Story by Shane Ewing of KAKE-TV (ABC)-Fred Van Vleet has gone the extra mile to make sure that his final season at Wichita State is a great one.
To Shocker Nation he’s ‘The General.’ He’s the captain of a Shocker ship fixed on Houston and the Final Four. To the world he’s even been called the best player in college basketball. But Fred Van Vleet is not without his critics.
“If you ask somebody what the thing is I am weak at the first answer is going to be athleticism. Verticality. I don’t think that I’m slow, but I can get quicker,” says Van Vleet.
Any improved quickness will serve as proof of Van Vleet’s summer. It’s the best offseason he’s ever had as a college player he says. He endured a daily grind with long-time Shocker strength and conditioning coach Kerry Rosenbaum.
“Fred’s the best point guard in the country, so you’re trying to make the best better. To do that our biggest thing was to get him more athletic,” says Rosenbaum.
“We went in with a renewed focus and we wanted to cut weight a little bit more and improve athleticism, flexibility and things like that so he (Rosenbaum) put the workouts together and I just followed them,” says Van Vleet.
Adding strength through Rosenbaum’s jumping program the results came quickly. Especially when Van Vleet made one more change.
“I just totally changed my diet for about a good three months,” says Van Vleet. “A lot of meat and green vegetables. Green beans and broccoli and stuff like that. Carrots. So it’s hard man.”
But it showed on the court when Van Vleet was playing 20 pounds lighter than he was three months before.
“I don’t want to say he was chunky when he got here, but he wasn’t the lean athlete that he is now,” says Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall. “When those guys take their shirts off now they look like they could box Floyd Mayweather.”
And onc chance to land a knockout punch this season could exist above the rim. Van Vleet has gained six inches on his vertical jump and he has been dunking in practice.
“We actually hit all of our goals this offseason,” says Van Vleet. “That was to be able to dunk and get to 185 pounds so those were our two main goals.”
“It’s something that he’s capable of doing now,” says Rosenbaum.
Wichita State will open its season Friday night by hosting Charleston Southern.