As we proceed full steam into the spring of 2020 it doesn’t look like many, if any restrictions will be removed from the sports world anytime soon.
That could probably also be said for the majority of activities in the United States. While most people in America are putting in their best efforts to remain on strict social distancing requirements, the college basketball landscape remains at a complete standstill.
On Wednesday, the Division I council committee and the Division II administrative council announced that the recruiting dead period will be extended to May 31st. A huge blow to the uncommitted players in the class of 2020 and probably even more damaging news to the 2021 recruiting class.
The elimination of coaches ability to attend live AAU events will really change the landscape of recruiting for the next season or two. Sure, there will be other ways for programs to reach out and communicate with players, but the opportunity to evaluate live prospects is something that is sure to have an impact down the road. It has been pretty clear that any spring basketball was out of the question for a while now.
Often times, guys heading into their senior years will explode on the AAU circuit and catapult themselves up the rankings. This was the case with Kentucky commit Lance Ware who really gained a lot of respect last year during the spring summer evaluation periods.
It’s unclear what type of adaptations we will see from the Kentucky coaching staff to combat this unprecedented challenge. So far, the Cats have offered several players in the class of 2021: Jonathan Kuminga, Kennedy Chandler, Patrick Baldwin Jr, Paolo Banchero, Moussa Cisse, and Jaden Hardy. Those five players are five-star studs that any program is taking in a heartbeat.
The interesting part will be where some guys land who are out of the current top 50. Mid-majors could wind up getting a steal of a player because of the lack of recruiting opportunities this spring/summer.
Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal wrote an article breaking down the scenario of extending the dad period. Ja Morant was used as the example of a tremendous talent that could ultimately end up at a non power-five school like a Murray State.
For some players, these unusual circumstances could really end up hurting them in the long run by missing the chance of coach observation at in-person events. A huge weekend on the on AAU circuit can often times change an entire recruitment for a kid.
Crazy times these are.