By now you have likely all listened to Episode 3 featuring Mike Casuscelli, if you have not you need to, it was an excellent interview, and Mike discussed a vast array of topics. I am going to dig a little deeper into the topic of Briar Cliff basketball and ROOLLLAAANNDDOOOOOOO FFFFRRRAAAZZZEEERRR (in Mike’s announcer voice).
Mike references a few different interesting tidbits of information surrounding this small, mostly unknown NAIA basketball program during the interview. He discusses the fact the Briar Cliff at the time was known as the “Panama Pipeline” because of them having recruited 11 Panama born players between 1974 – 1981. He also spoke of the most well known of those Panama recruits, Rolando Frazer.
I have listed below some of the records that Rolando still holds today, because there are a lot to list, some of the most impressive are the fact he was a three time first team NAIA All American. The fact that his junior season he led, not only the NAIA in scoring, but all college players. Rolando gave professional scouts a reason to visit Sioux City, IA in the middle of winter, which in itself should go down as a record.
Mike mentions the Sports Illustrated article in the interview as well, which I have attached below, the article helps to put into perspective just how big of a deal Briar Cliff was to college basketball at this time. Rolando made Briar Cliff a powerhouse of NAIA basketball for his four years leading them to a 101-17 record and the number 1 overall ranking in the final NAIA Poll his senior season. This all just puts into perspective just how special those four years really were for Briar Cliff, and for Mike to get to be a part of the history while repeating RRRROOOLLLAAAADDDOOOOOO FFFFRRRRAAZZZZZEEERRRRRRR!!!
All the below records are where he ranks today:
Inaugural inductee of Briar Cliff Athletic Hall of Fame 1991
3-time First Team All American
Most Avg. PTS a season (36.4)
2nd in Career points scored (3,078)
Most Points in a Season (1,018)
Most Career Rebounds (1,110)
2nd Career Pts. Per Game Avg. (26.1)
Sports Illustrated article from February 2, 1981
Click below to see a video of Mike and Rolando telling the Whopper story at the Briar Cliff Hall of Fame Weekend