College Recruiting Evaluations: A Different Perspective

Understanding what coaches at various levels of college basketball look for in prospects can help you get recruited.

Your high school coach is a great asset, but he or she may viewing you from a completely different perspective than a college coach might. And not every college coach looks at recruits the same way. Many factors go into their evaluations. Here are some things to consider when you're playing the recruiting game.

Conferences Make a Difference

College coaches often recruit basketball players based on their league or conference. For instance at the NCAA Division III level, schools in the UAA (University Athletic Association), which includes Carnegie Mellon, NYU and Rochester, recruit very differently than schools in the PAC (Presidents' Athletic Conference), which includes schools like Washington & Jefferson, Waynesburg and Thiel.

Colleges identify players who fit a specific academic mold. Schools in the UAA wouldn't even look at a player who had less than a 3.5 GPA. Second, the type of player in each league is very different. A center in the UAA could be 6-foot-9 or 6-10, whereas a center in the PAC would be more around 6-5 or 6-6. So the same position at the same level requires a different type of player, depending on the school and the conference.

There would be a very similar analogy when looking at a Patriot League school like Lafayette or Army, versus an ACC school like Duke or North Carolina. Both are NCAA Division I, but they are looking for a very specific type of player. A power forward in the Patriot league could be 6-5, whereas an ACC school would look at a prospect who's 6-7 or taller. This is one reason why blanket statements by high school evaluators are not always accurate.

RELATED: How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

The Level Above Looks Better

Every coach is trying to recruit a level above. What does that mean? Maybe you're good enough to play at an NCAA Division II school. However, a Division II coach is trying to recruit players who are low- to mid-Division I prospects. Coaches use the term "steal," because they are trying to swipe a player who should have been recruited at a higher level.

High major Division I programs are trying to get NBA-caliber players; low- to mid-Division I programs are trying to get high major talent; Division II programs are trying to get low- to mid-Division I prospects; and Division III programs are trying to get Division II to low Division I prospects. It's like a company hiring for a job. The job requirement may be five years of experience, but they are aiming for someone with even more.

Your Coach May Be Out of the Loop

You should also consider the background and expertise of your coach/evaluator. High school coaches don't necessarily understand every level of college basketball. They may have played at some level of college basketball, but don't really understand the other levels. Or if they played 30 years ago and teach by day and coach at night, they may not be up on the latest trends. Basketball has evolved, especially when it comes to recruiting.

RELATED: How to Write College Recruiting Letters

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock