HOW TO CREATE PARITY IN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

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How can you explain Syracuse losing to a D2 school the year they won a national championship? It’s simple anyone on any night can be beat anyone in the men’s game. That cannot be said in the women’s.

If you want to know why there are so many blowouts in the women’s game. You have to first start with SCHOLARSHIPS. The NCAA allows 15 scholarships on the women’s side. The men are only allowed 13. Now why is this important? Most low and mid major schools don’t have 15 full scholarships, but BCS programs all have 15.

The super powers of college basketball rarely use all 15 so this rule has no effect on them. Lets be honest how many kids each year can play at U-Conn? Not a lot. But those BCS schools who do use all 15 are those teams ranked 15 to lets say 50. They have kids on there bench that would help make mid majors much more competitive. But many of those players are on the bench at high major programs in name only. Reducing the number of scholarships would cause a trickle down affect. Many of these kids on so called high majors would be playing at mid majors. Some are afraid taking scholarships away from women is a bad thing…folks the number of scholarships not used by schools in women’s basketball each year is numerous.

What really should happen is the BCS programs should only be allowed 13 and the mid majors should be FORCED to have 15. Why follow the men’s game in terms of scholarships?  A injury at the mid major level could change a teams entire season. Not the case for the U- Conn’s of the world. 15 scholarships would allow low majors to take transfers from bigger  NAME schools and prevent BCS schools from stacking up talent.

 I was part of two of near biggest upsets in NCAA history. While at FDU as a #16 seed we lost to #1 Michigan by 4 after leading the entire game. We had four starters foul out in the last 4 minutes. Then as a #15 seed we lost to #2 seed U-Conn despite again leading late and Eligh Allen having 43 points. Why has this not happen in the women’s game more often? It’s simple recruiting. Twenty years ago college coaches were allowed out as often as they pleased. It was during this time that mid majors closed the gap with the major college teams. The women’s game was still growing at this time. It was during this time a coach could out recruit a bigger school because they could go see a local kid play or practice everyday. They could call them everyday and build a relationship that bigger schools outside the area could never match. I recruited two major college players on the that team that almost beat Michigan. Damari Riddick and Jamie Latney both could play anywhere in the country. When then were juniors we lost to National Champion Louisville by 7. Larry Hampton was also on the team…all 3 were NBA draft picks. The could never happen today because of the recruiting rules.

The women follow the men too much in terms of NCAA rules. Let me give you an example, Monmouth U can only call or see a player play as much as Notre Dame. If all is equal where is that kid going? The NCAA should allow schools to be out recruiting whenever they want. if they don’t want to do this… what I would like even more is to allow a school in a 60 mile radius access to a kid anytime they want. U- C0nn is never losing a kid in there back yard….Monmouth does. If mid majors could steal a few kids…they would pack their gyms and improve their teams. It would be great for women’s basketball in general. Why follow the same recruiting rules as the men? Most of the men’s rules are in place due to cheating, the women’s game has nowhere need the cheating the men’s game does…give the smaller college teams a chance to out work the bigger schools.

Money is a major issue in the women’s game. When a talented young lady at a mid major is done playing, If she wants to stay in the game and become a coach, they offend can’t get a job. But the high majors can pay a young lady a salary to keep them in the game. The low majors in most cases can’t afford to pay the money to kept their ex- players around who wish to coach.  Then because of the lack of money, many low and mid major assistant coaches are inexperienced and are learning on the job. The high major young coach is rarely involved in recruiting. Look around at he mid majors coaches, in some cases they are 25 and 26 years of age and are the lead recruiters. Folks no disrespect it’s a mismatch when they go against bigger schools with more to offer….trust me.

Finally the biggest reason that the women’s game has such a gap between the best and worst schools is this….lack of talent. While the women’s game has grown, it’s no where near the men’s game in the amount of players who play and train. The men’s game have tons of former college and NBA coaches who train and develop kids. The men still have basketball camps in the summer and real teaching environments. I do not know of any women’s basketball camps where large numbers of players come together for a week and are coached by ex -college or NBA coaches…the closest thing is John Lucas for a weekend and that is only for the top 50 kids.

While more girls are playing AAU basketball less are developing. Most coaches in the girls game are a parent, a ex player who never coached outside AAU or somebody who just loves the game. They are few coaches on the AAU circuit with a real basketball background. Most are using the knowledge they learned over the years and doing their best…they are not professionals. On the men’s side there are tons of professionals, it’s the norm to see former college D1 assistant and head coaches on the AAU level.

I believe the women’s game is a long way from having parity. The way to fix the problems, is to start with scholarship reduction and increased recruiting contacts. Then their must be more money to entice young talented ladies into the coaching profession. Finally and this is big…STOP FOLLOWING THE MEN IN TERMS OR RULES AND CHANGES MADE TO THE GAME.  I can tell you the women’s game is nothing like the men’s game!

 

 

UPDATE

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TOMORROW IS TEACHERS CONVENTION CLINIC…IT’S A GREAT WAY TO SPEND THE DAY…

 

 

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