2016 four-star power forward Harry Froling has been in contact with SMU for over a year now and at one point, was steering away from considering the school where his sisters also play basketball, but he’s coming around to the idea.
“I think that lead to a bit of slow recruiting because they knew how I felt about that,” Froling said. “But after a lot of thinking and talking if it is the right choice for me it'd be a great chance to link up and have the experience with my sisters.”
SMU associate head coach Tim Jankovich recently made the trip to the Australian Institute of Sports to watch Froling and meet with him, which said a lot to the Australian forward.
“In terms of recruiting KT (Turner) and coach Jank have had a major role in my progress with SMU, putting in a huge amount of time to keep me up to date with everything on and off the court,” the 6-9, 230-pound senior said. “Coming to Australia for one day to see me is crazy, and I appreciate their time and effort”
Froling is hearing from SMU, Illinois, Oregon and Miami the most, with UNC in the mix also. He’s committed to visiting Wake Forest due to Danny Manning and the benefits of being coached by a great big man. Froling hopes to visit SMU, but other than that, he hasn’t locked in any visits.
“I would like to have finished all of my visits and committed to a program by December and I am currently looking into possible visit dates that suit my family, and the school.”
The staff and Froling have a good relationship and they’re honest with him as well.
“I feel I can talk to them as a friend, and they are very honest,” Froling said. “Larry (Brown) tells me his honest opinion on my and what he could do for me. They support my decisions no matter what, and I respect and appreciate that.”
The opportunity to play for a Hall of Fame coach hasn’t really set in with him yet.
“I don't think I have fully come to terms with the opportunity to play for and even talk to Larry Brown,” Froling said. “The opportunity to play under someone like that can only reap benefit, and it is a very special thing knowing he wants me at his school.”
Brown has made a good impression on Froling, but it’s another staff member that has stood out as well.
“Another key relationship I have built is with Jay Duncan, an Aussie who has been very honest with me, and my sisters speak highly of him,” Froling said.
His sisters have certainly talked up SMU to Froling, who said they’ve talked about the beautiful campus and how highly they speak of Brown and the rest of the staff.
Froling has three key things to what he’s looking for in a school — opportunity, environment, and development.
“I want to go to a program where I can play as a freshman, with a coach the believes in me and will put in the time to make me better. The development revolves around the coaches, and people I am around. I want time out into my game, and I want to build relationships and lifelong friendships off the court,” Froling said. “Environment is the people in around, I don't want to go to a school that has a bad history of transfers, and players getting kicked out.”
Another big factor for Froling is the chance to team up with fellow Aussie, Tom Wilson, who Jankovich watched as well.
“From what I gather SMU really wants Tom. They have made it clear they aren't recruiting us as a package deal, and would be over the moon if they can get one of us,” Froling said. “Going to school with one of my best mates is something I'm really considering and would enjoy.”
Wilson, a 6-4 guard, captained the U17 and U19 Australian national teams this past year. As for Froling’s on-court skills, he’s got plenty.
“My style of play fits with most systems, and over time I want to develop my game for the next level, whether that be NBA or Europe,” Froling said. “The thing about Larry is he knows how to utilize his players, and with my preference being a stretch 4 style of play similar to that of Kevin Love it could be a great opportunity for me.”
Froling pointed out that his versatility is his key strength because he’s able to stretch the floor and knock down a three, but can post up, set ball screens, and most importantly — he hates losing.
Miami, Illinois and Boise St stand out to Froling also, due to the variety of conferences and opportunity to play as a freshman.