Bloomington, Ind. – Now that Rob Senderoff has joined Kelvin Sampson's IU staff, he's noticed something about the pool of players he can recruit to Bloomington.
That might seem contrary to conventional wisdom, since the 14-year coaching veteran Senderoff is experiencing his first taste of the profession in one of the so-called "power" conferences. After stints at Miami, Ohio (1995-97), Fordham (1997-99), Yale (1999-2001), Towson (2001-2002) and Kent State (2003-06), one would think the 33-year-old would have more players to pick from, not less.
But at a school that wants to get back to competing for Big Ten championships on an annual basis, there's a limited quantity of players available that can help in that endeavor.
"You're limited in the amount of players that can help you win at this level," Senderoff said. "At another level, at Kent State, there is a lot bigger pool for you to recruit from. There are a lot of kids that can help you win there. Here, that's the bigger challenge."
Senderoff will be a big part of IU's commitment to once again recruiting the Midwest region hard. While fellow IU assistants Ray McCallum and Jerry Meyer have strong ties to the state of Indiana, Senderoff's ties to Ohio and Michigan were big selling points to Sampson.
"Between Coach McCallum and Coach Meyer, we are going to do a great job recruiting Indiana, but I also wanted someone who could help us in Michigan, Ohio and those areas," Sampson said. "I asked people who they think is a great young guy in this area and the name I kept hearing was Rob Senderoff."
Senderoff has wasted little time getting to work on the recruiting front. Indiana has already extended scholarship offers to Detroit products Manny Harris and Joshua Southern, a pair of '07 recruits that are also AAU teammates on The Family squad.
But it's not only the 2007 class that Senderoff and the Hoosier staff have to concern themselves with. While NCAA rules prevent coaches from making direct contact with prospective recruits until after their junior seasons, it's become increasingly important for colleges to let rising sophomores and juniors know that there is interest in recruiting them.
That's a challenge, and also a big difference for Senderoff.
"I used to see a player who was a freshman or a sophomore when I was at Kent State or Yale and think, ‘that kid can be really good,' but not think much more about it," Senderoff said. "Maybe I'd just jot his name down.
"Now, you immediately have to call their coach. There are things that you can and can't do, but you have to make sure those kids know that you're interested in them and that you want to start recruiting them at that age."
It's becoming increasingly important to be able to get your foot in the door early, which has presented some challenges for Senderoff and the Hoosier staff. As a new staff, Indiana obviously hasn't been able to do the sort of legwork on many of the '07 kids. But IU also has some things going for it as well.
"At a school like Indiana, the big challenge is finding kids early that you think can help you win down the road so you can be the first schools recruiting them," Senderoff said. "That's the challenge with the '07 class, because people have been recruiting these kids for a long time.
"The difference we have is we have a new coach, Coach Sampson, and a new staff, one that I think a lot of people are excited about. Now, we have to do our job and get after them."
Senderoff Hits Ground Running
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