It's been about six weeks since I've written anything and so I apologize to those parents, friends, alumni, etc. who feel like they have been missing out on what's going on with our basketball program. The reason is very simple: RECRUITING!! Unless you've done it it's almost impossible to know just how time consuming the whole process can be!!
We start with a list of approximately 100 names. (Last year, knowing we had to recruit and sign nine new players, our list was closer to 150 names.) We go to at least two high school games a week beginning the first of December until mid March. Some time in January we start contacting these players by phone and begin determining who is interested in playing for us. Those initial phone calls are important because we are looking for a connection; for a certain personality that will undoubtedly fit in with the rest of our team. We definitely want good players but we also want good people! These days text messaging makes it's harder to get to know recruits as quickly as we used to. Texting is a great way to communicate with your friends and family but is very difficult to give and get a great first impression. Can you imagine trying to conduct a job interview through text messaging?
Once we have that first conversation with a potential recruit we contact her once a week as long as we are still interested in each other. Besides calling the players, phone calls are made to parents, high school coaches, club coaches, and counselor's. It's safe to say that it seems like we literally live on the phone all Spring!! Home visits and campus visits give us even more chances to get to know the recruits and to let them get to know our team. Our list eventually dwindles from 100 to 75 to 50 to 25 names. In a perfect world this whole process would be done before the recruits graduate from high school but that's not always the case. Last year, for example, our team wasn't completed until the end of August!!
The time spent this year has been well worth it. We have received two signed Letters of Intent and have verbal commitments from four others. Once all the Letters of Intent are signed we'll list their names and bio information here on the blog. But for now it should be safe to say that it's going to be another fun, exciting, and successful year for Umpqua Basketball!!