Thursday, November 7, 2013

KU freshman Frankamp confident on eve of season

Kansas guard Conner Frankamp knocks the ball away from Fort Hays State guard Craig Nicholson during the second half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

Kansas guard Conner Frankamp knocks the ball away from Fort Hays State guard Craig Nicholson during the second half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.


Conner Frankamp, the all-time leading scorer in Wichita City League history, didn’t manage a point while playing 11 minutes in his Kansas University exhibition basketball debut against Pittsburg State on Oct. 29 in Allen Fieldhouse.

That shaky outing was long forgotten after the 6-foot freshman struck for eight points off 2-of-3 three-point shooting and 2-of-2 foul shooting in practice game No. 2 — Tuesday’s 92-75 exhibition victory over Fort Hays State.

“I was not near as nervous this game as I was the first game,” said Wichita North grad Frankamp, who scored 2,275 points in his four-year high school career, 44 more than current KU teammate Perry Ellis of Wichita Heights.

“The first game, I was really nervous. Nerves kind of went away this game. I feel like we all played better.”

Frankamp’s first three as a KU player opened a 29-8 run that stretched a 21-20 lead to 50-28.

“It was exciting,” said Frankamp. “It was a good pass by my teammate (Frank Mason). It’s just cool to knock down your first three as a Jayhawk.”

He was one of eight reserves to combine for 49 points.

“We came in and were aggressive on the defensive end. We were aggressive on the offensive end,” said Frankamp, who had two steals while again playing 11 minutes. “I feel the second group came in and played pretty well.”

Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor led the bench brigade with 11 points and seven boards. Frankamp and Joel Embiid had eight points, Andrew White seven, while Naadir Tharpe and Brannen Greene totaled six. Walk-ons Christian Garrett and Niko Roberts had two and one respectively.

“I feel I am confident,” said Frankamp, who is known for working shooting about 200 three-pointers a day on days the Jayhawks practice and 400 on KU’s off days. Frankamp considers it a bad day when he misses “30 or 35” of the threes.

“It has been a little bit of a change from high school to college. I feel I’m making the transition pretty well. It’s just something I’ve got to keep working on,” he added.

KU senior Tarik Black says a relaxed Frankamp is fun to watch.

“He can shoot with the best of them,” said Black, who had three points, three rebounds against the Tigers. “We’ve been doing five-minute shooting (drills) ... Conner didn’t miss a shot in 10 practices in five-minute shooting. That’s unbelievable. He’s a good player.”

There’s been talk in the media and with fans that Frankamp and/or Brannen Greene (six points, 12 minutes vs. FHSU) might red-shirt this season, though coach Bill Self has said there’s a good chance no Jayhawk will sit out the season for a fifth year down the line.

“I’d like to play as much as I can,” Frankamp said. “I feel I can help the team. I feel I can be a spark for the team.”

KU will open the regular season against Louisiana-Monroe at 7 p.m., Friday, in Allen Fieldhouse.

“We’re really excited for that,” Frankamp said. As a side note, a victory Friday would be the 700th in Allen Fieldhouse. KU is 699-108 in the building which turns 59 years old in March.

Red-shirt talk: Self was asked at a luncheon Wednesday in Wichita if he’d red-shirt any players this season.

“I’d say we’re looking (into it); I’m not sure we will,” he said. “Look at this year’s team ... guys who would be candidates are guys who can all help us win four or five games this year. If you don’t have unbelievable kids and chemistry, you’ll deal with some internal issues. All of them are the best in their area or state or region when they played high school ball. If you go to a place and do not impact it in a consistent way, it can create frustration. It’s one of those things we’ve got to get right,” he added, noting, in retrospect, it would have been smart had Tyrel Reed red-shirted during the 2008 national title season.

Recruiting: Self at the luncheon said the Jayhawks, who have received a commitment from No. 12-ranked Kelly Oubre, 6-7 shooting guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., would like to land two more players in recruiting. KU is still in the running in the early period for Chicago power forwards Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander and Minnesota point guard Tyus Jones.

“We’ve got one commitment. I’m anticipating losing three (players). I don’t know who,” he said. “That’s what we recruited for. If we could sign three, that’d be great. If we sign two, that’d be fine, too. If we sign one kid ... we’re excited about him. We’re in the game on some guys. The competition is pretty stiff.”


Steve Zimmerman 8 years, 6 months ago

The White Mamba has spoken! That's it. I'm glad he's got his confidence level back up. Be prepared for some more hot shootings from KU bench.

Greg Lux 8 years, 6 months ago

Ditto case closed on CF. He is playing this year.

Rock Chalk

Doug Cramer 8 years, 6 months ago

The fact that Self brought up Reed's situation makes me wonder if deep down he wants to red shirt a player or two.

Look...we all know that Self doesn't play more than 8 guys consistently.

We currently have 12 guys that aren't considered practice guys.

  1. Mason
  2. Selden
  3. Wiggins
  4. Ellis
  5. Black

  6. White III

  7. Embiid
  8. Tharp
  9. Greene
  10. Traylor
  11. Frankamp
  12. Lucas

No way all these guys get consistent minutes...four of them won't.

Lucas and Traylor have already redshirted.

I'm assuming Greene, Frankamp, and Lucas don't see very much PT this season.

That leaves one more player that also won't see much time...and that's hard to pinpoint who it will be. If your Greene or's best to redshirt for the long term.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Get over Frank Mason starting after the ULM game because it won't happen. Also Bill will have an expanded rotation this year because of the rule changes. We've already seen how easily it is to get into foul trouble and KU will have games this year where Self is having to play his 11th or 12th players 7-8 minutes at least. Bill is going to use a core 9 guys this year, but we'll see him go deeper on probably on a regular basis because of the new rules.

Rich Hetherington 8 years, 6 months ago

I know Mason has been getting a lot of praise (and with good reason), but I'm not sure he's going to get a ton of minutes this year either. I think Bill will tighten into his typical 8 man rotation using Tharpe, Black, Wiggins, Seldon, Ellis, Traylor, White III and Embiid. What I do expect however is that Frankamp, Greene and Mason will all get more minutes than the typical Self coached team 9-11 guys. I don't think any of the 3 will assert themselves as a "main rotation" guy (outside of Mason in game 1), but all 3 will play and contribute. I also think even Lucas will see some time if 2 bigs get early fouls, and this year it's probably safe to say that will happen. So hopefully when it does he'll be able to come in for a few productive minutes and look like he did in the 1st exhibition game, rather than what we saw from him in the 2nd.

Jeff Mills 8 years, 6 months ago

I mostly agree. Just keep a few guys off the floor for the first couple games and see what unfolds. You can always take em off of redshirt status.

But I wonder... how many top 40 recruits have taken a non-medical redshirt their freshman years? Nationally? Can't imagine that number is even in double digits, and KU has two that have to have thought about it.

The problem is sometimes a freshman has to learn the hard way that he's not ready to help in the way he thinks he is. So either he cries about it (Adams) or he gets the big picture and redshirts his sophomore year (Releford). I think in these current guys' cases, they are just better than the guys you usually talk about sitting out. Self hasn't been able to tell anyone specific "you aren't going to see the floor much". No one has played their way into being an obvious candidate. Everyone knows its a numbers thing, yet no one is conceding their spot. And if no one redshirts, it keeps the competition for that last rotation spot strong. That's a very good thing, but I'll hate it in '17-18 when they aren't here anymore.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago


1] Red shirting - This team will be superior to many teams on their schedule thusly PT will be available more so than usual. Think about it..a deep rotation means fresher players, better defense, more guys "game ready", more motivation in practice and in games knowing that there's a bunch of hungry players on the bench just waiting for you to slack off. I see it as a "no lose" situation.

2] Doug, you've made a good point but I think this season will be an exception for Bill's M.O. Notice, he said "three players" . We know of two and, quite frankly, I think it will be four [Jo Jo and Wayne, along with Mr..Black and Andy]. He can evaluate everybody and maybe make a shirting move next year with the returning sophs.

3] Self Speak - "The competiton is pretty stiff." . Translate, Cliff is a lock and we've got a great shot at Jahlil and Tyus.

4] My Lock Prediction of the the time he is a senior, Conner Frankamp will be the most hated Jayhawk in the Big 12 because he will be the "little guy" who will just continually stick the dagger into KU's opponents game after game.!!

5] If you told me I could never have a taste of alchohol again, I'd yawn, say 'Fine" and walk away....if you told me I could never have another scoop of ice cream ever again, I'd fall to the ground, curl up in a fetal position and cry like a baby. {Had to add a random comment :) ]

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't think JoJo leaving is happening based on Bill's comments. Remember last Bill said he was expecting to have fill 7-8 spots and that was before Zach Peters left the program and before the Rio Adams drama happened and a lot of called BS on the number being that high and what did KU's final number end up being? Wiggins, Selden, Black, Embiid, Mason, Frankamp, Greene, and Mickelson. That's 8 players like Self said and he's only had 1 year where he miscalculated what the number was and the result of that was the 2011 class that pretty much paved the way for this year's class to happen because of transfers and academic issues.

As far who KU lands, I think KU does land Alexander and after that I'm not sure. As for Jones and Okafor, I just don't see them coming to KU and I honestly can picture Okafor going to Duke as expected and Tyus Jones staying home at Minnesota. Myles Turner is going to be in the mix, and I can definitely see that happening, but will he have the patience to come off the bench for a year or two? Rashad Vaughn JaQuan Lyle could both still be in the mix, but in the case of Lyle, there's so much conflicting information out there about him and KU that you just have to take what you hear about him with a grain of salt. Once you get past the 5 star kids, the only player that KU has on their radar as a fall back is Payton Dastrup who is a low 4 star out of Mesa, AZ.

Ted Hume 8 years, 6 months ago

It's way to early to know, but have you seen early NBA draft Boards? Not only is Embiid a lock to be a lottery pick, it's not impossible for him to end up in the top 4, and not even be a starter on this year's team- that's how much upside he is believed to have. Another not-entirely-impossible scenario: Wiggins and Embiid could actually go 1-2 next June. How's that for scary? So, yea, I think JoJo is likely to be gone...

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Yes, I'm aware of what the draft boards say. I'm also the same person who kept saying Selden would be a OAD last spring after he committed when just about everyone else kept trying to tell me that he would be here for two. I don't always take to heart about what Bill Self says as a lot of it is just coach speak, but this is not one of those subject matters. I do believe Bill Self is anticipating only losing 3 this year because he is around these kids a lot more than we are and also has a lot more contact with NBA scouts and has a much better picture than we do of who is actually ready and who is getting drafted off of pure potential.

Ted Hume 8 years, 6 months ago

That's true, and Self might even be able to "limit" Embiid's numbers to a certain extent and actually help to push him into returning as a smart decision- but I'm not sure if by mid-season we might really need him in a major role if he proves ready- in which case "holding down" his numbers for some other selfish purposes just won't be plausible. If he's ready to contribute in a role nobody else can [7'5" wingspan!?], for the sake of making a title run then turn him loose...right? I guess my take is Self knows this and is anticipating loosing Embiid and Wiggins and having SELDEN return. That would be my instinct at this point--Selden coming back to have a huge soph. year, a'la Rashad McCants at UNC (who I think is a great comp for Selden).

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 6 months ago

I really want Rashad Vaughn to commit to Kansas, he could stay around for a few years and he plays with Kelly Oubre so there would be some chemistry between them.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Vaughn commits, Selden stays ... Tharpe, Mason, Selden, Vaughn, Oubre, White, Greene, Frankamp.

Even if Selden doesn't stay, guys not getting minutes is obvious.

If Jones comes instead, assuming he's an OAD, we could redshirt Mason next season. Still, guys not getting minutes.

But that's a real crowded perimeter. It becomes a transfer worry.

My preference .. we get no more perimeter players. I like what we have even if Selden leaves.

Robin Smith 8 years, 6 months ago

Greene and Frankamp will be lightning in a bottle off the bench.

Jim Holcomb 8 years, 6 months ago

Gary - The side note on the impending 700th win (and 108 losses) got me thinking about the all-time KU W-L records vs Opponents Allen Fieldhouse. In almost 60 years have more than 25 schools beat us on our home court? I'd love to see a breakdown of the all-time records of opponents in "the Phog." Thanks!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Good to see Oak and ict.

What in the past 11 season has led anyone to believe that anyone beyond the top 9 players will get significant playing time?

Early, maybe. But let's see the Duke game Tuesday as a nice insight. Maybe Self has changed his stripes. Here's what I expect there .. tight 8 man rotation, Tharpe gets 32 minutes unless there is foul trouble, with Mason getting 8-10 as the 9th guy.

Checking back in January 15 would be best. Until Self shows us otherwise, it doesn't add up.

Here's the deal too .. rust. Guys last season wanted to trash AW3 because he came in and clanked shots. Some (who obviously didn't play a lot of basketball) expected a guy coming in off the bench to be impeccably ready and that he should perform as if he had been playing regularly. It rarely happens that way.

So as the season goes on, as guys outside the rotation sit more and more, they'll get rusty. Right now, there's a lot of game speed practice. That decreases during the season. Much time is spent on prep for opponents. Less full court, game speed stuff.

For the freshmen, playing will get them acclimated. But some won't play much ,and thus won't get acclimated. CF said he was really nervous .. for an exhibition game. Sure. Makes sense. But wait until he's in vs. Florida, 9 minutes to play, and asked to hit shots. Guys get more used to that as they experience it.

So while we may hope that Self can plug in a guy for "instant offense", don't expect it. It will very difficult for that to happen as the season goes along. Early, sure. The same conversations where had last season about Adams and White.

Sometimes it worked -- White vs. Ok. St.; most times it didn't -- Adams immediately turning it over and back on the bench in 10 seconds, or White clanking shots vs. WVU.

Personally, I think Greene could challenge for minutes. The only possible guy for him to beat out is probably White. Slight chance of Greene pushing Selden. And that's the dilemma. Barring an injury, or a player flaming out, how do guys get real minutes?

Too many players, not enough chairs when the music stops.

Denver Vold 8 years, 6 months ago

For four years I have read every story and post on this site once and sometimes twice. I went on a 42 day cruise (I am old and retired) and read every post I missed an the trip when I got back. I make a cup of coffee in the morning and head for the computer to read the stories and the posters I respect as much as the professional journalists. It is the best part of my day because I am a rabid Jayhawk fan who has been in the field house for both of the exhibition games this year, then watched the recorded games twice at home. (so far.) In slow motion.

I bet there are lots of fans just as nuts as I am. One of the great parts of the season is gone. This morning I found only one of the last nine articles had more than 9 comments. Compared to your new sign in format, the Obomacare sign up program looks like a great success. There must be lots of people just like me that want Jaybate and friends back. I remember a time you had over 400 comments to a single article. You say this change is not for the money. Then you can change it back. It is really only about your vanity. Don't allow your refusal to admit failure ruin the site.

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