Peer Pressure: Easily the worst basis for a decision
First offers are exciting but be patient. There is a lot of copy-cat recruiting by schools. If you receive your first offer, other offers generally follow quickly.
Campus Visits: Try to visit on a regular school day and practice day, if possible. Parties, football games and basketball games are all fine but you also need to see the school when it’s not “on”.
A real player/prospect understands that basketball, like every other competitive sport, consists of making hundreds of routine plays.
You only get to make the occasional “highlight play” among hundreds of “grunt plays” such as running back hard on D, blocking out and keeping your man in front of you.
If you or your parents and advisors overrate yourself, you run the risk of losing your competitive edge and work ethic. Stay humble and hungry!
Watch out for lipstick on pigs. Try to figure out what the “day to day” flavor of a program is like. Sometimes the recruiting process unrealistically glamorizes a program.
“Tweeners” and “hybrids” are different players. Tweeners are considered too small for the position they fit best. Hybrids can play two or more positions well, regardless of size. In this case, your perceived stock goes up.
When you receive an offer, always ask if it’s a “first at your position to accept” offer. Many times a school will offer 3-5 players at the same position and accept the first taker and rescind the other offers.
It’s the quality of the contacts a program has with you, not the quantity.
Assistant Coaches: It’s normal to develop relationships with assistant coaches during the recruiting process but choosing a school on that basis is even riskier than choosing a school because of the Head Coach.
Playing Time: Be wary of promises. A good program sells opportunity, not assurances.
The more you test yourself on state, regional and national levels, the more you’re aware of how hard you really have to work to achieve your goals.
Remember that you have to be able to say “no” to all but one school. Don’t waste your time or theirs.
Another way to further sort your list of schools is by geography. Travel time and costs for you, your parents and others should be considered.
Checklist: In addition to researching player graduation rates of each of your schools, also research player grads’ employment histories.
A good way to start sorting out a list of schools is by conference. Ask yourself what two or three conferences match your playing level and fit your other needs.
Know Head Coach’s Job Security- Many say choose the school, not the coach. But, if you don’t fit the the new coach’s style of play, you might regret the basketball part.
For Your Recruiting Checklist: Be aware of each program’s Transfers In and Transfers Out.
If you want to know what a program is really like, a cross section of current and past players are your best sources.
Hard recruitment on the front end requires hard de-recruitment on back end. Keep it real up front and you’ll adjust quicker when it gets real.
College coaches recruit every day of their lives. You and your parents are recruited once.
It’s not you versus them but you need some level of preparation,
Being recruited isn’t the final goal; it’s another step in the process. If Tim Duncan isn’t satisfied, why would anyone else be?
Coaches fall in love with players for many reasons but winning games is always at the forefront.
If you are really interested in a school and haven’t heard from the coaching staff by the end of July before your senior year, it can’t hurt to initiate the contact yourself.
Most players are really “tweeners”. Don’t worry about what you’re not. Work on being the best player you can be with what you have.
Players come out of “nowhere” all the time to surprise and even shock the so-called experts. Persist!
The recruiting landscape changes every day with signings, commits, decommits, and transfers but the only thing you can really control is how you approach each day.
Even though the recruiting process has sped up on underclassmen over the years, HS seniors still are sometimes awarded scholarships in the summer after graduation. Persist!
Transfers are most often caused by unrealistic expectations on the part of the recruit, the college coaching staff or both.
No matter what a college staff calls their recruiting lists, one is a “priority” list and the other is a “backup” list in case they miss their prime targets. Some staffs will honestly tell you where you stand.
Ideally, coaches want players with high level performance and low level maintenance- on and off the floor.
College transferring is an epidemic. Look at Jeff Goodman’s Transfer List on ESPN.com.
It’s an eye opener.
It only takes one coach or scout to first put you on the radar or expand your resume. Every time you play, assume that person is watching.
There will be college rosters that will give you better opportunities than others. However, no matter what college you choose, it is wise to get used to the idea that you’ll have competition in the recruiting classes before you, after you and possibly in the same class.
A quality as simple as you being a good teammate is important to college coaches in the recruiting process.
Well before you ever go on “official” or “unofficial” visits, make college campus visits with your family so that you’re a veteran before the fact.
Keeping your man with the ball in front of you on defense is one of the best things you can do to gain the respect and trust of any coach. You don’t have to steal the ball every possession.
If you are exclusively a perimeter player, you need to be really good at either creating an open triple attempt for a teammate or be a knockdown triple shooter yourself. Being really good at both is rare and highly desirable.
Best compliment you can get from a college coach: “Can really play!”
Means you know what to do in various situations and then get it done more often than not.
The best players in the world have access to personal trainers and nutritionists. If money were no object, you would too. But, with a little guidance from professionals in your school system, a simple program can be structured to enhance your development.
The competition for scholarships has always been intense. But now, the number of international players recruited by US colleges directly from overseas or after a year or two in American high and prep schools increases yearly.
It’s not possible for everyone to be a good defender on the ball. But, everyone can be good off the ball.
It’s an exaggeration that “you’re only as good as your last game”. But it’s the one people remember the best.
Every college program has its own unique “culture”. Best programs shop for a good fit. You should too.
Whether you’re ranked high or low, it’s a snapshot in time opinion. It can and does change overnight.
Basketball coaches always appreciate players who understand two hockey concepts:
“Head Man the Puck” and “2nd Assists”.
- Play hard
- Play smart
- Play together
- Be coached
“The really good programs are evaluating at what level you can WIN more than at what level you can PLAY.”
Your college playing level and playing position are probably determined as much as anything else- by who you can guard.
Get with your counselor. Make sure you meet your core requirements. Know your GPA to the the hundredth of a point. If a coach ask you what your GPA is don’t say 2.0 – too many guys with a 1.9 say they have a 2.0. Know your GPA exactly!
Coaches have to spend the next four years of their life with you. They are looking for any and all signs that a player does not fit within their program’s culture. This includes social media, body language and interactions with teammates and spectators. Be Wise!