Why Understanding Levels Is Important

Parents- Would you advise your kid to fall in love with someone who had no idea who they were or who never paid them any attention? No? Then apply this same principle to recruiting! Why are you all chasing/waiting on schools who aren’t recruiting your kids & have no idea who they are…

The level of schools where kids go to play is so important so why try to go play in the Big 12 when you’re getting recruited by the Southland? Especially if you’re a rising senior… who’s played on one of the shoe circuits. College coaches have watched you play for the 3 years  and now at the start of your senior year you’re turning your nose up at “smaller schools” when the Power 5 schools you want don’t even have you on their recruiting depth board… And then have the audacity to say a certain school is too low, when you don’t have an offer from a bigger school!  It’s definitely levels to this game. Everybody can’t go to Duke, Carolina or Kentucky… or Texas, TCU, & SFA.

Since 2008, the Greater Houston area has averaged around 30 Division 1 signees per year. Out of those 30, between 6-10 sign in a power 5 conference (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 12). The rest of the signees will vary between what we call low major and mid major level colleges.

Teddy Wheeler, Houston Christian assistant coach, & Basketball University head coach, has some advice for parents, coaches, & people with influence over players.  ” I implore you (coaches/parents) to go to a practice at each level, power 5 schools, mid major schools, low major schools, and even NAIA/D2 schools. That way you can see what a starter AND a backup at that level looks like. You can also research those players & look at what they did during their high school careers. So now you have a barometer on your kid..” This is beyond sound advice coming from a guy who’s helped several players get scholarships. In Houston this is very feasible as Houston, Rice, HBU, St. Thomas, & TSU are in a 40 mile radius from any distance in the city. You can tell right away what level a kid is after doing this, trust me.

My number 1 goal is to cut the transfer list in half because I believe that 75% of the kids who transfer do so because someone in their life- coach, parent, handler- didn’t fully understand their level of play. It’s hard not playing a game you love, the game you have worked so hard for. I’m speaking from personal experience. If you cut me with a knife I bleed purple. Playing basketball and attending THE TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY was one of the best things that happened to me. BUT.. for my career, and even my potential career earnings, I may have had a better benefit had I chose a school maybe one level lower. Not because I didn’t have the talent to play on the level that TCU offered me but because I would have been able to play more, have better stats, and shown professional scouts more of my ability, which would have caused my value to increase. Meaning, I would have made more money playing basketball, especially starting my pro career. There are so many guys that played at lower level colleges and universities who had/have success.Some of your favorite NBA players: Steph Curry, Damion Lillard, Cj McCollum, Kahwi Leonard, just to name a few. And I can name countless pros in Europe who’ve had better careers than guys who played in Power 5 schools. Because they were more confident and because they were able to play and develop their game at the level that fit them. And even at Division II, NAIA, Juco colleges, these levels are still tough! It’s not easy to play in some of these programs and kids still tend to think they’re beneath these schools when they don’t even have a clue what playing at this level even takes.

The more success you have in college the better your chances are to play at the next level. It sounds so simple, but people don’t get it. I didn’t get it coming out of high school, either. The bigger school is not always the better school and I want everybody to understand that I’m not trying to be condescending or crushing anyone’s Division I dream, I just don’t want the kids to be the next contestant on the transfer list screen.

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