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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Basketball schedule (or lack thereof) and more recruiting


(Staff Columnist Jenny O'Bryan discusses schedules for WBB today and rules from the NCAA.)

In the recent weeks many teams have started to release their schedules for the upcoming basketball season.  The slow release usually starts with the out of conference (OOC) slate followed by conferences releasing their schedules. 

To date Louisville Women’s Basketball has not released an OOC slate nor has The American released their conference schedules.  The men’s schedule has been released and message board fodder suggests the women’s schedule will be released very, very soon. 

In the meantime I have been able to glean a few games on the schedule by perusing others’ releases.    The women will open at YUM Center in the preseason NIT.   The first game against Loyola University Chicago will be 11/8 with a guarantee of at least two more matches.   The Cardinals will travel to Bowling Green/WKU to face former assistant Michelle Clark-Heard’s crew on Thanksgiving Eve, 11/27.    December 1 the Cards are back on the road to UK for the annual Battle of the Bluegrass. 

Additionally, ESPN has announced their women’s basketball coverage and
Louisville makes it on the big screen twice, both times against Connecticut.  February 9 the Cards travel to Connecticut and March 3 the Huskies make the trek to The YUM Center. 

For the full slate of ESPN coverage of women’s basketball:

2014 ESPN2 Big Monday presented by Bud Light Women’s Basketball Schedule
Jan 13, 7 p.m. Connecticut at Baylor
Jan 20, 7 p.m. Notre Dame at Tennessee
Jan 27, 7 p.m. Notre Dame at Maryland
Jan 27, 9 p.m. USC at Stanford
Feb _3, 7 p.m. Baylor at Oklahoma
Feb 10, 7 p.m. North Carolina at Duke
Feb 10, 9 p.m. Vanderbilt at Tennessee
Feb 17, 7 p.m. Maryland at Duke
Feb 24, 7 p.m. Penn State at Nebraska
Mar _3, 7 p.m. Connecticut at Louisville

2014 ESPN Sunday Women’s Basketball Schedule
Feb _2, 2 p.m. Notre Dame at Duke
Feb _9, 1 p.m. Louisville at Connecticut
Feb 16, 1 p.m. Kentucky at Tennessee
Feb 23, 1 p.m. Duke at Notre Dame
Mar _2, 1 p.m. Duke at North Carolina


As I have been known to do, I wanted to touch base on recruiting.  If you listen to us on The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, we are constantly bemoaning the myriad of rules the NCAA has.

It appears there are some changes in the rules as it pertains to recruiting.  One of the biggest changes I am hearing about is the important date of September 1.  Historically, this date pertains to seniors; when coaches can call, text and email seniors on an unlimited basis.   However, new recruiting rules have backed this timeline up a full year!  As of September 1 coaches can now have this unlimited access to juniors in high school, specifically this year, the class of 2015. 

This presents an interesting balancing act on the coaches part, I presume.   The class of 2014 is at a pivotal point in their recruitment.  If kids are still uncommitted, and we know Louisville is after a lot of kids in this class, they will be making their official visits, home visits will be made, culminating in many signing in the early signing period in November.    All the while, coaches will start courting the class of 2015. 

There are two other rule changes that I am aware of:
1) In-home visits can be made to recruits in the class of 2015 during the month of September.  This previously happened with recruits in their senior year.   (We are aware of a minimum of two home visits that are scheduled for juniors, Asia Durr (9/25) and Napheesa Collier (9/27).  Other big names in this class that are likely to be visited (but that I have not found information about) are Te’a Cooper, De’Janae Boykin and Katie Lou Samualson.  All are in the top 25 of their class and have Louisville associated with their name).

2) Official visits.  We have covered that a lot here at Cardinal Couple.  Anofficial visit historically happens in the fall of one’s senior year.  It is paid for by the university the recruit is visiting and the recruit gets a maximum of 5 official visits.   The change in this arena will allow official visits to begin in the spring of one’s junior year, after the National Championship game.  The limit remains 5, but kids can start making them in April.  (For comparison sake, the current rising senior class of 2014 is just not setting and taking their official visits). 

How all these rule changes will impact recruiting depends on who you talk to.  As a fan of the game with no previous experience personally, the biggest drawback I see is the potential for earlier commitments from kids.  I personally find this problematic.  

As we all know Louisville was on the unfortunate side of losing two elite recruits in the class of 2013 who verbally committed to the program at the end of their sophomore year in high school.  As any parent of a teenager will tell you, wait a minute, and you will get a different answer from a teen.  Deciding one’s future, by way of choosing a college that is responsible for their education and basketball career, at such an early age I believe is most often times a mistake. 

My concern with these new rules is that it will lead to, if not encourage, earlier commitments.  If that in fact happens, by nature of the population one is dealing with, it will also likely increase decommitments.   Decommitments hurt the university most, I believe.  If one believes they have a recruit, they will quit recruiting said position.   A change of heart by the recruit leaves the university vulnerable to not being able to fill their needs with a high quality recruit, having lost out on prospects while they assumed their position was filled.   I understand a recruit having a change of heart.  What one may think they want as a sophomore in high school can absolutely change by one’s senior year, if for no other reason than maturation.  Not to mention any number of other things that could lead one to change their mind.   It’s too risky for all involved.   I don’t like it.  I would much rather my teenager make a decision as late as possible to weigh all options fully and understand the full impact of said decision. 

I have also read several opinions that these rule changes will change the
very nature and meaning of the current
summer circuit of basketball played by athletes and likely remove AAU coaches from the middleman role they currently hold between coaches and athletes. (Under current rules if a coach was interested in a young prospect that they could not yet contact, the AAU coach would be contacted and word would be gotten to the athlete that a school is interested.)  Again, whether these changes are good or bad, likely depends on who you ask. 

As we look forward to this fall and recruiting info on the class of 2014 and anticipate news from recruits on U of L’s radar, the class of 2014 is far from in the books. 
Meanwhile, a plethora of names are dropping in the class of 2015 as their recruiting accelerates in to full throttle.    It looks like a fun fall for recruiting junkies like me!




  1. Kentucky Premier8/28/2013 6:43 PM

    Starting September 1, 2013 recruiting coaching staff members are allowed unlimited calls to the junior class. There will also be unlimited texting that will go along with the phone calls.Coachs will also have access to the student-athletes parents via call or text.

    From September 9th-29th coaches may speak with and visit the student-athlete on their school campus (not during school hours) or at their respective homes.

    A second contact period will also be in effect March 1st-April 3rdin 2014 as well as an added non-scholastic evaluation weekend in the spring.

    Starting the Thursday after the final four, Junior’s will be allowed to take official visits to universities, provided it is not during a dead period. This will give student-athletes an opportunity to visit campuses without the added expense out of their pockets. This change pushes up the traditional official visit time frame by nearly 5 months!

    During official visits, starting this year, schools will also be allowed to pay for two parents travel expenses. Making decisions about your future takes careful thought and consideration and understanding what a “good fit” entails.

    1. We appreciate the fine folks at Kentucky Premier taking the time to give us a clear and definitive time lines and explanation. They are the best at what they do turn out quality D1 players each year. Thanks, guys!


  2. Hey, thanks Coach for stopping by and expanding upon the 2015 rules changes! Go green!

  3. Agree with Paulie. Kentucky Premier cares about their kids and they do it the right way.


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