Lukas Frazier is more fortunate than some basketball players during the coronavirus pandemic. He has a basketball hoop in the driveway at home. Of course, Frazier doesn’t always get the weather that makes shooting outside enjoyable.
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“It hasn’t been too nice,” he said Tuesday.
Frazier, one of the three freshmen in the Dayton Flyers’ 2020 recruiting class, lives in Painesville, Ohio, with his family. He’s been at home since Gov. Mike DeWine closed schools in March and issued the stay-at-home order.
Frazier talked to Dayton assistant coach Anthony Solomon on Tuesday. The UD coaches kept in touch with the signed recruits on a near-daily basis during the season and have reminded them to stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis, while also asking them to stay in shape as best they can.
“(Solomon) knows it’s going to be hard,” Frazier said. “I’m going on runs. That’s about it. There’s really not much to do.”
Frazier, a 6-foot-4 guard, committed to Dayton last June and signed in November, along with R.J. Blakney and Koby Brea. As a senior at Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, he averaged 22.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.2 blocks and 2.1 steals per game. He was named the Division II Player of the Year by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association.
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Frazier finished his career ranked second in Lake Catholic history in scoring (1,665) and first in assists (307) and steals (188). His teammate, senior Luka Eller, who will play for the Miami RedHawks next season, finished his career as the program’s all-time leading scorer (2,001) and rebounder (1,003).
Frazier and Eller helped lead Lake Catholic to 17 victories. Frazier is also good friends with another Division I recruit from the Cleveland area: St. Edward senior Grant Huffman, who’s heading to Davidson. Frazier and Huffman should see each other at least once a season in the next four years.
Huffman made a good decision by not making a bet with Frazier when Davidson and Dayton played in February.
“I tried to make a bet with him,” Frazier said with a laugh, “and he didn’t want to do it.”
Dayton won that game 82-67 on Feb. 28, clinching the outright Atlantic 10 Conference championship. Frazier watched his future team as many times as he could, starting with the season opener against Indiana State when he sat behind the bench with Brea.
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Frazier’s dad Chad made sure they all had all the cable channels so the family could watch Dayton play. The Flyers finished 29-2, rose to No. 3 in the Associated Press poll and had a chance to claim a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Of course, the coronavirus derailed their postseason dreams.
“It was awesome to watch,” Frazier said. “I feel really bad for how it ended.”
Frazier liked Dayton’s unselfish style of play.
“That’s how I play,” he said. “That’s why I feel I’ll fit in really well with the team. They all like sharing the ball. It’s good to see that.”
Like Blakney and Brea, Frazier planned to arrive at Dayton in June and enroll for the second summer session. He said that’s looking unlikely now.
“It’s just all up in the air,” he said. “You’ve got to be patient.”
Frazier should have a chance to compete for playing time as a freshman. Dayton’s current roster has five returners and five newcomers, though it is seeking to add transfers to the mix this spring.
Dayton lost Obi Toppin to the NBA Draft. Seniors Ryan Mikesell and Trey Landers exhausted their eligibility. Jhery Matos decided to transfer. One question mark on the roster is Jalen Crutcher. He entered his name in the draft but will maintain his eligibility while he explores the process.
“I’m rooting for him (to make the NBA),” Frazier said, “but it’d also be pretty cool to learn from him.”
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