Frohnen, Wallace lead UTSA past Houston Baptist

December 10, 2017

A mechanical engineering major, UTSA forward Byron Frohnen knows a thing or two about math.

As a basketball player, the sophomore from Las Vegas also knows his numbers often don’t matter.

Unless it’s the ones in the won-lost column.

“I feel like I’m more of a glue guy,” Frohnen said. “I come in and do the little things. I take charges. I get a bunch of rebounds. If they need me to score I can score.”

Saturday night, Frohnen poured in a career-high 18 points as the Roadrunners pulled away from Houston Baptist late for an 87-71 victory in front of 1,040 fans at the Convocation Center.

Freshman guard Keaton Wallace also had a career night with 24 points as UTSA (6-5) outscored the Huskies 23-12 over the final 6:26.

Frohnen added eight rebounds and four assists.

On most nights, his statistics in most areas on paper don’t impress. He averages 6.0 points per game, which is seventh on the team. He is shooting 43 percent from the field, is 0-3 from 3-point range this season and shoots 60 percent from the foul line.

But at just 6-f00t-6, he leads the Roadrunners in rebounds (6.9 per game) and is third in assists (2.4 per game).

Hardly eye-opening numbers.

“He can impact the game and score four points,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “He’s a fantastic player.”

Frohnen does it by doing the little things that coaches love. Setting screens. Making the extra pass. Making the right pass at the right moment. Playing defense.

“His instincts are terrific,” Henson said. “He has great hands. He catches everything. We try to get him the ball in transition as often as possible because he can make plays. He’s also stronger and quicker than he looks. He surprises people sometimes.”

Frohnen played a similar role at Bishop Gorman High School, a football power that also has produced its fair share of basketball talent.

During his three varsity seasons at the Catholic prep school, he was a role player alongside such players as Steven Zimmerman (UNLV and the NBA’s Orlando Magic), Chase Jeter (Duke, Arizona), Zach Collins (Gonzaga, Portland Trail Blazers) and Charles O’Bannon Jr. (USC).

As a result, Henson said Frohnen was “kind of the forgotten man” at Gorman. As a senior, Frohnen was named honorable mention all-state after averaging 9.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.

But during the recruiting process, “the coaches told us what we know now,” Henson said. “People just don’t understand just how good he is.”


Twitter: @johnfwhisler