There are very FEW times that I miss evaluate a players potential these days. When I was a college coach it was a little different STORY. In most cases when a college coach miss evaluates a player’s ability, it’s due to lack of information. Now the other stuff like character and work ethic, that is total crap shot these days, unless the coach gets some real inside information, because coaches today spend very little time with recruits, thanks to the NCAA.


 Zoe Pero wanted to play against the best

Today social media is a great way for the college coach to peek into what a kid is really all about away from basketball.  With the NCAA cutting recruiting days, college coaches are really just getting snap shots of kids. This is why so many kids are being over recruited and under recruited.


Coaches now rely on social Media as a means to gain information


The blue print for recruiting has changed, long gone are the days where a college coach could be on the road 365 days or have 30 days in the summer to evaluate a player. Gone are the camps where a coach could see a player for a full week at a camp and watch the player’s work ethic in drills and to see if they are coach-able and able to follow directions. Gone are the days when a coach got to see if a player, showed up on time for meals, workouts, meeting or games…you know all the things they will have to do in college.  Gone are the days where a coach can truly see if there are any character flaws that might blow up down the road…it a guessing game these days. Now you know why College Elite camps matter these days.  Its hell of a lot easier for me to see all these things, because I get to see the kids over a VERY LONG PERIOD OF TIME…college coaches do NOT!


Like in the case of Jess Louro, powerhouse programs are going to come calling


When I told a good friend of mind to offer Jess Louro last year before big schools, got involved he didn’t listen until  it was too late; she committed to powerhouse Middle Tennessee State. When I told my former manager, now a Division 1 head coach, Megan McGuinness would be a star in college, he didn’t believe me until she became all MAAC two years running and dropped 27 points on his club. When I BEGGED local schools to recruit Kristen Sharkey (yes Coach Whitten you were the only one to listen..LOL),.. they didn’t listen until she became a walking double, double machine at U of Buffalo, when I told schools Arron Zimmerman would be the best college player on Coach Karpell’s first great SJV club, no one listened…  Arron Zimmerman is an All Patriot League player these days. I begged a coach who worked for me for 3 years to take Tori P…she wasn’t convinced  until the spring when it was too late and everyone was recruiting her.  But one school did listen; Colgate and they got a very special player, while other schools angrily complained they didn’t get a fair shot. The list goes on and on; you see I get to watch the players… OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. I know their weakness and strengths; because I get the full picture…college coaches are not so lucky!



PERO left the safe confines of Secacus High School


This all brings me to Zoe Pero of SJV. Now Zoe Pero already has Division one offers on the table, this is a not surprise to anyone who really understands recruiting. But what is a surprise, is  most people and this includes college coaches, don’t know this …Zoe Pero will be a DOMINATE PLAYER at the next level! Now you may ask, how do I know this? The answer is the same one I gave about Arron Zimmerman for example; I have seen her in the gym against the best. I have seen her guard the quickest point guards in the shore in one on one full court drills, I have seen her guard shooting guards that have committed to D1 schools.  I have seen Zoe guard the BEST POST players; most who have committed to DIVISION ONE SCHOOLS.


You see how many college coaches know this about Zoe Pero… in college she will guard 3 positions at times?  I bet few if any, because where would a college coach see her do this, certainly not in an AAU game or high school game. Size is rare at the high school and AAU level. So Pero spends most of her days around the basket in these setting.  Zoe Pero does things on the court that would make your head spin at times. Her ball handling and passing skills are unmatched by any post player in the shore. No other post player is even close. These skills in two years will serve her and some college well one day.



Even as a 7th grader Zoe Pero was intense and wanted to attend SJV


A good friend of mine asked me a few weeks ago, what I like most about Zoe Pero. That was a lay- up question …she plays with PRIDE! Zoe Pero wants to be and expects to be the best she can be. Now a lot of kids say this, but few actually mean it. When Zoe Pero was in 8th grade, she told me she wanted to attend SJV, because she wanted to challenge herself. But her dad decided she would attend Secacus high school with her childhood friends. Right away Secacus became a group one powerhouse. Zoe Pero became one of the best players in the county and one of the best freshmen in the state. For most this would be a dream start to a high school career…not Zoe Pero, she wanted to play against the best and join her best friend Gigi Caponergo at SJV. Zoe Pero could have stayed at Secacus and been one of the best players in the school’s history and broke records…but instead she finally convinced her parents to let her attend SJV.



Zoe gave up a lot of personal glory and attention to join the SJV family!

So let me tell you what Zoe Pero has been up against since joining SJV. She gave up her status as THE star player, she had SIT 30 days before she could play and when she returned, she was a role player. Now folks when you’re as talented as Zoe Pero this has to be hard. But remember when my friend asked what I like most about Pero? I said pride, and this is why Zoe Pero played her new role to the best of her ability. She never complained that she wasn’t in basketball shape, due to sitting 30 days or that she didn’t know the offense or pressing defense like the others on the team. Zoe Pero just gave her best, be it 1 minute or 32 minutes. This same pride is what got her in the gym all summer and this fall, developing her new found sweet jump shot. Do colleges understand that this kid is shooting the hell out of the ball these days? How would they know? Do they know that Zoe Pero arrives in the gym at 8:00 am before a 9:oo am workout? Just  so she and her dad can shoot an hour before her session starts? How could coaches know this? Few if any,  but that hardly matters to Pero because for her, it’s about pride and doing your best.



This is a number you better KNOW VERY WELL

This weekend College coaches are going to watch the SJV team play. They will see Zoe Pero unlike this summer, with a point guard; In fact she will have two stud point guards. They will call me and go, wow Zoe has really improved. I will smile and say… YES SHE HAD! But I’ve known for years this young lady was going to be special, because I’ve watched her grown over the past 5 years. I see her character which is unquestionable, I see the work ethic, which is undeniable and I see the talent few have. Sometime here in the near future, Mid Majors will have the same problem they had with Jess Louro, they are going to find out, what I already know, some powerhouse schools are going to want the services of Zoe Pero…so my advice to the mid majors… WORK HARD NOW, get a head start on the big girl programs…because folks there coming and it’s just a matter of time, before you hear these words…I TOLD YOU SO!




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