Shocker freshman Fred VanVleet is a 6-foot guard from Rockford (Ill.) Auburn. Rivals.com ranks him the No. 19 point guard in the class of 2012 and the No. 138 player overall. He is the only Missouri Valley Conference high school recruit in the Rivals top 150. VanVleet earned All-State honors after averaging around 20 points and six assists.
Q: Who among the returners is helping the newcomers adjust to Wichita State?
A: All the guys are helping. Nobody is jealous or anything like that of the new guys. They just want to bring them in and put them under their wings. The guy that has been helpful for me is Malcolm (Armstead), because he’s a point guard. It’s not like he is trying to make me mess up so he can play more. He is trying to help me so we can be better as a team, so that’s big. (His advice is:) If you work hard and do your job you won’t have to worry about getting yelled at too much. Do what you’re supposed to do. Limit mistakes. If you go in there and try to do it your way, or do it how you want to do it, it’s going to get ugly, and it’s going to get ugly real fast.
Q: Heat or Thunder?
A: I’m kind of up in the air. I like OKC because of the young guys. But I want LeBron to win, just because everybody hates him so much. I feel like if he doesn’t win this year, who knows if he will ever win one. I’m kinda rooting for the Heat, just for LeBron. But if I had to pick a team, I would pick OKC.
Q: If you weren’t playing basketball at Wichita State, what would you be doing?
A: Lord only knows. I could be in trouble. I could be back home in the streets. If I had my choice, besides this, I would be studying something, going to school somewhere. I like music, so who knows where I would be. I’m thankful and blessed to be here.
Q: What kind of musical talents do you have?
A: I listen to everything, more hip hop. I like R&B. I try (singing), but I’m not very good. Everybody sounds good to themselves. I’m the best singer in the world when it’s just me.
Q: When the Shockers choose teams for pickup games, who gives you the toughest test?
A: Malcolm, me and him have never been on the same team. Don’t plan to be on the same team. The two point guards got to go at it. Me and him, along with Demetric (Williams) and Joe (Mitchell), we all try to match up and go at each other. (Malcolm) is quick, unconventional with the left. It’s hard to guard lefties. Deceivingly quick and he can change pace. He reminds me of myself, a little bit, but with the left hand.
Q: What aspect of your game are you focusing on this summer for improvement?
A: Limiting turnovers and being able to knock down the open shot consistently. If you can’t hit that, you’re not going to be on the floor. When they swing it to you, open, you got to be able to hit that. I’m working on my game 24/7, but those two things – I can’t turn the ball over and make open shots.
Q: Facebook or Twitter?
A: Twitter, right now. Facebook kind of died down there for me. Too much spam. There’s a whole bunch of crazy stuff on there, like viruses and stuff. I’ve just been on Twitter. I can right on my phone, and it’s easy for me. Facebook is kind of dying down. Twitter will die down in the next couple years and something else will come along.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I’ll give you a couple of them: “New Jack City,” “Paid in Full” and one of my other favorites is “He Got Game” with Ray Allen. It shows the dark side of this whole basketball thing that people don’t get to see what happens behind closed doors. How people try to use you. People that try to attach on to you. Just the struggle of it. All people see is the bright lights.