Which schools' venues are favored most among NBA scouts/execs?

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

UConn's Gampel Pavilion always puts the scouts right on the court. (USATSI)
UConn's Gampel Pavilion always puts the scouts right on the court. (USATSI)

I found this to be fascinating. It's inside college basketball stuff, but I think many fans of the game -- both college and pro, to an extent -- will find the findings interesting.

Jonathan Givony, the man behind DraftExpress.com, recently polled at least one person from every NBA front office. In most cases, he got two or three opinions. He asked scouts/general managers/executives what the best and worst experiences were in terms of attending college venues. The poll was specifically related to how the scouts/execs were treated in terms of seats/accomodations/general reception from schools' officials.

The winners? Florida, Connecticut, Kentucky and Duke. And Florida State. Yep, that last one might be a little surprising. Here's a couple of quotes from the piece, the first on UConn and the second on FSU.

“Calhoun made us feel like he wanted us in practice and basically on the floor for games, and his staff would always make sure we're taken care of,” one longtime Scout explained over the phone. “Kevin Ollie has continued that policy, and it's served them well throughout the years. Look how many NBA players they've had come through Storrs.” Plenty of others echoed similar thoughts.

[On FSU] ...

“That's my favorite venue in college basketball,” a GM explained to us. “It's a conference that has traditionally been loaded with prospects, so there are lots of guys you need to see, and that's a perfect place to do it because of the personnel they have. They always have NBA-sized players with athleticism. They defend. On top of that, they treat you really well. Great seats, right on the floor, and Coach Hamilton is one of the best to deal with in terms of information on his players or other guys in the conference, getting into practice, whatever I need.”

The other end? UCLA and Oklahoma State tied for the most votes for “least accommodating college program.” North Carolina and North Carolina State also received multiple mentions, and for a list of all the schools who earned good and not-so-good remarks, do be sure to read Givony's piece.

It's worth pointing out, as Givony explains, that UCLA is among the most negatively reviewed places because it was in fact the reason this poll was conducted in the first place. The school "placed a large amount of NBA executives, including general managers, in the upper deck for their home game against Arizona last weekend, which generated the large amount of negative responses which prompted this article," the story states. "This has been an ongoing theme with the storied college program for years apparently, to the point that many NBA scouts mentioned they avoid attending their home games altogether."

An interesting twist, and certainly something that can mildly affect the way scouts and GMs view players at certain programs. The less they're able to see players in a live environment, perhaps the more their view of said players is hampered.

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