When it comes to recruiting, a key for any coaching staff is to know what you want in a player. If you don't know what you are looking for, you will never find it. Every player is unique and has individual abilities that can contribute in some way to a program. Below are seven criteria that I feel are key when I am evaluating a basketball player.
BE A GREAT COMPETITOR
This is often hard to evaluate but a true competitor typically has both a love of the game and a desire to be the best. Do they win where they are now or are they ok with mediocrity? A competitor will push himself on his own time and do what it takes to be successful, never settling for less than his best.
HAVE A GOOD BASKETBALL IQ
The higher the basketball IQ the better. Do they understand spacing, angles, positioning, etc? Can they see the right play and make it consistently? You need players who understand the game and can process information at whatever level you at coaching. Note that academic IQ does not necessarily relate to basketball IQ.
DISPLAY GOOD CHARACTER
The goal should be to attract players who will represent the program well on the court, off the court and in the community. While not every player will have the same level of character, those with low or poor character qualities will bring a program down. It is much easier to win with people of high character than people who are characters. In addition, those with solid character are typically unselfish, team first type of players.
BE A SHOT MAKER
If all of your players are a threat to score, the team will be able to play at a high level of offensive efficiency. Notice I said shot makers and not shooters. You need players who can put the ball in the basket regardless of how they do it. Obviously it helps if perimeter players are able to score from distance.
POSSESS A SPECIAL SKILL
The skill I most like to see in a player is the ability to make shots. If a player is not a quality shot maker, he must possess a special skill that overcomes this deficiency. Does he impact the game with shot blocking, rebounding, passing, energy or toughness? Will his skill translate to your level?
PLAY WITH ATHLETICISM
Just because a player is a great athlete doesn't mean he plays with athleticism. Basketball is a fast paced and intense game. Closely evaluate the tangibles of a players speed, quickness, length, vertical ability and physical strength. Sometimes if a player lacks those physical abilities, they make up for it with hustle and intelligence.
BE A WILLING STUDENT
Each player must meet the minimum requirements to any school in order to be admitted and be eligible. A player must have the willingness to work in the classroom in order to make the grade. You do not want to spend all of your time fighting to get a player to study and be eligible.