Dos & Don’ts When Choosing a College for Basketball

choosing college for basketball

As summer comes to a close, the time for high school basketball players to think more seriously about where they want to go to college is fast approaching.

Maybe some new schools have reached out to you about playing for them. Maybe you’ve learned that you will play DII or DIII instead of DI. Or maybe all you know is that you want to play college basketball. 

Every year, we see PSB players and their parents dive into the process of making a college choice. It’s not easy and not a decision that should be taken lightly. After all, this will hopefully be the next four years of your life as well as your network of friends, alumni and professionals.

Below is our list of Dos and Don’ts when deciding on where to play college basketball.



#1 List your Priorities

I can’t overstate how important this is. Everyone is different and everyone might be looking for something different from their college experience.

Do you know you want to be an engineer?

Then finding a school with a good engineering program might be high on your list.

Want to play right away?

Do you want to stay close to home?

Go far away? Go to a big school?

Go to a small school?

Play for a certain type of coach?

Be surrounded by a certain kind of teammate?

This is just a small sample of what might be important for you as there are many, many variables that might affect your decision. But, it is very important to weigh your priorities and write them down.

#2 Ask for Help

For a lot of parents and players, the recruiting process is brand new to them. The number of schools, conferences, divisions, rules and levels can be overwhelming.

Also, many parents and players go into the process with a drastically skewed perception of what level they can realistically play at, schools they should be hearing from, when they should receive scholarship offers…and on and on.

It’s important to seek out advice from people that have either been through the process before or are very knowledgeable about college recruiting. Guidance can be extremely valuable!

#3 Do your Research

It’s important to keep an open mind during this process. Just because you’ve never heard of a school doesn’t mean that they’re not for you. Just because you’ve never been to that part of the country doesn’t mean you won’t like it.

Or, just because you don’t know about DIII basketball doesn’t mean that your college basketball experience can’t be extremely fulfilling.

Learn as much about the school, coach, conference, division and area as you can. Nothing beats an in-person visit, but internet research and talking with people that know more about a school than you do can be very helpful!

college basketball by state


#1 Skip the Visit

Piggybacking off the last “Do”, visiting a school before making your final decision is a MUST! Don’t rely on your perceptions based off of TV and the internet to make your final choice.

Don’t rely solely on text messages and phone calls to decide that a coach is for you…have we learned nothing from Catfish?

Don’t make up your mind before meeting your future coach and teammates and seeing your school in person.

#2 Concern yourself with others perceptions

Do you not want to go to a small school because you’re concerned with what other people will think?

Do you not want to look at DIII schools because you believe other people will think you’re not a good player?

Do you feel pressure cause you know your parents want you to go to a specific school?

If there was ever a time in your life to put yourself first and not worry with what other people think, it’s when you’re deciding on where you want to go to college.

This will be your life for the next four years and beyond. You will be the one going to classes, hanging out in the locker room, attending parties and making friends.

Do not settle for what other people think you should do or concern yourself with other perceptions of you as a player. Find a place where you feel comfortable.

#3 Believe in False Promises

Is a coach telling you how great he thinks you are and painting this perfect picture of you as a future member of the school’s Hall of Fame?

Is he guaranteeing you playing time?

A starting position?

Going on and on about how well you will fit with everyone else he is recruiting?

Please understand, the coach that is recruiting you is not the coach that will be coaching you. Once games start, fans sit in the bleachers, alums start airing their grievances and jobs are on the line, everything you believed as a recruit will seem like a different life.

Understand that this is the way it is and prepare yourself to think critically about everything you’re told. Find coaches, staff and teammates that you trust!


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NEWS: 2018 Jay Bilas Skills Camp Standouts

Jay Bilas Skills Camp Charlotte NCBy: Zain Motani

The fifth annual Jay Bilas Skills Camp took place in Charlotte, NC from June 8th – June 10th. Held on the beautiful Levine Center of Queens University, the camp featured almost 120 participants representing 23 states.

You can read a detailed Jay Bilas Camp recap here!

There were a plethora of college-bound prospects at the camp, and below are some of the players who stood out to the PSB crew!

Continue reading “NEWS: 2018 Jay Bilas Skills Camp Standouts”


JULY NCAA BASKETBALL RECRUITING "LIVE" PERIODEach summer, for 3 weeks in July, thousands of AAU basketball teams and players take the hardwood around the country at AAU tournaments to compete in front of college coaches during what is known as NCAA basketball recruiting “live” periods.

Every year, the NCAA allows college coaches 5 “evaluation periods”, aka. “live” periods, during which they can hit the road and watch and evaluate potential prospects.

The NCAA actually has a whole men’s basketball recruiting calendar, and you can check out the 2017-2018 calendar here.

Two of the five NCAA live periods are in April, typically the last two weekends of the month, and run from Friday evening at 5pm to Sunday evening at 5pm.

The remaining 3 evaluation periods are always in July during the last 3 weeks/weekends of the month, but this time, the periods run from Wednesday evening at 5pm to Sunday evening at 5pm.

For various reasons, including the timing and length differences noted above, the July live periods are more important than the April recruiting periods for players hoping to get recruited.



NEWS: Jay Bilas Skills Camp 2018 (Recap)


By: Zain Motani

The fifth annual Jay Bilas Skills Camp took place in Charlotte, NC from June 8th – June 10th, 2018.

Held at the beautiful Levine Center of Queens University, the camp featured almost 120 participants hailing from 23 states – half of the whom reigned from a state outside other than the Carolinas.

There were at least 10 potential Division I players present and a slew of other DII, DIII, and NAIA prospects flanked by former professional, DI, DII, and DIII college coaches.

Continue reading “NEWS: Jay Bilas Skills Camp 2018 (Recap)”

PSB PODCAST: Andy Panko – Hoop for Thought Series

Every year thousands of high school players set out on the summer recruiting circuit in hopes of fulfilling their dreams of playing DI.

But what happens when the summer ends and none of those DI schools have come calling?

What do you do when the only schools that want you are at the DIII level?

Andy Panko D3 basketball player

This was the situation facing Andy Panko in the late 1990’s. His decision put him on a path that few expected.

Andy was an undersized, skinny high school player. Like everyone else, he had dreams of playing for a power conference DI school and moving on to the NBA.

But at the end of his high school career, it was clear that the DI schools weren’t coming after him.

Andy wanted to go somewhere where he would play and play right away, so he enrolled at Lebanon Valley College…and the rest is history.

Continue reading “PSB PODCAST: Andy Panko – Hoop for Thought Series”