Among those attending this week’s FIBA under-18 Americas championships in Canada: Frank Martin, Chuck Martin and Fran Fraschilla.
The Martins are South Carolina basketball coaches, a duo with a collective eye on their own signed player, but also potential Gamecocks. Fraschilla is a longtime ESPN analyst who has been scouting the international hoops scene for years.
On Sunday evening, before all three, Alanzo Frink (Dominican Republic) matched up with Matthew Hurt (United States). Frink is already inked to an SEC school while Hurt is on the radar of the league’s established power.
Fraschilla acknowledged the preview – and took it a step further.
“Alanzo’s one of those guys that Kentucky would never take,” Fraschilla told The State, “but he could end up beating Kentucky when he’s a sophomore or junior.
“Matthew’s a good player – it’s not like he’s chopped liver – and Alanzo wore him out for a while.”
Dominican Republic on Thursday lost to Argentina in the quarterfinals, ending Frink’s final pre-college appearance on the international stage. Over four games, the listed 6-foot-7 forward averaged a team-best 18.3 points and 6 rebounds.
“He blew me away,” Fraschilla said. “He was the strongest player in the tournament, physically. He’s a handful.
“Very impressive. Strength, feel for the game, showed some maneuverability out on the perimeter. Obviously a little undersized at 6-6, 6-7, but I think it’s one of those kids you look at and go, ‘Damn, South Carolina might have gotten a steal here.’”
Frink committed to USC in April. He graduated from the same Roselle Catholic High School in New Jersey as Chris Silva, but his mother is Dominican, allowing him to represent the country in FIBA events. In 2016, Frink averaged 14 points and 7.2 rebounds in the U17 World Championships.
This week’s field included eight counties and featured players such as Hurt, Florida-bound Andrew Nembhard (Canada), Kansas-bound Quentin Grimes (United States), Kentucky-bound Tyrese Maxey (United States), Virginia-bound Francisco Caffaro (Argentina), Duke target Cole Anthony (United States), Oklahoma target Emanuel Miller (Canada) and South Carolina targets Josiah James (United States) and A.J. Lawson (Canada).
“(Alanzo) was equal to any of the really talented U.S. or Canadian kids,” Fraschilla said. “If you told me he’s one of the top 10 players in the tournament, I’d say, ‘Yeah, no surprise.’
“He more than held his own against the USA kids. He was a handful for them to guard, and they’re all high-major recruits. Some of them are already going high-major, like Quentin Grimes is going to Kansas.
“He more than held his own. In fact, at times, he was a handful for Team USA before Team USA pulled away in the fourth quarter.”
Frank Martin said last month that Frink is around 265 pounds. Fraschilla put him at 260.
“But he carries it well,” Fraschilla said. “I would describe him as a classic wide body. I think I tweeted out he’s a human Humvee but stronger. He’s a massive young man. He looks like he could play offensive tackle.”
How about power forward next to Silva? Frink will soon join Carolina's experienced frontline.
“I think he’ll be Chris Silva’s understudy,” Fraschilla said. “I think he’s going to contribute. I can’t tell you that he’ll beat out anybody out for a starting spot, but he’s a classic Frank Martin guy. Under the radar, will be coached up. Kid can handle coaching, he’s been hard-coached already.
“I expect him to kind of, after he gets his feet wet his freshman year, pick up where Chris Silva leaves off."