Class of 2023, Listen Up…

Take a look around Twitter, how many coaches of 2022 players are still throwing around highlights trying to find a home? In some cases a really solid player who should have been committed a long time ago.

Take another look around. How many college basketball players have you seen already transfer in the middle of the year?

The answer is way too many, and more than has ever been the case. Class of 2023, pay attention, I’m going to spread some knowledge. Knowledge that you most likely won’t hear anywhere else, because your HS and/or AAU coach isn’t in the know, or won’t be honest with you. I will be, it’s your choice whether you listen or not.

The Class of 2021 was at a disadvantage, they lost their entire last offseason and played in front of zero coaches in the spring and summer. However there was still money to be given. Kids that were scholarship players still got their scholarships despite the disadvantage.

The 2022 class got hit harder. Not only did they miss their entire sophomore offseason, they missed the spring of their junior year. They had one month of live recruiting in a two year span. Not only that, but they had to deal with the first wave of covid year. Some kids decided to stay and use their extra year of eligibility granted to them by the NCAA, and no one can blame them.

You think all this is bad? 2023’s wait until you see whats in store for your class!

That class of 2021 that got recruited without any in person recruiting, and in a lot of cases couldn’t even visit the schools they committed to…well say hello to a massive transfer portal the likes you’ve never seen! If you think the transfer portal was bad in previous years, wait until a class that was recruited largely sight unseen finishes their freshman year. It’s already started. Midseason transfers used to be unique, and they certainly weren’t celebrated with applause and Twitter graphics like they have been this year. This trend will continue into the end of season and offseason.

Oh and that second wave of covid year, that’s going to be much worse. Lot’s of college seniors would have loved to stay and play another year. However, they had jobs lined up, grad schools they were accepted into, and other plans that made it impossible for many to return. You know who don’t have that problem? College underclassman. The amount of kids who will take the extra year and take away from the 2023 recruiting class will far outweigh that of the 2022 class.

In the past it was rare for a school not to be replacing players and have no money to give to any particular recruiting class. Now, it almost seems like the norm. More schools than ever before have nothing to offer the Class of 2023. Coaches that do have money, 80% of them will look to the overgrown transfer portal to fill any spots. The reality always has been, and always will be, that coaches will take a kid with D1 or any college experience over a kid with none. The harsh reality is the 2023 is down in Ohio, it’s the least talented class we’ve had in some time. Anyone who knows anything about the girls hoops scene will agree. This alone is a big reason why coaches will look more intensely to the transfer portal.

All this doesn’t mean there won’t be opportunities. It just means you have to be smarter, you have to do everything you can to be in the right places. You need to attend events that actually have coaches and aren’t just collecting checks for bogus articles and highlights. This is not the year to leave a well established program that has history with coaches for a program that has none and is trying to take you on some meaningless ‘circuit’. This is not the year to make those mistakes.

Not everyone can play on the most perfect AAU teams, just make sure you aren’t playing for a bozo who thinks they know it all, but really knows nothing or no one. Play for someone who will encourage you to attend events that actually have coaches, like the NEO events, the Ohio Summer Showcase, and OGBR if you have D1 aspirations. Stay away from the rest. If they don’t have a history of college coaches in attendance, save your money. Avoid the AAU teams that are trying to blaze some new trail to appease their buddies. This is not the year. Get to the well established, well attended old faithful events, this isn’t the year to take unnecessary risks.

Live stream isn’t what people make it out to be, its mostly a way to dupe people into attending and taking your money. Most lie about who is watching, because they can’t distinguish who is and who isn’t watching. For example; an event may send out a mass email to a bunch of coaches telling them about this event. The stream is also available to the public on whatever platform they use. There is 80 total views and they will claim 80 coaches watched, when in reality it was about 76 parents and four coaches.

I could go on forever, but in closing, just be smart about your recruiting. Don’t use the major D1’s you see on Twitter as your measuring stick, that will fail you every single time! None of these rules, none of these standards you see coaches talk about apply to them, no matter what they say. That is not the case for low D1, D2, and other scholarship opportunities, please don’t allow that to mislead you. Always give D3 a fair shake, there’s not only great basketball but there’s opportunities there that you may not have been aware of. Though I’m talking to the scholarship crowd, because that’s almost everyones goal, D3 is not a failure and many more players will be playing it in the 2023 class due to less opportunities.

The opportunities are fewer, but they are still there. If you can’t play on an AAU team with an experienced program with great relationships with colleges, at least play for someone who isn’t egotistical and will allow you to take your recruitment head on and not limit where you can be to showcase yourself. Most importantly, don’t sit on offers this year. If you get an offer and it’s a school you like a lot, there’s no real reason to wait. That offer could disappear as fast as it came! Really take offers seriously this year. Waiting for something better, or wanting to live out the recruitment process, or collecting offers for social media purposes can really come back to haunt kids this year.

I am always available to give my honest, unbiased view on how kids can navigate this recruiting year. No matter what school or AAU program they play for, it’s irrelevant to me. No matter how bad your AAU coach or HS coach doesn’t like me, I will help you. At no cost. You can always find me on Twitter @HOFHuddle_Rich and my email is, any communication will stay between us. I understand there are several AAU coaches who would be offended if they knew you were talking to me, my help is always here regardless.

Some will say I’m nuts, some will laugh at what I have to say and dismiss it. My extensive experience with college recruiting, coaches, and blunt honesty all should grant me credibility, but in some it still won’t. I just hope at this time next year there aren’t people who are on the outside looking in because they didn’t at least try to consider the reality that I’ve tried to convey.

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