|D'Mitrk Trice has heard from several colleges|
Although some may question the value of early exposure, the evidence is clear; college coaches and scouts are watching and paying attention to young standout players much earlier than you might believe. The early exposure often comes in several forms, but make no mistake, with their jobs on the line and the need to replenish talent every year, college coaches must identify and begin recruiting players earlier and earlier than ever before.Though the NCAA and the College Basketball Coaches Association have frowned on the practice of early recruitment, and have gone as far as to discourage early scholarship offers, college coaches still need to know who the top young prospects are in their area. Most often, college coaches hear about the top kids in their respective states and begin reaching out to them through phone calls to high school and AAU coaches, word of mouth conversations, and questionnaire/introductory letters as early as the 7th and 8th grade.
|LaMonta Stone II already has offers|
As part of this piece, I spoke with LaMonte Stone Sr., an assistant coach at Bowling Green State University, and he confirmed my suspicions. Because his son, LaMonte Stone II, plays AAU basketball (All-Ohio Red), the elder Stone is able to attend his son's AAU games, while also checking out the other talent in the gym. "When I'm in the gym, I make mental notes of some of the kids I see," said Stone. "I look at Clark Francis' (The Hoops Scoop) reports and websites like yours (Buckeye Prep Report) to see if what I see matchs up with the rankings," continued Stone. I asked Stone about the value of the questionaires he and his coleagues send out to young prospects and he indicated "they are for imformational purposes. We keep them on file. We can't send them any mail, but in a couple years we know where to find them," offered Stone. Stone also pointed out the some AAU organizations do a better job than others of "putting kids in a good situation" (to get exposure) by playing at events where college coaches maybe watching. According to Stone, "if you expose them early, the recruiting starts early."
Stone can attest to this practice first hand, as his son is ahead of the game having already received actual offers from a couple of MAC schools, including: Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Other schools showing interest include: Michigan State, Cincinnati, Michigan, Iowa State, Duquesne, and Tennessee. Stone is not the only 2015 player receiving early college interest, as D’Mitric Trice, a rising freshmen heading to Wayne High School, has already received questionnaires from Bowling Green, Loyola of Chicago, Toledo and Detroit. In addition, although he has not received any letters to date, Moeller’s Nate Fowler has received interest from Ohio State, Dayton and West Virginia, and exploratory calls to his high school and AAU coach. Moreover, according to his father, Fairfield’s Luke Kennard’s play this summer has not gone unnoticed by college coaches, as the lefty has already received interest from several college programs. Mark Kennard lists Ohio State, Michigan and Dayton as programs that have shown interest in his son.
According to Glenn Galermo, coach of the Cincinnati Knights, he has received multiple calls from college coaches asking about AJ Harris, Kennard and Fowler. He mentioned Ohio State, Michigan, and Dayton as programs that have early interest in the trio. Galermo added, "OSU, Michigan, Dayton and Wright State (coaches) were at all of our games at the AAU Nationals." Galermo also indicated that Wright State has shown a great deal of interest in Harris, stating, "Wright State wants him now," and West Virgina is "all over" Fowler. Finally, Galermo predicts 5-6 of the kids on his Cincinnati Knights roster will recieve D-I scholarships.
|Esa Ahmed being eyed by Cleveland State|
Though he has not received any letters to date, Cleveland State coaches have let it be known that they will be watching Shaker Height’s Esa Ahmed this upcoming AAU season.
There you have it, tangible proof that early exposure can pay dividends, as evedenced by the fact that the players profiled above are all ready garnering major college interest despite never having played one minute of high school basketball. Oh wait, it' not just the class of 2015 getting the looks, I know that Ohio State is tracking Akron's Tervell Beck, only a seventh grader!