With the coming of September, it is time for basketball coaches to get really busy. Not only are they welcoming their 2009-10 team to campuses but recruiting gets very serious. The two key time elements that come to play are the start of fall semester, and the start of the contact period.
With the start of class coaches can now invite recruits in for official visits. The official visit, in most cases, is the single most important element of the recruiting process. There have been many times when a prospect has done a 180 either for good or bad after an official visit. Example last year was Jeff Budinich who was really leaning heavily to committing to Eastern Washington and almost canceled his trip to MSU. He committed to MSU 2 days after his visit to Montana State.
There is a lot of strategy involved in scheduling trips. Do you try to schedule before or after a competitor? Which kids do you bring in which kids. Do you bring prospects for the same positions? Do you bring in commits with prospects? What is happening on campus and can you get certain prospects in to take advantage of it? The list goes on but at both Montana schools the biggest factor is football home games. There are some exceptions but, getting prospects in for home football games is one of the best selling points for either school. At the U. of Montana, I think it is a law written somewhere. Of course the football weekend of all basketball recruiting football week end is Homecoming week end. Look for already committed players, and high priority prospects to come in on those dates. Another rule of thumb is get the higher priority kids in early, so you know if you need to move on.
All that said, if a kid is a high enough priority all of this goes out the window. If a Josh Huestis or a Jordan Sullivan insists on coming for a visit on a Tuesday, they will bring them in on a Tuesday.
The first Contact period of the 2009-10 recruiting calendar starts September 9th thru October 5th. The contact period is the only time where a coach(s) can get off campus and talk to prospects and their families, in person. This is one of two contact periods the second being in March where the coaches can get out and recruit in person and more importantly the prospects family. It used to be that the in home visits were the precursor to an on campus visit, as prospects would choose their visits list after the in home visits. While this is still a major trend more and more kids are choosing their visit lists prior to the in homes. One other note the NCAA last year has greatly increased the contact periods from last year. In 2008-09 they were only 10-14 days in length both in the fall and spring and this created a lot of scheduling problems for both coaches and prospects.
Below are links to the NCAA recruiting calendars for Basketball, Football and Volleyball.
Sept. 9th – Oct 5th Contact period (when home visits with will happen)
Oct 6th – Nov. 9th Evaluation period
Nov. 9th-12th Dead period
Nov.11th –Nov. 18th Fall signing period
Now the Women’s recruiting calendar is very very close to the same, but in the NCAA wisdom each date is slightly different.
Here are the official recruiting calendars from NCAA for basketball, volleyball, and football
Official NCAA Definition
(from the player’s perspective)
The college coach may watch you play or visit your high school, but cannot have any in-person conversations with you or your parents off the college’s campus. You and your parents can visit a college campus during this period. A coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.
During this time, a college coach may have in-person contact with you and/or your parents on or off the college’s campus. The coach may also watch you play or visit your high school. You and your parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone you during this period.
The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents at any time in the dead period. The coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.
The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college’s campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period. You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time. A coach may write or telephone you or your parents during this time.