Here's Monday Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: If you had a son ranked 50th in the class of 2009 by national recruiting services, to which school would you want to see him go and why? Eliminate the close to home factor, but consider all other factors. He has not yet selected a major.
I'm a big believer in the likelihood of significant playing time because no real player wants to sit the bench. That's why the first thing I'd do is consider the make-up of a program's roster and try to help my son understand how he might fit in. Let's say my son is a point guard and the school already has a junior point guard who is a two-year starter and solid and not a candidate to leave early, and that the school has also already committed a point guard my son has played against many times and, frankly, proved to be not quite as gifted. In that case, my advice is to look elsewhere because the most important thing is to play, and these circumstances should make it difficult to get on the court.
Beyond that, I'm looking at education because, let's be honest, unless my son is a consensus top 10 prospect the odds of him making the NBA are slim. So I want to know if Stanford is interested. Or Duke. Or Vanderbilt. Degrees from those schools are worth a lot of money, and if my son could succeed in the classroom there he'd either make a seven-figure salary in the NBA or a six-figure salary in the business world. Those aren't bad options. So we'd look at that, too. But if you're question revolves around strictly basketball then I would tell you that the obvious answers are North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, you know, places where the fan bases are so large and passionate that my son would be a star in the region regardless of whether he was really a star at all. There's a thing at some schools called Scholarship for Life which basically means if you represent the school well and don't show yourself to be an idiot there's always a big booster in charge of a company willing to hire you at an inflated salary for a job you may or may not be exactly qualified to have because he likes the idea of just being able to show off a famous former player.
I like the idea of Scholarship for Life.
So we'd have to look at that.
But again, my main advice is to go where playing time is available.
Because again, players want to play and they're usually unhappy when they're not .