Kentucky head coach John Calipari likes what he sees out of 2020 four-star center Frank Anselem.
After gauging interest initially a few weeks back, contact between the Kentucky coaching staff and Anselem – a 6-foot-10, 210-pound center out of Suwanee, GA – has picked up exponentially, specifically following Purdue graduate transfer Matt Haarms’ commitment to BYU.
And then on Sunday night, Calipari reportedly stepped in to express his interest in Anselem face-to-face, albeit virtually.
According to Chris Fisher of 247Sports, Calipari conducted a Zoom video conference with the nation’s No. 85 overall player and No. 15 center in the senior class Sunday evening.
Kentucky coach John Calipari conducted a Zoom video conference call with 4-star center Frank Anselem last night. https://t.co/DrBchqnz6Y
— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) April 28, 2020
In an interview with Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader, Anselem’s AAU coach, Julius Smith of the Georgia Stars said the UK coaching staff spent last weekend watching the four-star forward’s film and came away feeling he has NBA potential.
“They watched film of him all weekend as a staff, and they liked him a lot,” Smith told the Herald-Leader. “They like the things that he can do, in terms of next year’s roster and how he can help. They think he’s a pro, like the other schools recruiting him.”
The pro potential is there, but it may take a few years to get to that point, as Smith said he may need as many as two or three years in college before making the jump to the NBA.
“Frank probably needs two years, maybe three, in college, Smith said. “He’s a great kid. Incredibly athletic. Really advanced defensively. More raw offensively.”
Anselem, who moved to the United States from Nigeria back in 2016, has only played basketball for five years. Originally a member of the 2021 class, the 6-foot-10 center announced his reclassification to 2020 back on April 14.
Long seen as a heavy LSU lean, Anselem initially cut his list to three – Alabama, Georgia and LSU – at the time of his reclassification before announcing his recruitment was once again “wide open” just hours after 7-foot center Josh Gray committed to LSU on April 18.
“In light of recent developments, my recruitment is now wide open as I take the time to evaluate the best fit for me both on the court and academically next season,” Anselem said via Twitter. “Thank you to everyone for your interest. Please stay safe and always keep the family close.”
Now, it appears things are ramping up with Kentucky as the UK coaching staff looks to close out the 2020-21 roster with a few final key pieces.
So what do you need to know about the four-star center’s game? 247Sports’ official scouting report of Anselem lists him as a high-upside defensive force with legitimate pro potential.
“Athletic center with outstanding frame,” recruiting analyst Josh Gershon says in the report. “Good size, wide shoulders and very long arms. Strong kid but not maxed out. Still raw on offense but physical tools give him very high upside. Has budding elbow jumper and hook shot but footwork and post moves can improve. Has chance to be high level rebounder and rim protector given size, length and athleticism. Still inconsistent but upside is very high. Projects as high major starter with professional upside dependent on development of skill.”
See for yourself with some of Anselem’s recent highlights below:
— SUVtv (@SUVtv) October 22, 2019
@the2kfranky stock rising fast w/ schools across the country offering.#FrankAnselem 6’10 c/o ‘21 playing on the HS ???national big stage @ProlificPrep @thegrindsession keep an eye on em ? pic.twitter.com/XM0oMAiAaC
— Ballers Bridge (@BallersBridge) October 17, 2019
Would fans be interested in Anselem joining Kentucky’s top-ranked recruiting class?