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  • Wayne Lafley

What Do College Coaches Look For?

During my 15 years (wow 15 years, I am getting old) we have been lucky enough at LWA that every kid who has completed our AAU program has had a place to play college basketball if they wanted. That means over a 100+ kids have gone on to play at the collegiate level. Many on scholarship at the D1 & DII level. I have been lucky enough to cultivate many relationships with college coaches, thus giving me a unique look into what a college coach may look for in a possible recruit. It’s important to remember that not all college coaches value the same things…. but in my experience the good ones often have these checkpoints when looking and evaluating a recruit. I hope these bullet points help you in some way!

· Your skill set must fit that college’s needs! You can be a terrific point guard, but if that college doesn’t need a point guard in your recruiting class then they probably won’t recruit you. They only have so many spots on a team, and each year that colleges positional needs will often dictate who they recruit. Another example would be if that college needs a shooter, but you are a slasher then you probably are passing on your current skill set. It’s important to remember that it must be a good fit for the both of you. The college coach must need your skill set and you must like the college, it’s team (coaches & players), and that colleges style of play.

· As a player you play both ends of the floor and want to win! College coaches want players that care just as much about defense as offense. If you are taking trips off or look dis-interested on defense that will be a red flag. College coaches want to also see you do the not so little things that show you want to win. For example….do you dive on the floor for lose balls, do you take charges, do you set proper screens, do you make the extra pass, do you play physical and without fear? These are key factors in evaluating a potential recruit and their will to win.

· What kind of teammate are you! Are you an unselfish teammate that is excited for your team and has a positive relationship with your fellow teammates and coaches, or are you one that pouts, complains, and makes it all about you? I have heard plenty of college coaches stop recruiting players once they see what kind of selfish teammate you are. It’s important to remember that a good college coach will evaluate you on the court and off. The best ones will watch you and how you carry yourself from the moment you walk into the gym until the time you leave the gym.

· No crazy parents! I think players and parents often forget this one the most. College coaches will often figure out whom the player’s parents are and watch how they act also. No one wants to coach a player who has a parent in the stands yelling at the coach, refs, or other players. Even bad body language from a parent can turn a college coach off. My advice to parents is cheer for everyone, be positive, and keep your coaching thoughts to yourself. My advice to players, if you have a parent that is out of line then it is time to step up and have a tough heart to heart with them. Remember…. it hurts your recruiting.

Thanks for reading! -Wayne

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