In the world of basketball recruiting, it’s often said that the summer before a player’s senior year is the most critical stretch of the long recruiting process.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
If that’s the case, KU commit Conner Frankamp is making the most of his opportunities to impress. Frankamp, a senior-to-be at Wichita North, added to a breakout summer this week with a strong performance for the U17 USA team at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championships in Lithuania.
Frankamp, a 6-foot-1 guard, had a team-high 17 points on Wednesday as the U.S. thumped China 116-47 in the final game of the preliminary round. (Yep, that’s your standard 69-point victory over a country with more than a billion people.) The U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed out of Group A and will face Canada on Friday evening.
“We came out fast in this game, which we haven’t been doing much,” Frankamp said after the game. “If we do start like this, we can blow teams out all the time. We just have to keep the intensity up the whole game.”
Playing on a squad that features some of the best high school players in the nation, including Sports Illustrated cover boy Jabari Parker, Frankamp has been one of the most consistent scorers of the tournament.
During the U.S.’s first five games, Frankamp averaged 14.2 points per contest while hitting 50 percent (eight of 16) from three-point range. It was more of the same against China — he made seven of 15 shots from the floor while hitting three of seven from three-point range in 23 minutes.
“It’s really nice to have our depth,” Frankamp said. “You can work as hard as you can out there and then somebody will come in for you and do the same thing that you did. There’s no let up."
Frankamp, a Wichita City League scoring sensation who verbally committed to Kansas last summer, continues to shoot up the national rankings. Earlier this week, Frankamp checked in at No. 28 overall in the latest edition of the Rivals.com rankings, just ahead of fellow KU commit Brannen Greene, a 6-foot-7 forward from Forsyth, Ga., who ranked 31st.
Withey to LeBron James Skills Academy
KU center Jeff Withey is headed to Las Vegas to take part in the LeBron James Skills Academy, a four-day camp and competition that begins Friday and will feature some of the best college players in the country.
Withey, who averaged 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds during a breakout junior season, previously attended the Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy in Chicago from June 21-23.
With the departure of All-American forward Thomas Robinson, Kansas coach Bill Self has said that he expects the 7-foot Withey to become more involved in the offense during his senior campaign.
Adams arrives in Lawrence
All members of the Jayhawks’ six-man (true) freshman class are on campus and accounted for. The last holdout — Seattle combo guard Anrio Adams — landed in Lawrence on Wednesday.
He joins forwards Perry Ellis (Wichita), Zach Peters (Plano, Texas) and Landen Lucas (Portland, Ore.) and guards Andrew White (Chester, Va.) and Milton Doyle (Chicago).
In addition, guard Ben McLemore and forward Jamari Traylor, who sat out last season as partial qualifiers, will also be classified as freshmen, giving KU a rare eight-man freshman class.
Langford signs with Italian team
Some good news for former KU guard Keith Langford, who has carved out a solid career in Europe after a four-year career at Kansas that ended in 2005. Langford has signed a two-year deal with EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, one of the top teams in Italy. According to the publication Sportando, Langford's deal is worth $3.2 million.
Last season, Langford played for Israeli power Maccabi Tel Aviv, averaging 10.8 points in 20 EuroLeague Games.
To reach Rustin Dodd, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter.com/rustindodd.