In-State vs. Out-of-State: Division II vs. Division III

Recruiting in Division II and Division III basketball is drastically different from Division I. Not only are Division I coaches looking for a different caliber of player but they also cover a larger area outside of their home state during the recruiting process. However, what many people don’t realize is that recruiting from Division II to Division III is also very different. Although Division II coaches do not venture as far outside of the state as Division I coaches, they do utilize surrounding states more than Division III coaches, who primarily focus on in-state recruiting.

This year, Connecticut’s two most successful Division II schools were the University of Bridgeport and the University of New Haven. Bridgeport finished the season with a 19-10 record, eventually losing in the East Coast Conference championship. Bridgeport’s entire 12-man roster is made up of out-of-state players, except for one player that came from Connecticut. That works out to just 8 percent of Bridgeport’s roster being made up of in-state players. Meanwhile, New Haven was 15-13 this season after losing in the second round of the Northeast-10 Conference tournament. Their percentage of in-state players is greater than Bridgeport’s but is still just 23 percent.

On the Division III side, Connecticut’s two best teams this season were Eastern Connecticut State University and Albertus Magnus College. ECSU is currently 24-5 and in the midst of a Division III NCAA Tournament run. They have 16 players on their roster and 15 of those 16 are from Connecticut. That means that their roster is made up of 94 percent in-state players. Albertus Magnus is a mirror image. Their roster is also made up of 94 percent in-state players, with just one of their 16 players coming from outside of Connecticut. Albertus Magnus dominated the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, wrapping up the season with an overall record of 28-2. They ended up losing in the second round of the Division III NCAA Tournament.

There is obviously a substantial difference in the recruiting techniques and tendencies of Division II coaches compared Division III coaches. At least in Connecticut, Division III coaches are much more focused on in-state players compared to coaches in Division II.

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The Driving Factor

What is the best time of the year? A person could give a variety of answers to this question, including Christmas, Hanukkah, spring or even summer. However, an educated person will give you the correct answer, which is March Madness. March Madness; a true time for david to beat goliath…over and over again.

March Madness is a time where college athletes compete with passion and emotion for the greatest honor in college sports, a national championship. Wins bring players to the top of the world while losses seem to reach into their chests and rip out their hearts. There is nothing better than watching players compete when they play for the name on their front instead of the name on their back.

However, before there is a win, there is a team. Before there is a team, there are individuals. These individuals are taken from different places and must be meshed together in order to achieve success.

Recruiting is such an important factor, it is not just done by a head coach but an entire staff. Recruiting feels like an aspect of college basketball that goes overlooked because it is a behind-the-scenes aspect of the game. Sure, once in a while there is a movie like Blue Chips that gives a person somewhat of inside look but that only goes so far.

It would be extremely interesting to learn more about recruiting and how it affects colleges on different levels.