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How Does Basketball Recruiting Work?

Learn about basketball recruiting from college basketball experts at NCSA.

What is college basketball recruiting and how does it work?

College basketball recruiting is a process through which college basketball coaches invite players to compete as players on their respective collegiate teams. Basketball recruiting means that a coach or an assistant has learned about a player and would like to learn more about him or her.

The recruiting process may begin with outreach from the coaches and staff beginning after the sophomore year. Coaches and assistants may remain in regular contact with players in which they are particularly interested. They may begin to extend offers during the senior year. There are a few ways that athletes can try to get coaches to notice them, including the following:

  • Reaching out to the coaches directly
  • In-person scouting
  • College recruiting services

How does basketball recruiting work for colleges?

The college basketball recruiting process can occur in multiple ways, including in-person contact, emails, text messages, phone calls, and social media. The NCAA basketball recruiting rules differ between Division I, II, and III schools.

The rules govern when coaches can reach out to potential prospects. They also govern when coaches can watch players in live action and when players can visit the schools. There are also rules about how the students can have interactions with the coaches as well as their academics and more. Recruiting is a long and complex process, making it important for you to understand how it works and to prepare.

How many students are recruited to play college basketball each year?

The statistics on basketball recruiting can put things into perspective. According to the National Collegiate Athletics Association, there are an estimated 546,400 male high school basketball players and 429,400 female high school basketball players. However, only 18,700 men and 16,600 women move on to become college basketball athletes. This is a recruiting rate of just 3.4 percent of the men and 3.9 percent of the women who play basketball at the high school level.

Want to be recruited to play basketball in college?

If you want to be recruited to play basketball in college, it is important for you to start working on your goal beginning in your freshman year. If you are older, you can still work to try to get recruited, but it might take some additional effort. Here are some things that you need to know to get started.

Learn about women's basketball recruiting from college basketball experts at NCSA.

College recruiting basics

There are some terms that you should know that can help you to make sense of the  NCAA basketball recruitng process. These terms describe different players in the process and their roles. The terms also apply to different times in the recruiting timeline.

A college basketball recruit is a high school player who is approached by a college coach and asked to play on the school's basketball team. The recruiting process is strictly regulated by the NCAA. There are rules about when coaches can contact players and when players can visit the campuses and programs. In general, coaches can reach out to players that they want to recruit during and after their junior years.

A college basketball commit is a recruited player who has committed to play for a particular team at a specific college. This is a player who signs an agreement to participate in the basketball program of a college that has recruited him or her. Once he or she commits, other colleges cannot recruit him or her.

A college basketball prospect is a high school basketball player in whom a coach or assistant might be interested. Someone who is considered a prospect will not necessarily be recruited, however. Teams may send out many letters each year to prospects who will never be recruited. You are a prospect if you play high school basketball from your freshman year on up.

College recruiters are coaches and assistant coaches who actively identify high school students in which they might be interested. The recruiters may keep rosters of athletes that they might be interested in and track their performance throughout their high school careers. They may also track the players' rankings, attend live games, and work to build relationships with students that they recruit.

Men's and women’s basketball recruiting

The planning process for men’s recruiting should begin during your freshman year. Students can create lists of 100 prospective colleges and prepare their highlight videos. They might want to play for Amateur Athletic Union teams and participate in basketball clinics or camps. They can also make unlimited unofficial visits to different schools.

During your sophomore year, you should videotape your games as a part of the men’s recruiting process. Players can begin making calls to coaches and sending emails. They should aim to attend elite basketball camps at a high-caliber level. During this time, DIII and NAIA programs can contact players at any time under the men’s basketball recruiting rules. DI and DII coaches cannot contact you, but you are able to send them letters and email them. Beginning on June 15 after your sophomore year, DI and DII coaches can begin reaching out to players.

During your junior year, you should respond to every coach who emails or writes to you. You should also reach out to coaches and ask questions about their programs. Go to camps and make certain to keep your grades up. Send highlight videos to programs in which you are particularly interested.

During your senior year, you can make a maximum of five official visits as a part of the men’s basketball recruiting process. You can also make unofficial visits to schools. You should narrow down your list of colleges and complete tryouts for DII and junior college programs. Finally, commit to a school and make certain to talk to the coach about the summer workout program.

The women’s basketball recruiting process also begins during your freshman year. During this year, create your highlights video and research schools until you have a list of 50 to 100 prospective colleges. Join an AAU team and send letters of introduction to coaches. Make phone calls and send emails to start building relationships, and attend a women's basketball camp to develop your skills.

During your sophomore year of the women’s recruiting timeline, you should film another highlights tape. Make certain that you attend camps and compete in tournaments. Continue the relationship-building process with coaches through emails and phone calls and make unofficial visits.

Learn about men's basketball recruiting from college basketball experts at NCSA.

During your junior year, follow up with coaches and film a new highlights tape. Respond to all coaches who contact you. Narrow down your list of colleges and make unofficial visits. Ask coaches where you stand on their lists.

During your senior year, the women’s recruiting process kicks into high gear. You can make a maximum of five official visits. Complete unofficial visits and complete your college and financial aid applications. Commit to a program and ask about the summer workout program. Once you are a college basketball commit, you cannot attend another school.

Basketball recruiting websites and recruit rankings

There are a number of different basketball recruiting sites where you can find college basketball recruiting rankings. These sites can serve a couple of purposes. You can read basketball recruiting news on the sites and compare your stats with other athletes who are listed on them. You can also get yourself listed in these sites. Coaches check basketball recruiting sites to look at prospects' rankings. If you have superior stats, getting listed might help you to attract attention.

Some of the top basketball recruiting sites include the following:

Rankings can help you judge the competition. Rankings and standings can be broken down by teams and schools, top high school basketball players, and men's or women's basketball players.

Best college basketball teams

To learn about the best college basketball teams, you can review college basketball team rankings. The college basketball rankings change from year to year, but certain teams appear in the top 25 on a regular basis.

Currently, the highest-ranked team is Duke University's Blue Devils. Other teams that regularly appear in the top-ranked teams include the University of Kansas Jayhawks, the University of Virginia Cavaliers, and others.

It is important to note that becoming a college basketball recruit for a top-ranked DI team is rare. You might find that basketball recruiting for a DII or DIII team may work better for you. If you have great grades, you can treat your athletic scholarship as a supplement to your other scholarships.

You can find NCAA basketball standings on the organization's website. To find out who has the number one recruiting class in college basketball, check the team and basketball recruiting sites.

Basketball coaches

Find out more on basketball recruiting from college basketball experts at NCSA.

Many high school basketball players believe that they will be able to continue to the next level and will get scholarships to play basketball in college. High school basketball coaches should explain basketball recruiting to their players. They should tell them that the likelihood of getting scholarships is low.

High school coaches should emphasize the importance of building and maintaining an excellent academic record beginning in the freshman year. Good players who also earn top grades may be likelier to succeed in the recruiting process than similar players whose grades are average.

When you talk to coaches, you might be unsure of what you should say. You should start by sending an introductory email that grabs their attention. You might include your stats and a statement of your interest in their program. Talk about your GPA and provide a link to your highlights video on YouTube. To follow up on your email, call the coach. Respond to every basketball recruiting letter that you receive.

When you talk to coaches, pay attention to their communication styles. Great coaches are good leaders who can clearly communicate. They also tend to be disciplinarians who are also fair. Finally, great coaches become involved with their players' personal lives and develop good relationships with everyone on their teams.

Basketball camps and showcases

There are several things that you can do to prepare for college recruiting for basketball. Start early and pay attention to your grades. Behave in a professional manner both on and off the field.

Try out basketball training camps and basketball showcases. These can help you to hone your skills and to gain exposure. You can look at a list of the top basketball camps. You can peruse the list and choose one that is close to you. Alternatively, you can check with the college that you are most interested in to find out about the basketball training camps and showcases that it has available.

It is important that you find a camp that matches your skillset the best. Look for one that has a low camper-to-coach ratio. There are seasonal camps that are available in the summer months as well as winter camps during holiday breaks.

Basketball recruiters

Finding a recruiter that you can trust can go a long way towards helping you through the recruiting process. You should look for a recruiter who has a strong track record and has received great ratings.

College recruiting services for basketball are available online. When you are searching for a good recruiting website, look for established recruiting firms that have years of experience and have built a large network of coaches. The NCSA has been helping players to find the colleges and programs that meet their needs since 1985 and has a network of more than 35,000 coaches.

Recruiting timelines and how you can get recruited

Checkout basketball recruiting from the basketball experts at NCSA.

We've provided timelines for how the recruiting process works for both men and women. To learn how you can get recruited, you can read about getting noticed.

When do college basketball players have to commit? There are rules for the deadline to commit to college basketball for DI schools. The early period for signing a national letter of intent has an initial signing date in mid-November with the final signing date occurring one week later. The regular period for signing a national letter of intent has an initial signing date in mid-April and a final signing date a month later in mid-May.

When you sign a letter of intent, you have committed yourself to enroll in the college and to play basketball for at least one year. Because of the importance of where you attend college, it is important that you visit the campus and make certain that it will meet both your athletic and academic needs. Make sure that you are comfortable with the size of the student body, the location of the college, and the staff and coaches of the program before you sign.

Preparing early is a good idea. There is no time like the present to begin preparing for the recruiting process. The NCSA is available to help student-athletes through the process so that they might be matched with the coach and program that fits them the best.

The basketball recruiting process has changed substantially since the advent of the internet. In the past, coaches and their assistants would spend a significant amount of time traveling to high school games to scout out players. They also held more scouting camps and wrote letters. Today, a lot of the recruiting process occurs over the internet. Coaches may watch highlight videos online on YouTube with links that they are provided. They may reach out through emails and text messages and rely less on scouting trips.

Overview of NCSA

Next College Student Athlete is a recruiting organization that was founded in the mid-1980s with the goal of matching athletes with college coaches across the nation. The organization is the largest in the U.S. and boasts a recruiting network of more than 35,000 college coaches.

NCSA has partnered with more than 120 top sports organizations and companies, including the following:

  • USA Today High School Sports
  • Adidas
  • NAIA
  • MaxPreps
  • USATF
  • US Sports Camps

Out of over 1700 reviews on Google Reviews, NCSA scores 4.9 out of five stars. NCSA focuses on finding the best college and sports programs for each high school athlete for which it works.

Get help from NCSA

With help from NCSA, you can gain exposure and potentially get discovered by college coaches. With more than 35,000 coaches in the NCSA system, you might find the one who matches your skillset the best. NCSA has earned hundreds of great reviews from its customers.

In the last year, 24,000 athletes with NCSA committed to colleges for sports. To learn more, call 866 495-5172. You can also start your free profile with NCSA today by signing up now.

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