The director of basketball operations for Southern Illinois University offers young players (and their parents) a step-by-step guide to developing the skills and good habits necessary to obtain a college hoops scholarship.
Mast has an authoritative tone that comes naturally from his years of experience. Chapters like “What Coaches Want” offer an insider’s look at how coaches think and the criteria they use to evaluate players. The author includes comprehensive checklists and skill benchmarks for all age levels, strength-training and nutritional advice, tips on how to handle interest from coaches, how to become an attractive walk-on, and even a how-to guide for self-marketing and creating a personal highlight tape to send out to colleges. Mast uses an informal, conversational style that’s relaxed and easy to read (“Did I just make a ‘Larry the Cable Guy’ reference? I apologize…”), and he understands how bewildering and, at times, intimidating the whole process can be for a high school kid and his parents. So he breaks things down here in the simplest, easy-to-understand terms for his target audience. There’s no substitute for being good enough, fast enough, or big enough, and Mast is fairly candid about that. But there are simply so many adjustments any player can make to improve his or her game and become more attractive to college hoops programs—some of them sweeping changes and others deceptively minor—that any potential National Collegiate Athletic Association recruit will gain something from a close reading.
A must-read for anyone who is serious (or whose child is serious) about playing college hoops, and it doubles as an interesting take on the recruitment process for fans of the college game.