If there was ever a time to "play every game like it's your last," now is that time. That's because July 6th marked the opening of the evaluation period for basketball, meaning college coaches have full access to high school recruits from now until the end of the month [except for July 16-21].
How does the all-inclusive evaluation period affect your recruitment? "One month from now there will be a handful of players who have taken their recruitment to entirely new levels, while others will have fallen out," writes ESPN college basketball recruiting analyst Adam Finkelstein.
The best way to attract a coach's attention is to play your role to the hilt. For example, if you're a big, you shouldn't be wandering around the perimeter and throwing up three-point shots. You should be doing what you do best: rebounding the ball, defending the basket and showcasing other skills specific to your position.
For college coaches, the evaluation period is not an all-out recruiting shopping spree, but a time to lock up top prospects with outstanding position skills. Finkelstein inventories the positions/skill sets that are in greatest demand.
True Point Guards
According to Finkelstein, "There simply aren't a lot of quality options" at the position, where coaches want someone "who plays pass-first and shoot-second, sees the game two passes ahead of the play and throws as many hockey assists [the pass that leads to the assist] as he does 'dimes.'" Furthermore, the future floor general must be a vocal leader who's "at his best when the game is on the line."
Improve your weak-hand dribbling skills with John Wall's Two-Ball Drill [this link and others in this post will give you an early look at STACK's new basketball site, a treasure trove of advice, drills, exercises and workouts that will help you take your game to the next level].
And expand your passing repertoire with instruction from LeBron James in the video above.
"The number of true face-up four-men who can really stretch opposing defenses with their shooting range is very limited," writes Finkelstein. "With more and more teams utilizing offensive systems that require such a position-specific skill set, high-major programs are more likely to settle for mid-major talent."
[Perfect your shooting form and broaden your range with expert advice and drills.]
The premium is at an all-time high for players who can create their own shot and shoot the lights out from three-point range.
Athletic big men are few and far between—players who can block shots, rebound at both ends, and score with their back to the basket. "Virtually every program in the country needs at least one of them," writes Finkelstein.
For the record, there are 345 Division I men's basketball teams.
[Use Dwight Howard's strength, speed, power circuit workout to pull down more boards and dominate the paint.]
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