Busy offseason produces more confident Armaan Franklin
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Like most Armaan Franklin spent the offseason jet setting around the country, but the UVA guard was not on vacation.
"I did a lot of traveling, but everywhere I traveled it was all basketball," Franklin said after spending time in Indianapolis, Houston and Miami this offseason, "So that was just five weeks of traveling and playing basketball."
A far shout from last offseason when Franklin was sidelined due to ankle surgery heading into his first season with the Cavaliers.
"He's had a tremendous spring and summer and I think so much of that is just the fact that he's healthy," Franklin said, "Last summer he wasn't able to do much, he was coming off surgery, he was coming off an injury, so he really was thrown right into it as soon as he was cleared."
Franklin was recruited from Indiana for his shooting after making 40 percent in his last season with the Hoosiers, but the rising senior experienced an up and down year with Virginia, which saw his shooting dip below 30 percent from three. A full offseason has helped Franklin return to form though.
"So just being able to get in the gym every day and not having to watch my load management or whatever you want to call it on the ankle," Franklin said, "Just getting in there, and getting shots up, working on my game, becoming a more confident player is just fun summer. One of my favorite summers so far."
Part of Franklin's travels this summer led him to link up with former UVA star Justin Anderson down in Florida, a relationship which started last fall when Anderson visited Grounds for a football game.
"It was a great opportunity to just be around him for a week and pick his brain and ask him questions," Franklin said, "We watched a good amount of film from last year on my games and being able to hear his thoughts and point of view on shot selection. Looking at my feet, at my body when I shoot. Looking at my demeanor and just everything and being able to get his feedback and from a person who was really good at UVA was important."
Getter caught up with Anderson at the NBPA Top 100 Camp this year in Orlando, hearing the more about the time the former Cavalier has invested into Franklin.
"You've seen Justin Anderson, I mean physically," Getter laughed, "So if you're working and going and playing against him, you have no choice but to bring your game."
Anderson has taken on a mentorship role and also introduced Franklin to some stout competition this summer, going up against other professional players.
"Everything is a game, inside the game, inside the workout, being able to make shots, make shots consecutively, getting hot," Franklin said, "Professionals make shots, so you know its hard going against other professionals in those shooting drills and what not but I enjoyed going against that level of competition. I'm a competitor so I just loved it."
The extra reps this summer built on a strong finish to the season, when Franklin found a rhythm in Virginia's three NIT games, averaging 13.3 points per game while shooting better than 50 percent from three with 12 makes.
"Confidence, I miss a shot, who cares you get another one in a workout," Franklin said about the key to this offseason."
It's just like a game, you're gonna get another one. I kind of started building that at the end of the season, near the end of the NIT just not having conscious really. You can't care about the last shot because you have to hunt the next one."
Throughout the struggles last season, Tony Bennett and the rest of the coaching staff continued to encourage Franklin to shoot any open shot. This summer they stressed more reps for Franklin as the only way to continue building confidence.
"His teammates, they believe in him," Getter said, "When he shoots the ball they think it's going in. So just them talking to him, Coach Bennett, our staff to continue to empower him to be freed up and not really carry that weight of whether or not it's going in or not. I think he's in for a big year."
Franklin still ended last season as UVA's second leading scorer averaging 11.1 points per game. Now with a full offseason, he hopes to provide a more confident sharpshooter for an experienced and loaded Virginia team.
"I always have high expectations for myself, but at the end of the day," Franklin said, "I'm going to go out and try to play my game and do what I do and let the chips fall where they may."