Bloomington – With the AAU season coming to a close and the early signing period for the Class of 2009 drawing nearer, Duncanville (Tex.) H.S. small forward Roger Franklin is beginning to narrow things down.
The 6-5, 195-pounder has been courted by college programs from coast to coast, including a handful of newcomers who have surfaced as possibilities this summer. But Scout.com's 49th-ranked player in '09 has identified six programs that stand above the others – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Arizona, Michigan State and Indiana.
"Those ones pretty much made the cut," said Franklin. "All six of those, they are my favorite schools."
While Franklin has identified that six-pack of schools as his frontrunners, he said no one in the group has separated itself from the other five. In fact, Franklin said he doesn't anticipate narrowing things down again until after he's had a chance to make his five official visits.
"No one from that group is the favorite, not at all," Franklin said. "Everyone is pretty much the same right now."
What Franklin plans to do now is continue to talk to the coaches from his frontrunners and eventually schedule his five official visits. He said he plans to sign in November, so those five trips should be getting on the calendar in the next couple of months.
Whether it's during the official visits or when he's talking to members of the coaching staffs on the phone, he still has a handful of items he's trying to get answered to help him make his decision.
"What I like to hear from them is about what their plans are for me in the future?" Franklin said. "How can I help their program, what do they need me for? That's what I want to find out so I know what my role would be."
No official visits have been scheduled, but Franklin said one school he definitely wants to visit is Indiana. IU Coach Tom Crean first started recruiting Franklin when he was at Marquette, and that interest carried over once he became the Hoosiers head coach in April.
While Indiana has been a program Franklin has been interested in for most of the spring and summer, it has actually improved its standing in the last couple of weeks. That's because Franklin has seen members of the IU coaching staff at his AAU games regularly in the last couple of weeks, and that's made a significant impact on him.
"One thing that I loved about Indiana is I saw them all week in Las Vegas, and then there was a tournament in Arizona and one in California, and I still saw an Indiana shirt at my tournament in Arizona," Franklin said. "They were there from times we were blowing out teams to the time we lost. That's one thing I really appreciated, that they're showing better interest and that they made that effort to finish out the summer with me.
"There's over a million basketball players my age, and I feel like they showed an interest in me and followed me a lot lately."
Franklin said he saw Crean at some of his games in Las Vegas, and IU Assistant Coach Bennie Seltzer was sitting courtside for the Desert Duel Summer Prep Memorial in Phoenix. After not seeing members of the IU staff as frequently at a couple of tournaments in late June and early July, their presence as of late was well received.
"It really does make me feel better (about Indiana)," Franklin said. "The reason it does make me feel better is because it shows they still have a strong interest in me. On top of that, I even got to see Coach Crean in Vegas. The fact they showed that interest, making that extra effort, it makes me think about them a little bit more than the others."
Six Stand Out for Franklin
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