Wichita State Shockers

Conner Frankamp chooses Wichita State to continue basketball career

Connor Frankamp, who recently left the KU basketball team, watches Wichita State's opening exhibition game with his father Marty. He told WSU coaches on Monday he would enroll at the school.
Connor Frankamp, who recently left the KU basketball team, watches Wichita State's opening exhibition game with his father Marty. He told WSU coaches on Monday he would enroll at the school. The Wichita Eagle

Conner Frankamp visited Creighton, Colorado and Wichita State. Then he sat down with his family to make a list of pros and cons.

He measured three strong basketball programs and three good coaches after deciding to transfer from Kansas. Wichita State enjoyed one advantage the other two lacked — location.

Frankamp, the City League’s career scoring leader, told WSU coaches he will continue his basketball career as a Shocker on Monday, giving coach Gregg Marshall his highest-ranked recruit and a top-level guard with which to plan his program’s future.

Frankamp is happy to end a stressful decision and happy to return to play basketball in Wichita, where he grew into one of the City League’s most-decorated players at North.

“I really connected with Coach Marshall,” Frankamp said. “(WSU coaches) all sound very intense and they live and breathe basketball. They can help my game improve a ton.”

Frankamp (6-foot, 165 pounds) will enroll for the second semester in order to be eligible after the first semester of the 2015-16 school year. He will walk-on, at least for next semester, because WSU is at its limit of 13 scholarships. He would have the rest of the 2015-16 season to play, as well as the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Marshall cannot comment on Frankamp until he is admitted to WSU, a process that is ongoing. Walk-ons do not sign a letter of intent or financial aid agreement.

Frankamp will be eligible to play in games on Dec. 12, 2015, the day after WSU ends final exams for the fall semester. WSU is working with the NCAA to determine when he can practice after completing his exams at Kansas later this month.

Then he comes home to Wichita, where family and friends can watch him in person at Koch Arena.

“It’s hard to say no to home,” he said.

Frankamp watched the Shockers play twice, most recently in Saturday’s 75-55 win over Tulsa. He watched practices with his father, Marty, and thinks WSU’s style of play is a fit. Like players such as Joe Ragland, Toure Murry and Ron Baker, he fits the profile of a player who can play both guard positions, skills that Marshall’s system uses effectively.

“It feels pretty free-flowing,” he said. “A lot of pick and rolls, a lot of guys getting teammates open shots.”

Frankamp paid close attention to guards Baker and Fred VanVleet. Both are juniors, which means they could team in the backcourt next season after Frankamp becomes eligible.

“I’ve been very impressed with how Ron and Fred have developed as players,” he said. “I think they have a good chance to get to the league (NBA). I’m very excited to learn from them.”

Frankamp said his scholarship status for future seasons is undecided. WSU has two seniors on the roster and added four recruits during last month’s signing period, which would put it two over the NCAA limit of 13 for the 2015-16 season. NBA scouts are regular visitors at WSU games and practices, so Marshall must protect his roster in case Baker and/or VanVleet decide to leave college after their junior seasons, and in case of unforeseen transfers or injury.

“Coach Marshall said we would figure something out,” Frankamp said.

In the meantime, Frankamp is prepared to work as one of the nation’s best scout-team players in practices. He wants to get stronger and learn WSU’s system before he debuts at Koch Arena.

“It will be tough not playing,” he said. “I’m excited to get there and I want to use the year off as a positive.”

Frankamp averaged 2.5 points in 8.3 minutes last season at Kansas, but was at his best in the NCAA Tournament, posting his two double-digit games of the year with 10 points in an 80-69 win over Eastern Kentucky and 12 points in a 60-57 loss to Stanford.

He scored 2,295 points at North and averaged 31.1 points, 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds as a senior. He made 93 three-pointers, shot 49.2 percent from three-point range and 91.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Frankamp played on the under-17 USA Basketball team that won a gold medal in the 2012 FIBA World Championships. Rivals.com ranked him No. 34 in the class of 2013 and ESPN ranked him No. 46.

WSU moves up to No. 8 in AP poll — Wichita State moved up one spot in the Associated Press men’s basketball poll to No. 8 on Monday.

The Shockers (4-0) received 1,165 points in voting by media members. They defeated Tulsa 75-55 on Saturday and play at No. 25 Utah (5-1) on Wednesday. A ranked Shockers team last played a ranked non-conference opponent in the regular season on Dec. 2, 2006, a 64-61 win at No. 15 Syracuse by No. 17 WSU.

WSU spent one week at No. 9 after receiving 1,120 points.

Kansas (5-1) remained No. 11 after defeating No. 19 Michigan State on Sunday.

Kentucky is No. 1, followed by Wisconsin, Arizona, Duke and Louisville.

Wichita State’s 24 straight weeks in the AP poll is a program best and dates to last season’s preseason poll. The Shockers appeared in 20 straight polls during the 1963-64 and 1964-65 seasons.

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

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