University of Mary Hardin Baylor basketball head coach Ken DeWeese is a winner. This is due in most part because of recruiting. Recruiting the right fit for the university and the team. DeWeese’s recruiting efforts have allowed Hardin Baylor to advance to the NCAA Division III National Championships six times in the last 12 seasons.
Because Hardin Baylor is a Division III program, it can’t give players any athletic scholarships. If a prospect must make a decision on where to play collegiate ball based solely on financial abilities, prospects aren’t likely to look at Division III schools.
However, Hardin Baylor’s basketball program has found ways to recruit talent from across the country who are capable of leading the team to the NCAA National Championships six times in the last 12 seasons.
Athletic recruiting services like UnderRecruited Preps connects high school student-athletes and colleges in the recruiting process. The site is used by over 50,000 student-athletes and coaches looking to get an edge in the competitive industry known as college recruiting. I sat down with Ken to find out his recruiting approach and how families can improve their recruiting process. The Q&A with Ken will untangle some concerns you may have.
Q: How does the college recruiting process work?
Each coach at each University recruits in their own way, BUT, there are some things that we all do. Example: Determine position needs which leads to: 1-evaluate basketball talent, 2-evaluate athleticism, 3-evaluate competitiveness, 4-evaluate character, 5 evaluate projected level, 6- project academic success, 7- investigate behavior, investigate family situation. This is my important list with about 27,550 additional items that I expect my assistant coaches to know about a prospect.
Q: How should a recruit let you know he/she wants to play for your college/university?
We prefer to see them play first to solve No. 1,2,3,4 questions above and also by interviewing coaches/teachers/family members. If we have not evaluated a prospect in a “live” situation, we do look at film as well, however that is limited in our evaluation process so we determine from film if we want to go to the trouble of watching a prospect actually play or practice.
Q: What coaches look for on official and unofficial visits
Behavior, behavior, behavior, interaction with present team members and if the prospect is truly interested or aloof or cool. Obvious, Sincere interest goes along way.
Q: When do you start identifying potential recruits?
Some but few in the 9th or 10th grade, usual evaluation for us begins in Junior season. If a prospect is decided to be a prospect in the 9th or 10th grade, they are usually very special players.
Q: College coaches are reaching out. Now what?
Student-athlete needs to also do plenty of evaluation – regarding institution, quality of reputation, academic offerings, location/distance of campus, interest campus community has toward athletics, coaching staff/style BUT mainly coach’s record. Really good Won-Loss record, over time (at least 6 years) is a good barometer of coaching ability. *A COACH IS WHAT HIS RECORD SAYS HE IS
Q: What advice do you have for a high school player not getting much attention from college coaches?
Send film, not just hi-lite film, include game film so the evaluation process can begin or it is decided no interest is there. Either way the student-athlete saves their time and effort