2014 FIBA Women's World Basketball Championship Live Scores

What are colleges looking for?

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Prepsfan13
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Interested in whether or not anyone has any feedback on lack of exposure to certain players and what people think the major things affecting being noticed are? Whether college coaches look at high school teams, AAU club teams, summer skills camps, their schools camps or whatever it may be. It just seems interesting to me that certain girls get more attention than others and I can't seem to figure out why, I'll provide one example comparing something I've read on a player I'm unfamiliar with, to a player close to my home town. Reading the preps bulletin board, and I see that Sophomore Ali Patberg recently committed to Notre Dame, she's a 5'10 guard from Indiana who's averaging 18 pts, 5.6 reb, and 3.7 assists, and her team is 14-0. In Puyallup, Wa there's a 5'11 sophomore guard by the name of Riley Clarke, she's averaging 23.8 pts, roughly 10 reb, and 2 assists per game. While her team is 5-9 on the year, so while I haven't seen Ali Patberg play I'm going to assume she has much more help on her team than Riley Clarke. So, my question comes down to, why hasn't Riley Clarke been offered any scholarships while Ali Patberg has committed somewhere already? Curious to see what people think is the key factor for certain girls who fly under the radar to get there name out there.

I've spoken with some people and heard that Riley Clarke has recieved letters from many schools, but has not recieved any scholarship offers.

 

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ClayK
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First, see what you think

First, see what you think about this column that I wrote on FCP:

http://www.fullcourt.com/ncaa/22505/winning-strategy-equals-boring-if-no...

In general, college coaches look first, second and third at athleticism. Can the player handle the athletic challenges, especially quickness, speed and size, at the Division I level? Production at the AAU and high school level is much less important than potential -- or to put it another way, what the college coaches are interested in is what the player could be at age 20, not what the player is like at age 16.

Along that line, college coaches like their paychecks, and if they recruit a non-athletic kid who bombs out, the AD can understand why a 6-1 girl who can run faster than anyone on the team, and can touch the rim with both hands, got a scholarship even if it turns out she still doesn't understand the backcourt rule as a junior. But if the 5-7 suburban shooter with the chunky body doesn't make it, the AD could easily say "I don't know anything about basketball and I could have told you that girl wasn't going to make it."

So I have never seen Riley Clarke, but you've said she played for a major AAU team, so she's been seen by college coaches. There's obviously something that makes them wonder -- and I'm going to guess that they don't think she can defend at the next level.

 

 

 

Prepsfan13
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Riley Clarke

I've gone to AAU, high school games of many premier players in the state of Washington, and I must respectfully disagree with your last comment on Riley Clarke as a player. She has the size, great build, strong, can jump very very well, and her defense is very good too. While at AAU tournaments I've seen other girls in the tree of hope program play and perform, and many of them I believe have D1 offers to UW, Seattle U and other places. Not one girl in tree of hopes program other than Riley, is averaging above 13 points with my recent research on Seattle times website. So while high school competition may not matter, I can't see their games transfering very well if they cannot score on high school level competition. Perhaps it just has to do with her still being a young player and scouts haven't seen the potential and already great athletic abilities of this girl?

Side note, believe this is the first year Riley Clarke will be able to compete with the elite team in the tree of hope program, as she was overshadowed previously.

So, while I'm not a paid college scout, I'd have to say if someone came to me with a serious face and said there's a better prospect for 2015 out of the state of Washington that Riley Clarke, I'd respectfully have to disagree.

Part of the thing with scholarship offers that I've seen with underclassmen in other sports has to do with attending that schools camp, so they can get a solid look at you in their own drills.

ClayK
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Having never seen Riley

Having never seen Riley Clarke play, I really don't have an opinion -- but if she didn't play on Tree of Hope's top team, then I can see why she didn't have any offers. If Tree of Hope's coaches don't think she's one of their 10 best players, then unless all 10 of those girls are getting mid-level or above D-1 scholarships, the message to college coaches is pretty clear.

Now whether that message is accurate is another story ...

Prepsfan13
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Tree of Hope

This Summer should be an interesting one for her, all depends on whether or not she stays healthy of course, but I predict a very good summer for that tree of hope program as well as a breakout summer for Riley Clarke. They seem to have a lot of depth generally as well, so how they utilize Clarke in that rotation will be interesting.

Most likely, part of her being limited to their second tier team last year was due to her having no high school basketball to prove anything seeing as the Puyallup school district has high schools that are 10-12, so that may have contributed to her being placed lower, the coaches may not have been convinced she could handle the quicker pace, but that question should be answered now, if they weren't able to tell before, they have their proof now. Seems all too often the 3 year high school system contributes to set backs in this area.

I'll be sure to check out some of the local tournaments they play in starting in March and give everyone a report on how they look.

ClayK
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There's plenty of time -- and

There's plenty of time -- and offers made at this point really aren't that important. 

The truth is that there are more Division I scholarships than there are Division I players, so if Clarke is that good, she'll get a ride.

 

addam
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If you ask me any college

If you ask me any college should be more interested in smart players, this is a very good advantage on the field and it can compensate the athletic related disadvantages. I read it all in a cause and effect essay and it made perfect sense to me.

Prepsfan13
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Smart player

Completely agree, the coaches should be looking for smart players who put academics first. These players that combine academics and athletics tend to be ones that are willing to work just as hard in the classroom as they do in the gym, which is a tremendous combination. They have the smarts that a coach is looking for, and generally will improve their basketball skills as time goes on. As well, them being studious pays dividends on the basketball court, students of the game who constantly are learning. 

ClayK
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Smart players are great, but

Smart players are great, but good players are better. 

College coaches are paid to win, and in the long run, a 2.0 student who can score and rebound will keep a coach employed a lot longer than a 4.0 student who can't do much of either.

That said, a high basketball IQ is always good, but just because a player is smart on the court doesn't mean they're necessarily smart in the classroom. And of course, bad graduation rates can cost a coach a job -- though if the team wins enough, the administration will overlook any academic issues. 

 

Prepsfan13
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Both Worlds

Just thinking if I'm recruiting a player who is a natural leader on the court, can score, rebound, and pass, then find out she has a 4.0, well she is on top of my priority list. Even if there's another player averaging a few more points than her, but they're lacking behind education wise for whatever reasons, the 4.0 is getting my nod. That GPA with whatever SAT scores may be, lets say 2000+, well they're showing you they're willing to work hard in all aspects of the student-athlete title. Added bonus, eligibility will not ever be an issue with a player like this.

ClayK
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I would agree that giving the

I would agree that giving the edge to an academically superior athlete is definitely a good thing ... but the question gets more complex the greater the gap in ability between the student and the less studious.

I coach at a small private school with a lot of very smart girls on my team -- and well, we try hard. When I've coached at bigger schools with some girls who don't measure up to my present group academically, we've done very well.

 

 

Prepsfan13
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In between

The smaller group of girls that are less talented, but are a bunch of work horses; there is not much more you can ask from them as a coach. Hopefully they are just improving day by day.

 

With the bigger schools, why are they not able to be just as studious and talented. They can practice the same amount, but after practice they should be studying. Just never think academics should take a back seat to sports. May sound like "Coach Carter" on here, but when you have players willing to work hard on and off the court in the classroom and on the basketball court; well that is a successful team.

 

There must be some common ground to be found, and I am not saying that the girls at the big school you coached for were failing by any means, but there are schools that work around GPA standards, and who is that benefiting? The coaches biggest interest should be in his/her players futures, and helping them around a grade instead of helping them bump that grade up is more detrimental than anything.

 

Would agree, if you have a player averaging 20 PPG, and 10 reb but with a 2.5, then a player averaging 10 PPG, and 5 reb with a 4.0, but on the same team. Well, that might be worth taking the risk, depending on the better players attitude, demeanor, etc.

krawiec
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Good point but I don't see

Good point but I don't see how being smart will help you in the field. You would have to be a total dumbass in that case.

 

ClayK
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>Good point but I don't see

>Good point but I don't see how being smart will help you in the field. You would have to be a total dumbass in that case.

I agree ... basketball smarts and classroom smarts are much different. I've had smart girls who just can't grasp switching a back screen, and girls who struggle in the classroom who make instant adjustments on the court.

 

Prepsfan13
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Non student athletes

They can also correlate, if the player excells in the classroom then they have a high potential to be able to grab onto plays and such things much quicker than less adequate students. The student-athlete term is much larger than some may think, there are great athletes who can't see the court or the field because they 1)Cannot pass class in college or 2)They cannot grasp plays or schemes that the coaches give them. They're as useful as a chicken with its head cut off if they cannot figure out the system.

ClayK
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I think what it comes down to

I think what it comes down to is that every person is different, just as every body (in the sense of physical form) is different.

As someone who has spent a fair amount of time coaching shooting, I've come to believe there is no "perfect" shooting form. There are optimum motions for each individual that may or may not come very close to the "perfect' style, and the same thing applies to players and their ability to translate concepts into action. I've had some players who can read a scouting report and turn those words into on-court play with almost no other input; other kids simply get too caught up in thinking and are actually better off without scouting reports.

PhilipRoger
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I completely agree ClayK,

I completely agree ClayK, there is no perfect shooting form. My 17 year old cousin had the weirdest swing and was able to pocket the balls like no one. 

ClayK
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In general, though, good

In general, though, good shooters need:

1) Good footwork: On balance, legs and hips involved in shot;

2) Good rotation: Knuckleballs aren't going to work; and

3) Consistent release: The shot has to be repeatable, and consistently so. The biggest problem with a complex motion is that it's easy for one of the many moving parts to get out of whack.