In the past three years, nearly 25 ESPN 100 players have revealed their college choice live on ESPN Recruiting Nation.
That number will grow once again during tomorrow’s National Signing Day Special on ESPNU (7 p.m. ET) when the Class of 2013’s No. 20 player, Kennedy Meeks (Georgetown or UNC), No. 25 Isaac Hamilton (San Diego State, UCLA, UNLV or UTEP) and No. 27 Tyler Roberson (Kansas, Syracuse or Villanova) join the hour-long program to announce their decision.
Also scheduled to join the program are Kansas coach Bill Self, Kentucky coach John Calipari and Memphis coach Josh Pastner.
As players put pen to paper on their national letters of intent, ESPN’s Paul Biancardi will be manning his own phone for updates from leading programs, coaches and players to deliver the news over the air. It’s an experience he knows well after a career in coaching that brought him to, among other leagues, the Big Ten (Ohio State), the Big East (Boston College) and the Horizon League (Wright State).
“At Wright State (as head coach) I signed a kid in late April who eventually became the Horizon League Player of the year,” Biancardi said. “It’s hard to find someone of that caliber in April, normally you try and find them the year before. I got the job in April and landed DaShaun Wood soon after; he became one of the best players in the history of Wright State basketball.”
Coaches will be hoping to find similar “diamonds in the rough” while top players continue to be gobbled up by leading programs.
From the players’ perspective, Biancardi firmly believes they are best served making their decision early — as long as they are sure.
“Do your homework, do the research, take your visits and you should be in a position to make an informed decision,” he said. “If you do all that you should get it out of the way and concentrate on your (final high school) season.
“But,” he cautioned, “if you haven’t built those relationships, you should wait. The one thing you shouldn’t do is string it out. It’s an overwhelming process for players because they only go through it one time — but coaches go through it all the time.”
It’s those coaches — and the legions of fans hoping their school will nab the next “great one” — who will be glued to ESPNU Friday night.