IU Now a Frontrunner for Franklin?

BLOOMINGTON - It didn't take long for new IU Coach Tom Crean to offer a scholarship to '09 standout Roger Franklin, and it didn't take Franklin long to move IU way up on his list. Franklin talks about his IU offer and Tom Crean...

BLOOMINGTON – As Tom Crean looks to rebuild and restock the Indiana roster, he thinks Roger Franklin can fill a very important void.

"He said that I'm the heart and soul of a team," the 6-5 ½, 190-pounder from Duncanville (Tex.) H.S.

That's why Franklin was seemingly the very recruit to get a call from Crean once he took the reigns of the IU program. A four-star player in the Class of 2009 according to Scout.com, Franklin said Crean called him last Wednesday to offer him a scholarship.

"Coach Crean said you're my guy, I want you here," Franklin said. "I was very surprised and excited about the offer. I was really surprised I'd be the first one on his list."

While it might have surprised Franklin, it isn't a surprise to most since Franklin is one of the top players from Texas in the '09 class. He averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals as a junior. He's also been apart of a couple of outstanding Duncanville teams, going 35-2 this season before losing to eventual state champion North Crowley in the state tourney, and going 39-0 in 2007 and winning a state championship.

While Franklin is a stat-sheet stuffer for his high school team, it's his approach to the game that's caught Crean's eye.

"He said I work hard and am blue-collar player, which means I'm going to give it my all, I'm going to put it all out on the floor and I'm going to leave it all on the floor," Franklin said.

Crean first recruited Franklin when he was at Marquette and offered him a scholarship early on. Franklin has a rapidly expanding list of scholarship offers that currently includes Indiana, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, SMU, Baylor, UT-A, Utah and Stephen F. Austin. He's also hearing from Texas A&M and Kansas State as well.

But Indiana has quickly emerged as a viable possibility for Franklin.

"Indiana is for sure on top of my list, but I'm still going to wait and keep my recruiting open," Franklin said.

Franklin said he plans to take all five of his official visits and then eventually make a decision in mid-to-late September. He said Indiana will definitely be one of those five officials, and he's interested to see what Crean's newfound home is all about.

"He told me when he left Marquette and came to Indiana that it's like a basketball kingdom," Franklin said. "He said he wants to his very best for Indiana, and that it was a job he couldn't turn down."

As Crean settles into his new home, he's hopeful that Franklin will join him in Bloomington beginning in the fall of 2009 to be a part of re-establishing the IU program as a national power.

"He told me that he wants me on this team and he wants me to help carry the team and keep the Indiana pride alive," Franklin said.

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