Bloomington – It's one step forward and then one step back for the Hoosiers with Duncanville (Tex.) small forward Roger Franklin.
The recruiting restrictions IU Coach Tom Crean inherited when he took the job earlier this year has significantly limited the number of days he can be on the road watching recruits this month. As a result, both his appearances and his absences get noticed.
Take for instance the LeBron James Skills Academy, which took place last week in Akron, Ohio. Crean used one of his seven days on the road this month to take in some of the action, and his presence meant a lot to the 6-5, 190-pound Franklin, Scout.com's 49th-ranked player in the 2009 class.
"He got a lot of good points, a lot of extra points for showing up and letting me see his face," Franklin said. "He sat in the front row and everything for my game, and that means a lot to me."
But Crean has to pick and choose his days carefully this month. While other head coaches can be on the road evaluating recruits for 20 days, Crean has roughly one-third of those days to work with. With other tournaments to check out and the big Las Vegas events coming up later this month, Crean wasn't able to catch any of Franklin's games this week at the Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C.
"I didn't see anyone from Indiana at my games here," said Franklin. "In some ways that bothers me because it is the Peach Jam, but in others it doesn't because I know what my relationship is with Coach Crean."
The IU staff missed a very good performance for Franklin and his team at the Nike-sponsored event. Team Texas got its tournament started with an 3-point upset win over Boo Williams on a last second 3-pointer from Kentucky-bound 2010 point guard K.C. Miller, and then ran the table in pool play before bowing out in the quarterfinals of the 24-team tournament.
"I think we gained a lot of respect for how we played here," Franklin said.
Franklin does admit that being able to see coaches in the stands means something to him as he continues to refine his list of schools, which currently includes Indiana, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Arizona, Oklahoma State and Utah.
"I look at it because it shows how much of an interest you have in somebody that you're looking at them and trying to see them play," Franklin said. "It shows they want to see how I'm developing, and it shows me that they want me to see them so I know they're still recruiting me. I'm pretty big on that."
While Crean might not have been able to take in Franklin's games at the Peach Jam, Franklin is confident that he'll be seeing Crean again before too long.
"I know he's going to see me when he can," Franklin said. "Even though he missed the Peach Jam, I know before the summer is over I guarantee he'll be there watching me play one or two more times."
IU Making Best of Bad Situation With Franklin
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