Here is why recruiting these days is so much harder for college coaches, especially at the D1 level. Casey Prior last weekend went 7 for 7 from the three point line. Now that, is no question a eye opener. But if the truth be told Casey Prior, has been opening eyes for years now, she is one if the best shooters in the state. As a freshman she made made the HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN TEAM.. 1st Team. Last season Casey Prior solidified herself as a future Division One Player. You really don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that in her future. But what makes things difficult for coaches is this.. what level of D1 basketball. Why is that so hard for coaches these days? Because these days coaches don’t get to watch the growth. They don’t see the changes. They just see the numbers.
Two years ago much was predicted for Casey Prior, she was one of the best incoming freshman in the Shore Conference . Since then, she has lived up to all expectations and more. She has played her best games on the biggest stages vs the best competition. She was skinny and small with a baby face a few years ago. But she had a big IQ and understood how to play. She figured out to play at RBC she needed to play defense and team basketball. She mastered both very quickly. She proved one day she would be one of the best players in the Shore Conference. This spring she has shown that is exactly what is about to happen. You can learn a lot from watching video of Casey Prior play. You can see the improved ball handling skills, the added range on her jumpers. You see how now, her defense has become a weapon. Even a blind man can see Casey Prior is SPECIAL. But what a blind man can’t see is the changes, that don’t appear in a box score.
Last week I stood next to Casey Prior and started to laugh. That’s because she was finally taller than me me. I chuckled and said “omg you taller than me” She took great joy in that. But it is a great example of why recruiting in the Covid era is not easy. Because come July, college coaches will not recognize Casey Prior. That because she has filled out over the last year. She has packed on muscle, strength and added size. Coaches will be surprised that the baby faced Casey Prior has grown up physically. You see a video doesn’t show that. It doesn’t show how the added size and strength allows her to fight over screens on defense. Stop bigger players from cutting to the basket. How now she has become a excellent rebounder. These are the things a video doesn’t show. It won’t show how her new found strength and size have made her hands so much stronger. How she can now hold off defenders with her off hand or finish through contact. You can only see these changes…. only if you been around to see her up close and personal. It’s the only way to appreciate all these new qualities and changes. I told Casey one day “you are really thick now” She looked at me and said “are you saying I’m fat” I said no “I mean you are stronger and bigger.“ Casey Prior looks like somebody ready for battle these days. But most high major programs do not know this yet. They will be expecting to see a little baby this summer and instead are about to see a well chiseled athlete on a mission come July.
These days Casey Prior is in the gym 6 days a week. She understands and enjoys her strength and conditioning program. She has seen what it has done for her game. She knows she is much quicker and faster. Her jumper is lighting quick these days. Her handle is point guard quality good as she can’t be pressured into turnovers. Casey has a little thing you can’t teach….PRIDE. It pretty clear that Casey Prior has taken her game to a entirely different level. The question for coaches, is what level? Covid makes everything so much harder. Casey is the classic combo guard. That because she can be a scorer of a facilitator. She also can take over games as she has shown in high school and this spring. But few if any coaches have seen these changes that have taken place, COVID HAS SLOWED EVERYONE DOWN. Coaches have not seen the changes that make me believe Casey can play at the high major level and excel. But she also has a 4.1 GPA and that is good news for Academic Schools. Because in the Ivy and Patriot league I believe she could be a rockstar.
Casey Prior’s career to date has been filled with playing with and against the best. She walked into RBC a team loaded with D1 P5 players and D1 players and made her mark. Few freshmen could have done what she has done. But Casey Prior is filled with confidence, talent and a mental toughness coaches dream about. She has been able to maneuver some mega talented players with big ego’s and find a place for her talents. It’s goes to her competitive nature and insane work ethic. She has been the product of great coaching. Playing for Joe Montano and the only AAU team she has ever known the NJ Belles, has given her a full understanding of what it takes to be special. Casey Prior is the ultimate gym gym. She is one of the most coachable kids I know. That could also account for that wonderful IQ. It’s for these reasons she has been able to elevate her game to another level. But coaches will not fully understand this until July. Because what Casey Prior is doing .. YOU HAVE TO SEE WITH YOUR OWN EYES!