Friday, March 29, 2013
Instant on-court recruiting turnoffs
By Reggie Rankin
When college coaches attend high school or AAU games to evaluate players as a fit in their program, they don’t just look at talent and skill. They are also extremely conscious of on-court red flags that could cause them to end the recruitment and move on to the next player on their list.
As we head into the heart of AAU season this spring and summer, here are a few instant on-court recruiting turnoffs coaches and scouts often look for. The fact is, this list could be endless, but these are a few behaviors that I observe most. And I know from being a former college coach these don’t sit well when deciding whether or not to extend or pull a scholarship offer.
Negative body language on the court or while on the bench. In particular, coaches look at facial expressions and lack of energy, effort and aggressiveness when something occurs that the player doesn’t agree with.
Negative communication with coaches, teammates and fans. Any player drawing negative attention to himself and his team with damaging verbal or physical outbursts will immediately hurt his stock.
Lack of physical and mental toughness. Players who do not compete when things don’t go their way and don’t do whatever they can to help their team -- especially when they are not playing well -- are an instant turnoff for coaches.
Playing out of character. Coaches don’t want a player who does not playing to his strengths and attempts to do things in the game he has not worked on enough to execute at a productive level. This makes a player’s game look bad and makes him look selfish.
Shot selection. Taking shots whenever and wherever is a big red flag. So is breaking the offense and shooting highly contested shots and missing open teammates -- and continuing to do so. The "I am going to get mine" approach doesn’t sit well with coaches.
Unforced turnovers. One thing that drives college coaches crazy is turnovers. No coach wants players who don’t put a premium on the basketball, repeatedly take risks and chances, look to hit the home run or hot dog.
Lack of basketball IQ. Not being aware of time and score and just playing the game regardless of the circumstances is a major recruiting turnoff. Players need to study, learn the game and carry it over to the court.
Arguing and attempting to embarrass an official. Everyone receives their share of calls they don’t agree with. The key is to maintain your composure in the heat of the battle. This is easier said than done, but it’s something college coaches look at. Players need to just hand the official the ball and let their coach handle the situation.