With the AAU season in full swing, teenage college basketball hopefuls are looking to up their game in an effort to impress recruits. So often, these young players focus too much on their offensive output, specifically the points per game, and fail to consider the other intangible factors that all college recruits are bound to notice. While out on the road during the busy evaluation period, college recruiters consistently point to these five factors for noticeability on the recruiting trail:
SKILL LEVEL: All the hustle and effort in the world won’t get you anywhere without the skill level to match. Leading the pack in skill set desirability is shooting skills, but there are a lot of other ways to impress recruits as well such as ball handling, speed, rebounding skill, passing, and more.
BASKETBALL IQ: Skill can only get you so far in the game. The more competitive level of play translates into the necessity to possess the smarts to know what to do with the ball as well as where you should be on the court at all times. The mental side of the game becomes even more paramount at the collegiate level.
DEFENSE: There is a lot of truth to the saying “Defense Wins Championships”. Effective defense and getting stops can rapidly swing the momentum of the game. College basketball recruits recognize the value of defense and look down on players who are only concerned with the offensive part of their game.
ATTITUDE: All the skill in the world has a hard time overcoming a poor attitude. Coaches do not want to deal with players who have a habit of whining or getting mad when pulled out of the game for making a mistake. Being a supportive teammate goes hand in hand with having a good attitude. Exceptional players recognize the value of putting their best face forward on the court day in and day out, despite the situation.
COMPETITIVENESS: There are very few things that cannot be taught, and the drive to succeed and compete in every situation is one of them. To compete at a level beyond high school competition, players must have the moxie to compete and do so with the toughness of a warrior.