Updated on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Florida Gators junior guard Michael Frazier II has decided to forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2015 NBA Draft, a source close to the player confirmed to OnlyGators.com on Thursday.
Frazier, Florida’s second-leading scorer in 2014-15 with 12.1 points per game, is expected to make his decision official on Friday, a source said.
He will sign with Andy Miller and Matt Ramker of ASM Sports, according to a source, as first reported by Darren Heitner of Heitner Legal.
Update: Frazier released the following statement via his personal Twitter account on Friday afternoon …
“Thank you to my coaches, teammates, and the entire Gator Nation for 3 special years of my life. I will be pursuing a career in professional basketball and have signed with Matt Ramker of ASM Sports. I will never forget my time in Gainesville and look forward to returning each summer to complete my degree. I will always be representing the Gator Nation. Go Gators.”
In his third season with the Gators, Frazier was expected to have a breakout year and certainly made his mark in a number of games, including a 27-point performance at Ole Miss on Jan. 24. He missed seven straight contests for Florida – which at 16-17 did not qualify for postseason competition – down the stretch due to a high ankle sprain, finishing the season .417 from the field, .380 from beyond the arc and .871 from the charity stripe.
Frazier averaged 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 29.2 minutes per game, second-most on the team.
Redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith, the Gators’ leading scorer with 13.1 points per game, actually out-shot Frazier – one of the best three-point shooters in program history – from long range last season.
Frazier holds the program record for treys made in a single game after draining 11 on 18 attempts against South Carolina in a 37-point performance on March 4, 2014. The mark is also a Southeastern Conference record for most threes made in a league game.
If selected, Frazier would likely be a second-round pick in June’s draft.
Frazier’s departure does open up a scholarship for the Gators, which have amassed a talented four-person recruiting class but only have one scholarship player – senior transfer center Jon Horford – graduating this offseason. With 10 returning players (subtracting Frazier and Horford) and four prospects committed, UF still needs on more scholarship to open in order to sign its full class.
Sophomore C Chris Walker indicated before the 2014-15 campaign began that it would be his last in Gainesville, Florida, as he was initially planning to declare for the draft after his freshman season, which was delayed due to NCAA ineligibility. However, Walker proved to be far from polished in his second season, averaging just 14.6 minutes of action (despite the Gators’ frontcourt depth issues). He posted 4.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while hitting 53.8 percent of his field goals and 38.6 percent of his free throws.
Florida’s set of four-star 2015 commitments include G KeVaughn Allen (Little Rock, AR), power forward Noah Dickerson (Montverde, FL), C Kevarrius Hayes (Live Oak, FL) and small forward Keith Stone (Deerfield Beach, FL).
The Gators are also set to return Eli Carter (redshirt senior), Devon Walker (redshirt junior), Kasey Hill (junior) and Brandone Francis (redshirt freshman) to its backcourt.
In the frontcourt, F Alex Murphy (redshirt senior) and C John Egbunu (redshirt sophomore), a pair of transfers, will each play their first full season with the team. (Murphy took the court during the second half of 2014-15.) Florida will also have Finney-Smith in his final campaign, unless he also declares, and five-star F Devin Robinson in his sophomore season. Redshirt sophomore transfer C Schuyler Rimmer, a former Florida recruit, joined the program as a walk-on last spring.