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More College Basketball


By Mike Zink

October 15th, 2004


What Type of Players Do College Coaches Look For?                          

With the new signing period allowing college coaches from every level to start getting commitments from high school players starting in April some coaches are scouring Oklahoma for the best players in hopes of taking their team to NCAA’s Promised Land. "We're looking to get the single best player we can to meet our positional needs. A lot of kids make the mistake that we recruit guys that are simply good enough. It doesn't matter if they’re good
enough, we get the best guy we can get,” said Seminole State head coach Tom Mills.

Mills and his staff came down from Seminole (Oklahoma) in order to get the jump on his coaching counterparts and to look at the players who are trying to grab the attentions of any coach who would be willing to take a chance.  "We rely on word of mouth from reliable sources as far as who we need to look at but we pretty much rely on my judgment and that of my assistant coach only. We don't ever take a player sight unseen based on somebody else'
recommendations.  I don't care if it’s Mike Krzyzewski from Duke calling and saying he has a player for us. I’ve gotta see them,” concludes coach Mills. "You're looking for a good fundamental athlete that knows the game".

The hardest part with today's kids is that everyone believes they are a D-1 player and until you put them on the court and show them what a D-1 player really is it's hard to convince them that most players don't have what it takes,” says Notre Dame De Namur coach Matt Fleming from  Belmont, California.

Both coaches agree that in order to be a successful player, no matter what the level, it takes more than an individual effort. It is how you help your team win that counts. "The key is just to be the best that you can be and help your team in any way they need help. That makes guys more recruitable and not worrying what position they play or how many points they score.
Coaches don't worry about how many points a kid scores just what he can do to help the team,”  says coach  Mills. "Best rule of thumb is to do whatever it takes to help your team win.  Those are the kind of guys coaches really want. You’re born with the talent you have. How you develop it is up to you.  There are a lot of things that aren't really within a player’s control.  You
can't make somebody recruit you,” concludes Mills.

Hustle and determination also play an important part if a player looks to advance his/her career. “Anticipate that you've got to make your own effort. If you haven't made an impact on a play and you ran up and down the court twice then you’re not playing hard. A coach is looking for a player that will give the extra effort chasing down a ball or helping out on defense
instead of just taking the ball and firing every time,” says coach Fleming.  "The only thing that I can say to any kid is just keep working hard all the time. The time they need to work is right now. You don't just work during the season. You work from March to September to make your game better.”


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