In the following weeks, The Post will analyze each member of Ohio men’s basketball roster and their potential impact in 2016-17.
This week, The Post will look at forward Sam Frayer and his role in the Bobcats:
Frayer’s stats won’t pop off your computer screen. The third-year walk-on has played sparingly for Ohio, garnering just 19 total career minutes over two seasons.
But Frayer plays a bigger, unconventional role for Ohio: he’s a “glue guy” inside the locker room.
“Sam Frayer, man, I don’t know what can go on the record, but Sam’s the team clown,” teammate and friend Gavin Block said. “He’s always got something to say.”
It’s a role that sometimes goes unnoticed by stats, fans and reporters, but Frayer’s role as the team “funnyman” creates camaraderie for the Bobcats.
Sometimes it’s a small joke on the sidelines. Sometimes it’s teasing a teammate or coach Saul Phillips while stretching. Often it’s poking fun at local media spilling onto the court after practice.
“No interviews, please,” Frayer says jovially.
“He definitely keeps everybody loose,” Block said. “Out here, you need that guy on the team to say something funny in the locker room when the time is needed, and Sam will do that for you.”
Camaraderie is an underlying theme for this year’s Bobcat squad.
After finishing 23-11, good for the No. 2 seed in the Mid-American Conference, the Bobcats are fairly familiar with each other with 14 returning players from last year’s squad. Simply put: Only Ohio knows its potential.
“I think a lot of faces returning is great,” Antonio Campbell said. “Guys on the same page. Guys know what it is that we need to take care of and get the job done this year.”
A false sense of camaraderie has dismantled Ohio in previous seasons, but according to guard Jordan Dartis, there’s something different about this year’s Bobcats.
“After that tough loss last year in the MAC Tournament, I felt like everybody carried that little chip on their shoulder into the offseason,” Dartis said. “Everybody got into the gym to improve a ton.”