Monday, February 13, 2006

Hoops Recruiting - Illegal Diaper Gifts

Interesting article talking about recruiting kids younger and younger. This from Coach Hewitt:

Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt subscribes to HoopScoop and similar online recruiting services. He said he uses them to help evaluate high school players -- not middle school kids. "Pretty comical, isn't it?" he said, when asked about ranking children.

Hewitt said he doesn't waste his time "looking for the next great sixth-grader."

"It wouldn't make any sense because there's just too much time between fifth or sixth grade and the time a player is a high school senior," Hewitt said. "Kids mature at different rates -- not just physically but with their basketball skills."

Hewitt said rankings can turn a great middle school player into an average high school player.

"It's part of the reason some players in the U.S. are less fundamentally sound than in years past," he said. "They play to the rankings and try to influence the rankings by scoring a lot. Meanwhile, the rest of their game suffers. It's kind of like studying for a test rather than studying to learn."

Speaking of Coach Hewitt - here's a great article on Paul Hewitt with some stats from his college career. As usual he's very humble and self-depracating:

His alma mater currently ranks 20th in Division III men's basketball with a 17-3 record.

Hewitt's career as a player, however, was not quite as successful as the current Cardinals team. He averaged highs of just 4.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a senior and speaks the truth about his playing career.

"I was so bad they moved the program back to Division III," he joked.

Then he speaks to student-athletes:

"My biggest concern when I see a conference like [the UAA] is how much study time does it take away from the kids," Hewitt said. "Student-athletes are quite often criticized and stereotyped for not being interested in school. I think if you put a nonathlete in a schedule a student-athlete runs, I think they'll have a much greater appreciation for how much harder student-athletes work. … You really learn how to manage your time as a college basketball athlete."

Then he wraps up with a nice comment on the purpose of collegiate athletics.

"The primary purpose of sports, in my mind, is to bring all of a school together," Hewitt said. "If run the right way and marketed the right way, I think it can be a real galvanizing point for any school at any level, [Division] I, II or III."