Keith Frazier still away from No. 15 SMU for personal issues
DALLAS (AP) SMU junior guard Keith Frazier is still away from the undefeated No. 15 Mustangs working through personal issues, with the support of coach Larry Brown and the program.
Frazier is still on the roster, but will miss his second game Thursday when the Mustangs host Cincinnati.
''He's had a tough year personally, everybody can understand that,'' Brown said before practice Wednesday. ''He's at a point where he's trying to figure out what's best for him and his family, I'm going to support him, SMU is going to support him, until we can come to a conclusion.''
While not specific about what those personal issues were, Brown said he was continually meeting with Frazier about his future. The coach said Frazier is academically eligible to play and on track to graduate.
Frazier's online course work before he enrolled at SMU was part of an NCAA investigation that led to sanctions last fall against the Mustangs, who are banned from postseason play this season. Brown was suspended the first nine games this season as part of the penalties.
The Mustangs (13-0), off to the best start in school history, and No. 22 South Carolina (14-0) are the only remaining undefeated teams in Division I.
After Frazier missed SMU's 72-58 victory over South Florida on Saturday night, Brown first said that Frazier was away from the team.
''My desire is to have him to know I'm going to support him in whatever he decides to do,'' Brown said Wednesday. ''I'm there for him, and it's never going to change. He's dealing with the situation right now. Again, that's all I can tell you.''
Frazier, a former McDonald's All-American who stayed home to play after being a standout at Dallas Kimball High, has averaged 11.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in the 10 games he played this season. He averaged 10.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 17 games last season before being declared academically ineligible after the winter break.
Former Kimball coach Royce Johnson told the Dallas Morning News in a story posted before Brown's availability Wednesday that Frazier was struggling emotionally with issues regarding the NCAA sanctions against SMU.
''He's been having a hard time dealing with the whole situation,'' Johnson told the Morning News. ''Keith felt like the city and everybody was pointing their finger at him as the one to blame.''