Obi Toppin told Lukas Frazier the story of thinking he was going to Daytona Beach, Fla., instead of Dayton, Ohio, when he was preparing to catch a flight to UD for the first time in 2017.
Frazier, having grown up in Ohio and having followed Dayton Flyers basketball from afar since he was a kid, didn’t have the same problem when he sat behind the Dayton bench for a game last November or when he took an unofficial visit to campus on Tuesday. He knows about the tradition. He has known the coaches since last fall. He didn’t need the same sales pitch as players like Toppin, who grew up in Brooklyn.
In fact, Frazier didn't need to see or hear anything more about the Flyers. He announced his verbal commitment Tuesday night on Twitter, becoming the first player from the 2020 class to pick Dayton. UD now has three scholarships open for 2020 if it doesn't fill either of the remaining two open this season.
“When I was going down, I wasn’t really considering committing,” Frazier said. “I was going to wait it out and play the rest of my AAU season. But when I got there and saw the culture and their facilities and how basketball is such a big thing there, I just feel I can fit in the best and play there and it’s the best option for me. I love the coaching staff. I just knew when I got there I was going to commit. It was a great experience.”
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A 6-foot-4 guard from Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, Frazier enters his senior year as one of the program’s all-time leading scorers. Frazier has started since his freshman season when he averaged 13.1 points per game. He increased his scoring average to 15.8 points per game as a sophomore and was averaging 19.7 points, 3.4 assists and 2.2 assists late last season when reached the 1,000-point milestone. He earned an All-Ohio honorable mention in Division II.
Lake Catholic coach Matt Moran called Frazier a combo guard who does everything for his team.
“His freshman and sophomore years, he was our true point guard,” Moran said. “We moved him off the ball last year because we needed more scoring from him, which he absolutely did, so it just proved how versatile he can be. His upside is tremendous. He’s continuing to grow. He’s continuing to get stronger. He’s the type of kid who just makes a coach’s job easier. He makes it look like I know what I’m doing.”
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Frazier is the son of a coach. His dad Chad was the head coach at West Geauga when Moran played there. Both of Frazier’s parents played sports at Muskingum University. Chad played football and baseball. Lukas’ mom Kriss played basketball and ranks 18th in school history with 1,066 points.
Frazier’s parents are 5-10. He hit that mark as a freshman in high school, and that’s when he first dunked. He’s now almost 6-5. He’ll join a team that will have plenty of height in the 2020-21 season. Dayton loses only two players from its current 11-man roster. The average height of the nine returners is 6-6.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me throughout this process. With that being said I am 100% committed to the University of Dayton.#goflyers pic.twitter.com/mPKShw5czq— Lukas Frazier (@luke_frazier5) June 12, 2019
With such an experienced team in Frazier’s first season, it might be hard for him to earn major minutes, but the door to playing time will be wide open when he’s a sophomore. If the roster doesn’t change, Dayton will lose five seniors after the 2020-21 season.
“I can play the one or two, whatever I need to do to get on the court,” Frazier said. “I’m very athletic, and I can shoot. I have a lot of abilities. Whatever Dayton wants me to do I can do.”
Frazier, a three-star recruit, according to 247Sports.com, received an offer from Wright State in June 2018 and also had offers from Florida Gulf Coast, Northern Kentucky, Youngstown State, Ohio, Akron, Bowling Green and others. Dayton assistant coach Anthony Solomon first visited Frazier at Lake Catholic prior to last season, and Frazier received a scholarship offer in April when Solomon and head coach Anthony Grant visited.
“He went to Texas right when the AAU season started,” Moran said. “He played very very well in a tournament out there. I just remember coach Solomon saying he’s in the airport. He said, ‘I’m in Texas. Can me and coach Grant come up to your school tomorrow?’ They came. We had workouts. They asked for the parents to come. That’s always a good sign. That’s when they offered him. I know Dayton’s always been a dream for Luke. Coming in his freshman year, that’s where he always wanted to go, but he never thought he’d be able to reach it.”
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Frazier said he has followed Dayton since he was little but wasn’t sure why he started.
“When I got my first offer from Wright State, I told my parents, my dream goal was to get (a Dayton offer),” Frazier said.
Frazier still plans to take an official visit in the fall so he can stay overnight on campus, and he plans to attend a game sometime next season. He already saw one last season. He sat behind the bench Nov. 16 when Dayton beat Purdue Fort Wayne 91-80 in front of a crowd of 13,004.
What impressed Frazier most about his first experience at UD Arena?
“Just how many people go and how big the tradition of basketball is,” he said. “It’s just awesome playing in front of that many people every game.”
💯💯 @swingmanld pic.twitter.com/mZCQyrS2A3— Lukas Frazier (@luke_frazier5) May 2, 2019
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