Late Signing Period and Choices

The NCAA girls and boy basketball seasons are about to conclude with in the next few
days and there are still many unsigned seniors for DI basketball programs. In the
coming weeks some kids will draw interest and many will not; Most will draw interest
from either D2 , D3 or JUCO type schools. Some student athletes will get a final
look for some sort of senior day camp where a few schools will attend to see if
there is anything there that may spark their interest. One word of caution, be
careful spending money at these camps that may not be beneficial or really have your
best interest at hand. It becomes nothing more than a revenue generating mechanism.
Ones best mode of action may be to get on the phone and talk with coaches at schools
whether they be D1,D2,D3 or JUCO. The worst thing a student athlete can do at this
point is to assume that schools are going to come calling on them when they have not
been previously. Student athletes and parents should
not be afraid to put pressure on their highschool and AAU coaches to get in contact
with schools to see what is out there. After all did you not intrust your kids and
resources over the years towards AAU programs that you thought would yield the end
result. A scholarship? Now keep in mind that a parent must also be realistic as
well as far as their kids overall abilities.

Most college programs have already targeted their prospective student
athletes for their program by signing them during the early signing period back in
November. Make no mistake about it, those are the kids that were their top choices.
Coaches recruit from all across the country and make their choices of what they
think will be the best possible fit. They have seen these players throughout their
AAU experience because that is the time that a coach has more time and access to see
that particular player perform against competition from all across the State and
Nation. Coaches do not just watch how they perform on the court, they watch how they
handle things when they are not playing as well. How they communicate with both
coaches and teammates. Schools more than likely have their transcript to see if this
student is academically qualified. Normally if a kid does not sign during the early
signing period there is something else that has not
been revealed. Either they are a highly top ranked player that has many offers from
very high major schools such as Uconn, Tennessee, Duke, Stanford and that student
athlete is their top choice, then one might see a slight delay but usually not over
a week past the early signing period. Secondly, there could be a non qualified
grade issue. If that is the case most schools that were previously mentioned would
not spend too much time with that particular student athlete in the first place.
The reason being is because their programs already speak for themselves and they
move onto the next. There are over 300 division one schools that offer scholarships
and if your phone was not ringing during the early signing period, there is a
reason. Now there are scenarios that do happen that allows a kid to get a D1
scholarship during the late signing period. One could be that maybe a scholarship
became available because some one left the program or a kid decided not
to play any more. One could be a coach was hired that may have remembered a
particular athlete and have a short period of time to finished the school’s
recruiting because of the vacated postion of the previous head coach or some of its
players. Keep in mind that come the week after the Final Four that coaches will be
calling their top prospective student athletes for the 2013 and I believe now the
NCAA has allowed them to call the 2014 as well. If you are in one of these
categories and suppose to be a prospective student athlete and the calls are not
coming, a red flag should come up and you should not assume that you are no matter
what someone other than the NCAA coaches have been telling you and even with the
coaches do not be afraid to ask them where you stand in the pecking order of their
prospective student athletes recruits from across the nation. It shows maturity and
it keeps you from operating in the dark early on.

D2, D3 and JUCO schools that you may have put off because either you
thought you were better than that are sitting and waiting because they make their
living understanding that too many student athletes think they are UCONN material
when they are not. They understand that too many student athletes allow folks to get
into their heads and have them thinking they are at that level when in reality, they
would even have a hard time playing for them. Mid major schools understand that as
well. The senior that is still available must understand that if they are going to
play at the next level that during this time, that time is of the essence and what
they thought would happen, did not and with this realization a decision needs to be
made as long as it goes along with their career goals in mind. Parents needs to
understand this too. School starts in a few months. Younger players that are
Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors have the AAU season upon
them and for some the coaches are high on and may have even offered. One word of
caution, coaches can also become not hot on a prospective student athlete as
well,especially when their productivity start to decline and they begin to have a
propensity to get hurt a lot at the highschool level.The college level game is more
physical and demanding. This may sound cold but it is a business and one needs to
understand early on the reality of it. Commiting early on might not be a bad idea
if a student athlete have done their research and did not based their decision on
the name of the school or conference because it sounds good in the news papers
besides ones name. The NCAA has stated that student athletes transferring are at an
all time high. Many even in up at D2 schools which may have been the best fit from
the start. Why do they transfer has been the question most frequently asked? The
primary and number one answer has been “Lack of playing time”. Many
student athletes never understand that many of the kids that are attending their
school were also tops in their area as well. Coaches could care less what school a
student came from when they enter that University. Winning a State Championship has
no rites of passage at all. If a student athlete goes in undiscipline and does not
work hard both in the classroom and on the court, they will have a hard time
adjusting. Normally those habits were developed early on and they got away with it
because they may have been better than the other kids at their highschool and the
winning superceeded or masked what actually was going on.

Finally, once the decision has been made through thorough due dilligence,
make sure that the decision is yours (stdent athlete) not moms, dad, highschool
coach or aau coach. When the decision is yours you will work harder to protect it.
It does not mean that you do not seek counsel from the folks previously mentioned
because they could be good sounding boards. But if it becomes a decision where those
particular folks can envision themselves sitting at the Dean Dome or Rupp Arena with
good seats, then the decision becomes a very ill advised one and thus the major
defection of transferring starts very soon after. Good luck and may all that you set
out to accomplish becomes reality on or off the court.

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