Last year, the Hurricanes had high expectations for forward Will Frisby. However, a foot injury kept Frisby on the sideline for the entire season and the ‘Canes limped to an 11-17 record.
Frisby has returned this season and is still working on getting back in rhythm. However, just having the 6-8, 240-pounder out there gives the Hurricanes toughness and a defensive and rebounding presence that the team lacked last season.
“I think he’s very important and he was one of the pieces we missed last year,” Head Coach Perry Clark said. “He has versatility to go inside and outside and he is a great rebounder and defensive presence. I really think he is a good player.”
Frisby, a transfer from Fresno City College, is the type of player that will always hustle and dive on the floor for loose balls. He has a knack for the ball and always seems to be in the position to make a play.
“I am Mr. Hustle, I dive on the floor for the ball, I’m all over the place,” Frisby said. “I have that mentality that wherever the ball is, that I am going to go get it.”
If you looked at Frisby’s numbers from two seasons ago in terms of points and rebounds per 40 minutes, he led the team with 10.1 rebounds and 10.9 points. He has never played more than 14 minutes in a game because of his injury-riddled career, however. He is trying to put all of his ailments behind him and move ahead to the future. He has lofty goals for this season.
“I want to average a double-double; 15 and 10 is OK, 20 and 15 is even better,” Frisby said.
Frisby’s team goals don’t get any easier. He is one of many players that believe this year’s team has the talent to contend in the Big East Conference.
“My goal is to beat UConn, win the Big East Championship, and to go to the NCAA Tournament,” Frisby said.
As a player, Frisby tries to model his game after his favorite NBA superstar, Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I love Kevin Garnett,” Frisby said. “The man has every dimension to the game possible; he can play defense, rebound, and is an offensive threat inside and out. That’s how I want to play.”
When an athlete gets injured, they are faced with a dose of reality and often become harder workers as a result. For Frisby, his injury helped him grow as a player and a person.
“I think the injuries forced him to grow a lot,” Clark said. “We thought we were going to get him back, and it just never happened. It was very frustrating for him, but he is more disciplined as a result.”
Frisby believes that he can be more than just a defensive specialist and a rebounder for the ‘Canes. He wants to become a scoring option on offense as well.
“If the ball gets to me in the post, I can score the basket. Miami is used to having an outside game but if the guards have the trust in me to give me the ball in the post, then we will be a better team,” Frisby said.
His teammates motivate him to work harder as well. Frisby cited teammate Darius Rice as someone who inspires him to be a better player and makes him want to work harder and win. However, Frisby’s main inspiration comes from his mother.
“Everything I do now I do for my mother, she’s my hero,” Frisby said. “I love her to death and I wouldn’t be the man that I am today without her.”
When his UM career is over, Frisby would love to make the jump into the professional basketball ranks. If he keeps working hard, he may be able to accomplish his goal of playing in the next level. He has the confidence in himself and the work ethic to achieve his goal.
“My father made me come up with this saying, so I always say ‘where there is a Will, there’s a way,’ and I am that Will,” Frisby said.
Darren Grossman can be reached at DRG215@aol.com