Is In-State Recruiting in College Basketball Overrated?

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Wow.. I’ve just had my mind blown by Dan Monson.

I’m going to be up front… you’re about to ride a roller coaster of Minnesota emotion with me. Mid-morning (about 10AM – 1 Hour into show) Eric Nordquist and Mark Rosen were airing live from Final Four media row during the 9 to Noon time-slot on KFAN, where they were interviewing former Gopher Basketball coach, Dan Monson. He had a take on in-state recruiting that I had never heard and my mind is now struggling with beliefs it’s held for a 30-year-old lifetime…

I’ll get the audio on here when it’s available later today but his take went something like this:

‘Too much in-state recruiting will hurt a program like Minnesota much more than helping it..’

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via GIPHY

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Calm down, calm down… don’t kill the messenger. I’m trying to figure this out too… But hear out Monson’s logic (Again, until I can get the audio, I am summarizing). He contends that having too many hometown kids can make helicopter parenting syndrome (what is ruining sports at a youth and high school level) spread state (and Barn)-wide.

When that highly-rated Minnesota kid doesn’t live up to expectations right away, what happens? What happens when the next Isaiah Washington is from Cretin-Derham Hall. As Monson put it, what happens when the stink-eye from one parent turns into the stink-eye from 25 (wanna-be) parents? 

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Monson wasn’t talking about staying away from every kid from MN. You just have to get the right ones. Guys you know will work within what you see for them. In other words, you need to recruit Minnesota like you’d recruit anywhere else. If a kid is really highly rated but doesn’t fit what you’re trying to build or is someone who might not flourish with you, then you can’t spend that much time on them.

Obviously, guys like Matthew Hurt fit anyone’s system but there is something to be said for all of the other in-state kids that Pitino supposedly missed out on this last recruiting class. We already have 3-5 MN kids that will be getting a lot of minutes this season. If a guy doesn’t perfectly fit what you’re doing and fully understand his role, should you spend your time on him, no matter where he is from?

I’ve been upset with Pitino’s record in-state too, especially with the 2019 class. But, maybe we need to take a step back and realize that there might be a limit on the amount of roster spots for those who are “one of us”… At the end of the day, getting highly rated kids (from anywhere) and then winning games with them is what will keep everyone happy.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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