High School Sports

New rule lets D1 coaches watch recruits play high school hoops in June. Is that good?

A new NCAA rule will let Division I college coaches watch basketball recruits play with their high school teams during the next two weekends.

The rule was put in place in response to the FBI’s investigation into college basketball recruiting corruption. The NCAA hoped to take more of the recruiting process out of the hands of travel ball coaches and shoe companies, and get high school coaches more involved.

But is it a good thing?

By adding a new session in June, when Division I coaches can watch prospects play in person, the NCAA stripped down its traditional live periods in April and July. Those were dominated by the shoe company circuits but gave college coaches an easy way to see a collection of national talent in three events hosted by adidas, Nike and Under Armour.

West Charlotte High coach Jacoby Davis thinks that the new June events are not inclusive enough and that many kids will be left out of the process.

The NCAA trimmed the July live period to four days but added invitation-based regional events on college campuses that same month where players can play in front of coaches.

The N.C. high school camps in June sanctioned by the NCAA for Division I coaches will include fewer than 60 of the state’s more than 500 high schools. There is also a public school top 100 camp this weekend for the state’s top players.

“I just don’t know if all the teams are going to be invited to team camps and if all the kids are going to be invited to the player camps,” Davis said.

“In the old way, we had two weekends in April and three in July. July was long, but they could leave it the way it is now (with the June period added), don’t have the regional camps in July and cut July by a week. The way it is now, it will make the (college basketball) transfer wire even more crazy than it is. Coaches are going to ‘miss’ on kids, and kids will be going somewhere they shouldn’t.”

Still, Davis and other coaches see the benefit in having prospects play for their high school teams in front of college coaches.

“I hate to see so many exposure opportunities taken away from AAU events,” said Harding coach L.J. Johnson. “Hopefully we can find a happy medium. I like what’s going on in June for the collegiate live period, though, because, let’s face it, kids play differently in high school than they do in AAU.”

That theory gets tested now.

Beginning Friday, three high school-based events in North Carolina will feature local talent:

At Davie County High near Winston-Salem, the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association will hold a top 100 camp for players who play for schools in the N.C. High School Athletic Association. The coaches association will also hold a team camp for 33 N.C. public schools and four S.C. public schools June 28-30 in Charlotte.

At Greensboro Day School, the N.C. Independent Schools will host a team camp, where 24 teams will play a weekend tournament, culminating with a championship on Sunday. There will be a similar camp in the Charlotte area June 28-30 at Cannon School in Concord and Charlotte Latin.

Finally, Phenom Hoop Report will host a non-sactioned camp at Queens University on Friday through Sunday and another non-sactioned camp June 28-30 at Fort Mill’s Nation Ford High.

Division I college coaches can attend the coaches association and NCISAA events. Only D2 and D3 coaches can attend the Phenom Hoop events and the other two.

“I think it’s going to be excellent for the players,” said N.C. recruiting analyst Rick Lewis of Phenom Hoop Report. “It gives the players two more weeks to be seen in front of college coaches and in a high school environment where you’re probably going to be the most comfortable. The problem is they’ve sacrificed the live period in July which they should’ve done this in conjunction with.”

Want to go?

NCBCA Top 100: Players were nominated by NCHSAA school coaches and a list sent to N.C. college coaches for additional names. Ultimately, a list of 200 was whittled down by a committee. Saturday, 120 players will be placed on 12 teams. Six will play games at Davie County High while the other six go through compliance education, social media awareness and nutrition classes. Admission is $5. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Information: https://www.ncbca.com/top-100

NCISAA Greensboro Showcase: 24 teams, including 10 from the Charlotte-area, will participate in front of what’s expected to be more than 100 Division I coaches. Games begin at 6 p.m. Friday at Greensboro Day School. Admission is $10 per day or $25 for the weekend. Information/Schedule: https://www.ncisaa.org/sports-specific/?sport=13

Phenom Hoop Report Team Camp: 50 teams will play at Queens University beginning Friday at 1 p.m. National top 25 recruit Josh Hall and Hickory’s Moravian Prep School play at 3:30 p.m. and 6:50 p.m. Friday. Admission is $10 per day. Information/Schedule: phenomhoopreport.com