Georgia’s J.J. Frazier Serves College Basketball Some Shut-Up


Three years ago, Georgia Coach Mark Fox gathered guffaws by offering little J. J. Frazier a  basketball scholarship. Look who’s laughing now.

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Three years ago, Georgia offered a 5’9” 140 pound junior point guard from a small South Georgia Christian school the chance to play basketball for Georgia. J. J. Frazier, a lifelong Bulldog fan, accepted within three days. Since that day, Frazier has played to erase doubts and silence jeers.

On Saturday, Frazier slammed the door shut on the critics of Coach Mark Fox’s decision with a 37 point performance on the road against Mississippi State.

Connor Riley of the Red and Black quotes Coach Fox. “The great thing about J.J.’s day was that almost everything he got came within our offense. We didn’t run anything for him all day.  He got a couple of baskets in transition, but everything else came just by running our offense.”

Frazier used a perfect night from the 3-point line, shooting seven for seven to become only the third Bulldog to finish with a perfect night from behind the arc on a minimum of five attempts. If that was all, it would be enough, but Frazier also matched senior Marcus’ Thornton’s team leading rebounding total with 7, managed to find three assist opportunities, shot 6 of 8 from the free throw line, and used his sprinters speed to time and again run loose balls on the defensive end into a scoring opportunities on the offensive end.

Connor Riley of the Red and Black quoted Frazier about his performance against Mississippi State. “The first one felt really good coming off my hands and after that, I just felt really comfortable and confident shooting the ball,” Frazier said.  “I felt like everything I put up was going in.”

we know you can play and we want you to show people

Aside from Frazier’s undeniable blazing speed, especially with the ball in his hands, doubts about is ability flew in flocks. The biggest knock: how could a little guy who played at a small South Georgia Christian school be any good? The myth of Frazier playing only against small un-athletic players before a few grandmothers was quickly disproven, but the first impression lingers still. Actually, Frazier got the ball in the eighth grade to run the Faith Baptist Christian Academy of Ludowici varsity against schools like Oak Hill Academy and Huntington Prep.

Still, Frazier did not light up the competition on the AAU circuit. Dan McDonald of


"“I was watching Frazier play with his South Georgia Kings team against the Florida Rams, whose roster featured many high-major prospects at the time including Florida point guard Kasey Hill and power forward Chris Walker. As the game progressed, I overheard a coach just ripping apart Mark Fox‘s decision to take a commitment from Frazier. ‘This kid can’t play,’ said the SEC assistant coach, whose name I won’t reveal. ‘He can’t play in our league. He’s too small. He’s not good enough to help them win.To be fair, that particular coach wasn’t the only one who had that opinion. Many of the coaches in the vicinity agreed with him that the Bulldogs had reached on Frazier, who at the time of his commitment had no other high-major offers and was not a nationally ranked prospect.”"

Jan 14, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs guard J.J. Frazier (30) passes the ball against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first half at Memorial Gym. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Dan McDonald went on to compare Frazier to the more heralded Florida signee Kasey Hill of the 2013 class – the same Hill the Dawgs saw in the recent Florida game.

"“In the (AAU) game referenced above, Hill got the better of Frazier that day. But, it would have been hard to watch the two play on Saturday and not walk away feeling like Georgia might have found a gem in Frazier.A quick look at each player’s stat line for the year supports that opinion. [Before Saturday’s outburst in Starkville] Frazier was averaging 9.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He’s also only averaging 1.5 turnovers in 28.3 minutes per night, good for 2.4:1 assist to turnover ratio. Hill is currently averaging 8.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while turning the ball 1.9 times in 30 minutes per night.If you look at shooting percentages, Frazier has the edge. Compared to Hill’s 40.5 % from the field, 36.4% from 3-point range and 68.6% on free throws, Frazier is 40.4% from the field, 39.4% from beyond the arc and a very impressive 84.9% from the charity stripe.”"

Frazier is now averaging in double digits at 10 points a game and is shooting 46%, 45% on 3-point attempts, 84% on free throws, skies for 4 rebounds a game, and adds over three assists per game to boot while sharing the point with Charles Mann.

A bit of a defensive liability a year ago, Frazier employs crowd pleasing tactics to foil bigger defenders, tactics no doubt developed while playing against bigger and stronger players in his junior high and high school years. Around all these skills, Frazier wraps an unmatched court vision and savvy to go with the heart of a lion.

The result is scintillating assists, lightening quick transitions, and a burning will to take the big shot. The ultimate irony is the littlest of all Bulldogs has become the star attraction the Bulldogs lost when Kenny Caldwell-Pope departed for the  NBA.

Shortly after his commitment to Georgia, Dan McDonald spoke with Frazier about facing the doubters.

“Coach Palmore said ‘look, you’re 5’9, 140 pounds. Everybody is going to say we’re taking a chance on you, so you have to come in and perform. It’s not a gamble to us because we know you can play and we want you to show people we were right, so we’re going to offer you a scholarship.’”

Former Georgia Head Football Coach Wally Butts famously repeated, “It’s not the size of the Dawg in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the Dawg.”

On Saturday, J. J. fed the College Basketball World a large helping of Shut Up Dawg Food.

Next: Bulldog Throwback Hines Ward (video)