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July 16, 2019

What Do College Coaches Look For in Recruits?

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Coaches have different teaching styles, but for the most part, toughness, competitiveness, playing hard, skill set, attitude, and basketball IQ are all important. We all know you need to be a skilled player to be able to grace the college basketball courts, so work hard on these skills. We spoke with Coach Jenna Eckleberry, who is the head basketball coach for Shepherd University, a Division 2 school in West Virginia.

In her first season at Shepherd, Eckleberry led her team to a 22-10 overall mark. She also shares the MEC title with a 17-5 record in conference play. To no surprise, Eckelberry guided the Rams to their second NCAA II regional appearance; this is where the Rams upset 11th-ranked Indiana (Pa.) in the first round. Eckelberry also received the MEC Coach of the Year, MEC Women’s Sports Coach of the Year, All-J.A.Y. Coach of the Year, and BennettRank.com D2 Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year honors. 

Coach Ecleberry was responsible for helping to mentor 2012 WVIAC Player of the Year, Atlantic Region Player of the Year, and Second Team All-American Kaitlyn Snyder. Snyder was also a first-team All-Region choice as a senior and was the program’s all-time leading scorer. We sat down with Coach Eckleberry and asked her about what qualities will make a basketball athlete a superstar on the court. 

  1. Winning habits: “Coming into my program, I want someone who has had a winning experience and a winning mentality, which will help them bring a winning devotion to my school.”
  2. Passion: “When I look at an individual, I want to see every ounce of passion they have. I want to see them dive on the ground for loose balls. I want to see them get into their teammate’s face if they turn the ball over, I want to see them strap down on defense preventing their opponent from scoring.”
  3. Fit: “When going to recruiting tournaments, I look at everything. I want to see how you interact with your coach, how you talk to your mom after the game, or if you are on your phone too much. These things all play a factor in how I think you will fit into my program.”
  4. Confidence: “When you are on the court, I want to see the confidence you have. I want to be able to see you confidently shooting your shot or confidently locking down your opponent. Off the court, I want to see you have your shoulders back and head held high no matter the outcome of the game.”
  5. Academics: “When I finally see what I like on the court, I research to see if you can provide our school service by completing all the required courses. I want to know that you will be able to finish your college career on full excel leading into the workforce.”

Resources: https://shepherdrams.com/coaches.aspx?rc=203