High School Basketball Dunk

NCAA Basketball Recruiting Guidelines:


How to get noticed by college coaches 

What abilities are required to play college basketball? What qualities do college coaches look for in recruits? Whether an athlete is a perimeter or post player, this section explains the various requirements needed to compete at the college level, from NCAA Division 1 to JUCO programs. When student-athletes know where they fit in best, they can create a realistic list of target colleges and increase their chances of connecting with college coaches.

Skillsets coaches look for in college basketball recruits?  

The frame and height: Among the most visible are physical features such as height and body structure, athleticism and strength, as well as the ability to communicate effectively. Slightly under 6 feet 5 inches tall, basketball players in NCAA Division 1 were an average of just over 6 feet 7 inches tall. Powerful players who can make an impression on the floor are what they're looking for.

Technical ability: As a result, coaches at the collegiate level thoroughly analyze technical skills as well as athleticism and strength. As an example, can the recruit guard or shoot with the proper footwork and release point? Athletes that require instruction in the fundamentals will not be recruited by their coaches.

Basketball IQ: Recruits' "basketball IQ" will be determined by coaches, and here is where position-specific talents come into play. Is it possible for perimeter players to influence the pace of the game? Are post players able to comprehend the correct defensive rotations when they're on the field? Situational awareness is another component of basketball IQ. Do athletes know to keep onto the ball until the end of the game, rather than taking a shot early, if the clock is running out and the game is tied? Being aware of how many time-outs and fouls each team has during the game is also important to keep track of. You'll notice the best players when they've mastered fundamentals and can read the game well.

Academics: Finally, there are other qualities of a person's character that might make them stand out from the crowd. College coaches place a high value on academics, particularly at the Division 3 level. Athletes' ability to maintain focus, lead by example, and manage their time well can be gauged by their grades and test scores.

Coaches, of course, have their own preferences in terms of what they look for in a player. A tall, athletic post player may be preferred by some schools, while a smaller, raw talent, polished skills, and excellent instincts player may be more valued by others. Sometimes, college coaches go to junior college (JUCO) teams for better-developed talent than what they can find among high school athletes. 

Meeting with college coaches and getting to know their recruiting needs are essential first steps. However, if you're in a hurry, you may just check out a team's roster. If you look at how many athletes are graduating, compared to the number of underclassmen playing in various positions, you can tell which positions coaches are recruiting and what crucial data they are looking for. 

What basketball skills are needed to play at the college level? 

College coaches look at three athletic aspects when building their lists of top recruits: physical ability, fundamentals, and basketball IQ. They look for players that are well-conditioned, technically proficient, and possess good intuition and a deep understanding of the sport. Additionally, they want to work with athletes who are capable of progressing. As a result, playing nationally and against other top prospects is a popular approach to becoming noticed. The following is a basic rundown of the types of players that each division seeks to fill its rosters:

Division 1 basketball skills

They are recognized nationwide and included in top lists, such as ESPN Top 150, Rivals and Scout, for their basketball skills. They are the top ball handlers and defenders in their high school and club leagues, respectively. Quite simply, they are the best recruits in America. In the summer of their sophomore year, many AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) club athletes receive interest from college coaches and verbal offers from them. All four years, they're on the varsity team and receive top honors, including All-State recognition.

Division 2 basketball skills

A Division 2 basketball player is considered one of the best players on their high school and club teams since they have mastered the fundamentals. Under the guidance of a college training program, they will continue to grow as players. They've been named All-Region, All-District, and All-Conference in their respective leagues. At the beginning of their junior year, top NCAA Division 2 programs issue verbal offers to these athletes.

Division 3 basketball skills

All-Area and All-Conference honors earned by Division 3 basketball players are a result of their club and varsity experience, as well as their accomplishments on the court. They've mastered the fundamentals, but other aspects of their game, such as rebounding or defense, may require more work. There will be a large number of these students who will receive offers following the summer and throughout their senior year.

NAIA basketball skills

Basketball skills at the NAIA level are comparable to those of Division II players. Two to three years of high-level club experience and varsity experience are required. Awards like All-Area and All-Conference have been bestowed upon them. They will gain more strength and technical proficiency if they enroll in a college training program. During their junior year and even into their senior year, these students can receive offers.

JUCO basketball skills

Prior to transferring to a four-year college or university, JUCO basketball players focus on improving their talents. Post-high school competition is beneficial to them as utility players. Athletes can use this level to hone their fundamentals and improve on their speed and strength before moving on to the next level.

Average men’s basketball player height by position

  • Avg. point guard height: 5’11”
  • Avg. shooting guard height: 6’1”
  • Avg. small forward height: 6’4”
  • Avg. sower forward height: 6’6.5”
  • Avg. center height: 6’7.5”

In NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball, the average basketball player's height is just under 6’5” and the most common height listed is 6’7”. 

Men’s basketball point guard recruiting guidelines 

Top D1 / Top JC

  • Height: 6’2”+
  • Club Experience: Participates in AAU tournaments at the highest level, earning berths in national finals and other prestigious events across the country Lists like Rivals, Scout, and the ESPN Top 150 give him national recognition. AAU is a common recruiting method for high-profile athletes.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter all four years of high school. Earned several top accolades, such as All-State, All-Region and All-Area honors. Best player on the team.

Low D1 / Top D2 / Top NAIA

  • Height: 6’1”+
  • Club Experience: Three to four years of AAU experience, playing on high-level teams that compete nationally. Gets college coach exposure at club summer tournaments.
  • High School Experience: Three to four years as a varsity starter, earning awards such as All-Conference and All-Region. One of the top athletes on the team.  

Low D3 / Low NAIA

  • Height: 5’10”+
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter as an upperclassman, possibly earning some accolades such as All-Area or All-Conference. 

Low D3 / Low JC 

  • Height: 5’9”+
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: One to two years of varsity experience. 

Men’s basketball power forward recruiting guidelines

Top D1 / Top JC 

  • Height: 6’7”+
  • Club Experience: Plays at the highest level in AAU, qualifying for national tournaments and elite events across the country. Ranks nationally on lists such as Rivals, Scout and ESPN Top 150. High profile player who is usually recruited through AAU as an underclassman.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter all four years of high school. Earned several top accolades, such as All-State, All-Region and All-Area honors. Best player on the team.

Low D1 / Top D2 / Top NAIA

  • Height: 6’6”+
  • Club Experience: Three to four years of AAU experience, playing on high level teams that compete nationally. Gets college coach exposure at club summer tournaments.
  • High School Experience: Three to four years as a varsity starter, earning awards such as All-Conference and All-Region. One of the top athletes on the team. 

Low D3 / Low NAIA

  • Height: 6’5”+
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter as an upperclassman, possibly earning some accolades, such as All-Area or All-Conference. 

Low D3 / Low JC

  • Height: 6’4”+
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: One to two years of varsity experience.

Men’s basketball center recruiting guidelines 

Top D1 / Top JC

  • Height: 6’9”+
  • Club Experience: Plays at the highest level in AAU, qualifying for national tournaments and elite events across the country. Ranks nationally on lists such as Rivals, Scout and ESPN Top 150. High profile player who is usually recruited through AAU as an underclassman.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter all four years of high school. Earned several top accolades, such as All-State, All-Region, and All-Area honors. Best player on the team.

Low D1 / Top D2 / Top NAIA

  • Height: 6’8”+
  • Club Experience: Three to four years of AAU experience, playing on high level teams that compete nationally. Gets college coach exposure at club summer tournaments.
  • High School Experience: Three to four years as a varsity starter, earning awards such as All-Conference and All-Region. One of the top athletes on the team. 

Low D3 / Low NAIA

  • Height: 6’7”+
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter as an upperclassman, possibly earning some accolades such as All-Area or All-Conference. 

Low D3 / Low JC 

  • Height: 6’6”+
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: One to two years of varsity experience.

Men’s basketball shooting guard recruiting guidelines 

Top D1 / Top JC 

  • Height: 6’3”+
  • Club Experience: Plays at the highest level in AAU, qualifying for national tournaments and elite events across the country. Ranks nationally on lists such as Rivals, Scout and ESPN Top 150. High profile player who is usually recruited through AAU as an underclassman.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter all four years of high school. Earned several top accolades, such as All-State, All-Region and All-Area honors. Best player on the team. 

Low D1 / Top D2 / Top NAIA

  • Height: 6’2”+
  • Club Experience: Three to four years of AAU experience, playing on high-level teams that compete nationally. Gets college coach exposure at club summer tournaments.
  • High School Experience: Three to four years as a varsity starter, earning awards such as All-Conference and All-Region. One of the top athletes on the team. 

Low D3 / Low NAIA 

  • Height: 6’0”+
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter as an upperclassman, possibly earning some accolades such as All-Area or All-Conference.  

Low D3 / Low JC 

  • Height: 5’10”+
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: One to two years of varsity experience.

Men’s basketball small forward recruiting guidelines

Top D1 / Top JC 

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Club Experience: Plays at the highest level in AAU, qualifying for national tournaments and elite events across the country. Ranks nationally on lists such as Rivals, Scout and ESPN Top 150. High profile player who is usually recruited through AAU as an underclassman.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter all four years of high school. Earned several top accolades, such as All-State, All-Region and All-Area honors. Best player on the team.

Low D1 / Top D2 / Top NAIA 

  • Height: 6’4”
  • Club Experience: Three to four years of AAU experience, playing on high level teams that compete nationally. Gets college coach exposure at club summer tournaments.
  • High School Experience: Three to four years as a varsity starter, earning awards such as All-Conference and All-Region. One of the top athletes on the team. 

Low D3 / Low NAIA

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: Varsity starter as an upperclassman, possibly earning some accolades such as All-Area or All-Conference. 

Low D3 / Low JC

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Club Experience: Some AAU experience playing locally, although it is not necessary.
  • High School Experience: One to two years of varsity experience.

Getting ranked in basketball  

An easy approach for college coaches to gauge a recruit's level of talent is to use star ratings. There are only a few men's basketball players rated as 5-star recruits in the United States. Athletes that are regarded as the finest on their club or high school team tend to be rated as 4-star prospects. Three-star athletes are those that have a strong presence on the court but need to work on their weaknesses. 1- and 2-star prospects have the potential to compete at collegiate level and, with enough training, become reliable starters in the long run. 

In order to know which programs they are eligible for, recruits need to know their degree of ability. A star rating can be given in a few different ways. Ask their high school or club coach for help assessing their skill level and examine college team rosters to determine if their talent matches up. Alternatively, a third-party, like mygotgame, can use their skills and knowledge of collegiate sports to personally analyze the recruit.

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