance or subjective decisions. But on this first day of 2004 I offer to Cardinalmaniacs a great shining hope in the Class of 2005 who might yet ensure the safe future of this most magnificent Stanford Basketball program.

6'3" junior point guard Bobby Frasor hails from fabled Brother Rice High School in Chicago, Illinois, and he has his Crusaders cruising this 2003-04 season with a sterling 12-0 record. That a junior point guard has the Brother Rice engine purring so smoothly (to the tune of the school's best ever start) is unsurprising when you know how special a player Frasor is. He is not a score-first ballhandler like so many PGs his age, but he has a diverse set of tools he can employ on the floor when his team needs them. His first aim is to see the floor and find his teammates, but there are times when he takes it upon himself to score.

The most recent pair of wins for Brother Rice came earlier this week in the semifinals and finals of the holiday Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York, and Frasor earned MVP honors for the tournament with an impressive set of games. In the semifinals against Conant he scored 19 points while dishing out five assists in a 61-43 win. The finals were a more hotly contested affair, when the Crusaders took on red-hot Catholic League rival St. Ignatius. Frasor's team trailed at the end of each of the first three quarters, but when the game was tied in the fourth quarter at 40-40, he made the plays that pulled his team to victory.

It started on defense, where a quick steal led to a transition break and lay-up to give Brother Rice a rare lead at 42-40. He engineered a defensive stop on the other end again, and then found a teammate with an assist to grow the lead to four points. Defensive stops kept St. Ignatius from scoring in the final 4:30 of the game until a three-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation, but Frasor's team held on for a 46-43 win. The amazing job Frasor did in the fourth quarter on the defensive end was more impressive given that he played the entire period with four fouls. He finished the game with 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

"I feel that I'm distributing the ball well right now," the Stanford point guard target comments. "I'm not scoring like I can, but we are playing so well that I don't want to try and force too much. I can score when my team needs me to. I like pull-up jumpers on the break, and I will drive to the basket when I see the opportunities."

Frasor is averaging 13 points per game and nearly eight assists this year for a Brother Rice team that scores in the 50's. Last year he also averaged 15 points, plus six assists and six boards.

You might see the 6'3" ballhandler labeled as a combo guard, and that is due to the role he plays during the summer in AAU action as a shooting guard for the Illinois Wolves.

"I can score, but there are other things I like to do because of how I see the floor so well," he explains. "I do think I'm a better shooter though than a year ago, and that is something schools have told me to improve."

Dave Telep and TheInsiders have Frasor currently tabbed as one of the top few juniors in the talent-rich state of Illinois, and have him ranked as a four-star combo guard. It comes as no surprise that he has a deep list of schools hot after his services for the 2005 class, including offers from Marquette and DePaul.

Those two schools have been in attendance for his games frequently this year, but other top programs have made trips to see Frasor as well. Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey has come for a game, as has Stanford, North Carolina State, Illinois, Wisconsin and Purdue. Kansas made a trip just to watch a practice.

"I'm getting better knowledge of these schools," Frasor says of his dizzying list of suitors. "But I'm still really open. I don't want to narrow down my list or eliminate schools yet. I really like Stanford, Notre Dame, Marquette, DePaul, Wisconsin and Illinois."

Most of those schools are in-state or a neighboring state, but the Cardinal stick out as a much more remote school on that list. How will distance impact the Chicagoland star?

"For a school like Stanford, that won't play a factor," Frasor quickly answers. "They are a primetime school."

And the Card have been paying primetime attention to Frasor, their apparent top PG target in the nation right now - in the 2004 or 2005 classes. Mike Montgomery in fact is so enamored with the Brother Rice guard, and so encouraged by the reciprocal interest, that Stanford sent the junior recruit an admissions application several months ago. Frasor holds a 4.5 GPA, with all honors classes, and is ranked #7 in his class of 275. He took the ACT a couple weeks ago and is currently awaiting the test results.

"I have everything done on the application except for the essays," the student-athlete reports. "I will hopefully get those done this weekend and have everything sent out on Monday."

Last year we saw a parallel situation where 6'10" Virginia center Peter Prowitt had the high grades, test score and early interest to apply to Stanford in the middle of his junior year. Prowitt was the first ever Stanford Basketball recruit to apply and be accepted before finishing his sixth semester of high school, which was a landmark event in admissions end of Mike Montgomery's recruiting history. Prowitt committed to the Cardinal shortly after being admitted, and the Stanford staff has every finger and toe crossed for similar success with Frasor.

One key difference, though, is that Frasor has yet to visit the Stanford campus in any capacity. Prowitt, by contrast, took an unofficial visit in October of his junior year and then an official visit in early March. Frasor says that he is open to a spring visit to The Farm, though nothing will happen until his basketball season has completed.

"I get all these letters telling me about Stanford's campus," the Chicago standout reveals. "And everybody I talk to says it's the most amazing place they've seen. I've also been watching [Stanford] play, and it was impressive to see them knock of Kansas when they were number one - all without [Josh] Childress."

The Cardinal did not land a true point guard in the 2003 or 2004 recruiting classes, which makes Frasor at the point guard position an incredibly important target for 2005. The wings and bigs are in place, but Mike Montgomery needs Bobby Frasor in the worst way to take over the all-important spot at the top of the Stanford offense when Chris Hernandez and Jason Haas graduate in a couple years.

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