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Posted On: 05/21/18 6:00 AM
Colby Blaine took over at the College of Idaho April 24th, now after close to a month in the position, the newly appointed head coach caught up with Prep Hoops Idaho to talk on a number of topics including the importance of in state recruiting.
When it comes to snagging the state’s top talents there is perhaps no program better than the College of Idaho in recent years. It was a huge emphasis for former coach Scott Garson, and as Blaine has been by his side for a number of seasons, the new man in charge wants to keep that aspect the same. In terms of the 2018 class, Mountain View’s Jalen Galloway, Highland’s Braydon West (returning from his mission), Preston’s Derek Wadsworth and Centennial’s Kamron Modrow are all signed on to continue their careers at the C of I for the Yotes.
Again, head coach Colby Blaine knows that it is a trend that they want to continue, “we have made recruiting in state talent our number one priority over the last few years and as you can tell it has really paid off for us. We have a state full of very talented individuals, as well as, great students and great people. Our in-state players take a lot of pride in playing for the College of Idaho and it has drastically changed our program culture. I will continue to make in-state recruiting a focus for us and am stoked to know we will have a minimum of 10 players from Idaho on our 2018-19 roster. I think every high school athlete dreams about exploring the country, however, as our current Idaho players understand, playing at the College of Idaho fulfills the actual experience of what you want college athletics to be. Our academics, athletics and campus life are second to none and adding the community support, this place is pretty special.”
Blaine has been an assistant with the Yotes for the past four seasons and is certainly a staple within the Treasure Valley basketball community. It appears he has a strong grasp on the local scene and beyond, but perhaps one of his biggest assets has been the fact that he was an assistant with head coach Scott Garson, who led the program to a 129-42 record during his tenure. Alongside Garson, Blaine was able to soak up a lot when it comes to polishing his recruiting approach.
“Coach Garson is hands down one of the best coaches in the country at any level. Coach Garson has proven to me, our college and the entire country that you can lead a program with positive enthusiasm and an unwavering belief in individuals. I will take away a lot. On the recruiting side, he has taught me a ton about recruiting good people and believing in our development of the individual as they proceed through their career. Coach Garson was great at projecting an athletes improvement throughout their career as they continued to develop their game and mature. He also taught me many things about the recruiting process that I know have played a huge factor in signing the recruiting classes that we have. I look forward to carrying on the legacy he left us,” Blaine said.
In terms what Blaine and the staff looks for in a recruit, Blaine added, “Of course talent is always something that grabs any coaches eye, however, we look for more and appreciate the fact that we are able to evaluate local talent throughout their entire career. Our evaluations cover a wide variety of topics. We want academically minded athletes. More important than winning any games is making sure we graduate our student athletes and prepare them to impact the world. We also spend a lot time evaluating athletes ability to play within a team and with structure. We evaluate a student athletes ability to be genuine. We evaluate work ethic and character. When those topics meet our level of expectations, we know the individual can be successful within our culture, which in turn means our program will be successful.”
In terms of rounding out his heavy Idaho recruiting class, Blaine has a specific skill set in mind with the final spot, “Our immediate focus has been finding a rebounder with size to help replace our graduating class. We are in a great position right now and can be patient. I feel very good about our eight returning players and six commits. We will be selective with our final spot or two.”
You can bet the tradition behind the Yotes wrangling in the state’s best will continue as it sounds like Blaine has his finger on the pulse.