Treading water and trying to stay afloat for a postseason berth – the NCAA Tournament is basically out of the picture with the NIT a more likely landing spot – the Florida Gators (12-11, 5-5 SEC) will be forced to overcome another speed bump as their leading scorer, junior guard Michael Frazier II was ruled out for Thursday’s game against Ole Miss.
During his weekly press conference on Monday, head coach Billy Donovan declared Frazier unlikely to play on Thursday due to a high-ankle sprain he suffered on Saturday in the first half of Florida’s 68-61 loss to No. 1 Kentucky.
“I would say ‘out’ right now,” said Donovan when updating Frazier’s status. “It looks like a high-ankle sprain right now. It is really hard with these things because there is not a lot of swelling in a high-ankle sprain. It is less than 48 hours from the game, but my feeling right now is he will be out. He is in a boot right now. … We don’t know [how long he will be out] until we see how he responds to treatment.”
Frazier, who was 3-for-4 from the field with 10 points, had the Gators rolling to a 30-28 halftime lead. Without their leading scorer for the second half, Florida was outscored 40-31 down the stretch and eventually fell to its SEC East rivals.
In addition to averaging 13.2 points per game for the Gators, he is also the team’s best free throw shooter at 87.7 percent; the rest of his teammates combine to shoot 62.1 percent from the charity stripe. He also drains 40.1 percent of his threes and is the team’s third-leading rebounder with 4.6 per game.
Frazier’s best performance of the season came two weeks ago at Ole Miss, Florida’s opponent on Thursday. On Jan. 24 in Oxford, Mississippi, Frazier hit 7-of-11 shots (6-of-8 triples) for a season-high 27 points.
Donovan could decide to roll with one of two freshmen – point guard Chris Chiozza or forward Devin Robinson – in Frazier’s starting spot.