Hello Sky Fans!

I just returned from a weekend on the road evaluating prospects and building our player personnel database. I kept a running journal throughout my 68 or so hours and 1,012 mile road trip ... so here it goes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

3:45 AM - My alarm blasts ... time to start the day.

I love going on the road watching players, but it’s not all the fun and games you may think. The common misnomer is that prospect evaluation is just, “coaches out having fun.” There’s no question it is fun to go watch great players play basketball, but to evaluate a prospect properly… there is A LOT more to it ... including waking up at the crack of dawn.

4:30 AM - The journey begins ... I'm on the road!

12:30 PM - I'm here! I'm in the heart of Amish country, Berlin, Ohio to see the "Classic in the Country" one of the top prep tournaments in the country.

The rest of the afternoon I spent preparing for the weekend's tournament reading, researching, making calls and preparing for the coaches and players I'll see.

5:30 PM - Dinner/Meetings with Coaches.

Hundreds of college assistants and head coaches travel to this tournament to watch some of the Nation’s top prep talent. In player evaluation, information is king! The results were great intel. (That’s not mine … I’m stealing Piph’s term … always need to have the intel, right Piph!?!) I gathered some really helpful knowledge as we build our database and find the right fit.

12:15 AM (Saturday) - Crash! Goodnight.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

6:45 AM - There goes the alarm ...

7:00 AM - Hit the gym ... the players aren't the only ones who need to get ready for Training Camp!

8:15 AM - Breakfast with coaches.

10:00 AM - 10:00 PM - In the gym watching basketball!

I spoke with 50 or so coaches during my day regarding a wide variety of potential prospects … either their own, or ones they have competed against, others they knew – just to get another perspective and as much information as possible.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

6:00 AM - Alarm goes off ... time to get the day going.

6:15 AM - Back in the gym. Training camp is less than four months away.

9:15 AM - On the road to Columbus, OH to see Ohio State.

11:00 AM - Pre-Game: Time to start gathering information. I speak with everyone I can (fans, ushers, PR staff, anyone who can provide me insight on the prospects in today's game).

Noon - Tip off! Ohio State vs. Michigan State

Throughout the game I record my player evaluations on my digital voice recorder.

The easy part is the “who”… Maya Moore is good. No kidding! It gets a little tricky in the later rounds, but still: talent is talent. The key is to find out everything you can about potential draft picks to answer the following questions:

  • How has she been coached?
  • What style of play is best suited for her?
  • Where does she like to live?
  • How does she “learn”? (Doing (practice / Individual workouts) … Seeing (film) … Writing (play book/scouting reports)
  • What type of person is she?
  • Where did she grow up?
  • Does her skill set make the current players we have on our roster better?
  • What type of practice player is she? – Does she love the game? Does she want to improve?
  • Does she accept coaching? – Is she coachable?
  • How does she handle critical feedback?
  • How does she handle adversity?
  • What does she do when not playing?

    All these things and more go into building a roster and being out on the road.

  • 2:30 PM - Post game visit with coaches. We discuss the game, the players, the opponents and other potential prospects and younger players.

    4:00 PM - Dinner at Bob Evans ... Love the double meatloaf! Dinner is also spent writing prospect evaluations.

    5:45 PM - Back on the road and headed home!

    1:30 AM (Monday, January 17, 2011) - Home, at last.

    For previous editions of Sky Hoops with House, click here.