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Part 2 of 4: What Questions Will College Coaches Ask The Prospect?

This series will give you an inside look into the college recruiting process from the coaching staffs prospective. Understanding what college coaches are asking themselves, looking for & discussing in recruiting meetings will help your communication lines as the recruiting process unfolds. Part 2 will break down the types of questions college coaches will ask the prospect they are recruiting.

When talking to a prospect, college coaches end up initiating 95% of the conversation. Coaches are going to ask questions that guide these conversations in a direction that is relevant and substantive. Many will hold off to ask tougher questions later in the relationship when some sort of comfort and trust has been established. The best way to reveal the truth is by probing with follow up questions that ask for specifics.

-Coaches understand that prospects are used to talking about themselves. They know it will be revealing if they get you talking outside of yourself:

  • Tell us about your teammates?
  • How do you like playing for your coach?
  • Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten from a coach?
  • What do you think about our roster this season? (They want to see if you have done your research to gauge your level of interest)
  • Who would you look forward to playing with on our team?
  • What does your ideal program look like? What characteristics does it have?
  • What coaches do you have the most respect for and why?
  • What would it mean to you to represent our program?

-Questions they will ask you to learn more about you as an individual:

  • Describe how you practice? How about when you are alone in the gym?
  • Who is your hero?
  • What do you want to accomplish while playing college basketball? (They are seeing if you are you driven by team or individual goals)
  • What do you do on an off day during the season?
  • What are your hobbies? (Where does basketball fit into your life)
  • What do you need to improve on when you come to college? How do you plan on doing that?
  • Compare your game to a similar player? (This serves as an indicator of how much basketball you watch & how realistic you are about their game)

-Coaches will ask you about specific memories or situations (ones they have seen, heard about or suspect may have occurred). Getting the prospect to talk about memories is a good indication of their core values. It is harder to give generic answers when the recruit is talking about a memory vs. a broader question.

  • They may ask you about a specific interaction they witnessed when watching a game (with a coach, teammate, ref, etc.)
  • Ask you about playing with a specific teammate?
  • What was your mentality heading into that game?
  • They will ask you about losses or times of adversity.
  • Ask about playing against a certain player?
  • What is the most memorable memory you have of playing basketball? (Is the answer about a team accomplishment or an individual one)
  • What has been the most difficult time during your career so far?
  • They will put you on the spot by bringing up a past mistake. Does he/she take responsibility or make an excuse?

With your own recruiting timeline take advice from John Wooden: “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Think deeply and critically about these types of questions so you are best prepared to give thorough and genuine responses. Remember you are always being evaluated with your actions & your words.

Read Part 1 of 4: What Questions Do College Coaches Ask Themselves While Evaluating Players?

September Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

The September newsletter features an article explaining what college coaches are asking themselves while they evaluate prospects. Learn what areas stand out the most & make sure that you evaluate your current game to see where you would rank yourself in those categories? This edition features new game-like shooting drills to use with your team on The Gun from Buffalo Head Coach Nate Oats, articles you can share with your team/staff regarding “daily vitamins” for player development & leadership & a look into Jack Clark, 23 National Championships, on what his program defines as leadership. Try-Outs are here for COBA travel teams & next month for the middle schools so we hope you can learn insights from our Just Hoops Highlight Series & Drills.

Click the link below to read our September Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops September Newsletter

Part 1 of 4: What Questions Do College Coaches Ask Themselves While Evaluating Players?

This series will give you an inside look into the college recruiting process from the coaching staffs prospective. Understanding what college coaches are asking themselves, looking for & discussing in recruiting meetings will help your communication lines as the recruiting process unfolds. Part 1 will break down the types of questions college coaches ask themselves while evaluating players on the court.

Legendary University of North Carolina Head Coach, Dean Smith, was famous for saying: “I would never recruit a player who yells at his teammates, disrespected his high school coach, or scores 33 points a game and his team goes 10-10.” There are so many pieces of the puzzle that play a role in the evaluation process. Every factor within a player’s evaluation contributes to a bigger picture which can then contribute to a decision. While we are enamored by talent, we need to consider that when we talk about championship teams, we rarely talk about talent. We talk about character, substance, toughness and drive. There are enough talented players to go around. The key is finding the right talented players.

College Coaches separate themselves by having an ability to predict & dictate the future. It is important to keep in mind during the evaluation process that players change. Their games change, bodies change, and they change the minute they get into a new environment. What they see now is not exactly what you will have in 1,2, 3 or 4 years.

Two great indicators of a prospect:

  • Does he/she produce in high school?
  • Does he/she improve in high school?
    • The ability to produce and the ability to improve are two things that typically translate to the next level.

Are you able to say the statement: “he/she comes to play every single night?”

Evaluating a player under game pressure:

  • How much does the magnitude of the situation change them?

The most underrated quality a player can have is versatility:

  • Can he/she guard multiple positions?
  • Can he/she play multiple spots in the offense?
  • Can he/she play in any style of game?
  • Can he/she play with any other 4 players on the floor and function?

Perception is often reality. Coaches read into:

  • Body language
  • Behavior in huddles
  • Communication with teammates
  • Treatment towards officials
  • Rapport with coaches/staff

Coaches never want to bring in a player that they need to make excuses for or need to root for.

Focus on what a player can do vs what they can’t do. If they are bringing a lot of positives to the table, chances are, that will outweigh the negatives.

Evaluating a players flaws:

  • Are they flaws that can be improved?
  • More importantly, does he/she have the desire to improve them?

 

*Attached is an evaluation card used by a Division I coaching staff at VCU while they were evaluating a prospect. College coaches are charting game statistics to track production but more importantly they are evaluating and ranking intangibles such as: competitiveness, loves to play, unselfish, toughness & motor. Ultimately, they have to ask themselves: “can this athlete help us move our program forward while enhancing our culture?”

Just Hoops Drills: 1 v 1 Side-by-Side

1 v 1 Side-by-Side

“Create contact to create separation.” Great drill working on offensive player creating contact with their lower body to gain & keep an advantage & finishing vs resistance in the paint. Most players are not comfortable with body to body contact so we must create situations where contact takes place. Overtime they will begin to incorporate it into their game.

Drill starts with both players side-by-side with their feet touching in a low athletic stance. The drill starts on the offensive players first dribble. Key point of emphasis is the offensive players 1st step must be inside to create contact and get their top foot over the defender’s top foot. The goal is to not let the defender back in-front of the ball.

 

 

August Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

The August newsletter features new shooting drills to use with your team on The Gun, directives for your entire coaching staff to set the tone for practices, articles & teaching points from various coaches to expand your basketball bank & an inside look into the X’s & O’s of building character. August was a great month of High School boys/girls training sessions as the summer concluded with the “no contact period.” Official practices are fast approaching & we hope you can take some insight from shooting drills from former University of Georgia Head Coach, Mark Fox & 3-man ball-screen reads from our Just Hoops Highlight Series.

Click the link below to read our August Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops August Newsletter

Just Hoops Highlight Series: 3-Man Ball-Screen Reads

3-Man Ball-Screen Reads:
Coach Nathan: 3-man ball-screens are a staple in today’s game because you have multiple threats. The ball-handler must execute coming off the screen “shoulder to hip” & attack the screener’s defender in order to “engage 2.” Advanced guards see the floor to answer: who is helping on the roll? Defenses can help out of the ball-side corner or the weak-side corner. This is a great example of Texas helping with the weak-side corner & defending the shake action (player lifting to the wing from the ball-side corner). Collin Sexton engages 2 players with the ball which forces Matt Coleman to “hold” long enough to create a closeout situation.

 

 

July Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

As the summer off-season begins to wind down & your preparing for the fall read our July newsletter for new drills, articles & teaching points from coaches throughout the country that you can use with your team this season. This edition features shooting drills from Michigan State’s Head Coach, Tom Izzo, Urban Meyer’s Ohio High School Coaches Association Clinic on how he builds a learning environment, how your mindset can dictate your response to successes & set-backs & what Clemson gives their players to define “what a winner knows.”

Click the link below to read our July Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops July Newsletter

Coach Nathan Edick – Growing through Successes & Setbacks

Coach Nathan Edick sits down with Coach Adams to discuss lessons he has learned from his mentors on leadership, the process & what goes into winning. Coach Edick is a firm believer in daily deposits & focusing on effort rather than outcome.

Edick has collegiate coaching experience at the NCAA Division I, II & III levels. He was an understudy to coaching mentors throughout his coaching stops at the University of Tulsa, Virginia Commonwealth University, UVa-Wise & the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Edick, a 2007 graduate of Thomas Worthington, graduated from Otterbein University where he was the recipient of the Ohio Athletic Conference Clyde Lamb Award during his senior season. In his freshman season at Marietta College, he was #1 in the NCAA in three-point shooting after connecting on 54.8% of his three-point attempts.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Coach Nathan Edick – “Growing through Successes & Setbacks”

June Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

Need a basketball fix after the conclusion of the NBA Finals earlier this month? Read our June newsletter for new shooting drills & teaching points you can use with your team next season. This edition features shooting drills from Oklahoma’s Head Coach, Sherri Coale, Brad Stevens commencement speech at Butler, articles about the evolution of pace in basketball since the 2004 Phoenix Suns & a feature on mapping out a successful off-season.

Click the link below to read our June Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops June Newsletter

Coach Shane Adams – “It’s not about me”

Coach Shane Adams discusses his insights & thoughts on servant leadership, building relationships and defining your values & standards. Coach Adams instilled ABCD (Attitude, Belief, Commitment & Discipline) to develop & grow his culture. Everyone has the ability to produce other leaders & multiply their influences.

Coach Adams brings over 15 years of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate level. He is a State Champion in Colorado, achieving league Coach of the Year honors. Coach Shane was the co-owner and Coach of ABC Basketball in Colorado training over 500 committed 7th-12th grade athletes through the ABC basketball skill development program. As a Shoot-A-Way Basketball Clinician and National Sales Rep has presented Basketball Shooting demonstrations at over 50 Nike Basketball Coaches’ Clinics, 14 NCAA Final Four NABC Coaches’ Clinics (2003-2018), and State Coaches’ Clinics in Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

“What’s in the Well Comes up in the Bucket.”

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Coach Shane Adams – “It’s not about me”