USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the college recruiting process. Here, you’ll find practical tips and real-world advice on becoming a better recruit to maximize your opportunities to play at the college level. Kyle Winters was a standout high school pitcher who tossed seven scoreless innings in a major tournament during his senior year. That performance against some heavy-hitting future MLB draft picks helped Kyle earn a full-ride scholarship to the University of New Mexico. However, Kyle opted to play professional baseball and was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the fifth round and played seven seasons for various minor league teams. Kyle is just one of many former college and professional players, college coaches, and parents who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. Their knowledge, experience, and dedication along with NCSA’s history of digital innovation, and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community have made NCSA the largest and most successful athletic recruiting network in the country.
NCAA Division 1 college basketball is one of the most regulated college sports. For that reason, understanding when and where college coaches can watch athletes play isn’t straight forward. In this column, we breakdown the various times D1 basketball coaches are allowed to watch recruits.
The three ‘evaluation’ periods in D1 men’s basketball recruiting
If you look at the NCAA D1 Men’s Basketball Recruiting Calendar, you will see three different periods where coaches can watch athletes play in person. This is the only sport with three different types of evaluation periods, and while the NCAA resources are helpful, they can be difficult to understand. Here are what the different evaluation periods mean in plain English:
- The Evaluation Period, also known as the “live period,” is when college coaches can watch basketball recruits play anywhere in the country and with any team. During this period, elite events take place across the country. Top recruits compete against each other in the same gym and the stands are full of the “who’s who” in college basketball.
- The Evaluation Period for Certified Events is similar to an evaluation period except that athletes and coaches can only attend “NCAA-certified events.” In short, if you want to play in front of DI coaches during this time, you must be competing at NCAA-certified events. This can be another complex process, so be sure to visit the NCAA website if you want to learn more.
- The Recruiting Period is another time where D1 coaches can watch recruits in person, but only if recruits are playing with their school team. This period overlaps with the standard high school basketball season.
When is the DI Men’s Basketball Evaluation Period?
- July 12, 2017 at 5pm – July 16, 2017 at 5pm
- July 19, 2017 at 5pm – July 23, 2017 at 5pm
- July 26, 2017 at 5pm – July 30, 2017 at 5pm
Other than the dates listed above, July is a recruiting “dead period,” meaning the only contact recruits and their families can have with coaches during this time is if they visit the college coach at his campus.
What happens during the summer evaluation period?
There are two kinds of events coaches will be focused on during summer evaluations. The first set are elite travel team tournaments. Both Nike and adidas host their elite travel team finals during this time. The Nike Peach Jam will be happening July 12-15 in North Augusta, Ga., and the adidas Gauntlet Finale will be July 12-15 in Spartanburg, S.C. Second, there are invite-only training camps where the top recruits are brought in for a week to train and scrimmage against one another. At both types of events, college coaches are in attendance, watching the elite athletes compete.