Stanford fans are getting downright giddy with this 21-0 season, and their beloved Cardinal are just a win or two away from incredibly clinching the Pac-10 crown and #1 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament. You can't blame the frenzied followers for turning their thoughts to the post-season, but they should also be mindful of the various high school seasons of top 2005 recruits that are about to tip-off as well.
In particular, the upcoming schedule for 6'3" point guard Bobby Frasor and his Brother Rice High School teammates should grip your attention. The Crusaders are 21-1 on the year, including a sterling 12-0 record in the Catholic League. They have three more games to play in the next five days, including their final two league games. Just one league win will clinch the regular season title for the highly ranked Chicago private school. After their final regular season game next Saturday, the team has nine days off before they start the playoffs on Tuesday March 2.
Now you ask, "Why are the precise scheduling details of Frasor and Brother Rice so important to me?"
The answer lies in a series of events that unfolded the past week with Frasor and Stanford. It started when assistant coach Eric Reveno took a trip Tuesday to Chicagoland to check out a clash between Brother Rice and Hales Franciscan. The Cardinal coach was not alone in the gym, with coaches also in attendance from Notre Dame, Marquette, DePaul, Northwestern, and more. They all witnessed a treat, as Frasor scored 15 points and grabbed six boards in a hard-fought 83-73 win, but more impressive was the way he distributed the ball in the high-scoring affair. He put the ball on the money, time after time, to find senior guard Dave Telander in rhythm for an eye-popping nine three-pointers.
Returning to the subject at hand, both Stanford and Notre Dame left notes at the school for Frasor to give them a call, and he took a little time Friday at school to place a pair of exciting phone calls. When he reached Mike Brey in South Bend, Frasor was offered a full scholarship by the Irish. When he reached Mike Montgomery in Palo Alto, he received that and more.
"I know how Stanford requires you to get admitted before you have an offer," the Top 50 national junior recounts. "But Coach Montgomery was basically saying that they really wanted me and that I essentially had a scholarship once admitted. He also told me that he wants me to come out to visit for their Oregon game. I've very excited and definitely want to go out there."
There is one hitch for that Stanford visit plan, though. While the timing appears favorable, given that he could visit Palo Alto during the gap between Brother Rice's final regular season game and the start of their regional playoffs, Frasor would undoubtedly miss a day or two of practice. That might not fly with his head coach, Pat Richardson. So Frasor gives the qualifier that while Stanford wants him to visit and he wants to take the visit, it still needs a stamp of approval from his coach. That might be a 50/50 proposition.
The February 27 visit to Stanford would be the first official visit of Frasor's hotly contested recruitment, though he has already taken three unofficial visits this winter to check out games of some of his local suitors. He reports that he has been to Marquette, Wisconsin and most recently Notre Dame to watch them play. Those visits of course, are scant imitations of the depth and breadth of experiences he will enjoy on his official visits, and those will come after his season concludes.
"I've watched the games, but not a whole lot more," Frasor says of the unofficial trio of trips. "Afterward I talk with the coaches and go in the locker room."
Implicit in all of this discussion of an official visit is the fact that the junior guard has posted a test score, which is required for any official trips. He took the ACT in December and received a score of 25.
"I think I'll retake it," he comments. "Maybe April or June - whenever it is offered in the spring. I also submitted my [Stanford] application in early January."
This is more good news for Cardinalmaniacs™. A completed admissions application in January is a first in any Stanford Basketball recruitment that I have followed through the years, and it is a sure sign of very serious interest Frasor has in Mike Montgomery's program. The ducks appear to be lining up for the Cardinal, so it begs the question: If Frasor is blown away by his visit and is accepted to the school sometime in the near future, would he contemplate committing?
"Well, I don't know," Frasor begins. "I could absolutely love it out there, but I could also have that experience when I go visit Notre Dame. I haven't seen schools yet to know enough that I could say one is right for me. But if everything felt right and the fit was perfect, who knows? I have to be honest - I have no clue what I am going to do."
With that final comment, Frasor adds a good chuckle. He will say that he has a top list of seven schools right now: Stanford, Notre Dame, Marquette, DePaul, Wisconsin, North Carolina State and Georgia Tech. All but the last three have made offers. He does not give any order within this septet, but his comments seem to hint that he has the Cardinal and Fighting Irish pretty high up his list.
Interestingly, the last time Stanford and Notre Dame went head to head on a basketball recruit, the fight was for 6'4" Georgia guard Tim Morris in the 2003 class. Georgia Tech was the third school in his final trio, which gives us a little splash of deja vu. In this recruitment, Frasor says that he will narrow his list down to a top five at the completion of his junior season and then setup trips. He would like to make his college decision before he starts his senior year.
But for the moment, Bobby Frasor is enjoying a rather successful junior season of basketball on the court. He is averaging 13 points, seven assists and six boards for a team that is improving in several areas. Brother Rice is shooting better, with Frasor getting a better feel for his teammates. The undersized squad (Frasor is the second tallest player at 6'3") is boxing out and rebounding better. And they are more controlled in their up-tempo style of play. It doesn't hurt that Frasor is also shooting 43% from outside the arc, to match the hot hand of his backcourt mate, Telander.
The 2005 recruiting class is make or break for the future of Stanford Basketball - and that is not a statement of hyperbole. It appears that the Cardinal are finished with the 2004 class and are probable to carry two scholarships over to this junior class. All of Mike Montgomery's figurative eggs are in this basket, so these early promising signs on Frasor are very welcome news for the Cardinal community.
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