Choosing the right program matters 

June, 24, 2011
06/24/11
2:38
PM ET
Here are a few things that I took away from the 2011 NBA Draft, in regards to recruiting.

Choosing the right program matters
Although being a Top 100 player coming out of high school may be a strong indicator of NBA potential, there have been a fair number of players like Jimmer Fredette (BYU/Sacramento), Kenneth Faried (Morehead St./Denver) and Alec Burks (Colorado/Utah) who catapulted past early expectations to become first-round draft picks. All of these players benefited from being in a program that allowed them to play right away and also play through mistakes, while developing their game and swagger at the same time. Fredette sees himself as an unstoppable scorer who can heat up from long distance, while Faried believes that every rebound has his name on it. Had these players chosen to go the traditional "highest-profile program possible" route, there is a good chance they could have been buried on the bench, only to see limited minutes early in their college careers.

I have had the conversation many times with some of my counterparts who argue that high-majors missed the boat on Stephon Curry (Davidson/Golden State) coming out of high school. I thought just the opposite; I believe that he is the player that he is today because he went to Davidson and was able to show his skill level. Not many people would have bet the house that any of the above mentioned players would be first-round picks, but there is bound to be more players who were unheralded coming out of high school who will rise through the competition because of a smart college decision.

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