Hoops Recruiting: Franklin Talks OSU Visit

Roger Franklin only spent about four hours in Stillwater, Okla., on Saturday but it left a lasting impression. Franklin, one of the top juniors in the state of Texas, made the trip from the Dallas suburb of Duncanville to Stillwater for Oklahoma State's upset victory over fourth-ranked Kansas. The 6-foot-5 1/2, 217-pound standout talked Sunday afternoon about his unofficial visit to OSU.

I know your high school team (ranked No. 1 team in Class 5A with a 34-1 record) practiced from 9-to-10 Saturday morning, and then you and your Uncle Andre (Johnson) headed north to Stillwater. When did you arrive at Gallagher-Iba Arena?
Franklin: We got there about five minutes into the game. We drove back after the game and got home around 11:30 last night.

What did you think of Oklahoma State?
Franklin: It was amazing. It was a great atmosphere. It's a great student section. They have very supportive fans. I love it.

Were you a little surprised at what you saw since it was your first time to see a game inside Gallagher-Iba Arena?
Franklin: I was kinda surprised. When I saw Obi (Muonelo) hit a big shot, or when Byron (Eaton) would make a big play, or they would make a defensive stop, the crowd would get on their feet ... it was amazing.

What were your thoughts of the game?
Franklin: It was outstanding. I've never really seen an upset in person, and then see the crowd and the student section run onto the floor. I've seen it on TV but I've never seen it in person. Once I saw it, I said this is real. This is really real. You could tell everyone was having a lot of fun.

How would you feel to play on a team in which the student body rushed the court after a big win?
Franklin: It would be amazing. Just to have people come out and to know that they're there to support you, make you feel good about yourself and that you go to their school ... that they're supportive of you like that is great.

Did you get a chance to go in the OSU locker room after the game?
Franklin: I got to meet all the players again. I talked to coach (Mike) Hatch a lot. I got to speak to coach (Sean) Sutton, and the other coach Sutton, the one that coaches in San Francisco. It was a very nice experience.

What was it like in there after the game?
Franklin: After that win, they think they can beat anybody now. They want to go 4-0, and win the rest of them.

Two weeks ago this team was at the bottom of the Big 12, but now they've won three in a row, including two over Top 25 teams, as a recruit do wins like that change your perspective on a program?
Franklin: It does. It lets me know that a team wants to win. It shows me that they can be in a rough or tight spot now but we can come out of it. That really means a lot to me because I play for Duncanville, we're a winning team, and I want to play for a winning team in college. So for a team that was struggling and to come out and beat a top-ranked team that has a lot to do with what college I want to go to because it shows that we might have been in a slump but we got out of it. That definitely leaves a big impression (on me).

Does attending the game Saturday help you as the recruiting process picks up?
Franklin: When I go on my visits to other schools I will make sure to compare their coaching staff and the atmosphere of their games to each university or each college because Oklahoma State has set the bar. I haven't been to a lot of colleges yet but they've set a very high bar. They showed me what Oklahoma State basketball can do. I will compare other universities to what I saw.

Do you plan to make any other unofficial visits to Oklahoma State?
Franklin: I could be. I plan on making some when I've got the time. I don't think it would be a bad trip to go up there to Stillwater and see what else is going on around there.

What are you thoughts on head coach Sean Sutton? Franklin: He's very down to earth. That's what I like about him. He's real with what he does. He approached me back in October, and talked to me about what he could do for me, and told me why he would like for me to come to Oklahoma State. What I like about him is he's a down-to-earth coach, and he's real. He's exactly what I'm looking – a very real coach who is down to earth who is going to help me to work hard. That's what type of person I think he is.

Roger, thanks for the time. Do you have anything else you'd like to add that I didn't ask you about?
Franklin: I'd like to say that I like the way the team sticks together, even through rough spots. A lot of the players were in foul trouble (against KU) and I saw how everybody stuck together. That's what I loved about the game, they stuck together and came through with a win.

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