Q&A with a Division II basketball coach on recruiting, scholarships, and much more

Q&A with a Division II basketball coachAs an athlete at the high school level, if you are not familiar with the recruiting process, it is not an easy journey. With so many pitfalls and problems that can pop up along the way it is difficult to really know what to do. But that is why a site like this was created. It is supposed to help athletes, parents and coaches through the process.

We were lucky enough to have a Division II assistant coach from one of the premiere programs in the country answer a few questions for us. We spoke with him about recruiting, highlight videos, AAU hoops, and how to help yourself in recruiting. Continue on to see what he said.

Talk about the important of AAU basketball vs. high school basketball? “If a kid can play, he can play. It doesn’t matter if it’s AAU, high school, or on the playground. We want kids with solid fundamentals; you develop those by being coached in practice everyday. One thing that AAU does is give kids exposure.”

How many scholarships would you say you offer in a given class? “We offer about 3 or 4 scholarships per class. Being D II we can split up our scholarships, so a lot of those are partials.”

How do you look into the character of an athlete? “We talk to just about anyone who has ever coached them; you watch how they react to adversity when they play. You also watch how they treat and talk their teammates, the water boy, their parents, their teachers. Coaches watch a lot more than kids think. We will not sacrifice character for talent!”

Talk about the process of offering an athlete? How many coaches have to see him? “It varies. Most of the time you’ve seen a kid 4-5 times at least. Then another coach comes out to verify that he’s good enough. It’s a lot easier to tell who’s not good enough than who is.”

Are highlight tapes important to make in basketball? “They can be beneficial at times. Its fun to watch a kid make a few plays, but a full game tape is a much more valuable recruiting tool. Anyone can clip out the best of their plays, but is that a true barometer of whom or how well you can play?”

How often do you request tape from an athlete? “We request a lot of tape. Almost every kid we sign we’ve watched a few tapes on. If you don’t request tape from an athlete and it is sent, what happens to it? We’re a D II and we easily get 100 tapes a year. If a tape just shows up and we don’t know that kid, there’s no coaches info attached, it rarely gets watched. There are just too many. If a coach calls and we get a tape a GA will watch the kid, if he passes that it goes to the assistant, etc”

How often do you see athletes and their parents realistic about the level they can play at in college? “Not very often. Kids and parents usually don’t realize how hard it is to play in college. Division III is a huge step, let alone D2 or D1. I just looked at the Basketball All-State teams today. 360 kids counting Honorable Mention. Guess what, most of you aren’t playing college basketball, and those are the all state kids.”

What can a recruit do to help himself in your eyes? “Be a student-athlete! We look for kids that are going to be discipline both on and off the floor. Secondly, develop a work ethic, we don’t find as many “hidden gems” anymore, if a kid can play the work will get out, by phone, evaluation or tape. When we go watch a kid I want to see that young man play his tail off.”

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