Wednesday, January 06, 1999

XU freshman Frey hears good and bad from Prosser




BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Kevin, what did we just talk about? Faster, Kevin, faster!

        Why would you make that pass, Kevin?

        Xavier coach Skip Prosser yells. Freshman Kevin Frey's face shows no emotion.

XU at VIRGINIA TECH
• When: 8 p.m. today
• Where: Cassell Coliseum (10,052)
• Records: Xavier 9-4 (1-0 A10), Virginia Tech 5-5 (0-1 A10)
• TV: ESPN2
• Radio: WKRC-AM (550)
BY THE NUMBERS
• 1,000: Victories for Xavier's program, now in its 78th season.
• 270: Victories in which Skip Prosser was Xavier's assistant or head coach.
• 4: Consecutive XU wins over Virginia Tech.
• 40: Virginia Tech's point total in its 15-point loss Saturday to UMass, its lowest output in 32 years.
        “There are days when as soon as I hear his voice, I know he's going to say something to me.” Frey says.

        Thirteen games into his college career, Frey has never heard his name called so often.

        His last two years of high school, coaches hardly hollered at him. At XU, it's been another story. Sometimes, Prosser's prodding during practice is frustrating for Frey; other days it's motivating.

        “I hear every word he says,” Frey said. “I try not to let him see that it bothers me ... It kind of gets me going because I don't want him to yell at me again. Plus, I don't want to let the guys down by not hustling.

        There are reasons Prosser has been as hard on Frey as he has on any Musketeer over the years, excluding his point guards.

        First, Prosser believes Frey can be a heck of a player.

        Also, the Musketeers need him to be productive.

        Heading into tonight's Atlantic 10 Conference game at Virginia Tech, the most glar ing weakness for Xavier is its inside game.

        XU's starting center Obi Harris averages four points. His sometime backup, Reggie Butler, 2.5 points. Frey, the starting power forward averages 5.5 points.

        “Somebody inside has to score and he has the best potential to do that,” Prosser said of Frey. “He's done it in high school and he's done it here. I think the team needs him and I'm trying to figure out ways to get him to perform the way the team needs him to perform.”

        Frey has appeared in all 13 games and started the last seven. He scored 12 points against San Francisco and 13 against Purdue. In his first game as a starter, he has eight points and 14 rebounds against Miami.

        He posts up better and has improved his free-throw shooting. His defense is coming along.

        What Prosser wants to see is more consistency and fewer ill-advised fouls.

        “I think he has a chance to be pretty good,” Prosser said. “I tell him all time time if I'm not on you, be worried then, because that means I've given up on you.”

        Frey's game has had to undergo some changes. In high school, he was almost always the biggest guy on the court. At most, there was one other player his size.

        He averaged 17.7 points and 9.4 rebounds as a senior at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Ill. and was first-team all-state.

        Frey had hoped to be a small forward in college, playing more on the perimeter. Instead he has found himself at center and power forward, playing inside against several bigger, stronger opponents.

        The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Frey remembers looking around Sunday and seeing Rhode Island's Lamar Odom (6-10), Luther Clay (6-9, 225) and Ed Brown (6-8, 300).

        “I felt kind of small,” Frey said. “It makes me want to do the little things more.”

        He has to pump-fake on his shots more often. He has to take the ball to the basket a little stronger to finish plays.

        “The more he yells at me, the more he expects of me and the more he thinks I can do,” Frey said. “I'm improving with each game, each practice.

        “Coach tells me to stay with it, (that) I wouldn't be out there if he didn't think I could do the job.”

       



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