Massillon (OH) Perry center Kenny Frease had made a move up the charts with his strong play this summer, but he knew the true test of where he stood nationally would come this week at the Nike All America camp. The 6-11 big man has more than held his own against very stiff competition, but he understands that he still has some work to do.
“Right now my wrist is hurt, so I can’t really shoot from any distance,” Frease said. “I’ve just been trying to play in the post. I think I still need to get stronger than what I was last summer. I’m not getting pushed around, but it’s not easy to post up like it was at the Jamboree.”
Until recently Frease had been a bit overshadowed by the plethora of high profile big men in his state. Kosta Koufos, Dallas Lauderdale, BJ Mullens were some of the country’s most coveted prospects before they pledged to Ohio State, and they’ve commanded the majority of the headlines thus far. That, however, doesn’t bother Frease.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “They can have all the fame they want. It doesn’t matter to me. As long as I’m playing good, that’s all that matters to me.”
Frease’s focus on his game has helped him steadily improve over the past year. It also caused his list of suitors to begin to balloon. “I have offers from Xavier, Miami, Indiana, and Dayton,” he said. ”Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh…a bunch of the Big ten schools are showing a lot of interest.”
Michigan was among the earliest to show Frease a great deal of attention. The class of 2008 prospect made his way to Ann Arbor last fall for an unofficial visit and came away with a very positive impression. Even so, the Maize and Blue still has a few hurdles to get over if they are to win his services.
“I like them” Frease said of the Wolverines. “I just talked to Coach Moore on the phone on the ride up here. I like Coach Moore and Coach Amaker. I like Michigan. I just don’t know if I want to cross over. You know what I mean? When I was younger…like nine or ten…I was always a Notre Dame fan. Then I switched over to being an Ohio State fan.”
The Buckeyes have been a recruiting machine for the past year, harvesting some of the nation’s best talent right from their own backyard. While that certainly bolsters their appeal with a number of prospects, that doesn’t appear to be the case with Frease.
“Right now it’s not looking good for my decision to go to Ohio State because there are so many big guys going there,” Frease said. “Ohio has a lot of good big guys and all of them seem to be going to Ohio State.”
While playing time will clearly be one of the most significant factors in Frease’s final decision, it won’t be the only one.
“It will be how comfortable I am with the coaches,” he explained. “I want to stay within four or five hours from my house. It’s important to me that they have good academics so after basketball is over I’m going to be able to fall back on something. I’m also going to be looking at the kids that are going to be going there with me. I’m going to try to see the different kids that I’d be playing with. If I like those kids, that’s definitely going to help the decision. I’m thinking I’ll make a decision next summer around this time or a little bit earlier.”
“Right now I’d have to say Xavier, Indiana, and Notre Dame,” Frease continued regarding the top schools on his list. “I like Michigan. I think I’m going down there this August for a visit. Right now that’s about the four that I like. I mean I like Ohio State…but all those big guys?!”