What’s goin on?
When we hear new UConn Coach Bob Diaco talk about changing the culture recruiting is certainly part of the plan. In a short period of time Diaco and his staff did a nice job of bringing some beef into the 2014 recruiting class, some de-commits UConn likely wouldn’t have gotten before and some talented players, period. But that’s going to have to continue at a steady, high clip for the program to improve and keep improving.
The good news is Diaco is recognized as one of the best recruiters in the country.
He provided some insight into how he and his staff will move forward handle. It’s different, deep and pretty interesting.
“You have to recruit everyday,” Diaco said. “It’s the same coach-speak, old adage you’ve heard before you know, recruiting is like shaving. You have to do it everyday or you don’t look good. I don’t know who said that first but it’s true. We’re going to structure ourselves a little differently just based on what I felt. People hiring head coaches want head coaches who sat in that chair but it’s actually pretty good to be an assistant for a long time, too, so starting that work in 1996 [as a graduate assistant at Iowa] and doing it since then has provided me with some insight on, one being that you start in the morning. You’re excited for the day and you have your coffee and you start to attack. Even if you’re not an early riser. Let’s say you take the kids to school and come in at 9. You still can attack.
“The afternoon starts to wane and wax a little bit. You don’t want hawk watchers and clock-watchers in your organization but the fact of the matter is it’s natural. You start thinking about seeing your kids or going home for dinner, spending time with your family, it’s natural. So, because of that, our staff is mandated that their recruiting work needs to be done in the morning. So everybody does recruiting and the unit leaders can set their own schedules with their staff. Maybe they work on their own, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday then unit recruit on Thursdays and Fridays. They’re clear to set their schedule how they want inside of that as long as the work is getting done in the morning before noon. That seemed to work great for me and it’s what the staff is doing right now.
“Because we haven’t practiced yet it’s still hard to analyze the exact needs for 2015 but we basically know the positions that have attrition and we’ve seen the team in strength and conditioning workouts, so we’ve seen the body type. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good or bad players but we’ve seen their body types. We have basic needs going forward. The coaches are scouring their recruiting efforts, evaluating prospects.”
Will big players be a focus again?
“If we’ve got a bigger team we’ve got a better chance to win the game. We’ll always try to collect big players. I think you’ll see the team get bigger for sure but guys are scouring their recruiting areas and evaluating the 2015 UConn need positions.”
Oh, there’s more here, folks..
“We go through our chain of custody on this too,” Diaco said. “We try to leave out conversation. We don’t want the coaches walking down to the other staffers offices and pitching them on players they’re evaluating in their area. It’s all done via computer. The evaluation goes in by the area recruiter. If it’s done properly it triggers the position coach as the next evaluator then the position coach does their comprehensive evaluation. If that’s done properly it triggers an evaluation need by the unit coordinator and the unit coordinator evaluates the prospect considering the evaluation is done properly and he’s [the recruit] has achieved the kind of scores that continue to move him through the process then those prospects come to me for final evaluation.”