The recruiting period can be tricky for every player. Pick a team that doesn’t feature you and you get lost. Pick a team that doesn’t play good competition and they say your not competitive; coaches don’t show up. But nothing is worse when a talented D1 player challenges themselves and plays at the very highest level of AAU competition and doesn’t get the minutes they expected. MAKAYLA ANDREWS AND RACHEL KHUL both have found themselves in a tough spot these days.
When Makayla Andrews decided to play for EYBL powerhouse Exodus, most believed it would solidify her power 5 status as a player. Andrews, whose father played D1 basketball at St. Peter’s is clearly a D1 player. But the past year has not been easy on the talented wing player. After making 1st Team HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN. Then having a unstoppable All Shore, sophomore year at Neptune, she transfered to St. Rose. She had to sit 30 days and then found out at times her teammates did not embrace the talented player joining the team. They felt she was a threat not a teammate. It was a real dose of reality for the athletic Andrews. She couldn’t understand how a team with a shot to win the SCT AND TOC would not welcome her with open arms. Makayla Andrews is one of the best players in the Shore Conference. She has a lighting first step and is maybe the best offensive rebounding wing in the entire state. Eventually things worked out at Saint Rose as Makayla at times was just what the doctor ordered as ST. ROSE won numerous state and Sectional titles before losing a war to eventual state champ Franklin in the TOC semi Final.
It only seemed natural for Andrews to join the best U17 team in the state come AAU time. Her teammate Brynn Farrell was on the team and she knew a few girls. But Exodus was not only loaded with power 5 players, they also had a deep roster. So Makayla Andrews didn’t have a talent problem. She had a numbers problem, as in too players. So Makayla Andrews saw limited time in both live periods. Then the coaches started texting and asking the question, “why isn’t is playing”. Then they started asking the bigger question, “HOW CAN WE EVALUATE HER IF SHE DOESNT PLAY?”. Now college coaches know how talented Andrews is, they know she is going to be special at the next level. But like everyone else, she needs to showcase her magnification skills. The improved three point shot and the deadly handle. So Makayla is in reboot mode…ITS WHY SHE WILL PLAY WITH TEAM MILLER IN HER LAST AAU GAMES…and trust me coaches are not going to be disappointed. You can bet the house she will be out to prove she is as good as anyone.
RACHEL KUHL has been a star at Old Bridge High School. Her stats there have been off the charts. She is a scoring machine. She is that rare scoring point guard that can slide to the shooting guard spot. She averaged 22 points a game last season, including a season high of 45 points. She did all this, despite wearing a target on her back, all season. The two time FIRST TEAM ALL COUNTY player was double and tripled team nightly, yet still got her numbers always. There is a good chance she will score 2000 points.
I had heard whispers about Rachel and how talented she was before I met her. But I hear that about kids everyday and pay little if any attention to it at all. I am from the belief that if a kid can play, if you tell me they are a D1 player. Then go out and play against D1 competition. So when Rachel KUHL showed up at NBS and crushed girls who are currently playing D1, girls who verbeled D1 this year and Guards being recruited by Power 5 programs…I needed no more proff that Rachel KUHL was a baaaad women. She is just not talented, she is special and more importantly a great kid. Rachel in just 6 weeks became one of the most popular kids at NBS. The Justine Pissott and Rachel KUHL show was a big hit every weekend. Nobody is going to convince me that Rachel KUHL is not one of the best guards at NBS. If she played in the Shore Conference, she’d have more offers than a beauty queen…but that’s the problem, she doesn’t play in the Shore, she plays in the rapidly improving Middlesex County.
What is a kid suppose to do when they get no support promoting their achievements. What’s a kid suppose to do when people say “she doesn’t play against anybody” there is only one they can do…GO PLAY THE BEST. This summer Rachel KUHL choose to play with Books and Basketball. It is a great organization and they do things the right way. Just like Rachel KUHL Books and Basketball has killers and talent that runs deep. Rachel KUHL has become a much better basketball player because of Books and Basketball. Down the road she will thank them for helping her become a complete player. Because when I talk to her these days, she says with joy in her voice. I played great defense and made some good passes. She loves saying “WE WON”. You see Rachel KUHL is a kid that gets it. But right now she is being punished by the recruiting process. Because coaches are saying ” I think she’s good but she doesn’t play enough” ..”I would have to watch 10 games to get a feel for her”. Now what these coaches don’t know is Rachel KUHL would dominate at there schools. She would be a all league player. She just is not getting a chance to show it. It’s a shame because RACHEL KUHL is doing the right thing …TRYING TO GET BETTER and is paying a price for doing what every coach, wants kids to do…play the best and get better. I will say it right now, in the end, this will be the best basketball decision Rachel KUHL has ever made.
So two D1 locks 2 months ago, are in a tough spot. There both fighting for there D1 lives. They are victims of circumstances out of there control. Two players who did the right thing. But in AAU the right thing is not always the best thing. But here is what I am going to tell you. Both Makayla Andrew and Rachel KUHL will have to live with their decisions. Their both are also going to play at the right D1 schools. It may be a Power 5 or a mid major. But more importantly they are going to be stars in college. They are going to be impact players. They are going to players who coaches dream about, because both will have gone though tough times and come out the other side…stronger and better and that’s REAL TALK!
NEXT THURSDAY…SPOTS AVAILABLE