Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Community college basketball -- sending players on

A little known aspect about recruiting is the role community college coaches play in sending on their players to the four-year level.

The execution of such and the manner of preference covers the spectrum as some coaches seek to control all aspects of the process, acting as the sole conduit to which D-1, D-2 and NAIA four-year coaches can make contact in order to speak about and with prospects of interest. Programs deemed not a fit or unworthy if you will -- for whatever reason or reasons -- are shut out and thus eliminated from the process

Others coaches reside at the opposite end and welcome any and all interest, distributing information to all possible suitors, offering advice to their players if welcomed and allowing their prospects full reign in making a decision.

Some coaches also reach out for their players, generating interest within their circles of coaching contacts as well as pointing out possibilities when contacted by coaching friends.

Still others reside at various points within the get-thee-to-the-next-level mosaic.

Right or wrong, the key measurement by which community college coaches are judged by recruits is getting kids to that next level. Being local, having a winning program, with strong academic resources available are all attractive but someone with the reputation for getting his players 'shipped is the gold standard in his landing the talent in the first place.

Here's Merritt Coach Keenan McMiller speaking on this subject:

"Traditionally, it's better to go through the coaches," he explained, "because we know the specifics on attitude, work in the classroom, talent level and how the guys carry themselves."

Of course, McMiller has assembled his own style.

"I'll give feedback, objective information to the coaches and to the kids. But II won't say [to the kids] where to go. That's their decision."

He added, "I try and get them to evaluate 'do you want to pick a program because of the prestige or how you would fit into that environment, style and coaching?'"

McMiller also does some prep work with his players in what really is a business transaction despite its sports wrapping.

"It's important to prepare the kids to ask questions in the interview visit about playing time, who else is at that position and academic support. It's about learning how to interview. You want to be politically correct, pokerface but with some personality."

What McMiller also does is "make sure all the local coaches come up and build a relationship with the kids."

There's another aspect of the coach-player-coach relationship that McMiller explained, one players and fans may not know.

"Coaches also call and ask about players other than those on your team. We also get calls from coaches we don't know but who are seeking talent or an opinion."

That's something to keep in mind as certain on-court behavior may or may not be beneficial to a player's future regardless of the uniform being worn.

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