Text race for top prospects
JUN 14, 2013 8:12p ET
A lot of young basketball players need to remember to have their cell phones charged tonight.
Midnight makes it June 15, which marks the start of college basketball coaches being able to call or text message rising juniors -- the class of 2015, in this case -- as much as they want. The unlimited communication also extends to social media and private messages.
The rule went into effect last year.
Basketball recruiting is starting earlier and earlier, with prospects younger and younger, so while there's a bit of a Wild, Wild West feel to this recruiting deregulation and unlimited contact, there's at least a starting point on it. Coaches had a period in April to travel the country and see prospects of high school age play in AAU-type events, and now they can officially begin the chase of rising juniors.
Assistant coach for the Ohio State University men's basketball team Jeff Boals sent out a tweet on Friday that might keep OSU fresh on the mind of young recruits. (Photo via Twitter)
"It's the information age," Cleveland Villa-Angela St. Joseph High School coach Babe Kwasniak said. "It's different for a lot of kids. I've been really fortunate to be around a lot of great players who were highly recruited, but it used to be letters. There was no Facebook. It's on the kids and those around to handle it."
Kwasniak coaches one of the prizes of the 2015 class not just in Ohio but nationally in Carlton Bragg, who was ranked No. 20 in his class by Scout.com in its latest ranking. Those in the know say Bragg's star is rising and his ranking soon will, too. Coaches who covet the unique talents the 6-foot-8 (and growing) Bragg possesses will find an obstacle in trying to make a strong formal impression with Bragg.
"We're not giving his number out," Kwasniak said. "We learned a long time ago to try to keep kids away from something they're not totally ready for. Not to say Carlton isn't ready, but his focus is on staying in the books, working on getting better, everything he needs to be doing. There's no rush on a decision.
"He knows schools are interested. He loves basketball. But he's oblivious to the process, and right now college is so far down the road for him. We want him to stay focused on the process and the way he's working and improving, all that stuff will eventually take care of itself."
Another Ohio prospect, Franklin guard Luke Kennard, is at No. 32 in the class of 2015 on Scout's rankings. According to what Scout lists, Ohio State is involved on some level with seven of the top 30 prospects before the formal contact period begins.
There's another open evaluation period in July. High school juniors can start taking official visits on Jan. 1.
Until then, the recruiting race continues. The race among coaches to find Bragg's number should be a good one in itself.
"Someone will get his number, yes," Kwasniak said. "It's a pretty good one to have."
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