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.