Recruiting Tips: Character

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Illinois

Posted On: 10/12/17 6:00 AM

In this series “Recruiting Tips” we will dive into a different issue in each story that deals with recruiting and can help guide the prospect through the world of recruiting.  One of the biggest aspects of the evaluation process for coaches is off the court character.  We dive into a few key parts of that.

When talking to coaches about prospects obviously a big part of what they want to know is the on the court ability.  Just as important though is the questions they ask about off the court character.  With 800+ transfers coaches want to know not only the player they are getting, but the person they are going to have in their program for the next four years.

Coaches look at how their personality will fit in with their team.  Are they a leader?  Are they vocal on the court?  This is more important at certain positions, especially at the point guard spot.  He has to be an extension of the coach on the floor and that is a key aspect schools look for in a potential floor general.

How does he interact with his teammates, coaches, the refs, and yes even the media?  Being a successful team involves much more than just throwing talent out on the floor and hoping it will mesh.  If players aren’t team first guys and encouraging others it can hurt the chemistry of the team.  They are also looking for players that love the game of basketball.  Prospects that have competitive spirit and desire to will their team to victory.  Are they coachable?  Do they take to coaching or do their own thing?

A HUGE PART of the off the court evaluation is body language and how the prospect acts when people aren’t watching.  We have seen prospects lose scholarships because of their poor attitude and body language on the court.  Everyone complains about the refs, but some go way over the line letting one call that doesn’t go their way translate over to everything they do the rest of the game.  Pouting when you get taken out of the game and setting on the end of the bench mad at your coach isn’t going to impress the schools that are recruiting you.  Be positive and encourage your team from the bench.

Another potential red flag that is worth monitoring as part of the evaluation process at the next level is the constant switching of high schools and/or travel teams.  When it comes to high schools most of the time it isn’t too much of a problem if a student athlete transfers once during their four year high school career for basketball reasons.  When that player transfers two, three, four times that’s not a good sign.  Why is that player transferring so much?  Grade issues, disputes with coach, or other various issues at the school.  It is basically saying that anytime something goes wrong it is everyone else’s fault and they are going to jump ship.

Same thing with changing travel teams every weekend.  We call it AAU Bingo!  There are certain players the first thing you think of is how many different teams they have played with in their career and in some cases one spring/summer.  Just like high schools there is literally nothing wrong with changing travel teams once to find a better fit.  No coach or scout is going to fault anyone for that.  When a prospect is with multiple teams in a couple month span then it becomes an issue.  First and foremost if a player changes teams all the time it is hard to find where they are playing.  Most kids are associated with a certain program and you know if you go to see that team play at an event you expect to see the player on the floor.  When players trade teams every weekend it not only hurts the prospect from a being seen standpoint, but also a perception of the reasoning for changing teams.