Just a Minute: July 25

25 Jul

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

College coaches are chasing kids all over the country and offering scholarships left and right. Oregon could be a sleeper to watch. High how can Brandon Ashley climb the rankings and just how good is the CBS Sports team of writers? Well, there’s a way to find out.

CHANGE OF RULES NEEDED

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know how I feel about modernizing recruiting rules. Of course, recruiting needs to change.

Bring the April recruiting back. It appears that this is happening. However, coaches are saying the 20-day July period will be used as the recruiting day reserve to draw from. So, take your 20 days in the sweltering heat of July and move them to April. Some have suggested a 10 days moving to the spring. I would argue eight.

Why are spring days needed? Simple. Coaches need to see a body of work and get to know the player. The same works for players.

Let’s say, for example, a player may be good enough to play at the school that offers him a scholarship. He accepts it and enrolls. However, he may not fit the school or the existing team. Most coaches know right away if a player will mesh with the team dynamic. We are seeing too many young men, not players, being misevaluated. One prominent recruiting coach told me this summer that he simply doesn’t know who the school is attempting to lure in because there is not enough time to evaluate the person instead of the player.

I remember a story of a head coach and his lead assistant going to a prospect’s home for an in-home visit. The prospect, by all accounts, wasn’t good enough to play at the highest of levels. But the coaches were meeting with the family nonetheless because so many people vouched for his character. The coaches were reluctant but went ahead anyways.

After the family ate dinner, the coaches wanted to present their recruiting message. The head coach tried to move the conversation into the family room. The prospect had other thoughts. He told the coaches that he must clear the dishes and wash every one for his single mother.

The presentation was put on hold for an hour. The player dutifully washed every dish that sat on the table by hand, dried them and put them away. The presentation was made.

As soon as the coaches got into their car outside, the head coach turned to his assistant and said, “Let’s go back inside and offer him. I want to sign him. The loyalty he showed his mother told me everything I need to know about him.”

That player signed with this particular school. He wasn’t an all-conference performer but he was a valuable member of the team for four years and his now a college graduate and a proud father and family man.

What happened in this instance was an evaluation of the person, not the player. The coaches were rewarded with an upstanding young man in their program. The player was rewarded with a valuable opportunity to learn, grow and improve as a basketball player and as good, upstanding man.

I’m not sure in today’s current climate of instant recruiting we see colleges taking the opportunity to wait and determine if players are the right fit for their school off the court. We are seeing an erosion of the game because of this.

I noticed a lot of schools offering scholarships after the first 10-day recruiting period. That’s fine. That happens every year. But I do wonder how many schools got to know that player as a person before tendering a scholarship offer?

The transfer list is over 400 players this year. That’s crazy. The easiest way to correct this problem is allowing coaches to get to know players and players getting to know coaches. You know, that human element? Yeah, that would help.

THE ASCENT OF ASHLEY?

I’ve very interested in seeing where Brandon Ashley stacks up in the upcoming rankings changes from the recruiting websites. The 6-foot-10 big man seems to be a popular player amongst the rankers and judging all of the reports, he’s enjoyed a great summer. He’s No. 11 on the consensus rankings. Could a top 5 or even a top 3 position await him?

ITS A ROUNDBALL WORLD

I’ll be headed to the Nike Global Challenge next month here in Oregon. The event should make up for my personal absence from the summer circuit this year. I’ve missed my seat on the sidelines. The Nike group should bring me up to speed. There will be a number of good, young players at the event. I’ll have plenty of coverage from Portland that week.

OREGON HAS OPTIONS

The Oregon Ducks will eight new faces on its roster this coming season. Because of that, the Pac-12 school could be a sleeper to watch this year.

Tony Woods joins Olu Ashaolu and Cory Joseph as ready-to-play transfers for the Ducks this season. Woods can play right away because of the quarter system at Oregon as opposed to the semester system at Kentucky or Louisville – his other options he explored. Woods gives the Ducks a true inside presence. His production still leaves much to be desired but he’s exactly what the Ducks need – a legit post player.

Ashaolu should be the most productive player on the team while Jabari Brown, the headliner of the No. 22 ranked incoming recruiting class, gives the squad a legit weapon on the wing.

Dana Altman preached all season long to anyone that would listen that whatever success was had last year was great but he wanted to establish his team and his brand of basketball. With the new sparkling Matthew Knight Arena in place and the national allure of Nike, Oregon was going to get players. I certainly didn’t expect to see it happening quite as fast as it has.

CBSSCOOPLINE.COM

If I learned anything at all from the CBS team of college basketball writers this month it is this: they should land all of the scoop from Michigan State, Texas-Pan American and Syracuse this year. Any time you are locked in a car or connected at the hip with someone for a full day, you have a bond.

Gary Parrish spent a day with Tom Izzo. Jeff Goodman rolled with Ryan Marks of UT-PA. Jeff Borzello hitched a ride with Mike Hopkins of the ‘Cuse on the recruiting trail. If scoop happens with any of these schools and these guys miss it, pink slip time.

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