Recruiting: How It Has Changed

joseph mattinglyContributor IMay 15, 2009

In today’s landscape of college basketball recruiting, a complete power swap has occurred that is very disturbing. Instead of the school making decisions on who they truly want to invest their resources in, the RECRUIT has gained all of the power. In the old days, schools held their scholarship offers until they were absolutely sold on a prospect.

Now, we have coaches going to see kids with two or three years left in high school and offering a scholarship based on one pick-up game. This is not the quality scouting job that needs to be applied in order for a top tier basketball program to succeed.

A quality program doesn’t look at on-line scouting services and then decide on whom to offer a scholarship.

They look at what type of players they need to coach and then which players have those aspects. This is called scouting. Don’t get me wrong, using all the available resources at your disposal should not be discredited. Relying on only that one resource should be, though.

But in today’s recruiting world everything revolves around what is presented to the public. And this presentation to the public therefore levies all the power to the recruit.

Before Rivals, Scout, Hoop Scoop, etc. made 17 year old high school children highly publicized basketball super stars, they had normal, adolescent, lives. And those normal teenagers had a school that they probably wanted to go to, but went on what scholarship offers they received.

Now, a kid can have a press conference to announce that he is cutting his list of schools from 12 to 8. Why is so much attention being paid to these decisions?

Why is everyone hanging on the choices of teenagers? Because everyone likes to peek into the future and imagine WHAT COULD BE.

After the major sports months of pro and college football, and pro and college basketball come to an end, the only sports remaining are nine months worth of MLB and bird watching. Fans have little to keep them content.

This is why recruits such as John Wall can take their time, twiddle their fingers, and love every minute of speculation that is had because of their decision.

If you don’t know about Wall, which is unlikely, He is one of the last remaining senior high school basketball prospects to not have chosen a school. Not only that, but he is also ranked by several recruiting services as the top prospect in the entire 2009 class. Many consider Wall a “game changer” or a “once in a while ability” player.

But even though Wall may have an advantaged ability to play basketball, does that mean he should garner the total grasp of attention that he has gained? Shouldn’t the time, effort, and concentration that so many wastes on which college Wall enrolls for a year be put to better use?

The main point of all of this is that Wall has the ability to hold so many wrapped around his pinky. And that is not a God given ability, it is one that is submitted by those who allow it.

So here is a thought that some may need to take in, why not let go of the “John Wall Sweepstakes” for a couple minutes, hours, maybe even a day, and see how much better you feel. Pay attention to your family, your kids, and your spouse. Not to what rumor is running about whether an 18 year old will cut his list of school suitors. Be in touch with the things that matter to YOUR LIFE. Your life will still go on no matter were the next MJ, Kobe, LeBron, or Jesus Shuttleworth picks Big State or Tech U.

It could be possible that the less attention John Wall receives, the quicker his decision is made. When you love attention and receive a lot of it, and have that attention taken away, you will try harder to get it back. It is likely if John Wall isn’t the main topic of your favorite blog, message board, or sports show, then he will do something to get back to that level.

Just think about it.