Open season on recruits

When coaches change jobs, recruits can be like unrestricted free agents. Coaches all across the country are working to put themselves in a good position.

With Selection Sunday in the rear view mirror, college basketball coaches are now in scramble mode. They are either scrambling to get all the film they can for their upcoming opponent, or they are scrambling to find recruits to make sure that they are in the tournament next season. Either way, there is a lot of hustling going on in basketball offices across the country.

There is no greater free agent in college basketball than a kid who signed a letter of intent in the early signing period only to see the coach that he intended to play for get fired. Once the coaching change takes place, the wheels begin turning.

While it technically isn't open season on recruits that have seen their future head coach get fired, because coaches can not directly contact signed recruits, it is darn close. This time of the year coaches are frantically searching the country for any possible player that they think can help them next season.

In the late signing period if you are 6-foot-8 or taller with any level of ability, you are probably high major target. Whereas the same exact player only months earlier would have been a mid or even low-major target is now a must get player for a high-major because coaches have spots to fill and feel the need to take any body that might be able to help.

That type of attitude is what makes newly minted "free agents" the most popular type of recruit that there is.

While coaches in theory cannot contact any kid who is locked into a letter of intent with a different school, they have their ways of showing interest in a particular situation. In the past coaches from schools would show up for open gyms at the school to watch a kid play, and simply say they are seeing an uncommitted prospect there, they can call the AAU coach, and also there are ways to make back channel contact with a prospect or their family.

The bottom line is, where there is a will there is a way when it comes to contacting committed recruits, and college coaches in general have a lot of will in this type of scenario.

Between the openings at Georgia Tech and Arkansas alone, as many as five members of the top 100 could become unrestricted free agents. Due to the law of supply and demand, those kids, if they do indeed decide to ask out of their letter of intent, will be recruited at the absolute highest level, and see more interest than they had the first time around.

Also the kids that signed with mid-major programs such as Bradley, Manhattan, or Wyoming could start to get high-major interest once asking out of their letter if they do indeed decide to go that route.

The bottom line is, this is an important time of the year in recruiting. College coaches are a resourceful breed in general, and when it comes to getting an early head start on recruiting a kid who has already signed, you can bet they are doing whatever possible to be in good position when and if the kids asks out of his LOI.

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