Before you buy anything of value, you want to make sure you’re getting what you really want. You want to feel good about what you’re buying. That’s recruiting.
To play at a high level, talent always has to be No. 1. I pay particular attention to speed and natural ability since they are both irreplaceable and uncoachable. Two additional things that I recruit in a player are character and academics. To get my attention you need to be a great player and a great person. I need to know the player’s priorities and track record of consistent performance. I never look blindly at talent. My players should always give their best effort and should never place personal gain above team spirit. I don't discount talent, but I never elevate it as the sole quality in a prospective player. For my youth teams I am also looking for players who are great students. A student's discipline in the classroom speaks volumes about his/her priorities. Young players’ primary responsibility should be to excel both in school and on the court.
Evaluations of the athlete’s abilities is an on-going process. It is extremely important that I show potential players genuine care for them as a person, not just another basketball player. Everyone involved in the recruiting process (coaching team, administration, current players) must also show a genuine enthusiasm and interest and present a positive image of the basketball program.
In the initial stage of the recruiting process it is extremely important to perform quality evaluations, which must go beyond the obvious to include instincts, basketball IQ, character, passion, desire and mental toughness. Taking the thought process a step further, it is vitally important to value competitiveness, coach-ability, and the capacity to make multiple efforts on the same play. I want playmakers at every position and individuals who can play multiple positions. Included within these evaluations should be cross-referenced consultation with coaching friends and any other individuals.
Below are my rules for recruiting:
- Recruit with honesty and integrity.
- Use social networking appropriately.
- Organization and Preparation.
- Make quality evaluations.
- Recruit to your needs which should be identified early.
- Be persistent and diligent.
- Treat each situation uniquely.
- Listen to player’s needs.
- Enjoy the recruiting process.
- Team recruit (involve everyone).
Below is my recruiting checklist based on position: