This post was sparked the the conversation here.
I can't claim to know anything about college basketball recruiting, other than I know that the good one's seem to sign with the same teams. I thought that made some sense, seeing that those same teams consistently compete and make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year. My question applies when those teams that want to break into that "small group of schools" and compete, legitimately, for big-time talent.
Basketball is a completely different animal from football when it comes to recruiting. There are a whole lot more scholarships up for grabs in football for one thing, not to mention (since nobody plays both sides of the ball) there's all those spots to fill on offense, 11 guys, defense ... also 11, and then special teams. It tends to spread the talent out a little bit more, since there are so many more cogs that need filled on the football team. One player can't really dominate the entire game in football (though they might be able to come close ...).
Basketball, on the other hand, features rotations of 7 or 8 people, generally, so the impact of a spectacular player is much easier to see. Further exacerbating that fact, is that kids can leave college basketball whenever they want to.
So, what's a team to do? That's easy, we can just look at UCLA basketball head coach Ben Howland (granted UCLA is one of those schools in that small group I mentioned at the beginning, they have had a few tough years and really wanted to get back into that group.) What did he do?
Hire the AAU coach of the 5-star kid you want to sign.
more after the jump ...
That's right, UCLA hired Korey McCray last summer. he just happened to be 5-star recruit Tony Parker trainer since Parker was 12 years old.
I don't want to delve too deep into things I don't know a ton about, but I definitely raised my eyebrows when I read the following quotes:
Yes sir, I did want to play for Korey," Parker said. "We’re extremely close. He’s like an older brother to me, and he has been looking out for me for a long time … I really thought if I went to UCLA, Korey could really develop me. He pushes me hard.
Tony training with Korey all these years probably started the process of them bonding.
Go ahead and draw your own conclusions. Dont worry, UCLA isn't the only place that figured this out. Louisville hired AAU coach Wyking Jones, who was with Elite Youth Basketball. This is all part of the game apparently