College Basketball Recruiting Webinar
We’ve written a lot about how college basketball recruiting works because it is one of the most confusing and frustrating topics for players and parents.
For this reason, we’ve written blog topics ranging from what college coaches look for in recruits to the truth about playing D1, D2, and D3 basketball to an interview with Paul Biancardi to a guide to college basketball recruiting and many other college basketball recruiting topics.
With all of the college recruiting information in separate blog posts, I wanted to put it ALL together and literally talk about it, so I put all of that content in a webinar on March 29th at 7pm, titled “How College Basketball Recruiting Works”.
Although that date is passed, the webinar is still available for viewing on our website here.
Among the topics covered in the webinar include:
- NCAA rules and terminology
- NCAA academic standards
- NCAA 2017 basketball recruiting calendar
- Differences between D1, D2 and D3
- What college coaches look for in players
- What college coaches look for in parents
- Differences between showcase camps and elite camps
- What are scouting services and are they worth it?
- And much more…
If you’d like to get all of this information and more, please check out the video recording of our “How College Basketball Recruiting Works” webinar. It’s an hour and fifteen minutes long and jam packed with important information on the college basketball recruiting process.
Also, if you want to be kept up to date on all of our college basketball recruiting content, please subscribe to our email list on that subject below!
For Pro Skills Basketball (PSB) Select Parents 2017
Hey everyone, how’s it going? Brendan Winters here from Pro Skills Basketball. I just wanted to start a little bit early. We’re not scheduled to start until 7pm but wanted to start a little bit early. This is my first go at a webinar so just wanted to make sure I have everything working and get myself kind of a five-minute leeway.
So, what we’re going to do is I’m going to switch over and do a screen share and then share the deck that I made for this and then we’ll get started. Alright or sharing let’s see present to everyone.
Alright so we are sharing and now I’m going to make it bigger and we’ll start from here and I’m going to hang out until about 7pm so we got about five minutes and then I’m going to get started.
If you’re just joining us you can skip that first bit and just get to this part where the deck is and I’ll probably cut it off later on anyway. But we’ll get started here in about five minutes.
Alright hey everyone, we’re going to get started here it’s seven o’clock. This is a webinar on how college basketball recruiting works it’s for Pro Skills Basketball Select Parents 2017. But to be clear it really could apply to anyone because it’s going to be a lot of general information on the recruiting process and how it works.
Just more information to clear it up especially for parents but it’d be great for players and coaches as well. So, we’ll get started here.
- High School
Just a little bit on my background, I’ll give you some context. I went to high school in Denver Colorado. It’s not exactly a hotbed of youth basketball I think my senior year there was maybe eight Division 1 players in the whole state then some Division 2, Division 3 but in comparison to where I am now – North Carolina.
There’s a lot of Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 basketball players every year – ten times the amount in Colorado. So not exactly a hotbed. I was a little bit of a late bloomer had a tough experience. I was a good player but I was not really elite by any means.
We got recruited pretty heavily by Division 3, Division 2. I had my heart set on Division 1 know or at least I was going to give it my best shot and I worked my butt off every day probably four or five hours a day when possible to do that.
So, I come at this recruiting experience with that background and that’s why I’m pretty empathetic to the majority of the kids out there that need a little extra push, that need extra information, that need to be proactive and then we’ll cover all that later.
- Prep Career
So, I had zero Division 1 offers coming out of high school. I decided to, I was getting some calls from Division 1 in some interest and Davidson told me that if I did a prep year they would offer me a scholarship or I could come there and walk on the first year in red shirt.
And then they’d give me a scholarship the next floor. I chose to go to prep school which is basically grade 13. It’s called a postgraduate year in Worcester Massachusetts, had some great coaches there loved my experience there.
I didn’t necessarily want to do a grade 13 but I just was willing to sacrifice because I wanted to play Division 1, it gave me an extra year. I was young anyway so I ended up graduating high school turned eighteen a month or two later.
And then went to prep school and had gained 20 pounds by that time and had kept working and kept working and was able to get multiple Division 1 scholarship offers out of prep school I ended up choosing to go to Davidson.
- College and Professional Career
Anyway, so then I went to Davidson and that’s really where my hard work ended up paying off was that at the next level in college so I had a pretty good college career at Davidson. Four years there and then had a chance to go to the NBA.
Did some workouts went to the Portsmouth pre-draft of the invitational they have there. I played with the Golden State Warriors and summer league – didn’t end up making the NBA and went overseas. Had a five-year career overseas.
- Pro Skills Basketball
After five years, just was a little bit tired of it, my knees were giving me some issues so I decided to retire. And in the meantime, I had started Pro Skills Basketball as a summer camp and my co-founder and I decided to give it a shot full-time so we’ve been doing it full time ever since about 2011 or so 2012.
And maybe a year or two years after we started it, we decided to start our first high school “showcase team” – a team with good players that travels to the showcase events where college coaches can come, check these guys out and recruit them.
So, since about I’ve call that 2012 so now in 2017 going into our — I think I believe this is our sixth season with a with showcase teams. So, I’ve been through the recruiting process with all our players since then. We’ve had over 40 college players. 40 players going to play in college 20-plus Division 1. Obviously then 20-plus Division 2, Division 3 level.
So, and then we’ve had some go to junior college, we’ve had some go to prep school as well so I’ve kind of run the game on the whole process and believe I have a good feel for it at this point after doing it for four, six, seven years now in a row.
The Recruiting Process
What Does Recruiting Mean
So, what does recruiting mean? This is taken directly from the NCAA website which is the best resource for you. Recruiting happens when a college employee or representative invites a high school student athlete to play sports for their college.
Recruiting can occur in many ways, such as:
- Face-to-face contact
- Phone calls or text messaging
- Through mailed or emailed material
- Through social media
Again, that was taken directly from the NCAA website just wanted to start with a definition of exactly what recruiting is. As I said the best resource is the NCAA website. All you have to do is Google NCAA recruiting and you’ll find basically this page right here (www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/recruiting) and from there it’ll take you all over the place and give you a ton of information.
Alright, so let’s first thing let’s set expectations. That’s really what causes a lot of the issues with parents and players in terms of recruiting. It’s typically what it is, it’s parents and players think their child is better than they are and should be recruited by higher schools, better schools and the reality is they’re not being recruited by those schools and so then they get upset and they start changing schools, changing AAU teams, doing all sorts of, in our opinion, crazy things because their expectations are just off base.
Typically, nowadays and we’ll get into it who a kid is getting recruited by is the level that that kid is at right now. If that kid is hearing a lot of, getting a lot of stuff from Division 1 schools like low major Division 1 well that kid’s probably a low major Division 1 player. If they’re getting Division 3 level stuff they’re probably a Division 3 level kid right now.
Now, in the next year, they could develop into a Division 2 or Division 1 or you know on a high major Division 1 whatever it is. But typically, as Paul Biancardi ESPN’s national director recruiting says, “The market will sort a player out, the market knows what a player is.”
So, let’s get into kind of setting expectations and we’ll start with some numbers first.
First of all, the big stat is 3.4%. That’s the probability of boy’s high school players ending up competing in the men’s NCAA college basketball. That’s taken directly from the NCAA website so that is an NCAA stat. We’ll go to where we got that from.
If you can look at this chart there’s 546,428 high school participants. There’s 18,500 or so NCAA participants in men’s basketball that’s 3.4%. To go even further, the percent going to division 1 is 1%. Percent going to division 2, 1 %. Percent going to division 3, 1.4%. Again, this is taken from the NCAA website so to be a Division 1 player your child has to be in the top 1% of high school basketball players in the country. Division 2 again you know make top 2%, division 3 top 3.4%.
So, 1.1% – that’s another great stat. That’s the probability of men’s NCAA college basketball players moving on to major pro. Now that means NBA and that sort of thing as we’ll see here.
But if you see 18,500 or so NCAA participants; approximate number draft eligible that’s 4,100 or so; draft slot 60 drafted from the NCAA because there’s also your opinions in there. That’s 1.1% of the best players in college basketball are going on to the NBA.
Now that gets a little bit bigger 19.1% for guys that go overseas like I did. But still if you’re lucky enough to make it to the NCAA then you have to be in the top 19%, 20% to go on and play pro.
So, I think those are really good stats to start off with just to set expectations and see just how good a — your child has to be to make it to the NCAA or to make it pro.
Recruiting Rules & Terms
Alright, next we’ll move on to recruiting rules and terms. There’s a lot of rules, there’s a lot of terms so we’re not going to go over all of them but I did want to go over some of the kind of rules, regulations, terms all that some of the more important ones.
Academics & Test Scores
Academics and test scores first. These just are basically the academic rules and the test score rules
- Grade 9
So, in ninth grade players/parents should ask your counselor for a list of your high school’s NCAA core courses to make sure you take the right classes. By the time you graduate high school, you have to have a certain number of core courses and if you don’t you are going that you’re not going to be eligible you’re going to have to do prep year or you’re gonna have to do junior college or what have you.
So, starting grade 9 you need to figure out what those courses are and your high school should know the guidance counselor should know what those are.
- Grade 10
Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at that link provided (eligibilitycenter.org). You can go check that out and you’re just gonna have to read and follow some instructions and register with them.
- Grade 11
Really getting down to it. Check with your council to make sure you will graduate on time with the required number of NCAA core courses. Take the ACT or SAT and submit your courses to the NCAA using code 9999.
At the end of the year, ask your counselor to upload your official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility center. So, you got to do a bunch in grade 11.
And then grade 12, you can check the NCAA website I didn’t include that on here there’s some more stuff. But up into and through grade 12 you’re going to have to be doing stuff.
We had a case two years ago of a kid that ended up coming to us and he had transferred to four different schools in four years and in this case, it wasn’t really a fault of his — he got some really bad advice and kind of got taken advantage of. But because he transferred from school to school and was not checking his core courses he had Division 1 offers but was not eligible.
So, he had to go to junior colleges and it is currently in junior college now so he’ll end up going to Division 1 but he could not right out of high school because of the transfer situation because he had not taken care of this academic stuff.
NCAA Recruiting Calendar
So, the NCAA recruiting calendar. There are all sorts of periods that they have on the recruiting calendar.
Spring/Summer Evaluation Periods 2017
The main ones for you to be aware of for 2017 for the boys is:
- April 21 through 23
- April 28 through 30
And then in July, those periods are a little bit longer. They go from like Wednesday night through Sunday.
- July 12 to 16
- July 19 through 23
- July 26 to 30
Those are the evaluation periods. Those are the times when college coaches are allowed to come to NCAA certified events – not every event but NCAA certified event and watch players play. Those are the ones that our teams will play in and you can see the recruiting calendar on the NCAA website. There’s all there’s quiet periods, dead periods, contact periods when we’ll go over those right now.
NCAA Recruiting Terms
- Contact period
So, what’s a contact period? That’s a period when a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student athletes or their parents; watch student athletes compete or visit their high schools and write or telephone student athletes or their parents.
- Evaluation period
An evaluation period that’s what I just told you about that those five periods two in April, 3 in July. College coach may watch college-bound student athletes compete, visit their high schools and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.
However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period. That’s just saying they’re not allowed to talk to you at these tournaments.
- Quiet period
Quiet period and a dead period. The quiet period of college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student athletes or their parents and may not watch student athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student athletes or their parents during this time.
So that’s basically it’s a dead period except you’re allowed; the college coaches are allowed to call.
- Dead period
The dead period now is exactly kind of what it means. There your pretty coaches are pretty much aren’t allowed to do much at all. So, college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student athletes or their parents and may not watch doing athletes compete or visit their high school. Coaches may write, telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.
Alright, the recruiting process moving on.
Steps to Play in College
Alright, steps to play in college. This is something I made up. I didn’t get it from the NCAA website but this is from my own personal experience. This is from people that I’ve talked to college coaches, scouts, this is from watching our players too. And some of them may seem easy, they may seem simple but they’re really not.
- Love Game
Number one: players need to love the game. Playing in college is a whole another level. It’s a lot of times like a full-time job. If players don’t love the game and they’re only playing because they want fame or social media influence or you know the attention that comes with that; that is not a good reason and they’re not going to make it because it gets tough in college. You’re going to have to work there’s going to be hard times and if you don’t love the game you’re not going to be able to overcome that stuff.
- Serious work ethic
A serious work ethic this is the main reason; number one and two I think are the main reasons why I was able to advance in my career is my work ethic. I still say it was second to none. I was working four to five hours a day, every single day.
You know, I see a lot of players going to the beach during spring break here especially we’re so close or going up to the mountains or whatever. That’s fine. But, just know that there’s a kid in Denver Colorado like I did that wasn’t going on spring break so that he could be in the gym four or five hours a day; there’s a kid in Texas, there’s a kid in Washington, there’s a kid over in Europe who’s not going on vacations who’s not going to parties who’s not going to the movies with buddies so that they can be in the gym working.
That’s the type of work ethic that most players unless you’re super talented and you’re going to Kentucky or you’re LeBron James that you need a serious work ethic.
- Advanced skills
Advanced skills – that pretty much goes without saying that goes pretty much with the work ethic. But, I put that on there because a lot of people put the cart before the horse. A lot of people say or think that they want to or they should go play in college but their skills are not even good enough to play varsity yet in high school or they’re not even good enough to start varsity. Or they’re not even good enough to average you know ten points a game in varsity which is pretty much you know requirement for if you want to move on and play at the next level.
So, don’t put the cart before the horse. You need players, you need to focus on getting their skills better and that’s going to come with love of the game and work ethic.
- Physical tools
This is mostly something that is God-given. I’m six foot four so I recognize that I was given pretty good height. But in the whole scheme of things that’s not even that tall for basketball. You know, six ten is tall for basketball. You got seven footers now handling the basketball and becoming point guards. It’s the physical tools that are very, very important.
Now there are things you can do. Some guys are just born athletes, born with strength or born with height whatever it is. But you can’t work on height clearly but you can work on athleticism and you can work on strength and so you know, getting in the weight room, getting with a trainer that sort of stuff you can you can increase those but some of that stuff is just a natural God-given ability.
- Solid Grades & Test Scores
Solid grades and test scores and I put solid on purpose I didn’t put good grades because you don’t necessarily need good grades to play in college. You really just need solid grades.
Now if you’re gonna go to an Ivy League school or a Division 3 school you need very, very, very good grades and we need outstanding grades and [inaudible]Aeschylus Division 3’s and to go Ivy Leagues but to go Division 2 your grades just need to be solid and for many Division 1, your grades just need to be solid. We went over all that stuff and you can see all the requirements and stuff for that on your own on the NCAA website.
- Realistic expectations
Realistic expectations: we went over that. A lot of players you ask them where they want to go to school and they’ll say Duke, they’ll say hey North Carolina, Kentucky and they don’t even start on their varsity team.
So it’s not; I’m not; we’re not asking where’s your dream school. We’re asking you know to set realistic expectation. Where is the market telling you are right now and that’s great you can work to go higher than that but just make sure you understand that hey, I’m on the division 3 level right now. But I’m going to work my butt off to try to go Division 2 or try to go Division 1 and that’s fine but your expectations need to be in line.
- Right AAU Team
Finding the right AAU team. That’s a big one. There’s all sorts of shapes and sizes of AAU team – some that never practice, some that practice a lot, some playing in these tournaments, some play in that tournament, some focus on coaching and teaching, some don’t, some just focus on bringing in talent and rolling out the ball.
It just; it really depends so you need to find the right AAU team that fits you and all of you who are playing with us right now. At least ones that are listening to this live and that’s awesome and you know our focus is on coaching and teaching and playing in the right tournaments and practicing twice a week and not just rolling out the ball and playing.
So, that’s a big thing which you guys seem to have already thought about and have taken care of.
- Attend Elite and/or Showcase Camps
Number eight these are — these next three are not required but they are kind of the proactive way and we’ll get into that later on how you can increase your exposure or your chances to get recruited. Number eight is attend elite or showcase camps. We’ll talk about that in a little bit what the difference is, if they’re beneficial or not.
- Create a highlight video
Number 9: create a highlight video or highlight videos. Also, game film is a great thing to have. We’ll talk about that and a little bit as well.
- Email colleges
And then emailing college coaches basically saying, “I’m interested in your school, here’s this; here’s about me and here are my stats and here are the links to my videos and that sort of thing I’d love for you to check it out and then let me know what you think or come watch me play”. So we’ll talk about that stuff in a few minutes.
Differences Between DI, DII, DIII
Moving on. We’ll talk about the differences between Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 right now before we talk about some of that other stuff. There’s a lot of I guess misperceptions out there between Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 and a lot of people kind of poo-poo the idea of playing Division 3 or Division 2 and they think it’s all about Division 1. And I’m here to clear that up a little bit.
- Division I
Division 1 is great. I was a Division I athlete and it was awesome but I was also prepared to play Division 2 or Division 3 if that’s basically the market was telling me that I was going to be. I just loved basketball so much and wanted to play anywhere that would take me.
So, Division 1 schools on average enrol the most students, manage the largest athletic budgets, offer a wide array of academic programs and provide the most athletic scholarships. I’m not going to go over each one but underneath you can see participation, athletic scholarships, academics and other stats really good stuff to know. (slide showing image on DI, DII, DIII Facts)
- Division II
Division 2 provides growth opportunities through academic achievement, high-level athletics competition, and community engagement. Many participants are first-generation college students.
- Division III
Division 3 experience provides an integrated environment that focuses on academic success while offering competitive athletics and meaningful non-athletic opportunities. We’ll go over some of the differences between each one right now in a little bit more detail.
DI College Basketball
Division 1 college basketball: so, as I said it provides the most amount of athletic scholarship opportunities.
The majority of scholarships in Division 1 are full scholarships. I believe there’s 13 allowed per team although there is one conference, the Ivy League that does not give out athletic scholarships.
But, all the other conferences if I’m not mistaken do there may be one other conference it used to be the patriot league but I believe they even move to scholarships. So, that’s the big thing about Division 1 college basketball’s the amount of full scholarships they have which is understandable thing especially with the price of tuition these days. I mean some of these scholarships are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Academics: there’s certain rules for; to play in Division 1 academically as we talked about before. And just to be clear the academic rules to play Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 they’re all different. So, you should go online and check out the rules for D1 and D2.
- Common Misperceptions
Common misconceptions about Division 1 college basketball: I go over that a lot in a blog I wrote called “The Truth About Playing Division 1 College Basketball.” It’s on our blog at www.proskillsbasketball.com. And basically, what it talks about is from the outside a lot of people see the fame and the glory and the attention and the social media and just all the awesome stuff that can happen when you play Division 1 college basketball.
Especially you see it right now during the during the march madness tournament my guy Luke May poured in the last shot North Carolina the other night he’s getting tons of attention now which is awesome to see. But the next day, I don’t know if some of you saw it on social media he was up for his 8 am class.
And that’s one of the things about playing Division 1 basketball and playing college. It’s a grind you’re going on the road you’re travelling and most teams don’t travel in style like the Kentucky’s or the Dukes and things like that. A lot of teams are taking bus rides and staying in not the greatest hotels and things like that.
And playing Division one college basketball is probably the hardest thing I ever did. I mean the amount of work required, the intensity of which you had to work and then the length that you had to work. We got; we had basically no Thanksgiving break, no Christmas break, no spring break and you usually don’t even have much of a summer breaks because you have to do summer school.
So, it’s difficult but people don’t see that that’s all the behind-the-scenes stuff that they see. Everyone just sees the social media and the ESPN and the highlights and that but it’s like it can be a much different world than that. So, I always caution athletes and parents just be careful what you wish for or at least know going in what you’re going to get if you’re going to play at the Division 1 level.
DII College Basketball
Division 2 college basketball: so the scholarship situation the scholarships are reduced at Division 2.
A lot of times they have full scholarships but a lot of times what they do is just break up those full scholarships and offer one kid half and the other kid the other half or offer kid a quarter scholarship or whatever it is. They kind of divvy up that money according to the needs of the players.
So, keep that in mind. There’s — there are scholarships at Division 2 but not as much money as Division 1 and most of time it’s kind of like a half scholarship or what have you.
Academically, the academic standards are a bit lower than Division one. Not that much but they are a bit lower. Common misperception is that Division 2 college basketball’s really not very good and that’s not the truth.
The Division 2 college basketball is really good I always talk about right here in Charlotte we have Queens University. They are one of the best division 2 basketball programs in the country. I go and watch them play sometimes and they are really fun to watch and really good. They beat VCU at the beginning of the season in a preseason game. They beat Virginia Commonwealth then the NCAA teen Queens beat them in the preseason. They are really good and there’s some really good Division two basketball out there but a lot of parents and players and coaches and they stick their noses up at it. Again, you can go on our blog and read some more things I wrote about that.
DIII College Basketball
There are no scholarships in Division 3 for the most part. I believe there are a couple schools out there that do offer some scholarships but if you get a scholarship there’s no athletic scholarships it’s all academic scholarship or need-based financial aid.
Academically, Division 3 is like Division 1. Ivy League schools, their standards are strict. You have to have really good grades, really good test scores and you pretty much have to get in on your own academically to the school.
If you get in, then the basketball you know will take you if they’ve been recruiting you. But I know a kid actually right now that really good player, really smart kid MIT. Wanted him really bad for basketball and he was borderline academically for MIT with test scores and GPA which is saying a lot. I mean I think he was number you know top five in his class. GPA blew the test scores out of the water but he got denied by MIT and because of that he was not able to play basketball there. So he’s gonna have to look at other options.
- Common Misperceptions
Common misperceptions again: people think Division 3 basketball is not good. It is really good. There are multiple Division three players every year that go play pro that should be division 1 players or at least could be division 1 players. It just depends on the situation but it’s a really good level and a great level for kids that love basketball and aren’t quite good enough for D2 or D1 it’s a great option for them and it kind of fits with the whole 40-year plan so to speak I mean.
Go to the Division 3 school. Play basketball. Get a great education and you are set for the next 40 years because you’re you went to a great college and you were an athlete there too which employers love. It’s a great option a lot parents and players don’t realize that and don’t think long term enough.
Some of the other options I mentioned prep school which is what I did. I also mentioned junior college those are other options.
- Junior college
- Prep school
Junior college is typically an option for kids that don’t quite have the grades.
Prep school is more of an option for kids. It can be an option for kids that don’t have great grades but typically prep school is an option for kids that maybe need; maybe are a little bit young and need one more year to mature or maybe they’re right on the edge of being a division one player.
Like they have 10 Division 1’s recruiting them and talking to them but none have offered yet. And they have Division two offers and division three offers but they want to go division one. Hey, they can say… they can do like what I did say, I’m gonna give it one more year, I’m going to do a postgraduate year at a prep school and try to get a Division 1 scholarship.
If it happens great, if not I’ll go Division 2 or go Division 3 or I’ll walk on Division 1 somewhere. There are a lot of prep schools out there and they vary too some are academics, some are pretty much basketball focus it just depends on junior college.
With prep school you don’t give up your eligibility like you don’t give up a year of eligibility to go to prep school which it’s essentially high school a grade 13.
With junior college, you give up eligibility. If you go for one year you have three years eligibility at a four-year school. If you go two years the junior college you have two left.
Role of High School & AAU
Moving on the role of high school and AAU. So, in my view they’re complimentary. There’s a lot of talks these days from high school coaches especially [inaudible] use ruining youth basketball or vice versa. AAU coaches are saying you know high school this, high school that.
Well, in my view and in Pro Skills view, they should work together and they can work together and I think we’ve proven that they can work together. We think they’re complementary.
- High school
The role of the high school that’s kind of modelled like a like a low-level kind of college basketball. You’re practicing every day, you have two games a week, you’re doing scouting reports, you’re doing all that stuff. It’s like a mini kind of college. It’s just a step on the way to what college basketball is.
Where on the other hand AAU is in the off season during the spring and the summer and you practice twice a week, three times a week maybe if you’re lucky. You’re not playing like two games spread out a week your plan maybe twice a month or three times a month or four times a month possibly and all your games are loaded into the weekend pretty much or Thursday through Sunday or whatever it may be.
So, they really complement each other. They’re two different things and AAU gives the opportunities during these evaluation periods for hundreds of coaches to potentially come see Division 3, Division 2, and Division 1.
They can all come see you at the same tournament whereas and they’re more likely to do that because at AAU tournaments coaches can see all sorts of because they use essentially an all-star team. They can see multiple, hundreds of good players in one weekend whereas at most high school tournaments or high school games they might be watching two or three players if you’re; if they’re lucky.
But a lot of times they just come to watch one player and they can get the opposite of that with AAU. They can go see a ton of players in a short period of time just those two weeks’ weekends in April and the most three weekends in those three, four days periods in July.
So, they really complement each other high school is important and AAU is important they’re both important they can both complement each other. So, we like to work with the high school coaches and make sure we’re complementing each other and on the same page.
Evaluating prospects and what I mean by that is – how do coaches evaluate prospects?
- Put Yourself in Coach’s Shoes
Well, number one parents and players you need to put yourself in a college coach’s shoes. A college coach does this for a living. It’s not like high school this is part of the problem I think a lot of people are used to the high school coaching model where usually the high school coach is a faculty member at the high school that is their main job.
You know it’s the math teacher that’s the main job and then the coach then he’s the basketball coach for the winter and that’s kind of like a little part-time job that usually pays in a small stipend. And that is where a lot of the confusion comes from.
You got to realize that college coaches that is how … this is their full-time job. This is all they do for the most part especially Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3. Some are faculty members or whatever but Division 1 and Division 2, this is their full-time job. This is how they put food on their family’s table so they are not going to toss around scholarship offers like candy. They are going to treat them like gold.
Now, some schools tend to offer more players and some schools are more kind of selective with it. But, at the end of the day, they have the same number of scholarship offers to give. Some just choose to kind of cast a wide net so to speak and some choose to cast a small net but they don’t offer scholarships lightly. You’re talking about a hundred thousand dollars in some cases.
Here’s a free education that normally would cost 120 thousand dollars and it’s how you perform directly impacts whether I’m going to be a full-time coach and feed my family or not so put yourself in their shoes. That’s how serious these scholarships are for them.
- What Do College Coaches Look For?
Okay moving on what do college coaches look for. They look for a lot of things. The best thing to read is on our blog the top five things college basketball coaches look for in recruits.
I basically interviewed five of my college coaching buddies last year or the year before and I just asked him. I said, “Hey what are the five things you look for when you’re on the recruit at these on the road at these evaluations periods. What stop by things you look for when in potential recruits?”
And they responded to me gave me five things and I basically distilled that and came up with the five things that they look for. And you know one of them for instance is defense. One of them is like basically attitude and effort obviously advanced skill level but none of them talked about oh they need they need to score 30 points a game.
Not a single one of them said that and which is a common mistake for parents telling their child hey, you need to go score 30 this game, you need to score 40. It’s not just about scoring it’s about a lot of other things and I have a video for you on the next page with some thoughts on that.
There’s also another blog article I wrote ESPN’s national director of basketball recruiting Paul Biancardi thoughts on recruiting. I basically interviewed coach Biancardi. He’s a buddy of mine and said hey what he’s a former college Division 1 coach as well and now he works 3 SB.
He’s the big dog of college recruiting. What do you think parents and players need to do to get recruited and the answer to the bunch of questions really helpful stuff just go to our blog and check it out there.
Geno Auriemma’s video
So, we’re going to watch this video right here. This is Geno Auriemma of UCONN the most famous women’s coach in the world right now and one of the best coaches in the world and he is a little; he has some thoughts on basically on the character of players he recruits and I’m gonna play this. There may or may not be a commercial before but if there is [inaudible] we’ll see
“Training enthusiastic kids is harder than it’s ever been because every kid watches TV and they watch the NBA or they watch Major League Baseball or they watch the NFL. Whatever sport they watch that’ll be NBA it doesn’t matter and what they see is people just being really cool.
So they think that’s how they’re going to act and they haven’t figured out which foot to use as a pivot foot and they’re gonna act like they’re really good players.
You see it all the time see it everyday youth tournament you see it every high school game. So recruiting kids that are like really upbeat loving life and love the game have this tremendous appreciation for when your teammates do something well that’s hard, that’s hard it’s really hard.
So on our team we made my coaching staff we put a huge premium on body language and if your body language is bad you will never get in the game ever. I don’t care how good you are if somebody says well you know you just benched stewing for you know 35 minutes in a Memphis game couple years ago yeah I did.
Oh, when I was to motivated for the South Carolina game following Monday. No it wasn’t so he was acting like a 12-year-old. So I put her on a bench and said sit there, you don’t matter on our team.
Now the other coaches might say well you can do that because you got three other you know all Americans. I get that I understand that but I’d rather lose than watch kids play the way some kids play. I’d rather lose and they’re allowed to get away with just whatever and they’re always thinking about themselves me, me, me, me, me, I didn’t score so why should I be happy? I’m not getting enough minutes why should I be happy? That’s the world that we live in today unfortunately and kids check the scoreboard sometimes because they’re going to yelled at by their parents if they don’t score enough points. Don’t get me started.
So when I, when I look at my team they know this when I watch Game film I’m checking what’s going on in the bench. Somebody’s asleep over there, somebody doesn’t care, somebody’s not engaged in the game. They will never get in again ever and they know that. They know I’m not kidding.”
Alright, so Coach Auriemma thoughts on that really important. I mean he’s a women’s coach it applies to men’s basketball, boys’ basketball just as much.
This next one is a quote from Paul Biancardi who I talked about. This is some of his advice to players:
“Practice to improve and play to win, when you practice with the purpose to improve your game raises up and people notice. Next, play to win. Nothing attracts coaches more than you helping your team win. Lastly be a person of high character; high character might not get you a scholarship but a lack of character will definitely prevent you from getting one.”
That last sentence I think is huge high character might not get you a scholarship but a lack of character will definitely prevent you from getting one. Very, very true and this quote is taken from the blog I mentioned that interview I did with him. So, if you want more like that check it out on our blog.
Alright, this is another video because we talked about evaluating players but college coaches do evaluate parents. They do. So, I’ll let Mike Brey, the head coach of Notre Dame – one of the best coaches in the country. I’ll let him talk about it.
Parent Evaluation as Part of the Recruiting Process by Mike Brey
“There is no question that we evaluate parents with the prospects as much as we evaluate the prospect. I think it’s fair to say that maybe we backed off offering a scholarship because I wasn’t sure that I could communicate with the right way the parent when the young man was here. You know it’s such a big big part of the equation.
So, yes I watch family reaction in the stands when I’m a recruiting and certainly I talked to the parents a lot in the process just as much as I do the prospect because I want to get their vibe. Because when we’re in here and they’re here with us I mean then you need them in with both feet and supportive and supportive through tough times young man’s not playing much as a freshman. It’s going to be hard. I think you have to talk about that all on the front end.
I’ve had for the most part some great parents and some of my best parents have been parents that played the game in college and understood “coach here he is coach him, get on his backside, when you need to pump them up if you have any problems with them you let me know.”
There’s a lot of good in that thing. I don’t know if we have as much of it from parents these days as we need. But can a parent when you make this decision, give the young man over to the coach and the teachers and be supportive.
It really makes it easy on the kid as far as being confident trusting the teacher, trusting the coach, not having second thoughts, how do you talk to him after a game maybe didn’t play maybe didn’t play well maybe didn’t play as much as he thought. That is a big part of the young person’s progression and again I was a parent of two children who were athletes and I always tried to practice what I preached. “He’s the coach, he’s all yours. Be supportive. If my son came and wants to talk about it let’s talk about it.”
We’re not gonna talk about playing time not going to get into you’re not getting enough shots. You know when you get into that with a young person I think you can really be a distraction and right kind of derail progression and we’ve been fortunate here. But it’s part of the process we evaluate on the front end.”
Alright, good video. They’re pretty self-explanatory but parents you are being evaluated and then that is part of the process of just be aware which is again why I’m doing this. I want you guys to have all of the information necessary and to be educated on the whole process.
Showcase & Elite Camps
So one of the things I mentioned before is showcase and elite camps. They are different.
- Showcase Camps
The difference is showcase camps are typically run by private companies. For instance, here in North Carolina. Rick Lewis and Jamie Shaw with the Phenom group they run showcase camps, which means they’re going to invite a bunch of good players to come out and play in a quote unquote showcase camp where typically what it is you’re going to get three to five games and they’re going to put you on teams. You’re going to get three to five games and you showcase your ability.
And a lot of times, that turns into kind of just running gone all-star game type stuff where there’s not a lot of defense played it just depends on what camp you go to. I think Rick and Jamie with the Phenom group do a really good job here in North Carolina. There are other groups out there that run these things that that do a pretty good job.
Now I do want to say this a lot of these showcase camp organizations will claim oh, we can get you a scholarship and we can get you all these looks and that is typically not true. It just depends on who you … which organization it is.
But showcase camps will not get you a scholarship because college coaches Division 3 coaches can come watch sometimes Division 1. But, unless it’s during in evaluate I mean sometimes Division 2 but unless it’s during an evaluation period, Division 1 coaches cannot come watch so that’s the only way it could potentially get you a scholarship is if it’s during an evaluation period which most of them are not.
What they are good for though is to say hey, “where do I stack up against my local competition or regional competition or even national competition. Where do I stack up? I’m going to go compete against guys that I’m competing with for scholarships.”
And so, I think it’s great for players and parents to basically get a measuring stick as to what level they are at or where they stack up against their competition.
- Elite Camps
Now elite camps, on the other hand, are typically college run camps. For instance, like UNCC here in Charlotte University of North Carolina. Charlotte might run an elite camp and as an invitation.
Typically, an invitation-only camp to all of their players that they’re recruiting and then even some players they’re not recruiting and it’s come to our camp. It’s the format typically of a showcase camp it’s mostly some scrimmaging, some games a lot of times they’ll also do like some sort of a college style practice.
But and you can earn a scholarship out of that. But it’s difficult because it’s you know say it’s 50 to 100 kids all coming to one college and they have 3 scholarships to give that year for instance.
So, it’s 100 kids at the camp competing for three scholarships. So, it’s really difficult still but it is a good way to get on the radar of some of these colleges.
Again, it’s good to see where you stack up against other competition. If you’re already getting recruited by that school it’s really good to go the elite camp because that shows your interest and that also is another opportunity for you to show them that hey, I can play here and I want to play here.
So, college elite camps are pretty good. Not all colleges have them, a lot of them do and you know I don’t think it’s worth flying all around the country unless you’re getting actually recruited by them. But there’s a lot probably wherever you are that you can drive to or it and do it that way.
- Jay Bilas Skills Camp
The next thing is Jay Bilas skills camp. This is, in my opinion, the best camp for high schoolers and college prospects around. It is a combination of sort of an elite camp and a showcase camp and also like an old-school skills camp.
Basically, what they do is; and I’m involved with the camp because I believe in it I would not be involved with the camp if I did not believe in it.
Jay does an amazing job. He’s involved with it every step of the way that other directors a guy named John Surbhi who’s a former division one coach and now lives in the area. They have a camp in Charlotte and they have a camp in Oklahoma City this year as well. It’s limited to 100 players and all college prospects. They get Division 3 college coaches to come coach at the camp.
Paul Biancardi works the camp, Allen Stein, the nation’s premier strength and conditioning coach or athletic performance coach however you want to talk about it. He comes to the camp beyond everyone walks away with an evaluation that a Biancardi makes sure he gives everyone an evaluation there.
Like I said the coaching is phenomenal. You get to showcase yourself, you get evaluated and it’s an old school camp. It is three days of hard work even the coaches are tired at the end of three days from all the basketball and being in the gym.
I promise you that if your kid comes to the Charlotte one or the Oklahoma City one that they will never have worked that hard basketball-wise in three days than they will at this camp.
And so, it kind of gives them a preview of what to expect they go on to play at the college level. And then it opens up some more and some more doors for them possibly too.
Recruiting services: we talked a little bit about this. There are different types of recruiting services and I’m not going to get big into all these ones but there are the recruiting services that just mass email college coaches and have thousands of kids and they’re just; they are not worth it. Please do not sign up for a recruiting service like that and pay money for that.
I have college coaching friends of Division 3, Division 2, and Division 1. I always ask them about all sorts of these recruiting services. If they pay attention when they get the emails does matter and more times than not if the answer is no. Now there are recruiting services out there that are more specialized or they are legitimate but typically the ones that charge the players to use them are the ones that are no good. And the ones that charge the colleges are the ones that are better.
For instance, again just because I’m in the area I’ll use Rick and Jamie [inaudible] they do a good job. They charge colleges for their recruiting services and they get out and they scout players and they have their camps and things like that and then they’ll do write-ups on kids and they’re not going to recommend kids that they don’t actually believe in.
These other ones that charge players and charge parents for that you’re paying for them to send your stuff out and basically that just makes them lose credibility because college coaches have been let down enough by hey, this kid would be great for you guys. And then they go see that kid and they’re like no way. There’s no way he is and they’re like okay I’m not gonna listen to this service anymore.
So, most of them are like that so just beware of recruiting services. There’s another good one here in our area really focused on academic schools, a guy named Lane Odom. Does a really good job focusing on academic kids. He helps academic kids find academic D1’s like Ivy League’s or Parriot Leagues and also Division 3 schools as well.
So he’s kind of a niche. Like I said it’s the ones that are a little bit smaller and more niche they can be worth it. But be very, very careful about this because a lot of promises would be made between showcase camps and recruiting services and they are typically 99% of time they will not fulfill their promises.
So, be really careful about this stuff. In my opinion, it’s not worth it instead you can take it into your own hands and be proactive about your child’s recruitment or your child can be proactive about his or her recruitment. There are a few ways to do this. I mentioned them early in the webinar.
- Email to colleges
One is to email college coaches and I just wrote a blog about this on our website and you can go read that. It’s a how to email college coaches for recruiting, how to come up with a list of colleges, how to then go find their emails, then what to include in the emails you know, your personal information, parents’ information, high school AAU team, links, video all that stuff. How to write the email even on a sample email in there you can go look.
Again www.proskillsbasketball.com go to the blog and you’ll be able to find it. I think it’s the latest one at least currently.
- Creating highlight videos
Creating highlight videos or game films you should have both. You can create highlight videos if your high school uses huddle or one of those services you can create highlight videos that way.
You also should have some whole game film or at least a good half because coaches want to see both they want to see highlight videos and game film. They don’t just want to see you look cut up video of making jumper after jumper after jumper.
That’s great you know you could have missed way more than you made so they also want to see a good game film like all right let’s see how he plays defense, let’s see how he passes, let’s see how she drives, let’s see how the shot selection the basketball IQ.
So, they want to see a whole game film as well not just a highlight video. And let me also make another point they don’t want to see mix tapes. Mix tapes are kind of like these like playground style.
They’ve always got loud kind of annoying music to them that and the kids love them and they’re great like they’re entertaining to watch, for friends to watch and even for parents to watch and I like watching them.
But for college coaches; college coaches don’t want to see a mix tape. They don’t want music blaring in the background, they don’t want you know, a crossover that makes a guy fall and then you miss a shot or something like that they want to see actual quality and they want to see substance and mix tapes are kind of style. So it’s the whole substance over style thing.
- Social Media
Social media is another great way to be proactive and again you can go to our blog and read about this stuff. I’m going to get into social media right here because there because it’s huge. There are positives and negatives and there’s a lot of common mistakes.
Positives are that it is almost impossible with social media these days for a player to fly under the radar. It’s almost impossible like back when I was growing up and then obviously before that it was it was possible because there wasn’t Twitter Facebook and Instagram and all that stuff.
Twitter is a great one for college recruiting because all the college coaches have Twitter then they all follow recruits and it is a great way for them to get links to highlight videos and see stats and things like that.
So, I always encourage the kids even though it’s not as popular with the kids. I know the kids all like snap chat and Instagram mostly and then parents like the Facebook for the most part.
Twitter is the best one in my opinion for recruiting purposes. So, I think every kid should have a Twitter handle and even if they just use it for basketball stuff that’s fine.
So, there’s a lot of positives out there they can promote themselves and other people can promote them and they can you know get followed by college coaches and scouts and things like that so.
With that though said there are negatives. You know you don’t want to just be overly; Basically, you don’t want to promote yourself too much. You don’t want to overdo it that can come off in a bad light.
Obviously, you need to watch what you’re writing. What they’re writing on there they don’t want to write anything crazy or kids have lost scholarships over social media and college coaches when they decide hey I’m going to recruit this kid they’re gonna go find him on; to try to find him on Twitter on Facebook on snap chat on Instagram. They’re gonna try to find them on all of these places.
So, if a kid is posting crazy Snapchats or Instagram videos or whatever even sometimes like the accounts are private and college coaches find a way to become connected with them somehow. They can see that stuff and kids have lost scholarships over mishandling of immaturity on social media so be very, very careful about that stuff though.
That’s pretty much the biggest mistake kids will make is the too much self-promotion and then also obviously writing crazy stuff or doing crazy stuff on social media so thinking that no one’s no one’s paying attention or no one’s watching or it won’t it doesn’t matter. So, I encourage our players and any player to use social media but just use it wisely.
Alright, scholarship offers. We’re getting down to the end
- Typical timeline
Typical timeline scholarship offers a typical timeline. A lot of parents also make the mistake that they think scholarships are offered really early like in 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade that doesn’t happen. It might happen in 9th grade if you’re a top 25 player in the nation. But I know it happens in football really early where kids are committing in 9th grade or 10th grade.
But basketball is pretty late in terms of the timeline for most players. I’m not talking about the top 50 players. I’m not even talking about top 100 players in the nation really like I’m talking about the 100 to 500; 100, 1000 or whatever it may be. Those players the typical timeline is if they’re lucky and if they’re pretty damn good, they’re not going to be offered a scholarship until their 10th grade.
The summer going into their 10th grade season and during their 10th grade season. So that that’s kind of for them for ninety-nine percent of the players who will be offered a scholarship that’s a; they do not get it in the 10th grade year that like the one percent kind of get it. The majority of players get it get a scholarship offer if they’re going to end up with scholarship offer the majority of them get it before their 11th grade summer and then or during their 11th grade year.
So that’s where the majority get scholarship offers. Then there’s another small minority that will get offered late after their 11th grade year you know maybe this summer or spring and summer before their 12th grade year.
Some of them plays unsigned seniors or whatever. But it’s a very small minority gets offered before their 10th grade year and during most get offered before their 11th grade year and during their 11th grade year and then another small minority before their 12th grade.
And during their 12th grade year at least that’s the Division one timeline. Now the division two timeline most get offered before their 11th grade year, during their 11th grade year or after their 11th grade season because that’s when a lot of kids who thought they were Division 1 are realizing oh man, I don’t have; I’ve already gone through my 11th grade year and I don’t have any offers yet maybe I’m not Division 1 maybe I should look at the Division 2.
So that’s when the Division 2 start coming in and picking up the kids our borderline the division one didn’t end up with any offers and they start smashing them up. And that’s kind of the way division three goes as well, they’ll kind of hang around and wait for like the kids that thought they were going to be maybe Ivy League or Patriot League or academic division 1 and again didn’t get any offers.
And that’s when the Division 3 start coming in after their 11th grade season and start offering and start snatching those kids up. So, and then that continues on through their 12th grade year. Some kids don’t even commit until their 12th grade season or after their 12th grade season to Division 2, Division 3 but that rarely happens with division one unless they decide to go to prep school in which case then they’re kind of considered an 11th grader again. So that’s the timeline.
How do they offer scholarships? They typically … what happens is they start mailing you or emailing you, then they start texting and phone calling coming to your game, then they start inviting you to campus for an unofficial visit possibly but usually an official visit depending on your age.
Is when you know they’re really serious. Is if they invite you on an official visit and then they’ll just call you up and say we want to offer you a scholarship and they’ll make it very clear, we’re offering you a scholarship.
So just because you’re getting mail or email or even texts and phone calls from Division 1 coaches yes that’s recruiting. But they are doing that same thing with hundreds of other kids just to be clear. They do not offer official visits to everyone because they have to pay for that.
So, they only offer it to their top prospects and then obviously scholarships that’s given. They have a limited number of scholarships. They might offer five player scholarships but only have room for one or two of them and it’s kind of a thing where it’s like okay whoever commits first is going to get it.
So, they might offer more scholarships then they actually have available and that’s a standard practice and they’re usually very clear about that and if a player waits and a kid takes that, commits to that school well then that scholarship sometimes can go away. So we’ll get into a little bit more about that.
- Choosing a School
There’s a whole great article written by my co-founder Logan Kosmalski on our blog bigger versus better.
Bigger v. Better
Bigger is not always better but that is what most parents and players think. They always ninety-nine percent of time they will choose the bigger school. But that does not mean it’s a better fit and that’s one of the reasons why there’s a huge, huge transfer rate these days between kids especially the Division 1 level.
There is I believe it was six or seven hundred kids transferred last year in 2016 from the Division 1 level.
It was a crazy number so you really need to look at the fit, the on-court fit you know, what style of play do they run, how’s the coach, what kind of offense defense they run, how I get along with the players on the court.
Then off-court fit; will I get along with the players off the court, is the school a good fit academically for me, is it a big school, is it a small school.
One of the best things I’ve heard is kids should choose should certainly take basketball into account but one of the best factors is hey, if basketball was not an option would I love going to this school just as a student. And if the answer is yes there’s a good chance that would be a that’s a good fit for you.
Because basketball there’s all sorts of crazy stuff that can happen injuries, quitting, all sorts of stuff so and if you don’t love the school off the court then it’s going to be really really tough to make it all four years.
Alright, the last slide at the end of the day being offered a scholarship is ultimately determined by players. If they are good enough they will be recruited!
That’s the last thing I want to leave you with and that’s; you can have all this information, you can send players to showcase events, elite camps. You can hire scouting services. They can play on a good AAU team, they can go to a great high school, they can be super proactive but at the end of the day if they’re not good enough for that level they’re just they’re not going to be offered a scholarship and then the reverse is true.
If a player is good enough and on the court and does the bare minimum like goes to no showcase camps, no elite camps, no scouting service maybe even doesn’t play high school ball there hey you [inaudible] I guess they have to play one or the other or preferably both but if they do the bare minimum; if they’re good enough they are going to get scholarship offers.
So, at the end of the day, it is determined by the players. Now there are things parents can do and coaches can do and AAU teams can do and organizations can do to be proactive about it and to increase the odds and the chances and help our players and help our parents.
By the end of the day it’s the players on court performance that will determine it. And in this day of social media, if they are good they will be found.
Question and Answer
So, now we have question and answer session. If you scroll down on your screen you should see a Facebook comments section. That’s where I’m going to take questions and I will do my best to answer them. You can start type in a question now if you have one just so you know, I’m going to get off this presentation and it’s going to be a video of me if you joined late and I will do my best to answer them.
But keep it general recruiting questions don’t ask specific questions about your team because there are multiple different people on here and we don’t have time for that.
So, if you have general recruiting questions that I haven’t answered feel free to ask. If you have specific team questions just shoot me an email and I will be happy to answer that.
So, I’m going to exit out of this presentation now and it’ll get to my; I’ll stop the screen share and it’ll get to my camera and I’ll start; hey everyone. I’ll start answering some questions.
So, let’s see wait a second. See if we get any come in and if none come in that’s fine. You can add a question later and I’ll do my best to answer it or you can just email me and I’ll do my best to answer it. But our blog has a ton of great resources where you can go and read and there’s information all over the place like the NCAA website and all sorts of stuff.
So, the links are out there just do Google searches, go to our blog read that stuff; that’ll answer a lot of questions. But if no one has any questions then I’ll probably just end it right here. And thank you all for checking it out and hopefully we’ll do something like this again.
And I hope this helped and again shoot me an email if you have specific questions. If you have general questions I can answer those as well so thanks a lot and hope it was good for you.
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