Morgan Frame has undergone a considerable transformation since her days at Waterville High School.
After turning down an offer to play for coach Cindy Blodgett at the University of Maine, the former Miss Maine Basketball accepted a scholarship at Division II St. Anselm in 2009. There, she was a solid contributor as a freshman, averaging 6.1 points and 5.0 rebounds.
It wasn’t the right fit.
Having grown 2 inches, Frame played during the summer of 2010 with former New England Crusaders AAU teammate Jen Friel, who was at the University of New Hampshire. That friendship, and a coaching change at UNH, helped open the door.
Frame has taken full advantage of her late opportunity.
The junior transfer has been superb since becoming eligible in December. The 6-foot-1 post player has emerged as New Hampshire’s leading scorer (16.6 points per game) and No. 2 rebounder (7.4 rpg).
“She has proved to us that she can consistently give us solid minutes and points inside,” said UNH coach Maureen Magarity. “If she adds a couple moves, I think she could become one of the best post players in the league.”
Frame returns to her home state Wednesday night as the Wildcats play a 6 p.m. America East game against UMaine at Memorial Gym in Orono.
“I think it’s going to be pretty special,” Frame said. “The [Waterville] high school and junior high teams are coming. It’s good that everyone can come, for my family and friends around the area.”
Frame’s 17 months at UNH also have been special. She spent last season practicing with the team and working to get stronger.
“The trainers got me in there [the weight room] four days a week,” she said. “I prepared in that way and bulked up to be able to play in the post.”
That has been an important part of her success, according to Magarity.
“I give her all the credit in the world because she really worked hard during that year she sat out,” Magarity said. “She’s so strong that usually when she posts up on the block it’s hard for people to get around her.”
Frame was recruited by UNH out of high school, but that staff chose to sign another player — who subsequently transferred — instead. She has excelled in the Wildcats’ scheme.
“We’ve got an offense that works really well for a post player, especially to work with our guards,” Frame said. “At St. A’s, I didn’t fit into the offense quite like I do here.”
Frame left Waterville as a versatile post player whose slight build and height made her a tweener as a college post player. At St. Anselm’s she played both guard and inside.
She would have been more comfortable in the post and time has proven she is more effective there than in the backcourt.
“I think Cindy [Blodgett] wanted me to come in and be ready to play, as a freshman, as a guard,” Frame said. “I wasn’t huge in high school or in college so that wasn’t something I was going to be able to do for her.”
Frame’s transfer timing was excellent because there were four roster spots available at UNH when Magarity took over.
“When she was released [from St. Anselm] I had her on campus and I thought, I can use her on her size alone, even in practice,” Magarity said.
Frame made her Division I debut for UNH on Dec. 18, 2011, at Rhode Island, where Blodgett is an assistant coach. Frame scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
She was a two-time BDN All-Maine choice at Waterville for coach Ted Rioux. The Purple Panthers won three straight Class B state championships and racked up 66 consecutive victories.