No matter what sport you are looking at play at the college level, the coaches in that sport love to bring prospective recruits on campus no matter what season it is. With basketball players, coaches try to bring recruits in during the fall (Especially because they’d like to have the players decide before fall Signing Day) for a football Saturday. For football players, college coaches will bring recruits in during the winter for Junior Days or campus visits where they end up watching a basketball game.
And while it is nice to get on campus, talk to the coaches, and learn more about the school, going on these visits may not make the most sense of your resources. The reason why I started thinking about this is after I spoke with an extremely highly basketball player on the national level. He told me that he wants to make visits this fall but wants to base them around basketball. Why go to a school and see what the football atmosphere is like if you are a basketball recruit?
While the maturity of this athlete is definitely beyond his years, this is something that really makes sense. Let me preface this by saying that if you have grown up routing for this school, live close, and get free tickets to any sporting event, you might as well fire up the car and go. There is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the tickets in that situation.
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This is more in reference to visits that will take more money and time to get done. If you are a football recruit who wants to see more schools and campuses, it may actually be in your best interest to hold off that visit until August. The reason is that while the coaches may not have as much time to speak, you will get a first hand look at what a college practice is all about. For any prep player out there, seeing high school versus college is a whole other ball game.
The same goes for basketball. If you are a recruit who has a lot of interest, what really is a Saturday football game day going to show you? If the coaches are pushing this, they may actually be doing it so that you see the rabid football fans. That appreciation for basketball may not be as strong.
Again, this really does depend on the circumstances of the event. If you are a senior basketball player with scholarship offers and are focused on a fall decision, you will have to make your official visits during the fall. That is smack in the middle of the football season and means that you will likely be attending a game. When this happens, try to push back the visit so that you can see a college practice and how the coaches react. The majority of coaches are completely different when they are in practice versus in recruiting. It is always good to see what you will be dealing with for the next four or five years of college.
Because football practices so many months during the year, it is actually easier to make sure that you are seeing the players practicing or playing. The fall visits are huge during the football recruiting process but lately it seems as if many coaches are pushing the official visits for after the season. The good news with this is that if the team made a bowl, then you can get a chance to see them practice. Seeing the game atmosphere of your potential future school is important but practices are vital as well.
The reason I decided to touch on this article is because if you are a basketball recruit who has interest from schools all over the country, then your decision may be extremely uninformed. If all you do is make an official visit to a school in September, you will get to see zero basketball (Outside of maybe a work out or an open gym). No real games will be played and you won’t get to see that future coach in his full glory. So make sure to consider that before coming to that final decision.