February 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm #9368
I’m going to start a new thread as a follow up to a couple of questions that came up in regards to the recruiting of TK and AP, one asked by me (have we seen TK live?) and one by Hoops00 (have we only seen 4 hours of AAU tape on AP?). The main question is how much do you think our coaching staff (assistants and Reed) have seen these high school recruits play live? To put it in some perspective, when I was at Lehigh, McCaffrey and Duke were recruiting heavily from the “local” areas, which were Eastern PA, Philly metro, and NYC metro. Those were where their connections were. If I recall correctly the 5 starters that played Temple in the ’88 NCAAs were all local players (Polaha, Queenan, Layer, Cheslock, Russell). In fact, you could see those guys attending high schools games in the Philly area in the Catholic and Public League, where they were pulling a lot of athletes at the time. You could also see them in the Philly Summer League games recruiting. This, of course, predated the AAU craze that dominates recruiting now. Everything has now changed. First, Lehigh is not recruiting those areas as heavily these days, and really none of the PL is recruiting as heavily there. Currently Lehigh has one player (CB) from Metro NYC, and 2 guys from South Jersey/Philly Metro in AD and BB. I’m not including guys like CG, who are local but walkons. If you look at a team like Bucknell, they have Ayers from Metro Philly, Dom Hoffman and Willman from North Jersey, and Banas and Hill, who are PA guys. Azzinaro, the highly rated PG, coming to Bucknell next year is from South Jersey, but he played his high school ball after 9th grade in Texas. So, Bison have more local flavor than a lot of the teams. Everybody is doing a lot of recruiting in the Midwest, overseas and elsewhere. Even a guy like Fran O’Hanlon, at Lafayette, a Philly guy, has no local players on his roster. And, Matt Langel, another Philly guy, has no Philly guys rostered, and a couple of North Jersey guys, both who I don’t think he recruited to Colgate. So, it is not like the old days where these guys could drive an hour or two and see and recruit players in person. With Kempton in Arizona and Price in Detroit, you are talking about flying out to see them play in person, which is expensive and time consuming. So, I wonder, nowadays, how much is the coaching staff seeing these guys live in game action? Are they relying on scouting services for information, or are they seeing them on the AAU Summer circuit? I doubt highly that Lehigh has a lot of high school coaching connections in a place like Arizona. Perhaps for a guy like Price, Reed has a network of high school coaches in Michigan from his days coaching there. Same may have been true for guys like KM and HG. I seem to recall Reed saying in interviews that they got in on CJM early, and saw him quite a bit, when a lot of teams did not know about him. So, I assumed they saw him play a lot in Ohio, but maybe not. It seems like recruiting is a lot tougher when these kids are far from your backyard. When you are forced to recruit outside your connected area it must be much harder to get good information on potential recruits. Does anybody have any insight on this?February 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm #9369
Bucknell has some local guys, but if you look at Paulsen’s 15 recruits over his five years, it’s fairly geographically diverse:
New Jersey 2
North Carolina 1
From what I’ve seen and heard of Bucknell’s recruiting, the great majority of the early scouting of these guys is at AAU tournaments. That may be followed by visits to the High school to watch an individual or small group workout. Also feedback from the recruit scrimmaging your players during on-campus visits. Coaches usually don’t watch many H.S. games – and if they do, it’s often just for show, not to try to evaluate the player.February 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm #9370February 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm #9371
Don’t know how many times they saw Azzinaro in San Antonio, but they definitely watched him in a number of AAU events. As I understand it, they first spotted him at one or more AAU events in the spring/summer of his sophomore year. He made an unofficial visit to BU in the summer after his sophomore year. BU iirc made him an offer just after his junior H.S. season ended, and he committed in late July prior to his senior year.
He’s having a very good senior year in San Antonio btw, although he was set back for a few games by a rib injury. He’s still super-quick but has grown a bit. Listed at 5-10 or 5-11, depending on which source you look at.
Edit: The above was in response to LU90’s question – which looks like it may have been changed/deleted.February 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm #9372
I have no real inside information on this matter but the recruiting process has modernized since the McCaffrey/Duke days. There are services out there today who rate the players by ability, provide the academics and in many cases indicate what schools the recruit has a preliminary interest in. That narrows the range considerably some time. As Bison indicated, most scouting is done at the AAU tournaments and there are now a ton of them. The workload for a sport like basketball is usually split up among the coaches. Wasn’t it Logie who first spotted CJ? Often recruits are found that are not even being targeted. I’m not sure whether coaches tape the tournaments or simply take notes but Coach seemed to have a lot of tape on AP. I suspect that if the candidate looks to be”offer ready”, the HC will go to another AAU tournament to watch. Travel budgets however are limited and our search is national now. Unless the recruit is local, they rarely go to HS games anymore. Heck, most recruits commit before their senior season even begins.February 8, 2013 at 8:45 pm #9373
I think the coaches see these guys a lot more than you give them credit for ’90. In one of the articles about CJ this year they described Reed coming to his house despite an intense storm for his in home visit.
Also, AAU events give coaches a great opportunity to see 1,000’s of kids live in a few days. Oftentimes more than once. For example, the EYBL which is the best of the best of summer ball has 4 sessions a year in Minneapolis, Hampton, VA, Oakland, and Dallas – http://www.nikeeyb.com/category/eybl/. Hypothetically, Stephen Ott (who I believe was the lead recruiter on AP) could have gone to Minneapolis and seen him play live 3 or 4 times in a weekend. Add in another midwestern swing in the fall to drop in on open gyms at a few different high schools, and I think it is conceivable that someone on the staff saw AP play upwards of 5 ot 6 times live. And if you told me it was over 10, I wouldn’t be shocked.
Kempton is a little tougher being from farther away, but his team I believe played in the Super 64 in Vegas, which I would be shocked if 90%+ of Division 1 programs weren’t represented at. The staff could easily have seen him there, and maybe gone to an open gym at some point once they knew they had a shot.
There are also the academic showcase camps like this one – http://www.eliteacademicathletes.info/Exposure.html – that target high academic schools with smaller recruiting budgets and pools of players. It allows PL, Ivy, and other schools to look at kids who they can get into school, instead of wasting their time watching random aau events in which a large portion of the kids don’t have the interest or grades to get into PL schools. (check out how they spelled Lehigh in that link for a laugh, but do notice the other like minded institutions on the list).
There are a bunch of ways for coaches to see players, and if a coach wants to keep his job, I would hope that he and his staff watch every kid they are bringing in live (hopefully many times) before they pull the trigger. Not having seen a player live would be akin to a manager hiring a team of people without ever interviewing them face to face, and no one in their right mind would bet their livelihood on that.February 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm #9374
My bad TMH. I was posting at the same time as you and looks like we doubled up on a lot of the same info.February 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm #9375
Always enjoy your posts StablerBum. Thanks for the additional insight.February 9, 2013 at 1:03 am #9379
Good posts boys, yeah I am pretty confident as well that AAU is primary source of in person viewing, and that the head man of most programs has to see these guys live before offering…I think assistants find lot of these guys, logie with CJ, Ott with AP..etc…but head guy has to see them to offer it, I’d imagine.
THM – Can you expand on the “4 hours of video” comment though?February 9, 2013 at 1:32 am #9380
Not a whole lot else to say Hoops. We discussed the front court being very athletic next year but perhaps not as productive from a scoring standpoint. That segued in DC’s strengths and then my hope hope that AP would be the scoring threat. I then told him about AP’s recent shooting woes and he seemed surprised but knew exactly where to look for his stats and then mentioned that he watched 4 hours of AAU film and he had a pure stroke. That does not mean that he never saw him live but 4 hours is a lot of film.
If I get a chance, I’ll ask about how recruiting has changed over the years.February 9, 2013 at 3:54 am #9384
Thanks guys. I guess it is all AAU basketball these days for recruiting purposes. I was looking at a recent local Philadelphia scouting service report and they started the rankings at the 6th grade level. The interesting thing was if you looked at prior years the top kids at every age panned out well. If the coaches really do see these guys a lot it makes we wonder how we miss so badly on guys like CB and DC. You can watch them for a short time and see their limits. TMH, did Reed really give you an impression that he was high on these 2?February 9, 2013 at 4:52 am #9385
Wow! That kind of judgement on DC already? I don’t know anything about him yet – but didn’t know that anybody else did either…February 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm #9390
DC, an enigma but not a lost cause IMO. Doc has faith in him to grow, so I will too.February 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm #9391
DC is a talented basketball player who is in the midst of a learning curve. I have no information on his desire to take advantage of a medical redshirt this year nor do I know when he will be ready to play next year. What I was told is that he is not a scoring machine as perhaps we had hoped. Perhaps he becomes another AD or perhaps CS. Only the future will tell.
CB too has talent and Coach was really high on him coming into the season. Apparently, there are some technical difficulties primarily on defense which needs correction before meaningful minutes. I’m hoping the mechanics get worked out like they did for JG and he becomes a real contributor at Lehigh.February 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm #9405
Wow! That kind of judgement on DC already? I don’t know anything about him yet – but didn’t know that anybody else did either…
Yes, that kind of judgment already. When a recruited guy can’t get minutes ahead of 2 true walk-ons (CG and TS) in most of the games he played, that is telling, in my opinion. I don’t think I have ever seen a recruited player lower on the depth chart than walk-ons, on any college team, ever. Ability, attitude, defensive issues, practice habits, whatever, that is telling. I have never seen a player looked so disinterested in warming up prior to games. Anybody who is going to be a player at Lehigh’s level shows something in his first half season. Look at the current roster of players we have (9 man rotation):
GK – Starter day 1
MM – Starter day 1
CJM – Starter game 3, stud day 1
HG – contributor by game 3, averaging double figure minutes in freshman season
AD – contributor game 1
CS – contributor game 1
SC – contributor game 1
BB – (at BU in fairness) – contributor by game 4
JG – contributor game 1, big contributor by game 14
DC – 11 games, 2 DNPs, 9 games of garbage minutes after walkons, 1 made FG, 5 points, shooting 14% from the field. Now off major knee injury. I hope I am wrong, as I liked this guy coming out of high school, based on the limited info we had at the time. But, he looks to be buried next season, with probably 6 guys ahead of him for minutes, and probably not ready for start of season. I would be shocked if this guy does not transfer. You have to consider him at major bust at this point of his career.
CB, we have basically 2 seasons of games to go from. The coaches have tried and tried to get something from him, and gotten basically nothing. He has gone from starter game 1 this season vs. Baylor, to bit player on a team with limited big men and size. He has no ability to catch and score the basketball, and according to the coach, he doesn’t play because he is having defensive problems. Averages more fouls than points or rebounds. I know a lot of people on here have been high on him as a “rebounding machine” based on limited minute sample, but is anybody excited when he enters a game. He has become an afterthought after JG’s emergence.
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