Wichita State senior point guard Fred VanVleet will enter the 2015-16 season as one of the nation’s top players and point guards, teaming up with Ron Baker to form a perimeter tandem that will be among the nation’s best. But VanVleet is hard at work this summer to ensure that he’s a slightly different player than the one who helped lead the Shockers to the Sweet 16.
While VanVleet was certainly a good enough athlete to earn the praise and honors that have come his way over the last three seasons, he’s looking to become even more athletic ahead of his final season. According to Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle the hard work has paid off, with the 5-foot-11 floor general showing more explosion both vertically and laterally.
Those developments, combined with VanVleet’s efforts to trim a few pounds from his frame, can not only help the guard in the college game but as a pro as well.
Part of this, (Wichita State strength and conditioning coach Kerry) Rosenboom says, is about attracting the attention of NBA scouts. If VanVleet adds muscle and definition and dunks in a game, he might start to check boxes for athletic ability scouts previously ignored.
“As much as it helps your jumping, it helps your lateral movement, quickness, you’re getting more explosive,” VanVleet said. “I’ve already got a lot of finishes I can do, and I think as my vertical increases, hopefully, I’ll get more finishes that I can do and it’s going to be scary for a lot of people.”
During the summer players see more of the strength coach than they do their basketball coaches, with the NCAA having limits on how much time coaches can spend with their players on the court and the recruiting requirements of the summer factoring in as well. That leaves most of the responsibility when it comes to getting better on the shoulders of the players themselves, and based upon how well VanVleet has performed throughout his time at Wichita State it’s no surprise that he’s put in the work.
That will benefit the Shockers in 2015-16, and if VanVleet has his way the improvements be noticed by NBA scouts as well.