Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coach: Conner Frankamp created buzz

Wichita North's Conner Frankamp, who will graduate in 2013, committed to the Kansas men's basketball team on Sunday.

Wichita North's Conner Frankamp, who will graduate in 2013, committed to the Kansas men's basketball team on Sunday.


Two years ago — at the age of 13 — Wichita eighth-grader Conner Frankamp received an invitation to work out with the Kansas City Pump N Run AAU team.

He gladly accepted.

“There was a big buzz about him his eighth-grade year, how special he was going to be,” Pump N Run coach L.J. Goolsby said of the 6-foot-1 Wichita North junior-to-be, who on Sunday announced his commitment to play basketball at Kansas University.

“It was one of those things we definitely wanted to get involved with Conner, and we’ve had so many kids from Wichita, it just made a lot of sense. He was a perfect fit for our program and we wanted to make sure he was a part of it.”

Frankamp, who was a tad too young to be beginning his AAU career, was an immediate hit at Pump N Run spring and summer workouts.

“He looked like he should be playing for our 16-and-under team,” Goolsby said. “We were already full. We didn’t want to step on any of our guys’ toes. We told him to be patient and sooner or later he’d be a part of it.”

Frankamp, who turned 16 on Saturday, has been part of Pump N Run’s 16-and-under squad the past two summers. He’s fared quite well in both 16-and-under and 17-and-under tournaments.

“He can shoot the ball. That’s one of his best attributes,” Goolsby said of the player who averaged 27.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game his sophomore season at North. He hit 52 percent of his two-point tries, 46 percent of his threes and 89 percent of his free throws.

“But he also creates for other players. That’s what makes him really good. You have to get up on him because he can shoot it so well, then he can go by you and create for other guys and make plays.”

Goolsby was asked if Frankamp compares to any former college standouts.

“He’s a mixture of a lot of different guys. He can score like a Jimmer (Fredette, BYU), makes plays like a Bobby Hurley (Duke),” Goolsby said. “He’s still a couple years away (from attending KU). I think he has a chance to be pretty darn special. Anybody who can go in a (Wichita) City League that is pretty good right now and average close to 27 points a game as a sophomore and score 52 points and break a City League record that’s been there forever ... he’s shown signs he’s well on his way.”

Frankamp scored 52 points off 18-of-38 shooting (he made eight threes and was 8-of-8 from the line) last season in an 87-81 double-overtime loss to Wichita Northwest. He surpassed the 47-point outing of Wichita South’s Ricky Ross, who torched Wichita Southeast on Valentine’s Day, 1978.

Frankamp has called that outing, “crazy, surreal,” pointing out it’d have been a lot better had his team won the game.

Goolsby is not surprised by that type of attitude from the team-oriented player.

“He is such a competitor,” Goolsby said. “That’s the funny thing about Conner. He makes sure everybody knows he is one of the premier players. He’ll challenge anybody from coaches to players ... it doesn’t matter. He wants to let everybody know he’s one of the best out there.”

Such bravado from a still-developing youngster who Conner’s dad, Marty, says weighs all of 155 pounds.

“I don’t think when you initially look at Conner ... he walks in the building that you think he’s a player. He’s kind of misleading in that regard,” Goolsby said. “But when he starts to play, you realize how good he is. He has to get stronger and all that, but I think even playing 17-and-under in July, he’s been very effective and been able to score and handle the ball and do a really good job for us.”

Goolsby said he’s thrilled that Frankamp has committed to KU with two years remaining in his high school career.

“He has expressed before how much he liked KU,” Goolsby said of’s No. 65-rated player in the Class of 2013, who chose the Jayhawks over Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA, Boston College, Kansas State, Missouri, Wichita State and others. “I think that was a pretty easy decision on his part. I’m extremely happy. At the end of the day for us, that is what this is about. We want guys to be able to find a situation they really like. When it happens to be their dream school, it makes it better.”


Jonathan Andrews 9 years, 9 months ago

Whomever had "the over" on 48 hours after Conner Frankamp's commitment before he received a Jimmer comparison from an LJW writer, just lost.

hometownhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

The writer didn't make the comparison. If you were better at reading, you might not make stupid comments.

Keith Kienzle 9 years, 9 months ago

I saw the word "Jimmer" in the article... People say things. Writers choose to put those things in their article.

Keith Kienzle 9 years, 9 months ago

I saw the word "Jimmer" in the article... People say things. Writers choose to put those things in their article.

yates33333 9 years, 9 months ago

Presumably we are all Jayhawk fans. Why so cruel toward each other?

Kevin Studer 9 years, 9 months ago

LJW didn't make the comparison. His AAU coach did. Read more closely next time.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 9 months ago

People have been posting on his commitment the past two days comparing him to Jimmer. Need to catch up.

Jayhawklegacy 9 years, 9 months ago

Another Conner? Great shooter! Where is the defense? Oh well he has time to develop he is still young!!

kujakehawk 9 years, 9 months ago

being from wichita i have seen conner play, and with his potential he POSSIBLY could be as good of a scorer as jimmer. but i dont think any ku fan really wants that. If you watched byu play it was not an attractive style of ball, it was let jimmer shoot and everyone go rebound. Conner is a great passer and can also light it up. He will fit well in our program. He is already better than brady, and has a ways to go to be as good as tyrel was, keeping that in mind he has 2 years of high school left. think of the confidence he will gain in those two years and say he puts on 15 pounds and get to 6'2 or 6'3. the kid will be a great player for ku. Also about his defense he was on the USA team and i dont think they are gonna pick a kid out of hundreds who doesnt play defense. Conner has said he has always been a ku fan. he knows we thrive on defense.

Recruiting 2012- not sure if we will get nino or j-mychal i would love to have both, but say they both fall through i think naadir is a jauque vaughn type of player and if conner plays the 2 spot and naadir who has openly admitted he is a pass first kind of player... conner will average 15 ppg his freshman year.

kufan2011 9 years, 9 months ago

I've seen this kid play quite a bit as well. Listen, I like this kid's game and his savvy, but I think your glasses might be a little too rose colored. Any comparisons to Jimmer are absurd at this point. Jimmer was one of the best scorers the college game has ever seen.

I mean how many much, much higher rated KU freshman have averaged 15 points a game with a lot more height, size, quickness, strength than him. If he doesn't improve in those areas as well as defense, he won't see the floor, regardless how he can score against high school players.

kufan2011 9 years, 9 months ago

Jimmer averaged 7 points a game as a freshman on a team with a lot less talent than KU has, so let's just let this kid be Conner and see how things progress.

honk_for_hawks 9 years, 8 months ago

Played against this kid when I was back home from from Lawrence for the 4th and his stroke is amazing. I played probably 5 or 6 games with/against him and I think he only missed one jumper the entire time. I can see why his defense is a concern, but he's plenty athletic for a kid his age and he'll grow into a better defender. Reminds me a lot of Tyrel Reed when he first got to KU. Great scorer, above average athlete, smart player. I'll be long gone by the time he gets here, but I'm definitely excited that there is finally some high level talent coming out of Wichita. I don't think Wichita has had a high profile player since Taj Gray.

KU_Alumn_2000 9 years, 9 months ago

It could be like Jauque Vaughn and Jerod Haase all over again.

Like how Self is recruiting a lot of 4 year guys here lately. This strategy will set us up for another national championship in a few years.

Steve Quatrocky 9 years, 9 months ago

I agree but a better comparison would be Tyrel Reed. If he contributes as many minutes, points, assists, steals and defense as Tyrel did, I'll be happy. If he turns out to be a Jimmer, I'd be ecstatic but I dont think Jimmer would have been Jimmer playing for KU and a more talented team.

KULA 9 years, 9 months ago

Jacque Vaughn and Jerod Haase? You mean those two guys who never got to a Final Four?

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Yep, the guys that kept KU among to 5 winning % programs the last 2,5, 10, 20, & 25 years!

Hoo weeee! U keep setting me up. I'll keep knocking them down! :-)

Roundabout 9 years, 8 months ago

The next level is a huge step! Greatness is only a dream for most. If Conner has the magic, he will need to polish the turd that he looks at in the mirror every morning. Can Jimmer be a sucess in THE NBA! He is second to the Godlocke? he has the magic!

Lance Hobson 9 years, 9 months ago

Sadly, I have to agree here. It's all about the Final 4.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 9 months ago

I guess Jo Jo White would fall short also. Not even an Olympic Gold Medalist and two time NBA 76 finals MVP is up to your standards. must be at least a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Jason Bruner 9 years, 8 months ago

I actually thought it was all about a National Championship. Who cares if you make it to the Final 4 and lose?

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 9 months ago

Vaughn and Haase are what's great about college basketball. Hard work, dedication and education. A Wooden and Naismith award finalist and the Big Eight Conference's all-time record holder in assists. If these guys aren't good enough for you then find another sport.

brooksmd 9 years, 9 months ago

Here, here. Bartender, set'em up for jaybate and jhawk7782. Vaughn and Haase, I'll take a pair of them any day.

Michael Pannacciulli 9 years, 9 months ago

Haase and Vaughn were a nice combo - that was my era at KU. Hard to make comparisons yet when neither have laced up for us. Patience fellas. Nevertheless its hard not to day dream about the potential.

Let's have a side bar banner on kusports that shows Connor's height and weight from the day he signed, and the current height and weight updated daily for those who are worried this kid will not grow and fill out for some reason. I'm condifent he will gain some appropriate mass and then even more when he hits campus. Everyone on this message board did in their own lives why would CF be any different.

Having a scorer will be nice. Two guys who stand out to me in KU history that were not even Jayhawks but torched us with their accuracy were Gerry McNamara ('Cuse) and Ali Faroukmanash (I'm sure I butchered his name) (Northern Iowa). You can't have enough players like that!

KansasComet 9 years, 9 months ago

I was at the Wichita South vs Wichita Southeast game. Ricky Ross was incredible! I believe he scored as many points as the entire Southeast basketball team that night. He scored 47 points in regulation, and without the benefit of a 3 point line. Taking nothing away from Conner Frankamp's 52 in double overtime, but Ross was lights out that night and I hope his record still stands in some way.

John Boyle 9 years, 9 months ago

And he was such an outstanding individual as well. Not! Lets hope that Conner does more with his life than Ricky Ross has.

KansasComet 9 years, 9 months ago

First off, I was talking about a great high school performance that I witnessed. Secondly, if you need to bash an individual from over 30 years ago to feel good about yourself, then create your own post and bash him all you want.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 9 months ago

Ricky Ross...So much expectations. Not being from Wichita, I've always remembered him as a major disappointment. He came in during my time at KU and I still believe he contributed to Owens departure. There were many other factors..Hartman and Norm included.

ku_foaf 9 years, 9 months ago

I believe he left KU after a long distance phone calls scandal involving one of the coaches allowing players to make hundreds of dollars worth of calls...either there one semester or a year and a semester. I think eligibility issues were expected, too. Definitely left a on a bad note.

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Once again, Conner, welcome aboard. If any of these posters or naysayers rip any part of your frame or game, take it as a challenge to step right up to become one of our most memorable Jayhawks.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 9 months ago

The Final 4 is all about 3-pt percentage. We didn't have it last season and it killed us in the end. It killed us against NIU. If we only made a couple of shots in either of those games we win. Conner is the guy to bridge the gap that Tyrel and Morningstar could not fill.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 9 months ago

he's 6-1" now. Wow! If this kid keeps growing an inch a day...

Funhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Fun Flashback - Royals #1, Disco reigned supreme, and Wichita was a hotbed of basketball talent. Lawrence Journal World, April 19, 1979. Agonizing moments ended when Ross inked signature by Chuck Woodling. …. Ross finally satisfied his urge for rebellion, then sat down, signed his letter and considered his point made. But now that Ross is in the net, the pressure is on Owens again. They're already calling the Darnell Valentine-Ross backcourt the best in KU history. No doubt, the Big Eight school with the largest fan backing will be expected to be a national powerhouse next season…..

Kansas aided by geography. Wichita, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Coach Ted Owens dipped into Wichita's fertile high school basketball program Wednesday for the second time in three years to nudge out North Carolina and land a star prep guard. But he got a big assist from geography in signing Ricky Ross of Wichita South to a national letter of intent. Ross was one of the few blue-chip players in the nation who had not made a decision on college plans. The 6-foot-4 Ross said the presence of former Wichita Heights star Darnell Valentine at Lawrence was a major factor in his decision. Valentine signed with the Jayhawks following the 1976-77 season….."I'm excited about playing with Darnell," said Ross, who averaged 28 points a game as a junior and 32 as a senior in leading Wichita South to state titles both years.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Is there any downside to Conner Frankamp?

There is always a down side to every recruit, every player.

Conner's risk is that he matured waaaay early. I had a guy on my high school football team that matured fully about 8th grade. He actually had a receding hairline by sophomore year of high school and though he was a great athlete, who could pretty much play any sport you put him in, he never got any better.

Conner could be that kind of early bloomer.

But then again, he could just keep getting better.

Until we know a lot more about genetic programs in individuals, any guy who throws down 52 has to be given a look, if he has even the minimum size for a position.

KGphoto 9 years, 9 months ago

Or he could have maxed out, and that's enough to keep him excellent throughout his KU career, but not good enough to catch the L train.

I'm guessing Bill is gonna carve him into a KU shape, and quite possibly drain about half of the scoring juice right out of him. I don't think he wants 27 points a game from CKamp. I think he wants a Tyrady Reedingstar, with the potential to can 27 on a given night, but most nights, only 16 on 50% shooting, with 6 assists and 2 steals.

I don't care either way, I just want him to be clutch. I want him to be clutch at the line, clutch with 3 seconds and down by 2, and maybe most importantly, clutch when handling and passing in a close game.

Now for fun. Over-under for his high scoring game- 37.

Set the timer for 2 years please.

AverageCitizen 9 years, 9 months ago

OK, a question about how to pronounce his name. Is it Frank-amp or Frank-Kamp?

ClydeTurnbuckle 9 years, 9 months ago

I agree that this kid won't be the focal point of our offense. Self's system works best when it is centered around pounding the ball into the post and aggressive penetration by the guards. I still like the guy a lot though. Having a knockdown shooter lurking behind the arc frees up both of those things, plus he will be useful in late shot-clock and broken play situations.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 9 months ago

As we begin to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the best thread ever...

It only seems appropriate that young Conner will fill the void left by Tryel Reed. The way I see it is that if Conner Frankamp can bury a couple threes in huge games, and train some hot chick on the vertimax (and get on the cover of the LJW in the process), then he's going to be a legend.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 9 months ago

And his 80+% at the free throw line isn't bad either.

Jeeveshawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I hope that this Connor shows superior playing to the other connor. If he works really hard and gets better every year he might reach Brady Morningstar caliber. He also might end up being Jordan Junemann, a great practice player but not someone you want to see on the front lines.

FoCoCoHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Speculating about a16 year old's stat line in 2014-15...hoping for a big championship photo op at the Palin White House.

Mother-of-Babbling-God! Is it ever GREAT to be Jayhawk!

kufan2011 9 years, 9 months ago

I think if you MUST try and compare him to someone, than perhaps even Keiton Page (Ok State) might even be a reach. Keiton averaged 44.5 PPG, 7.3 APG, 2.7 RPG and 6.7 steals per game. Conner is taller, but not as quick or strong and won't come into the BIG 12 as a freshman and sophomore trying to get on the floor against the type of talent that Connor is going to be competing with.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 9 months ago

I see him developing slowly his freshman year and being on the floor during crunch time and coming up with the big play. A la Steve Woodberry against Arkansas in '91. Followed by years of greatness.

manunitedjayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I have some info on this young man. His father actually coached me at a local basketball camp a few summers about 15-16 years ago. I know that seems like a long time ago but I am 27 and still remember the influence he brought on my development as an athlete. I ended up playing D1 soccer (yeah bring on the soccer jokes) but not many folks on here can say they were D1 athletes, and it is a process that begins at a very young age. His dad was one of the first coaches to instill "toughness" in me and I have no doubt he has instilled that in his son. I workout at a local gym here in Andover almost every night after work and I have watched this kid play pick-up for quite a few hours. A few weekends ago I noticed a few of the K-State players were up at our gym, Spradling, Nino Williams and a few others. I know it was just "pick-up" but these kids were going hard. Conner had no problem scoring against Spradling, in fact a few times making him look silly. His handles are silky and his shot is automatic. The fact that he was scoring on Spradling consistently is enough for me. He will contribute at the D1 level, if he will be a "star" at the D1 level will remain to be seen. All I know is he is a good kid, not cocky, and has a great basketball family. Congrats Conner.

FoCoCoHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Must have been a goalie...or I suppose he might have typed with his feet.

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

This kid is gonna depart KU, leaving behind a blistering night of ten treys, a deuce and five freethrows. Count em up, KGPhoto. I am right there with you.

ahpersecoachingexperlence 9 years, 9 months ago

Well, he's small and can't defend, but on the bright side, he can't possibly be any more disappointing than the last 3 seasons!

ahpersecoachingexperlence 9 years, 9 months ago

The NCAA tapped Bill Self's phone as part of the investment investigation! Overheard:

Bill: Conner, I want you to be a Jayhawk.

Conner: Wow! But coach, I'm not even a junior yet.

Bill: The Morrises were juniors, and look at them now- gettin paid!

Conner: Don't you want to watch me play for another year? Or two? I'm not going anywhere coach! I'm ranked 65th, and you're an elite program!

Bill: Nope. Just start practicing the line "after all we've accomplished this season, this is a real diappointing way to go out."

AZHawk72 9 years, 9 months ago

Conner Frankamp is a very good early "get" from the 2013 class, yet most of us realize that our short-term future rests with the outcome of the much better, big man dominated 2012 class, specifically, we need a power forward from Wichita, a dominating center from, perhaps, the northeast, and a two-way guard from either, or both, Oklahoma or Texas.

At this point in Conner's career, his exploits are stunning and worth the Jimmer comparisons because he is playing in a way better league than anything in upstate New York. However, so was Woolridge, whom I watched a dozen times, and didn't know anything about playing basketball beyond "give me the ball--I can shoot." So, after our coaches see him bam 40ish numbers in Vegas, they sign him after his sophomore year. Meanwhile, I had to watch a guy who just would not engage on offense or defense. Yeah, he was the player of the year in Arizona that year, but he never improved nor did he ever make an effort beyond falling back on his bloodlines. Had I written this then, everyone of you would have begged me to be thrown off of any threads in the future. It was a bad job of recruiting, and I don't care how well he played against Barnes in Lawrence, he stood around and did not participate in 75% of the games he played in.

I point this out for both Conner and you--it's still too early to tell. I want this stud to be even better than all of our previous young gunslingers, so emphasis on some muscle mass and some defensive toughness, and you can be better than all that came before you. And I hope you will be. Now, back to 2012...

kujakehawk 9 years, 8 months ago

jaybate- i know what you mean about him peaking early, but if that is the case.. he averaged 27 points a game... in the wichita city league.. as a sophomore. say thats the worst case senario... ill still take that.. best case is he grows and continues to get better. im pumped about getting him.. Im from wichita and attend a lot of games this kid is still maturing, and he is the best, yes the best player in the city. that includes perry ellis whom i have watched since his freshman year. my area of concern is that he might of peaked... more so than with CF. Dont get me wrong, i have loved KU since i was able to watch them, and i would like nothing more to be able to get both wichita guys.

Also.. did anyone notice that BYU style was designed for jimmer.. good players can be great players in a system that fits them.. Not taking ANYTHING away from jimmer, the dude is a stud.. but BYU's games last year looked like a high school game. Give your best player the ball.. let him shoot anywhere on the floor.. the rest of you go rebound and give it back to him. Jimmer was fun to watch.. BYU not so much.

REHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

ralster, those OK 3pt shooting numbers leaped out at me, also. If that reporting was accurate, Kansas has landed a recruit who can do some bigtime damage to defending opponents. Wouldn't Cole Aldrich have loved playing with this kid. The Bill Self inside/out game might have blistered UNI.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 8 months ago

An early commit is always nice, especially from a good player. I just hope this doesn't impact Self's ability to recruit the harrison twins.

Two top 10 prospects out of texas has to trump one local boy IMO.

kujakehawk 9 years, 8 months ago

bennybob- CORRECT.

REhawk- your crazy, those numbers are good from 3pt. not just ok. and how you gonna in one breath say they are OK numbers then say that we woulda killed UNI with his inside out help... cole played with one of the best jayhawk of all time in sherron. may not of be the best PG but the best leader we have had.. PERIOD

REHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Oklahoma, dumbass. Who's knocking Sherron? He could have used some 3 pt help in that UNI game. He was literally exhausted at that stage of his career.

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