Number of early commitments down?

In recent years it seemed that by the time the July recruiting period began the pickings for the rising seniors were getting pretty slim. That does not appear to be the case this summer. What would cause such a trend?

In July of the past several seasons UK fans would post on the messageboards noting that more than half of the then current rising senior class had already made decisions and committed to schools.

While the number of actual commitments is off a little, what is of note is that many of those committed players are those who made commitments earlier in their careers.

There is an appearance that fewer players appear to be ready to make July commitments at this point in their recruitments than we have noted in the past.

While there are always a few high profile players that are going to hold off until the last minute ala John Wall this past spring, the trend has been toward earlier and earlier commitments by those players who have not committed prior to the spring before their senior seasons.

Thusfar, it has been a pretty quiet spring and summer for commitments from the class of 2010, and it doesn't appear that there is going to be a sudden avalanche of commitments to schools this month.

The likely cause of the lower number of spring and summer commitments is the elimination of the April evaluation period. This past spring for the first time in many years AAU events in April were held without the presence of college coaches gym hopping and getting looks at their top targets, and making sure their top targets saw them.

In a business (and that is what it is) where showing a player attention by attending these events and getting that face time the schools are playing catchup with their top targets.

The schools most impacted by the elimination of the spring evaluation period are those with new staffs, who are now recruiting different players than they had at their previous school.

One impact that will likely help some schools is that the elimination of the spring evaluation will bring added importance to the fall in-home visits and the fall official campus visits leading up to the early signing period in mid-November. This will give a definite advantage to the schools that have coaches who can really sell their program to recruits; and are able to convey a positive vision of how that player fits into their program.

The programs that will be hurt the most are those that have coaches that count less on salesmanship and more on giving players attention, schools which normally have been able to get those early commitments by putting in loads of facetime prior to the in-home and campus visits.

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