Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shooting star: Future KU guard Conner Frankamp continues rise to prep elite

Wichita North senior and Kansas University recruit Conner Frankamp is pictured on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, at Pleasant Valley Middle School in Wichita, where he works out daily with his father, Marty Frankamp. Frankamp said that although he is looked at as a shooter, he is preparing to play the point if needed for KU.

Wichita North senior and Kansas University recruit Conner Frankamp is pictured on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, at Pleasant Valley Middle School in Wichita, where he works out daily with his father, Marty Frankamp. Frankamp said that although he is looked at as a shooter, he is preparing to play the point if needed for KU.


— With the scoreboard clock running, Marty Frankamp fires a pass to his son.

“Forty seconds left,” Marty says. “No more misses.”

Conner — a senior at Wichita North High School and a Kansas University basketball commit — doesn’t say a word. He catches the pass and puts up a three from the left wing.


Just 45 minutes earlier, Conner had driven his beige Honda Civic — it now has a small silver Jayhawk on the back — a few minutes from North High to Pleasant Valley Middle School.

A couple months ago, after years of prodding from Marty, the middle school finished up its new gym, which includes dark blue paint and a fresh-gym smell to go with it.

On this Wednesday in mid-September, Conner is continuing to break in the nets. He works out nearly every day after school with his dad, who has taught P.E. classes for more than 20 years at the middle school.

The clock is down below 6 seconds now, and Marty’s final pass catches Conner in a bad spot on his hand.

Conner shakes his hand for a second — just a slightly jammed finger —and puts up his final shot from the left corner.

Nothing but net. His 11th in a row.

The 50-minute workout doesn’t stop there. It also includes ball-handling drills, where Conner weaves his way through 10 orange cones on the opposite side of the court, sometimes avoiding the obstacles despite dribbling behind his back.

It also includes stepback twos, where Conner dances like a boxer, jabbing a step in before taking two quick steps back to shoot 18-footers.

Most of these drills are to help him for the upcoming high school season, where Conner needs just 592 points — or about 28 points per game — to top current KU player Perry Ellis’ all-time City League scoring record.

Marty also is looking to the future. There’s a drill where Conner passes it to him in the post, then relocates in the corner for a three. Or the one where, at game speed, Conner catches the ball on the run, sets his feet and shoots a three (Conner makes all nine of those before Marty decides to switch to something else).

Both of those are to prepare Conner for when he’s in Lawrence — “college shots” as Marty likes to call them.

The goal is to make 400 shots per day, and though this workout is a bit shorter than normal, Marty guesses afterwards that Conner only missed about 25 shots.

Every shot was from at least 15 feet. And at least two-thirds of them were threes.

Marty says it’s about an average shooting day for his son.

“I don’t even think he’s shooting that good right now,” Marty says. “And he doesn’t, either. He just thinks he’s off just a little bit.”

Conner’s journey

Marty says Conner always was different from other kids in his love for the game.

Conner was the 3-year-old who would shoot on his Little Tikes goal for hours. And, when Marty was coaching his oldest son Kevin at AAU tournaments, Conner would be the first one on the court during breaks in the action, getting the opening shot up to the rim.

“He didn’t care about anything when he was little,” Marty says, “except for a ball.”

Conner learned to shoot with his dad in their garage, hoisting up shots on an eight-foot goal.

Playing Biddy Basketball in Wichita at age 8 — the league uses shorter hoops and slightly smaller basketballs to promote work on fundamentals — Conner was named Mr. World Biddy after leading his team to an all-star championship in Louisiana.

When he was 12, Conner also learned about work ethic from native Kansan and former Missouri State guard Jackie Stiles, who helped him for about six months while she worked as a trainer in Wichita.

Stiles, the all-time leading NCAA women’s scorer, coached Conner on which shots to take and also stressed quality over quantity when it came to shooting after she suffered through so many injuries following her career.

Marty has coached Conner’s shooting from his seventh-grade year on, helping him through the workouts that now have become a routine.

“I wouldn’t be the player I (am) without him,” Conner says. “I thank him a lot for that, because he’s always pushing me and never praises me too much and is always on me.”

All along, Marty was trying to gauge just how good his son could become.

Conner had a solid eighth-grade year playing for his dad at Pleasant Valley, but would he do just as well in the City League the next year?

Marty — also an assistant on North’s basketball team — received his answer soon enough when Conner scored 25 points in his first varsity game against perennial power Wichita Heights.

Three years later, Conner is on his way to one of the best basketball careers ever in the state of Kansas.

He broke a 33-year-old City League scoring record his sophomore year, posting 52 points in a game against Wichita Northwest.

Last year as a junior, he scored 38 points in a 47-38 road upset over Ellis and Wichita Heights, as the Falcons lost for just the second time in four years — a game Conner says he didn’t shoot well in for the first half before pouring in 27 second-half points.

Conner also has thrived in the summer.

In July, he led the United States in scoring at the U17 FIBA World Championships, putting in 14.1 points per game — including 22 in the championship game — as Team USA went 8-0 and took home the gold medal in Lithuania.

“That was the best experience of my life, I would say,” Conner says. “Just being able to put on that USA jersey and represent your country, it’s unbelievable.”

Then last month, Conner won the three-point shooting contest at the Under Armour Elite 24 Hoops Classic in Venice Beach, Calif. — an event that features 24 of the top high school players in the nation.

Two days earlier, he went against NBA players James Harden and Brandon Jennings during a midnight run game.

In that contest, he crossed over Harden once before putting in a layup, and also knocked in a three over Jennings.

“It was pretty cool,” Conner says. “It was kind of surreal to be able to be on the court with those kind of guys.”

Focused on the future

So what’s next for Conner Frankamp?

The immediate goal, he says, is to help his team to a state title after North was eliminated in the quarterfinals at State a year ago.

Still, much of Conner’s routine remains focused on his future after this year.

Earlier this month, Conner — along with his parents, Marty and Karen — hosted KU coach Bill Self for a two-and-a-half-hour in-home visit over sandwiches from Picadilly.

While there, Marty made sure to ask Self what improvements he’d like to see from Conner before he arrived at KU.

No. 1 was adding muscle.

“I’m not that strong right now, but he said I had a lot of time to get ready for that before I get to KU,” Conner says. “So that’s one thing I work on.”

After his shooting workouts, Conner meets up with Wichita trainer Ray Birch, who is in charge of his strength training and nutrition.

It’s a rare time in the year — from September until November — when the two can actually work on gaining weight with Conner not playing competitive basketball.

Right now, Conner is at about 164 pounds, with the goal to get him to about 172 before the high school season begins; Self would like to have Conner between 170 and 175 pounds when he arrives at KU next summer.

The strength also would put Conner in a better position to play either the 1 or the 2; Self told him to come in prepared to play either.

“I can play both positions. I played point for North and everything,” Conner says. “I like to pass a lot, but at North, I don’t get to do that that much. I have to score first to win. I like to distribute the ball a lot and lead the team the best I can.”

Because Conner has to have a score-first mentality for North, he believes that his passing skills sometimes go unnoticed.

He was able to impress with his passing skills during this summer’s Pangos All-America Camp, with national recruiting expert Eric Bossi saying, “His skill on the offensive end serves him equally well as a scorer or facilitator and he’s got matching athleticism.”

“The games he enjoys most are where he doesn’t have to score the most,” Marty says. “He told me this summer, he really enjoyed some of the camps he went to where he could be point guard — where he could just run the team and make shots when he was open.

“That’s probably what his role with KU is going to be, hopefully, is that he’ll score some, but he’s not going to have to be the man to shoot it all the time.”


Kansas commit Conner Frankamp, center, watches from behind the bench prior to tipoff against Missouri on Feb. 25, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Though he’s enjoying his senior year, Conner can’t help but be excited about the future.

He was there at the KU-Missouri game at Allen Fieldhouse last year, saying his ears were still ringing two days later.

After following the program his whole life — Kirk Hinrich was one of his favorite players growing up — Conner says there’s a lot to look forward to.

“Just being up there,” Conner says, “and being at the best school in the country.”

‘A hard worker’

About once a year, Conner likes to go back to watch the video that started it all: a recording of his first organized basketball game as a 5-year-old (he scored 17 points, by the way).

Conner jokes that perhaps the most noticeable thing from the video is that he had a big head.

That hasn’t seemed to follow him during his rise as a local basketball phenom.

Though his strength workout is in less than 20 minutes, he reiterates twice to a photographer that he’s doing fine on time, being sure to ask how the trip down to Wichita from Lawrence went.

Conner continues the conversation with questions about Lawrence — his home in a year — and never pulls out a cellphone, sitting on a bench with his hands folded in front of him while waiting for the lights to be put in the right place.

A couple weeks ago, Marty couldn’t help but be proud after going to parent-teacher conferences and receiving reports that his son was humble, polite and a hard worker.

“The thing that I’m most proud of him is that he’s just a good kid,” Marty says. “ ... Of course, I’m proud of him for his basketball, too. I’m really proud of him. But I’m really proud of his hard work. Nobody really realizes how hard he works.”

The photo shoot ends and Conner stands up to head to another workout, this time to get his body ready for this year and beyond.

“There’s always room to get better,” Conner says. “You’re never perfect at anything.”


Todd Simpson 9 years, 2 months ago

dang do I sense a Tyrel Reed here maybe with Kirk Hinrich as well in this one

Jeremy Bolinger 9 years, 2 months ago

While the kid still needs to earn his stripes, I agree he will be a better player when it's all said and done. No disrespect to Tyrel, but he isn't even close to this kids shooting ability. If Connor can play defense and consistently burry the 3-point shot, we will be really good during his 4 years here.

JamesKman13 9 years, 2 months ago

The kid is white so he MUST BE LIKE Hinrich or Reed haha. Hm... He's kind of like Ryan Robertson and Jeff Boschee too.

Eric Williams 9 years, 2 months ago

what about jeremy case. best shooter on the team 5 years running. in practice.

TexasHawk44 9 years, 2 months ago

Better than either one shooting the ball. Reed not even in the same conversation. Kid is a flat out pure shooter Rock Chalk!

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 2 months ago

Let's be careful with the "better than Hinrich" stuff at anything. That dude was a complete beast and has been in the league for almost a decade! Hyperbole is nice and all, but expectations should be leveled with any 18 year old.

Alex Berger 9 years, 2 months ago

I don't know if you remember but Hinrich wasn't that good until his sophomore year at KU. I think Connor is better at this point. What got Hinrich to the league was his work ethic. Hopefully, Connor brings that mentality and keeps improving.

Alex Berger 9 years, 2 months ago

When I say "not that good" I mean college All-American, NBA player good. Hard to say a McD's AA is not very good.

Jesse Johnson 9 years, 2 months ago

Are you kidding? Did you watch our final tournament game against Duke in the second round that year? As an 8 seed we led them the entire game until the last minute mostly led by Hinrich's hot shooting and floor leadership. Hinrich was better as a freshman than Tyrel was a senior. Frankamp is definitely better than Tyrel it would appear, but not Hinrich.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 2 months ago

Slow down now.... Tyrel was a beast on defense and a great shooter. How quick you forget those 3's at the end of the buzzer at halftime.

Sam Constance 9 years, 2 months ago

Forgive me if I wait to see Frankamp (who appears to be the real deal) rack up a career 40% from trey in a Kansas uniform, against top D-I competition before I declare Reed as "not even in the same conversation".

This is the same mentality that has people determining quality of recruiting based on class rankings and workout tapes.

I'm a skeptic until they prove it on the floor, and I don't think that is taking anything away from Frankamp.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

You must have missed Hinrich's playing days. As much as I would love to see Conner play up to Kirk's or even Tyrel's level..maybe we should wait till he puts on the uniform first.

actorman 9 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like a perfect guy to be a Jayhawk. How great is it going to be to have two top Kansas players on the team when he joins Ellis (assuming Ellis isn't a OAD)?

Michael Luby 9 years, 2 months ago

Great article Gary. Really gives a sense of who Conner is. I really hope Perry sticks around to play with Conner. Those two should become the best inside out duo in college ball.

kusayzone 9 years, 2 months ago

Apparently you only look at the pictures,,,srory by Jesse Newell

Alohahawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I can see that the practice facility at KU will get its share of early morning, late at night workouts while Conner attends KU. It sounds like he's that mythical player who's been written about so often. You know, the one they call "Gym Rat". And with the way this article is written, KU shouldn't worry too much about the starting PG position while Frankamp is playing.

I'd bet between White and Frankamp that they'll have to replace the goals (or at least the nets), after each season. Really looking forward to watching these new faces in the Phog over the next 4-5 (I hope) years.

David Leathers 9 years, 2 months ago

Add Braennan Greene to that mix and the Jayhawks will have to install self distinguishing nets.

David Leathers 9 years, 2 months ago

Ellis won't OAD.

Even though he may have the potential, I think his brain supercedes an immediate jump to the league. Although, he may not stay for four years, I think you can count on at least 2 from him. Perry and Frankamp will go down as two of the best Jayhawks from Kansas to ever play the game. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they both become Jayhawk legends.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Conner is about 6-1 and wirey.

Tyrel was 6-3 or 6-4.

This means Conner's got to jump 2 inches higher than Tyrel to get the same shot off.

Tyrel's vertical was 40" or so?

Has anyone heard if Conner has a 42" hop?

If not, he is going to have to be a lot higher percentage shooter than Tyrel, because he is going to have to take his treys another foot farther out.

And a foot farther out drops your trifecta rate significantly.

And remember, Tyrel shot 42-46%, when healthy.

I would say don't put the Tyrel comparison on Conner's back. Tyrel was not flashy, but by his last season, had he been healthy, he was a long, strong, bouncy, aggressive 2 with a 40%+ trifectation.

Conner appears unlikely ever to be long and brawny, as Tyrel was.

We've got to hope he can work on his legs to get to 42, if he's not there yet.

And then work as relentlessly on his quickness, as he has on his shot.

His optimal future lies in modelling John Stockton, who had the greatest combination of quick's and efficiency I've seen in a short guard outside of Nate Tiny Archibald, who was probably the best short guard, pound for pound ever, only with more pastry.

If Conner lacks the quick's, then after lots of shakes and weights, Jeff Boshee come to mind.

Conner is going to have to find his own niche.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

You said that they aren't comparable? Then you finish your comment making comparisons. Also, what difference does their rankings have to do with anything? Selby was ranked #1.. how effective was he as a freshman? Your logic completely eludes me.

As soon as Connor starts putting in the minutes, you better believe people will be making comparisons. It's inevitable.

Alohahawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I haven't seen Frankamp play (live or on TV), but someone on here recently posted that he had witnessed Frankamp dunking the ball. If true, he does have some hops. And, Sherron might have been faster on his feet than CF, but Collins didn't have too many blocked, probably because the defender had lay back a step to respect his drive by moves. So height isn't everything. And if Frankamp can develop that jab, then 2 steps back move, along with his drive by ability, he could open some space for his 3's.

Ashwin Rao 9 years, 2 months ago

Conner doesn't play Tyler's game... so he will do well with the techniques that he has picked up on the way (along with the new techniques he picks up in Lawrence). I agree with the line "Conner is going to have to find his own niche." I am very excited about his joining the team next year!

Jeremy Bolinger 9 years, 2 months ago

He is only a high school senior. Wait until Hudy gets ahold of this kid. Frankamp will be twice the player Boschee was.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Where was the garage sale on chrystal balls??

Hope they aren't the frome same batch that guarenteed a NCAA championship when Selby signed.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 2 months ago

Quickness and athletic ability creates a lot more space than 2" of vertical.

jhox 9 years, 2 months ago

What little I've seen of Conner, he didn't appear to be anything like Reed. He's very good at changing speed and using deception to get himself open. That step back move discussed in the story is just killer. He'll also fake a drive, take that step back, and when the defender lunges at him thinking he's taking the step back shot, he'll blow by them. Collins had moves like that, but did them all at a quick pace. Conner will change speeds and when the defender relaxes he will either trigger the shot or fake the shot and blow by. What makes him special is that he is one of the best pure shooters I've seen, but he doesn't need others helping to get him open. That's a rare combo. He doesn't look especially quick, but the speed changes and deceptive moves compensate for that.

It will be interesting to see how much he plays next year and how Self uses him. He could be a guy who excels from day one or he could be a guy who takes awhile to get used to the physical nature of college ball. He doesn't look to me like someone who gets easily frustrated when under heavy pressure, and you know he has to be accustom to getting a lot of defensive attention. I'm guessing he'll be a big contributor from day one. I think defense will be his biggest challenge as he'll be expected to guard quicker guys, but watching him defend he seems to be a kid who understands spacing. I don't anticipate guys driving by him as much as shooting over him if he allows too much room.

dylans 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm expecting output similar to Hinrich's. Not play style similar, just similar scoring numbers at first more by his Senior year. 7pts per as a Frosh.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago


I pull hard for any Kansan, especially one with a trey gun coming to KU. :-)

Jory Collins 9 years, 2 months ago

He doesn't have to jump two inches higher to get a shot off. Conner is a deft ball handler who can create his own shot with cross-overs, step-backs, hesitation, shot fakes, etc.. Tyrel was more of spot up shooter, Conner shoots more shots of the dribble.

Tyrel is twice the athlete Conner is or probably will be but Conner definately has him on skill. It sounds like their work ethic's are similar which is great.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

All interesting takes, including serialTheDisclaimerer, who proves serialaliases know keyboard macros. :-)

You all will notice that I was making the case that Tyrel and Conner were not comparable to begin with. :-)

Next, all will notice that I said if Conner has John Stockton, or Nate Archibald, or Mugsy Bogues grade quickness, well, then as could those players, Conner will be able to do pretty much as he pleases.

Next, very few players have the kind of quickness that Stockton, Archibald, and Bogues had. And without it, short players wind up very much like Jeff Boshee did. On their hot nights, when they can go out to 28 and the basket still looks the size of Meteor Crater in Arizona, then they put a hurt on even tall opponents. But when the basket is size medium, and they have to back it out, they pay significantly for the back out in percentage.

Next, I watched some feeds of Conner, and while he looks elusive, I did not see John Stockton kind of quickness horizontally.

Next, Conner's release does not look lightening quick. It looks about average release speed to me. And I would argue that trying to quicken the release on a great natural, and highly practiced shooter tends to be ineffectual. I frankly don't recall one great shooter transforming his slow, or average, release into a quick release less successfully.

Next, what I did see was a great sense of athletic anticipation, and an ability to see creases and angles of attack, in addition to his estimable gun. This is all to the good, but without massive increase in strength, he could have trouble translating that anticipation and reading of openings into the kind of penetration that would add up to points in today's XTReme Game in D1.

So: I'm standing pat here. I am very grateful we signed him. I believe he will be a rotation player, probably a third, or fourth guard, probably his first season, even without the muscle, because of his range on his trey. Conner has to establish his own niche at KU. He is really not like any of of Self's PGs.

Further, he's not like the guy down at Okie State last year either. That guy was a fire plug and shot everywhere. It sounds like Jackie Stiles converted Conner to a spot shooter early on. Quality over quantity at the happy spots on the floor.

What is most appealing about Conner to me comes from a tactical stand point. He, or his Dad, mentioned that he can drain it from the corner. I have long thought that Self's hi-lo has never really had a great corner shooter yet. And if Conner is that money from the vertex, then this creates a triangle of death for an opponent. KU's big working the ball side right on the blocks with a good trey shooting PG floating right in back court, say Wayne Selden, who can shoot outside, or drive inside, and Conner in the balls side corner. It would just be brutal to guard. B-R-U-T-A-L!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

And to Slayr, I really think Tyrel put most of his work into his horizontal game his first three seasons, because his feet were so slow. When I think of building one's horizontal game, I think of leapers like EJ, Travis and Tyrel, who in the first two players have gotten by with fast feet getting them to most any place on the floor where they can hop above people, and then in D1, having to learn how to beat people while on the floor, because the competition, and/or injuries, can now get up with them.

In Tyrel's case, throughout high school, he could use his height and his ball handling to "slowly" get inside, or stand outside, and then use that 40" vertical to avoid the block of guys with good defensive position on him because of his lack of speed. But when he got to KU, he couldn't play much those first two years till he learned how to make those slow feet pitter patter a bit more.

What Tyrel did work on before that last season that helped him immensely was building up enough upper body strength to go in and stick his face in around the basket with the XTReme Ballers.

Really, given what Tyrel had to work with, and given that Self only wanted him ball handling late to protect and get foul shots, I think Tyrel maximized what he had and then some. I think he would have been a really special player had he been healthy that last year instead of having to play like EJ had to play last year: Horizontal. Luckily for EJ, he gets another shot to play healthy and combine the X axis of horizontal with the Y Axis of UP!!!

What will really be fascinating is if Conner, starting with faster foot speed, can add an increment of foot speed the way Tyrel did, and so start sniffing around at the lower threshold of the John Stockton's and Nate Archibald's of the world.

Next, if Conner can bulk up on top enough to drive his shoulder into defenders just inside the trey stripe and yet have the quickness to hop back and drain treys John Stockton style, then we are talking about a real difference maker.

Lots of work ahead for Conner, but he looks like one of those kinds of guys that has the getting better gene.

Rock Chalk!

april28 9 years, 2 months ago

Yep...he had lot of trouble finding a way to score for Team USA.

Aligned 9 years, 2 months ago

Good job Jesse. The most impressive thing mentioned in the above story, is that barring injury, Conner will own Wichita’s all-time City League scoring record. Many great players have come out of Wichita.

dylans 9 years, 2 months ago

Enlighten me on the great Wichita players of the past. Ellis, Frankamp, Xavier (or was it just college for X?)

Aligned 9 years, 2 months ago

Some of the more recognizable names: Darnell Valentine, Aubrey Sherrod, Greg Dreiling, Antoine Carr, Korleone Young and Steve Woodberry, to name a few. Of course, there are many others.

dylans 9 years, 2 months ago

Thanks, Dreiling, Carr, and Valentine were great. Woodberry was ok. The rest I've never heard of. The only true all-world stud I can think of coming out of Wichita was a football player...Barry Sanders.

Aligned 9 years, 2 months ago

What they did after HS is a different subject. I’m old and have been following Wichita sports for a long time, and I can assure you this scoring record is a big deal. You are correct about Barry though btw, being the only true superstar. However, the all-time best athletic feat by someone from Wichita has to be Jim Ryan beating the world’s top runners while in high school.

dylans 9 years, 2 months ago

Ahh didn't know about Ryun. I though he was from small town Kansas, but you are absolutely correct.

Kevin Studer 9 years, 2 months ago

I've seen Conner play several times. He is smaller than Reed, to be sure. However, absolutely everything else in his game is superior to Reed's; shooting, ball handling, passing, quickness, speed, foot and lateral movement, court vision...

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

Speed? That's a bold statement. Reed was regularly as fast as TT.

dylans 9 years, 2 months ago

You're talking about the all time Boot Camp champ there buddy.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 2 months ago

I always thought Reed made himself a player through unbelievably hard work. He had a good shooting touch, but all the rest was pretty mediocre and he developed through pure determination to improve. We may never see anyone again who works that hard. I have a lot of respect for his work ethic.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 2 months ago


We don't seem to be hearing any " Eminem " comments NOW.

Can't WAIT till this dude shows up in Lawrence. If we've had a weakness in the past few years, it's the lack of consistent 3 pt shooting.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 2 months ago

This article explains completely why we do not need an additional point guard in this years recruiting class.

Frankamp is going to be a stud for the 3-4 years at the point. I see alot of similarities to Kirk Heinrich's game

Ben Simonett 9 years, 2 months ago


As with Barber, i will take Seldon with out hesitation, but somebody like mason i'd prefer to pass on and fill another position

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago


Grammy jaybate taught me early. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

If Wayne Selden wants to come to KU, we will find a role for both he and Conner.

She also used to say: an embarrassment of riches is only embarrassing for a short while, but poverty stings as long as you bear its burden.

Come on, Seldom Misses Selden.

Go, Bill, go!

Ron Prichard 9 years, 2 months ago

I get excited about the new recruits every year, but without a doubt I have been more excited about Conner than anyone in a long time. He may not be the highest rated recruit in the last several years, but he just seems like that perfect point/shooting guard we have missed for a few years. I can't wait for him to become a Jayhawk!

Bulkmania 9 years, 2 months ago

If you've never seen him play you can't compare him to someone. And it's quasi racist to only compare him to white players. I'm in love with this kid's game. The most apt comparison I can draw is maybe Stephen Curry with an attitude.

Ted Hume 9 years, 2 months ago

agree completely with this comparison, spot on- except Curry seemed not to have lacked in the attitude dept.

Robin Smith 9 years, 2 months ago

Spot on, indeed, Bulkmania. Your post is exactly what I was thinking the whole time I was reading the above comments. Steph Curry is who I think of . He also shows that with timing, spacing, and excellent use of picks nobody can stop you from getting a shot off. Conner has excellent range too.

And it's not quasi racist, it is the definition of racism (though not in a hateful way, to be sure).

jhox 9 years, 2 months ago

The racial perceptions often work against white guards. For years I read about how Brady Morningstar wasn't very athletic when, in fact, he had great foot speed and was one of the better leapers on the team. He just didn't look the part of an athletic high D1 guard. Hinrich was one of the fastest players I've ever seen from baseline to baseline, but people tended to attribute his skill to being a coaches' son, and being a gym rat. He had those things going for him, for sure, but the guy had incredible foot quickness (the best on the ball defender I've seen at KU since Darnell Valentine) and that flat out speed. He would not have been that great without that speed and quickness.

I've been trying to think all day who Conner reminds me of, and I'm struggling to come up with a good comparison. Maybe a little like Sherron in terms of his go to offensive moves, but without the foot quickness of Sherron. He uses change of speed and direction to create shots. But he's really unlike any player we've had in recent memory in terms of his offensive skill set.

Robin Smith 9 years, 2 months ago

One of the most illustrative examples was the debate between Hansbrough and Beasley. It was sickening for me personally since I've been studying the sociology of sports for a long time.

The line given over and over all year was Beasley is a beast and Hansbrough works harder than anyone (which may or may not be true in actuality).

Black players are often discredited in one regard by being portrayed as "physically gifted" and white players have to work for it. Consequently many white players are discredited to start with, but when they are good they become exalted. And for black players, many give them credit to start with and then discredit them when they achieve greatness.

~Right~ Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil and Pete Rose didn't have much talent but hustled (these are my two favorite historical examples)

Steve Yeakel 9 years, 2 months ago

What a special person and player, so glad you are a Jayhawk.

TexasHawk44 9 years, 2 months ago

Never said he was better than Kirk as an overall player. Said he is a better shooter. And he is. Period.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

We (you included) don't know anything until he plays at the college level. Andrew White was hitting something crazy like 85-90% of his threes in practice, then started bricking them in international games this summer.

Sometimes and awesome high school shooter can become a streaky college shooter. Let's just allow it to play out before we start saying things like "Period".

Robin Smith 9 years, 2 months ago

Conner is an exceptional shooter. His percentages are so good, that saying he is a better shooter than Hinrich is not hyperbole. It's just true.

  • 32.3 points per game 60% FG, 66% 2pt, 51% 3pt, 93% FT

Those are Nash-ty numbers. But we can settle this pretty simply:

  • Hinrich shot 78% FT in college and 81% FT in the NBA.

Free throws are the same at all levels and it's clear, obvious, proven that Frankamp is on another level.

Sam Constance 9 years, 2 months ago

You're comparing apples and oranges.

We have no idea how Frankamp will shoot in COLLEGE, and I noticed that you didn't post Hinrich's high-school numbers...

Robin Smith 9 years, 2 months ago

Not for lack of trying. I searched for a long time to try to get Hinrich's high school numbers and if you have them that would be awesome.

But I think you missed the fact that I compared apples to apples. Hinrich has never been a 90+% FT shooter and that's mechanics and consistency. A more than 10% difference is a HUGELY significant statistic (significant in the technical sense of statistics)

As has been said before, nobody is saying he's going to be the overall player or defender that Hinrich was/is, but that he is a better shooter. Why is that hard for people to accept?

Robin Smith 9 years, 2 months ago

OK here you go. High School Stats Comparison for Shooting Accuracy

CF: 32 pts per game, 60% FG, 66% 2pt, 51% 3pt, 93% FT

KH: 23 pts per game, 57% FG, NA, 47% 3pt, 85% FT

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

Uh, those numbers are VERY close. Close enough that you can't be so assured he will be a better college level shooter than Hinrich.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm just saying, things happen. Guys come into college as can't miss prospects and still fail. It happens every year.

The free throw thing is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. Is Jeff Withey a better shooter than Hinrich too, because he shoots 80% from the line?

ohmixmaster 9 years, 2 months ago

I've seen Conner play in a few games in ICT and I do like the Stephan Curry comparisons. However, Conner is indeed a rhythm shooter (like Curry at Davidson) and does better when he takes more shots. In fact, North lives or dies with Conner's shooting. They really only run 3 or 4 plays which all involve setting 1 or 2 pics for Conner, and he's shooting a vast majority of the team's shots weather he's open or not. No one gets a role like this in Self's system. I'm really interested to see if he can put on some muscle and play the hardcore Self styled Defense required at KU and still be able to put up points when he is not allowed the volume of shots he takes in HS. I too am hoping for big things from him. I'm just not expecting him to be a Hinrich or Valentine like player like some here see him being. I HOPE for it, but I'm not expecting it.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

  • Interesting page construction for the article...a space between every sentence. Very nice effect, gives emphasis to each idea.{ Jaybate, please don't follow this format.:) }

  • Marty Frankamp = total opposite of Carl Henry.

  • "You're never perfect at anything". Conner, you're wrong...that statement was PERFECT!!

  • Bill will coach the devil out of this kid now...and give him great toupee tips in about 10 years...maybe sooner!!

Wayne and Conner...could be the scariest freshmen duo in America {the Harrison twins notwithstanding]


Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

PS I know, I know..the Twins aren't frosh yet but all the recruiting polls have them starting next year's NBA All-Star Game!!!!!

TexasHawk44 9 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate, your first grade Elmo-based physics lesson equates to revealing only two more inches on your lobotomy"s jumpshot. As is typical, your stupidity reins supreme.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

...and a Chicken Supreme!... And a Cutlass supreme!! Supreeeeeeeeeeeeeeme yeeeaahhh!

bayareajhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

It's usually good form to spell words correctly when calling someone else stupid. Unless you meant that Jaybate's "stupidity" pulls on leather straps fastened to a horse's head, you meant to write "reigns."

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

ROFLMAO! Oh wait. He's from Texas. Maybe that's what he meant.

Alohahawk 9 years, 2 months ago

With Jaybate, when it reins, it pours. :>)

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Now, this is some serious help defense here. Coach Self, you need to sign these aliases up as full ride posters!!!!

To: TactlessHawk.22short,

You are fearless.

You aim right at your foot and pull the trigger.

Maybe try swallowing the barrel next time, too? :-)

REHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

What a quality pair of recruits to come out of Wichita, Ellis and Frankamp. I really look forward to watching both of them develop under the current KU coaches and trainers. It is a joy to see topflight homestate players commit their hearts to Jayhawk sports.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Copy and paste.

Perry looks like a once in 5-10 years kind of player in the making.

Conner with the right increment of increase in foot speed and upper body strength, plus a retention of his shooting brilliance, could join Perry. But it will take some serious shake ingestion and a lot of movement of weights. But he seems to have the get better gene.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

This is a great article Jesse. I'm not sure however, why Jackie Stiles is being listed as the all time leading NCAA women's scorer.

Lynette Woodard: 3,649 points... Jackie Stiles: 3,393 points.

If you Google "All Time women's college basketball scorer" you get a link to a list 3,000 point scorers, that doesn't include Lynette Woodard. In fact Lynette Woodard isn't included on any list I could find. Anybody got a line on this?

As far as I can tell, she is the second all-time leading scorer in college basketball, men's or women's, being edged out by Pete Maravich's 3,667. She's not only the greatest scorer in NCAA women's history, she's by far the greatest overall player. What gives? Is there a loophole?

Foster Coburn 9 years, 2 months ago

Could it be because women's basketball wasn't yet an NCAA sport when she played? Just a guess.

Ken Harms 9 years, 2 months ago

I think the discrepancy is due to the fact that college women's basketball during Lynette's time at KU was run by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, not the NCAA.

So, AIAW stats are frequently not included in these kinds of lists. They should be.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

THANK... YOU!! I've been trying to figure this out for quite awhile, but never took the time to do enough research. I really appreciate that info., and yes, they should be. And she should be recognized more often for what she meant to the game.

Annette Lee 9 years, 2 months ago

Great article, Jesse! I just hope Conner has the same will to get better that Tyrel did. We were all so impressed by his ability to guard, JB said his feet were to slow for D1 but he just got better. M any of us questioned HCBS when he put Reed in the game and yet... So if Conner can get stronger and faster Wow.. PS JB made the same observation about Reed a long time ago I just used his comment as an example.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Copy and paste.

And, hey, SerialTheDisclaimerer, could you write a little macro for copy and paste. I have to use it quite a bit around here and I would appreciate you doing something for me for free. :-)

Alohahawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree with you, Dragonslayr. You may have misinterpreted my post above, where I mentioned "the way this article is written...". I meant that as the way Jesse was raining some heavy accolades on Frankamp's ballhandling abilities, which may or may not hold true against Div. I competition (both as PG, and/or as a SG combo). And since injuries to key players (ie N. Carolina last season) can befall the best of teams, without a quality backup even the best of teams can fall short in the end. Short of signing Parker as a possible PG/SG/SF combo option, I think Selden is my next choice in this recruiting class. That's not to say I wouldn't take Gordon, but he plays PF, so they would compliment, not compete against each other. Same goes with the bigs (Shepherd and Embiid), who would be competing for starting center, and less so against the PF recruits.

So, yes! I'd love to see Selden and Frankamp working together on the court as fellow Jayhawks.

Sally Presson 9 years, 2 months ago

Welcome to KU Conner, can hardly wait until you get here!!! Hope we see you at Late Night Rock Chalk

HawkKlaw 9 years, 2 months ago

Recruiting slump be damned! Such a drought in talent at KU the past couple of years...

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

And his father's too.

Never forget to blame Roger.

He's half responsible for Brady's birth...THE FUN HALF!!!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

"jaybate's New Sports Business Idea:"

Like old Chuck Taylor Converse tennies, jock straps remain tremendously underdeveloped. They remain locked in 20th Century think. They can make trillions.

I intend to do for jock straps, what Sonny Vaccaro and George Raveling have done for shoes.

Designer jock straps--John Varvatos, Tom Ford, and Lagerfelt are going to be locked into a designer oligopoly taking the style and look of jock straps to the NEXT LEVEL!!!!!

It is going to be very, very, VERY fashionable to wear jock straps every where when jaybate Marketing Concepts gets finished with this idea.

One model--the Traditionale--will be worn internally.

The other model--avant garde--will be worn externally.

But its not limited to looks.

We're going all Nike on this.

We are contracting with Lockheed's skunkworks to have their materials scientists to develop some awesome new materials capable of withstanding re-entry temperatures, while being comfortable even in zero g.

Next, and we're going to Microsoft hard with this, we are developing MyJock, a blue tooth wirelessly connected electro-stim package with a rheostat that helps maintain wearers of the MyJock equipped models with optimal stimulation for competition and for other recreation; this is the bridge into the mainstream consumer market.

MyJock--you read about it here first.

Yes, and for you Apple cultists, we're in talks with Steve's ghost and Apple plans to JV with us to offer a JockOSXMountainLionUnneutered that will keep your iPod, Nano, iPad, iPhone and those other oh-so-tired-and-20th Century Mac computers, synced through the iCloud every millisecond. And for the bench, or for home, we will offer an INSANELY GOOD wireless router called the DikPort. No, its not a dirty reference. Its named for a little known Apple designer--Richard Portman.

But that's not all.

Once the firm starts raking in the global volumes--we expect to sell over a billion of these in China alone--then we are going to weigh into the ShoeCo-Summer Game--Agency complex and take a piece of their action. And if they resist, then we are going to start buying them up, like Nike did Converse.

And then we are going to sign contracts with coaches to wear their designer jocks externally at games. Some of the younger coaches have even expressed a willingness to wear nothing but the designer jocks and for them we are create the Jock Thong Model, which some are already calling the Thock, or also, the Jong. We think the Jong could be really a big seller in beach wear especially if promoted by Erica Jong's daughter and, say, Thomas Robinson.

And this is just the start!

Consider this thread as you suggestion box, also. The future of the jock is very interactive, too.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Ooops, I forgot to add:

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 2 months ago

So was this your first post that was based on fact! intended to create malice?

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Earth to jayhawkrulz,

Someone is using one of those yard augurs on your brain case and your'e leaking cortex, is that it? :-)

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

LJW, you should add facebook "share" buttons for individual posts. I would post this on my wall in a heartbeat.

JB I don't understand why some people just don't get it. Too damn funny!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Thx KG. I'm not sure either. But everyone has different tastes.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

Excellent article, Jesse.

Ok, here's my hype machine, my comparison -- Gerry McNamara. Best I could come up with.

Now, I will return to reality. I would say that I read with interest the posts above and offer the simple suggestion -- temper your expectations. I've tried to temper mine. Frankamp will be a freshman. He probably won't start. He admittedly is not strong, and is a light 164, and likely just 6'0". It might take him just a bit to adjust to the speed of the game. His defense may not be up to par, and his lack of size makes that more of a probability. That's what I see as the most likely deterrent to immediate, big minute impact. And it may be a touch overwhelming with a 6'3" man (junior or senior) in his face when he has the ball. Sticking that shot in is much harder with a Tyshawn Taylor-esq, 22 year old man in your face.

It's not that I am not excited about this kid. I am. I see him as a four year player, top 50, perfect type of recruit. But saying "Kirk Hinrich" is a huge, huge stretch ... and a burden. I know no one is expecting Hinrich in Frankamp's freshman season. I just wouldn't ever expect it. Hinrich is a legend. But we can hope.

A nice off the bench contributor his freshmen season, 40% 3 ball. Perhaps 15-18 minutes per game. Would I take more? Sure. Will I hope for more? You bet. Will I expect more? No. Might I grumble if we don't get more? Perhaps. But it would not be justified. Compete to start his sophomore season? Sure. Lead us to a national championship his junior year? Sold.

Conner Frankamp, Ben McLemore, Andrew White, Perry Ellis and Brannen Greene .. the perfect Coach Self recruits. Selden sounds pretty perfect, too. For that matter, so does Tyler Roberson and Karviar Shepherd.

And yes .. I'll temper my expectations there. Kind of.

Sam Constance 9 years, 2 months ago

Thank you. Nice take on the kid.

Well worth getting excited over, but it's stupid to say he will definitely be better than Reed, let alone a guy who--as you put it--is a legend here at Kansas.

If Frankamp's arc plays out as expected, he will surpass Reed and with some hard work and luck, come close or maaaaaaaybe surpass Hinrich. But expectations are... well, they are just expectations.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree. Comparisons are nice, but he's his own player. Let him make a name for himself.

Kirk Hinrich, one of the best combo guards to ever play at KU, is a lofty expectation!

soapisurfriend 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm not sure that the comparisons to Reed are all that off. What I do think is unfair is comparing them based on high school rankings. Reed played at tiny Burlington and Frankamp plays in the best city league in the state. Does Conner have more upside? Sure, but Reed was a solid college player. Oh how people forget (or don't know because his practice game did ever translate to a game).

Jocelyn Kennedy 9 years, 2 months ago

I can't possibly compete with the previous posts, so I'll just say I'm pretty sure I drooled reading the article.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

Frankamp sitting on the bench = Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver!!!!

Frankamp on the court = Jason Voorhees of "Friday the 13th" swinging a cleaver!!!

JamesKman13 9 years, 2 months ago

Did my post really get deleted b/c I pointed out how people compare Frankamp strictly to other white players. He has to be a mix of Hinrich and Reed when he comes in? He couldn't be a mix of Russell Robinson and Chalmers?

offline 9 years, 1 month ago

It's time for moron, jayfart to leave this site.

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