Thursday, June 21, 2007

Buy or Sell: Recruiting Kids Not Even in High School Yet.

This buy or sell is relatively simple. Is recruiting a kid who is an eighth grader OK? I'm going to tell you what I think and then you tell me what you think. I'm going to examine it from both angles. Buy or we go.

For the second straight year, USC basketball coach Tim Floyd has received a verbal commitment from an eighth-grader. Ryan Boatwright, a speedy 5-foot-10, 145-pound rising freshman point guard from Illinois who has yet to make a decision on where he's headed for high school, accepted Floyd's scholarship offer while at USC's camp this past weekend. Last year it was 14-year-old Dwayne Polee Jr., a 6-foot-6 forward who had yet to play his first high school game at Westchester High (Calif.).

Ok, so I don't have any idea what kind of game this kid has at age 14 but I know it's better than mine and we'll leave it at that. Regardless of how talented a kid like that is is 14 just too young? For starters this kid doesn't even know where he's going to high school. I mean isn't that a little ridiculous? Maybe there should be some kind of a rule set in place to ensure that a kid is at least in High School before he is being recruited to play in college. I mean really, at 14 this kid doesn't know a thing about college or what he really wants. I know I didn't even really think much about that kind of stuff when I was in 8th grade. Of course he is going to accept an offer verbally! He is a young and impressionable kid who knows no different. A scholarship offer from a top school before he even sets foot in a high school hallway puts an enormous amount of pressure on a kid both on the court and off of it.

While it might be a lot of pressure on the kid I am going to take a more liberal stance on the issue. I'm buying it. It is ridiculous that a scholarship offer has been made and accepted by another 14 yr old, however I think this is what the recruiting world is going to come to. Tim Floyd is just ahead of the curve here.

Getting a kid to commit that young is a little bit genius too. While it seems crazy think about this. The press release is made and so now everybody knows that this kid is going to USC and only 14 yada yada yada. So this obviously catches the eye of a lot of players that might be anywhere from 14-18 and could help sway them towards USC. Also if this kid is good enough to be entertaining offers from USC at age 14 he must be on a pretty good AAU team of some sort and will probably go to a basketball powerhouse of a high school. Now, his teammates know he's going. He talks to them and encourages them to come and pretty soon you have a bunch of top talent and blue-chip prospects with about 3 or 4 years of HS left all dying to go to USC.

It also provides a bit of job security for Tim Floyd; which is why it is so genius. Let's say he struggles in '08 or '09. Having top-flight (or believed to be so) recruits coming in in 2 or 3 years provides tremendous job security for Floyd. They aren't going to fire him for fear of losing his band of stand out HS Sophs or whatever they would be at the time.

To even be entertaining the idea of kids who are in Jr. High verbally committing to play ball somewhere and accepting scholarships is pretty ridiculous. But like I said, I think that is what college recruiting is going to eventually come to and while Floyd may look silly or foolish now I think that this recruiting tactic can really only help him in the long run.


stephen a said...

id just like to point out that they do it in hockey all the time

Stefan Ming said...

this kid wont even end up at USC I bet

Bryan said...

I don't check the sports flow for a week and what do I find I've missed?

*Yet another tribute to Prince Fielder
*A recap of a fishing trip (???)
*aaaand things about accepted recruiting practices.

It reminded me why I skipped a week..