The Changing Landscape of College Recruiting

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college coaches scouting high school basketball players

There is a changing dynamic in college basketball recruiting. Much of this is due to NCAA rule changes. The biggest is the transfer portal. This allows players to place their name in the portal and be contacted by other schools. They do not need to notify their coach nor get a release from their school. This has created free agency for college athletes.

A corollary to this is the Grad Transfer Rule. If a player graduates from college and has eligibility remaining, he can transfer to another Division 1 school without sitting out a year.

This year over 1000 Division 1 players entered the transfer portal. Hundreds of Division 2 players also entered the portal.

In recent years the transfer rules for junior college players have changed. Now to transfer to a Division 1 school a player must have an associate degree with a 2.5 grade point average and have passed Algebra 1, Algebra 2, English 1, English 2 and a laboratory science. Many players cannot attain that. To be eligible to play at a Division 2 school a 2.3 grade point average and 48 transferable hours is required.

I have spoken to several Division 2 coaches who have told me that they are only recruiting transfers. The reasons are obvious. They are getting older, stronger and more experienced players. This lessens opportunities for high school players.

Speaking of Division 2, the signing calendar has changed. Before, the only time to sign a National Letter Of Intent was in November or April. Now after November, Division 2 schools can continually sign players. This means that the opportunities are constantly diminishing as the schools sign players.

There has also been a proliferation of Post-Grad schools which offer other options for college basketball recruiting. Additionally, more coaches are recruiting international students. All the aforementioned decrease the opportunities for high school players and increase the players available to NAIA and Division 3 schools.

The moral of this story for high school players is go where you are wanted, consider all levels of play and do not wait too long to make a decision on a school.